‘The Woman In The Window’ director says Netflix flop “wasn’t the film that I originally made”

“It got watered down a lot”

Joe Wright, director of Netflix’s The Woman In The Window, has said the final release doesn’t resemble the film he originally made.

Starring Amy Adams as an agoraphobic woman who starts spying on her neighbours, the psychological thriller was critically panned upon release in May last year. It currently has a 26 per cent score on review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes.

The film had a troubled development cycle. After poor test screenings, the film’s release was delayed from October 2019 to May 2020 to accommodate reshoots and rewrites under Disney and 20th Century Fox. Disney then sold the film’s rights to Netflix after the theatrical release was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Speaking to Vulture about the project, Wright said: “It was a long, protracted, frustrating experience. The film that was finally released was not the film that I originally made.

“It got watered down a lot. It was a lot more brutal in my original conception. Both aesthetically, with really fucking hard cuts and really violent music – Trent Reznor did an incredible score for it that was abrasive and hardcore – and in its depiction of Anna, Amy Adams’s character, who was far messier and kind of despicable in a lot of ways.”

The final version of The Woman In The Window was scored by Danny Elfman, with Reznor and Atticus Ross’ original score tossed out.

Wright also said the main character was softened after reshoots. “Unfortunately, audiences like women to be nice in their movies,” he added. “They don’t want to see them get messy and ugly and dark and drunk and taking pills. It’s fine for men to be like that, but not for women. So the whole thing was watered down to be something that it wasn’t.”

The director however isn’t hopeful his cut will ever be released, saying that it would “cost a lot of money to do”.

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“It was very different,” Wright said. “I’m going to delude myself. It could just be that it was a film that didn’t work and that’s okay, too. We have a right as artists to fail. We have to keep pushing ourselves. You’ve got to come in with a fairly decent batting average, but if you don’t make the occasional film that doesn’t work, then you’re not fucking trying hard enough.”

Wright is best known for directing period dramas like Pride & Prejudice, Anna Karenina and Atonement. His recent films include Darkest Hour starring Gary Oldman and Cyrano with Peter Dinklage.

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