Rainn Wilson to Co-Star on Gillian Flynn’s Amazon Drama ‘Utopia’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Rainn Wilson will star opposite Sasha Lane on “Sharp Objects” author Gillian Flynn’s upcoming Amazon series “Utopia.”

The “Office” alum will play Michael Stearns. Once a promising virologist, Michael is now a forgotten scientist who’s lost his edge–under-appreciated and underfunded in his laboratory work. When a nationwide outbreak of a deadly flu arises, Michael offers his expertise, and soon finds he has landed smack in the middle of something much bigger.

“Utopia” follows a group of young adults, who meet online, and “are mercilessly hunted by a shadowy deep state organization after they come in to possession of a near-mythical cult underground graphic novel — they discover the conspiracy theories in the comic’s pages may actually be real and are forced in to the dangerous, unique and ironic position of saving the world.”

Also Read: Sasha Lane to Star on Amazon Series ‘Utopia’ From ‘Sharp Objects’ Author

Flynn — who has an overall deal at Amazon Studios — is the creator, executive producer and showrunner of “Utopia,” which is based on the British series of the same name written by Dennis Kelly and received a nine-episode straight-to-series order at Amazon last April.

Executive producers include Jessica Rhoades (who Flynn collaborated with on HBO’s “Sharp Objects”), Sharon Hall, Karen Wilson, Dennis Kelly and Diederick Santer. Sharon Levy, President, Unscripted & Scripted Television, Endemol Shine North America, will oversee production for Endemol Shine.

“Utopia” is a co-production between Endemol Shine North America and Kudos, an Endemol Shine Group UK production studio, and Amazon Studios.

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Sasha Lane to Star on Amazon Series ‘Utopia’ From ‘Sharp Objects’ Author

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“American Honey” actress Sasha Lane will star on “Sharp Objects” author Gillian Flynn’s upcoming Amazon series “Utopia,” TheWrap has learned.

“Utopia” follows a group of young adults, who meet online, and “are mercilessly hunted by a shadowy deep state organization after they come in to possession of a near-mythical cult underground graphic novel — they discover the conspiracy theories in the comic’s pages may actually be real and are forced in to the dangerous, unique and ironic position of saving the world.”

Lane has been cast as the drama’s lead, Jessica Hyde, who is described as “tough and feral after a life on the run from a mysterious and dangerous group, Jessica believes all the answers about her perplexing life story may be hidden in the graphic novel ‘Utopia’.”

Also Read: Amazon Orders ‘Utopia’ Series From ‘Gone Girl’ Writer Gillian Flynn

Flynn — who has an overall deal at Amazon Studios — is the creator, executive producer and showrunner of “Utopia,” which is based on the British series of the same name written by Dennis Kelly and received a nine-episode straight-to-series order at Amazon last April.

“As I’ve been writing ‘Utopia’ and trying to imagine the actor who could possibly embody Jessica Hyde, Sasha Lane has constantly kicked her way into my mind,” Flynn said in a statement. “She has the shape-shifting ability to feel at once raw, unpredictable and a little unnerving while also making you want to wrap your arms around her. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have her play this utterly unique character.”

Executive producers include Jessica Rhoades (who Flynn collaborated with on HBO’s “Sharp Objects”), Sharon Hall, Karen Wilson, Dennis Kelly and Diederick Santer. Sharon Levy, President, Unscripted & Scripted Television, Endemol Shine North America, will oversee production for Endemol Shine.

Also Read: Amy Adams’ ‘Sharp Objects’ Scores Series High With 1.8 Million Viewers for HBO Finale

“Utopia” is a co-production between Endemol Shine North America and Kudos, an Endemol Shine Group UK production studio, and Amazon Studios.

Lane is repped by WME, The Long Run’s Amy BonFleur and attorney André Des Rochers.

Steve McQueen “Saw The Matrix” When He Visited The FBI For ‘Widows’

Read on: Deadline.

Don’t call Steve McQueen predictable. The British artist and director may have made three previous films that steered closer to the arthouse end of the market—Hunger, Shame and 12 Years a Slave—but Widows, an expansive heist movie he co-wro…

‘Fantastic Beasts’ Sequel Conjures $9.1 Million at Thursday Box Office

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” Warner Bros.’ second film in the spinoff from the Harry Potter movies, earned $9.1 million at the box office from Thursday previews on. It will open wide on over 4,000 screens this weekend.

The sequel is currently projected to open in the high $60 million range, with estimates topping out at $73 million from independent trackers, but it beat the Thursday total of the first film, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” from 2016, which earned $8.75 million in Thursday previews on its way to earning $74.4 million in its opening weekend.

