Taylor Russell and Timothée Chalamet touching foreheads in Bones & All

INTERVIEW: Luca Guadagnino Told Us All About the Process ofAdapting ‘Bones & All’

Bones & All as a book is something I genuinely loved reading, but there’s something so special about the movie that talking with Luca Guadagnino and Taylor Russell about it made me delighted. The film, which is adapted from the Camille DeAngelis novel of the same name, brings us Maren (Taylor Russell), who is a young girl with an overwhelming urge to eat the flesh of those close to her.

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In her journey, she meets Lee (Timothée Chalamet), who is a fellow “eater,” and the two embark on a journey for answers to Maren’s past and why they are who they are. The movie is more of a love story than the book, and there were some other major changes that I really loved within the film, so I started our interview by asking Guadagnino about adapting the novel and how his journey to directing Bones & All came to be.

“Well, the process of this movie started with Theresa Park, who is one of our producers, optioning the rights of the book by Camille DeAngelis and then approaching my very dear friend, David Kajganich, to adapt it,” he said. “And they even developed this project for a few years, I think with Antonio Campus attached to direct it. So they had made a lot there. And because I’m very close with David, I was aware that he was working on a movie about eaters. But I didn’t really know anything more than that. And then, one day, two years ago, it was like the end of September, I got this call from David who told me that, unfortunately, Antonio couldn’t do the movie if I were interested in reading the script at the time. I was busy doing something else,” Guadagnino shared. But obviously it worked out in the long run.

“I resisted the idea of that because I said to David, I don’t wanna read the script because if I read the script, I will let you wait for me and I don’t want you to wait,” he continued, and clearly, they did wait. “Then he insisted, and one of my mottos is, if someone asks you more than once for a thing, you should say yes. And then I said, okay. I read it. And once I read it, I found it beautiful. And I didn’t know the book yet. I found it beautiful. I love the characters, I love the world, I love the impossibility these characters were facing. And at the same time, the place of possibility that they were trying to find for themselves. And that’s how I started to be involved. And I said, yeah, I mean, of course from that moment until we shot the movie, a lot of things happened.”

Guadagnino went on to talk about how everything came together to bring us the Bones & All we get to see. “Casting, finding the people to embody the characters, but also developing the script into the direction in which I made it more mine, which basically was probably, putting a very strong accent on the love story from my perspective. But David is such an incredible writer. He has a capacity of structure and dialogue and character that I see rarely. He is very able to make behavior spring out on the screen. He writes these beautiful scripts that helps a lot actors of the quality of Taylor and the rest of the cast to really shine. I’m very glad. I’m very lucky that I met him. I met him many years ago when I was proposed to remake La Piscine. I met many, many writers at the time. And the only one that really captivated my imagination was him. His wicked sense of humor as well.”

There was a great deal more I got into with Guadagnino and Russell that I will be sharing audiences go see Bones & All, which hits wide release tonight. But as I finished our interview, Guadagnino asked me if I thought the movie was going to be successful, and I said, “Oh it should be,” and I hope it is, because I genuinely love Bones & All very much.

(featured image: MGM)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her current obsession is Glen Powell's dog, Brisket. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.