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling wrote the original story that’s part of a five-film prequel in the magical universe. Eddie Redmayne stars alongside Katherine Waterston, Jude Law and Johnny Depp as the film’s villain. “The Crimes of Grindelwald” has just a 49 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, so unlike the original film, it will be working to overcome tepid reviews.

Also Read: ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ – The Big Twist Ending and That Lestrange Family Drama, Explained

Both Paramount’s “Instant Family,” starring Mark Wahlberg, and Fox’s thriller “Widows,” starring Viola Davis, are also opening wide this weekend.

“Instant Family” brought in $550,000 on Thursday night. Paramount is projecting an opening in the mid-teens to as high as $20 million when it opens on approximately 3,258 screens domestically. Comparatively, Wahlberg’s “Daddy’s Home 2,” which also opened in early November last year, earned $1.5 million in Thursday previews and would open to $29.6 million.

In the family comedy starring Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne and directed by Sean Anders, the two play a couple of new parents of three adopted children. The film has a 70 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

More to come…

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Viola Davis on Interracial Kiss With Liam Neeson in ‘Widows’: ‘Elusive to Me Because of the Way I Look’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

(Warning: A very light spoiler is discussed)

A deep, passionate kiss is shared by Viola Davis and Liam Neeson in the opening frames of “Widows,” immediately keying audiences into the fact that they’re not watching an ordinary crime thriller. This is a Steve McQueen crime thriller, by the director who won the Best Picture Oscar for “12 Years a Slave” and who also earned raves for his groundbreaking sex addiction drama “Shame,” starring Michael Fassbender.

“You will not see that,” Davis said of the intimate bedroom kiss between a black woman and white man depicted in the film. “I don’t care how much people say they’re committed to inclusivity — they’re not committed to that,” said the Oscar winner at a screening on the 20th Century Fox lot in Los Angeles on Tuesday night, attended by McQueen and other cast members.

It’s an opening scene that arguably hasn’t been done in film. As Davis put it, to have “the opening shot in this movie where you have a dark-skinned woman with a big nose and wide lips and all of that and her natural hair kissing — romantically kissing a white man onscreen.”

Also Read: Steve McQueen’s ‘Widows’ Leads MoMA’s ‘The Contenders’ Lineup of Year’s Finest Films

“Widows,” co-written by McQueen and “Gone Girl” writer Gillian Flynn, is a remake of a 1980s British TV show. The film version is set in Chicago. It revolves around the women left behind, mourning the deaths of their criminal husbands as they navigate survival in a crime world they’ve suddenly inherited. It also stars Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Colin Farrell, Carrie Coon and Robert Duvall.

Rodriguez, also at Tuesday’s screening Q&A, chimed in on Davis’ thoughts on interracial love in movies: “The reality of the truth of the fabric of this country is multiracial. I can’t tell you how many Irish last names are on yellow, mixed race, African humans,” she said. “This is just a man who sees truth and he’s putting it on the screen,” Rodriguez added of McQueen.

“That right there has been elusive to me because of the way I look,” added Davis of her kissing scene with Neeson. “I’m just going to say it,” she added as the audience — mostly Screen Actors Guild members — erupted into applause. “Steve [McQueen], he didn’t want to hear that… He saw me as this woman. I migrate toward people who actually see me. I actually do have a vagina,” she concluded as the crowd cheered and laughed.

“Widows” opens in theaters Nov. 16.

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‘Sharp Objects’ Alan Crellin: Complicit or Oblivious? Creator Marti Noxon Gives Us Her Take

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

(Spoiler alert: Please do not read ahead unless you’ve watched “Sharp Objects” through Sunday’s finale, “Milk.”)

“Sharp Objects” creator Marti Noxon will tell you that “this story is about the legacy of violence among these women.”

And that’s the truth, as HBO’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s debut novel came to a close Sunday with two shocking reveals: 1) Camille’s (Amy Adams) mother Adora (Patricia Clarkson) killed her little sister Marian by imposing Munchausen by proxy on her and slowly poisoning her to death as a child, and 2) Camille’s preteen half sister, Amma (Eliza Scanlen), was the one responsible for the grisly murders of the two young girls from their small hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri.

Also Read: ‘Sharp Objects’ Finale: Marti Noxon Explains the Final Line and Why They Cut the Ending Off Early

But sitting quietly in the middle of this storm of murderous rage amongst the women is Adora’s husband, Alan (played by Henry Czerny), trying to tune it all out while listening to his very expensive stereo equipment.

So what exactly did Alan know about all the violent acts the women closest to him were carrying out — including the fact his wife killed their child? Noxon tells TheWrap she left it ambiguous as to whether or not Alan was complicit or oblivious, but that in some “deep dark recess of his soul” he “knows everything.”

“I think this is, again, the story of like secrets and denial,” Noxton told TheWrap in an interview ahead of Sunday’s finale. “How about all of these people who live with people who are abusing their children and they know, but they don’t want to know, so they push it down and they make excuses and they justify behaviors? I think it’s just… he probably in some deep, dark recess of his soul knows everything. But I don’t think he admits it all to himself. This is what I would think Alan thinks of as one of the dark times that he’s just trying to get through.”

Also Read: ‘Sharp Objects’ Finale: Breaking Down Those Chilling Post-Credits Scenes

But Noxon says it’s possible Alan also “gets off on the violence.”

“We’ve seen these stories so many times about female spouses who walk that line between trying to control the force — the dangerous force in their family — but also not being willing to sacrifice to do it,” Noxon said. “And I think that’s Alan. He almost feels like a beaten spouse to me. He’s sort of trying to control Adora, but he’s also just trying to walk away.”

“I don’t know if he is in some ways, you know, he gets off on the violence?” she added. “I think he’s almost more a victim of whatever mind control [Adora has inflicted on him]. He feels like a very classically female character in that way.”

Read more from our interview with Noxon about the finale here. And get a breakdown of the finale’s chilling post-credits scenes here.

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‘Sharp Objects’ Finale: Breaking Down Those Chilling Post-Credits Scenes

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(Spoiler alert: Don’t read ahead unless you’ve watched the “Sharp Objects” finale… all the way to the end of the credits!)

Deep breaths, people, deep breaths.

“Sharp Objects” went out Sunday with the big reveal that Amma (Eliza Scanlen) is the one who murdered Ann Nash and Natalie Keene, with the HBO limited series’ finale cutting off right at the moment Camille (Amy Adams) realizes the truth about her devious little sister. Amma says, “Don’t tell mama,” then the screen cuts to black and Led Zepplin’s “In the Evening” kicks into high gear as the final credits roll.

Also Read: ‘Sharp Objects’ Finale: Marti Noxon Explains the Final Line and Why They Cut the Ending Off Early

But if you stick around to watch all the way through till the very end of the small-screen adaptation’s final episode, “Milk,” you’ll catch a few glimpses of Amma that reveal more of the murderous story from Gillian Flynn’s debut novel. And that are sure to send chills down your spine.

The first, which comes mid-credits, is a chaotic shot of Amma doing the deed — strangling the girls in the woods as they fight back. (They don’t show Amma pulling out their teeth, which are to be used as the ivory floor in her coveted dollhouse, but she did that, too). It even gives a few glimpses of her offing her new friend in the city, Mae.

While the Adams-led drama doesn’t give you more details about how Amma carried out the crimes than those jagged shots, Flynn’s book fleshes it out in its final few pages. You can read more about the differences between the book and the limited series here.

Also Read: ‘Sharp Objects’: Eliza Scanlen on Playing Amy Adams’ ‘Rebellious’ Little Sister With ‘Balls’ (Video)

The final scene of the series comes at the very end of the credits, and is a blink-and-you’ll-almost-miss-it shot of Amma in a long white dress, gazing at the camera before turning to walk into the woods. The vision is significant because, if you remember back in Episode 2, “Dirt,” the only eyewitness to Natalie’s capture was a little boy who described to Camille a woman dressed in white as Natalie’s kidnapper.

The short scene is also a call back to Amma and Camille’s mother Adora (Patricia Clarkson), who is often depicted in white (see below), has that ivory floor in her bedroom, and who killed Camille’s other little sister, Marian.

Read our conversation about the gut-punch finale with showrunner Marti Noxon over here.

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Ending

While the show cuts off dramatically as Camille is realizing that Amma is the one who killed Anne Nash and Natalie Keene, the book continues for a bit — Amma even ends up in prison for what she’s done.Noxon said that the decision t…

‘Sharp Objects’ Finale: Marti Noxon Explains the Final Line and Why They Cut the Ending Off Early

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

(Spoiler alert: Please do not read ahead unless you’ve watched “Sharp Objects” through Sunday’s finale, “Milk.”)

Well, there you have it: Adora dunit, but Amma also dunit.

The finale of HBO’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s “Sharp Objects” ended with the reveal that — even though Adora (Patricia Clarkson) had killed her daughter Marian and was finally sent to jail for her crimes — she wasn’t the one who murdered Natalie and Ann.

Instead, in the final moments of the episode “Milk” we learn Camille’s (Amy Adams) living little sister, Amma (Eliza Scanlen) — who she has taken away to raise in safety — is actually the one responsible for the grisly murders of the two young girls from their small hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri.

Also Read: ‘Sharp Objects’ Finale: Breaking Down Those Chilling Post-Credits Scenes

And the very last line Amma uttered when she walked in on her big sister discovering her victims’ teeth hidden inside her dollhouse was, “Don’t tell mama.” Then the screen cuts to black and Led Zepplin’s “In the Evening” kicks into high gear as the final credits roll. (Insert chills here.)

While that ending is probably enough to disturb you for years to come, Flynn’s debut novel closed a little differently. Well, not differently, just with more to it. So TheWrap talked with showrunner Marti Noxon about why she, Flynn and director Jean-Marc Vallee chose to cut the book’s coda, which included Camille visiting Amma in prison and discussing her crimes.

Oh, and why they settled on those final three words that will haunt you until the end of time. (And if they don’t the post-credits scenes certainly will.)

Also Read: ‘Sharp Objects’: 13 Differences Between Gillian Flynn’s Novel and Amy Adams’ HBO Series (Photos)

Why did you cut the ending off early?

Marti Noxon: My recollection is that — and I don’t have the book in front of me — but those few pages, they are very short, that little coda of that part. And we were trying to convey the emotional experience of reading the book, and to me the book ended there. And there was so much more that I wanted to know about the other part. And it felt emotionally like, this story is about the legacy of violence among these women and that it really started with Adora. That everything in this story, that’s what we get to know about. So to end it sort of calling back to Adora felt like the original ending for this mystery.

Did you leave clues for fans to find if they go back for a second viewing, now that they know Amma is the killer?

Totally! I mean, part of the fun of taking this from the book to the screen is that that Amma character portrayed by Eliza is so complicated. Her relationship with Camille is so complicated. And it is in the book too. But I think because Eliza and Amy brought something to it that Gillian and myself we felt really strongly about — which is there is this side of Amma that is really loving and is looking for a protector and a champion and a sister — so that we could rest a little bit. But you know, in the end it is a whodunit, she dun it. So it’s fun to know those little bits and pieces are there.

Also Read: ‘Sharp Objects’ Showrunner Says No to Season 2: ‘This Is It’

Why did you choose “Don’t tell mama” as the final line?

To me, the story, you know, is really about this legacy of violence in their family. And Adora, a lot of what Amma does is in reaction to Adora. Probably almost all of it at that age. So she’s still walking that crazy line between trying to emulate Adora, literally by murdering, but also by not having the emotional capacity to do it with any subtlety or even deal with the consequences.

How did you decide how much time to devote to the part of the finale with Camille and Adora and the part after that with Amma and Camille?

To me that’s like the scene in the bathtub, that’s where the real meat of the crime is taking place and it tells you everything about how it happened in the past and what really happened to the girls. So that’s sort of the meat of the finale. That’s the real answer to the whodunit. And then the surprise of, “Oh, and there is someone still doing it or still out there a victim in this” did feel like it’s own coda, in a way.

Also Read: Why ‘Sharp Objects’ Showrunner Named Each Episode After a Word on Camille’s Body

You’ve already confirmed there isn’t going to be a Season 2, but did you ever want more?

I think we were really committed to really doing the book justice, and it is a whodunit. And some people try to live in a world that it maybe doesn’t have a second story. You know, this story feels very complete. But there is also just the reality that this is a tough team to assemble and I think it would be pretty impossible to do it again (laughs).

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SPOILER ALERT: This article contains details about the season finale of Sharp Objects.
Sunday night answered the lingering question: “Who killed all these young girls in Wind Gap?” Based on the creepiness and overall shadiness of this small…

‘Sharp Objects’: Eliza Scanlen on Playing Amy Adams’ ‘Rebellious’ Little Sister With ‘Balls’ (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

(Spoiler alert: Please do not read ahead unless you’ve seen Episode 103 of “Sharp Objects,” “Fix”)

Eliza Scanlen may play a wild child on HBO’s new limited series, “Sharp Objects,” but that’s far from her real-life M.O. The Australian born actress told TheWrap as much last week, when she stopped by to talk about her role as Camille’s (Amy Adams) rebellious half sister, Amma Crellin, in the TV adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s dark debut novel.

“I think when it is a challenge, it’s all the more fun and exciting and what you get out of it, it’s a lot more gratifying,” the 19-year-old said of taking on the two-faced preteen, who lets her mother, Adora (Patricia Clarkson), baby her all day, then runs her posse of preteen bullies during those hot Missouri summer nights.

Also Read: ‘Sharp Objects’ Showrunner Says No to Season 2: ‘This Is It’

“So in that sense, I think playing the more rebellious side to Amma was really fun, ’cause I’m definitely not like that in real life,” Scanlen added. “I’m a goody two shoes. I’m pretty boring and I wish I could be that interesting. I wish I had the balls that Amma has.”

When it comes to being both a good girl and a bad girl at the same time, the newcomer (who has already been labeled the limited series’ “breakout star” by many a critic and fan) says that’s part of Amma’s charm.

“She does have this dual personality that’s very interesting to see onscreen, and I think even just with the first three episodes she’s still a bit of an enigma to the audience,” Scanlen told TheWrap. “It seems as though her personality, it’s ever changing. You can’t really pinpoint, you know, what her agenda is specifically, which was really fun to play. But at times it was confusing because sometimes Amma confused me and I was like, ‘What? I don’t know what is she thinking? And why is she being so mean right now?’”

Also Read: Why ‘Sharp Objects’ Showrunner Named Each Episode After a Word on Camille’s Body

After last Sunday’s episode, “Fix,” viewers know that Camille has been haunted by the ghost of her old rehab roommate, Alice, a young girl who was a cutter, like her. That episode also saw Amma begin to really bond with Camille, who she hasn’t known until her big sister came back to their small town to report on the grisly murders of two young girls.

“In terms of the progression of the story, Episode 3 is definitely really important,” Scanlen said. “You discover who the girl that’s been appearing in the mirrors is and how she’s connected to Camille, and her story, and her bouts of self destruction. And for Amma, she’s sort of discovering more and more that she’s very much alike to Camille, and perhaps there is a friendship that can be manifested there.”

“And I think it’s also an opportunity for her to explore herself more freely, and without judgement. Because I think she feels a lot of judgement from Adora to be this sort of character,” Scanlen said. “And seeing Camille really sort of stepping away from Adora’s expectations and trying not to be influenced by them serves as inspiration for Amma. So yeah, we do see this friendship flourish. And I think it makes the story a little bit sweeter, because so much of it is dark and there is a little bit of innocence that Amma brings into the story, which is refreshing.”

Also Read: Amy Adams’ ‘Sharp Objects’ Scores 1.5 Million Viewers in HBO Debut

Watch the full interview above.

“Sharp Objects airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.

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“Sharp Objects” won’t be getting a second season, showrunner Marti Noxon said at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour on Wednesday.

“We’re not talking about a Season 2,” Noxon said. “This is it, so bask in it while you can.”

The eight-episode limited series is based on Gillian Flynn’s debut novel of the same name, so an additional season would have taken the series off-book. While “Sharp Objects” is a limited series, it wouldn’t be unprecedented to add on a second season. Last year’s critical darling “Big Little Lies” was originally billed as a limited series before HBO added a second season.

Also at the “Sharp Objects” TCA panel, Flynn said that eight episodes felt like the right amount to tell the story of Camille Preaker (Amy Adams) and Wind Gap, Missouri.

Also Read: Why ‘Sharp Objects’ Showrunner Named Each Episode After a Word on Camille’s Body

“I felt this one in particular did feel like it needed more than two hours,” the former reporter said when asked why a series felt right for “Sharp” instead of a feature film, like “Gone Girl.”

“It did need that length, again, just to make sure that Camille and her story and that character study didn’t get lost within the mystery itself,” Flynn said. “As you saw, we don’t even get to what Camille’s particular issue is … until the end of the first episode.”

When TheWrap spoke one-on-one with HBO programming chief Casey Bloys later on, the exec told us why the premium cabler agrees one season is enough for this TV adaptation of a beloved novel — and “Big Little Lies” got a Season 2.

Also Read: Here’s How ‘Sharp Objects’ Is Not Hiding Its Cuts and Looking Out for Triggers at the Same Time

“No, no,” Bloys said, to a possible sophomore season. “I’ll tell you the difference. For ‘Big Little Lies,’ Reese [Witherspoon], Nicole [Kidman], Laura [Dern], Shailene [Woodley], and Zoe [Kravitz] — they all wanted to do it again. This is very, as you know the show is dark, and Amy’s character is very dark. It’s a difficult role for an actress to play. I believe she doesn’t want to play that character again, which I completely understand. It’s a lot to take on, and without her I just don’t see. I think this is one where you gotta say, ‘We got a fantastic limited series, and we’ll leave it at that.’”

Noxon previously told TheWrap the decision to save a view of Camille’s cuts until the end of the premiere was because she “was mindful that many of the people watching the show would not know the story [from the book].”

The “Buffy” alum added that that moment in the book “actually takes place pretty deep in,” and that it’s the moment the reader “really get[s] the story of what these ‘sharp objects’ have done to her,” and so she knew she wanted to replicate that “a-ha” moment on screen. To read more about what those “sharp objects” have done to Camille, head to our post over here.

“Sharp Objects” airs Sundays on HBO at 9/8c.

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(Spoiler alert: Please do not read ahead unless you’ve seen Episode 102 of “Sharp Objects,” “Dirt.”)

It’s a well-known fact that writers have a love-hate relationship with words. But on “Sharp Objects,” journalist Camille Preaker (Amy Adams) takes that dynamic to a whole new level, as she has a history of carving them into her skin.

While the new HBO limited series — based on “Gone Girl” author Gillian Flynn’s debut novel — is taking great care with how it’s approaching the cutting storyline, it is still prominently featured, as it is a pivotal part of Adams’ character. And without those words on Camille’s body, showrunner Marti Noxon wouldn’t have had the perfect title for each episode ready to go.

Also Read: Here’s How ‘Sharp Objects’ Is Not Hiding Its Cuts and Looking Out for Triggers at the Same Time

“I went through the book and just took out every single word Gillian mentions. And then would look at what I was trying to do in the episode, and I don’t think we invented any, we might have, but I don’t think we did,” Noxon told TheWrap in a recent interview.

“Vanish” is the first word we see on Camille’s body — and the title of the pilot — when it is exposed as the lead character disrobes to get into a bathtub at the end of the July 8 premiere.

“So for ‘Vanish,’ you know for me, I felt like for her to go home was…like disappearing back into her past,” she said. “I had written it into the script [that] the present and the past get so entwined in the visual that [director Jean-Marc Vallee] obviously took that and made it even more incredible. So I felt like vanishing into your past was kind of a theme of the first episode and is she going to survive it?”

Also Read: Amy Adams’ ‘Sharp Objects’ Scores 1.5 Million Viewers in HBO Debut

Noxon then explained why she selected “Dirt” for the title of the second episode, which aired Sunday: “For me, that represented the funeral of Natalie Keene and also the gossip in the town and the way people sling dirt and how you kind of can metaphorically kill someone with your words. And certainly Adora (Patricia Clarkson) is the type of person to use words to almost kill; they’re so painful sometimes. So I was like, that’s a great word!”

The “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” alum explained the importance of words when it comes to holding onto memories — both good and bad — through a personal story about a friend whose father had advanced Alzheimer’s and “started to have his favorite things and places and memories tattooed on his body.”

“And that was so moving, because it was his children, his history; it was the opposite of Camille,” she continued. “It was all these good things. But when I got to that part in the book about how she was, you know, a ‘cutting linguist’ — I think is what Gillian wrote — I was moved by the idea that these memories were so painful that she recorded them so she would never forget what it was really like. So each word encompasses the theme of the episode.”

Also Read: ‘Sharp Objects’ Showrunner on Premiere’s ‘Aha Moment,’ What Those ‘Sharp Objects’ Have Done to Camille

“Sharp Objects” airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.

Ashley Boucher contributed to this story.

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TheWrap Party Report: Deadmau5 Plays Rare Morning Gig, John Legend Rules the Night (Photos)

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Less than 12 hours after releasing new music, Deadmau5 played it for the first time to a select group of invitees and Twitch Primer users in a downtown L.A. warehouse at 11 a.m. on Friday morning. He led off with “Monophobia,” the first time he performed the just-released song from the new collection of music, “mau5ville: level 1”. Active int he professional and consumer gaming communities, the helmet-headed producer kicked off a day-long competition tied to the upcoming Amazon Prime day. (Eagle eye alert: Deadmau5’s iconic cube stage was reimagined as an Amazon Prime box.)

Ludacris and Kevin Smith were on the scene in downtown L.A. Other talent-heavy Amazon events tied to their music and gaming platforms have taken place in New York, Tokyo, and Milan leading up to prime day on July 16.

John Legend was the odd man out as Chrissy Teigen embraced fellow model and new tech entrepreneur Brooklyn Decker at Decker’s “Finery” app launch party in Culver City on Wednesday night. Decker’s app promises “wardrobe analytics” for your closet.

“Moonlight” Oscar maestro Barry Jenkins came to support “Blindspotting” writers and stars Rafael Casal (left) and Daveed Diggs (right) as they screened the Summit release at LACMA.

Also Read: Barry Jenkins Will Direct Every Episode of Amazon Studios’ ‘Underground Railroad’ Adaptation

A week before “The Equalizer 2” debuts, Ashton Sanders, Denzel Washington, Melissa Leo and Antoine Fuqua enjoyed a pre-press tour huddle at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills.

Camilla Fayed’s cookbook launch party fwas the hot social ticket of the week. Erin Foster and Sara Riff were amongst the scene at Schoo’s in West Hollywood.

Fayed casually scored pal Mark Ronson to spin.

Also Read: EDC 2018: Diplo and Mark Ronson Debut New Disco Collaboration ‘Silk City’ (Photos)

Stylist Elizabeth Saltzman and Jamie Mizrahi co-hosted as some of Fayed’s plant-based bites like sweet potato falafel, chickpea fries, and okra caponata passed through the space.

 

Hours after she woke up to 21 Emmy nominatiosn for “Westworld”, star Angela Sarafyan (center) was ready to celebrate. She poses here with Kelly Sawyer Patricof and Jared Eng.

Also Read: Emmy Nominations by the Numbers: Netflix Surpasses HBO, ‘Game of Thrones’ Scores 22 Nods

Top Chef in the house: Marcel Vigneron (now behind “Wolf” on Melrose)  made the scene.

Composer Danny Elfman and Director Gus Van Sant celebrated their Sundance film “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot” with an L.A. premiere at the Arclight on July 11.

For more from the party circuit, click over here:

Also Read: Party Report: Amy Adams, Gillian Flynn and HBO Celebrate the Premiere of ‘Sharp Objects’ (Photos)

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Steve McQueen & Gillian Flynn’s ‘Widows’ To Open 2018 London Film Festival

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Steve McQueen’s Widows is set to open this year’s London Film Festival. The feature, which is written by McQueen and Gone Girl and Sharp Objects author Gillian Flynn and stars Viola Davis, will kick off the 62nd BFI London Film Festival on October 10.

‘Sharp Objects’ Showrunner on Premiere’s ‘Aha Moment,’ What Those ‘Sharp Objects’ Have Done to Camille

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Warning: spoilers ahead for “Sharp Objects” Episode 1: “Vanish”

Showrunner Marti Noxon knew that many viewers of HBO’s limited series “Sharp Objects” wouldn’t be prepared for the reveal about protagonist Camille Preaker (Amy Adams) at the end of the premiere episode, but she wanted to give her audience the same “aha moment” from Gillian Flynn’s novel as soon as possible.

The moment we’re talking about comes at the very end of the premiere, titled “Vanish” — a word we see etched onto Camille’s skin, along with several other words scarring her entire body.

I was mindful that many of the people watching the show would not know the story,” Noxon told TheWrap after Sunday night’s premiere, adding that she remembered the “moment in the book — which actually takes place pretty deep in — where she reveals that she’s a cutter.” 

Also Read: ‘Sharp Objects’: Patricia Clarkson Knows You Love Adora – and She’s Trying Not to Judge You for It

Noxon said that was the moment the reader “really get[s] the story of what these ‘sharp objects’ have done to her,” and so she knew she wanted to replicate it on screen. 

But I also felt like we didn’t want to leave it too deep in the season,” she said. “At one point there was debate about, you know, do we match the book and hold it until like Episode 3? And I was like, ‘no way.’ I think the viewers will feel betrayed if they’ve been kept out of her secret for that long.”

It was important to Noxon that viewers get to know Camille as she is now before her past as a cutter was revealed. 

Also Read: Amy Adams Chases a Killer and Hates Her Hometown in ‘Sharp Objects’ Trailer (Video)

“You want to know her before you know this thing about her that makes her so vulnerable. You want to know that she’s tough, and she’s smart, and she’s funny, and, you know, she’s… considered a valuable human in her regular life,” Noxon continued, pointing out that she is particularly interested in “how we judge people for the way they look.” Several of Noxon’s other projects — like AMC’s “Dietland” and Netflix’s “To the Bone” also deal with that theme, in the form of obesity and anorexia, respectively. 

HBO

People make such judgements about people they perceive as flawed in that way,” Noxon said. “We make these assumptions, so what do you feel about Camille before you know [that she’s a cutter], and what do you assume afterwards?”

Flynn’s debut novel was published in 2006, long before “trigger warnings” became commonplace and more social responsibility was placed on media and entertainment outlets to respect the possibility that their content could affect viewers in a negative way, psychologically speaking.

Also Read: ‘Sharp Objects’ Trailer: An Unstable Amy Adams Returns to Her Creepy Southern Roots (Video)

And while Noxon is no stranger to dealing with trauma on screen, cutting is still an incredibly taboo topic. So, yes, she told TheWrap she was sensitive to how viewers would be affected by Camille’s self harm and took care to not be “exploitative” when showing the damage on screen.

“And we had to be very mindful of how we showed it and not to be exploitative in any way, but also to be really sensitive to the idea that she is trying through her recovery to actually get to the root of what caused all this,” she added. “What caused those words [on] her skin, so although she could also use a really good therapist — and I would recommend that for anybody [laughs]– I do think that we show it as part of this ecosystem and something that she’s really striving not to do, that it’s not desirable. In fact, the consequences of it are all over the show. That she is not able to live a normal life because of what she did to herself. So you know, she’s going to have to deal with that if she survives this experience.”

Also Read: ‘Sharp Objects’: First Look at Amy Adams in HBO Adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s Debut Novel

Noxon added that, it “helps a lot that Camille is in recovery,” in terms of cutting, at least.

“She may still not be in recovery for her clear drinking problem, but she is not actively hurting herself in that way,” Noxon said. “So you know, we show a lot of what’s shown in the book about her being abstinent but… to me it was symbolic of a kind of pain that she’s gone to these lengths.”

“Sharp Objects” airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.

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‘Sharp Objects’: Patricia Clarkson on Playing Amy Adams’ ‘Brutal’ But ‘Beloved’ Mentally Ill Mother

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To say that Patricia Clarkson and Amy Adams have some mother-daughter issues on HBO’s new limited series “Sharp Objects” would be an understatement and insulting to Gillian Flynn’s debut novel. Of course, Clarkson wouldn’t know that firsthand, seeing as she didn’t actually read the book while working on the project, at the author’s request.

Instead, she came at the character of Adora Preaker with an “open heart” and an “open mind” and was ready to play the controlling, manipulative, self-centered mommy who just doesn’t understand why her daughter Camille (Adams) came back to her small hometown in Missouri to report on the brutal murders of two little girls.

“I knew the story, I knew who Adora was,” Clarkson told TheWrap ahead of the premiere of Marti Noxon and Jean-Marc Valle’s TV adaptation of the novel. “You know, she’s quite, oddly, a very well known character and quite beloved [laughs]. People love Adora. I don’t know why but, whatever that’s not for me to judge [laughs]. But many people know of this character. And I knew the story but I didn’t know details. And so I kinda came at this, as cliche as it sounds, I came at it with an open mind and a very open heart to this character.”

Also Read: Amy Adams Chases a Killer and Hates Her Hometown in ‘Sharp Objects’ Trailer (Video)

“And whatever you want to come away with from Adora — ‘She’s harsh. She’s brutal’ — well yes, she’s all of those things, but to me she’s a woman who has been forsaken by a daughter with, in her mind, this exemplary life,” Clarkson continued. “She’s a good mother to her other daughters, she is a good wife, she has a house, she has a life, even though it’s this very small town life. So I came at her with a good feeling, so to speak. I didn’t have preconceived notions and I loved the beautiful writing of Gillian Flynn.”

Clarkson says she and Adams “forged a relationship that could echo the better parts, if there are any, of Adora and Camille” while shooting. But the warm and fuzzy feelings were left off screen, as Adams’ character is hardly Adora’s favorite daughter. The matriarch has two others: Marian (who died due to illness when she was a child) and the secretly wild 13-year-old, Amma, both of whom she smothers with love and likes to tend to in an extremely aggressive way. And then there is Camille, who doesn’t want to be babied or let her mother love her in the only way she seems to know how.

“I don’t think you can play controlling. I don’t think you can play manipulative,” Clarkson said. “It has to come from an emotional life in the character. It has to be a character who is struggling to feel love for a child and how does that come out. A mother who is disappointed in the way her daughter looks and acts and behaves, because why isn’t she this beautiful daughter that she was supposed to be? And how does that manifest itself in that it’s reflecting back on me?”

Also Read: ‘Sharp Objects’: First Look at Amy Adams in HBO Adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s Debut Novel

“These are all very true real emotions that mothers that are not as ill and complicated as Adora, but there is not a daughter on this earth who didn’t feel at times that they were disappointing there mother, they weren’t living up to their mother ideals,” she added.

Clarkson doesn’t want to give anything away, but it’s hard to talk about her character with out revealing she is “suffering from some mental illness.”

“You know, she has issues,” she said. “So she’s not really capable of viewing a child the way a normal mother would. And so it dictates a certain behavior that she sees as not abnormal, but normal. So for her it is about taking care. It is an obsession.”

“Sharp Objects” premieres Sunday at 9/8 c on HBO.

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Before the Sunday night premiere, HBO and the “Sharp Objects” creative ensemble celebrated the television adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s novel at the Arclight and an after party at Boulevard3 on Sunset.  Pictured here: Executive Produc…