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Tuesday, September 20, 2022

‘Pearl’ Writer/Director Ti West Teases ‘MaXXXine’ and Explains How ‘X’ Became a Highly Unique Trilogy [Interview]

Writer/Director Ti West reteams with X star and co-writer Mia Goth to explore a different side of her unhinged killer in Pearl, which is now playing in theaters nationwide.

We met the eponymous killer earlier this year in the ’70s set slasher X. For the film’s brand new prequel, West rewinds the clock to 1918 for a psychological character study of a younger Pearl desperate to leave behind the family farm for fame.

The third entry for this series is officially underway with MaXXXine. In a chat with Bloody Disgusting, West discussed that film and how we ended up getting here in the first place.

West also talked about the vast differences between all three movies.

“Well, X was a movie that was very informed and affected by filmmaking,” he tells Bloody Disgusting this week. “In the case of that movie, it was independent or exploitation filmmaking, or auteurish Americana, 1970s filmmaking. That has no value in Pearl’s younger story. Pearl, at the center, is a movie about dreams and wonder and looking at the glitz and glamor of a showbiz life that would fix her life and turn it into the one she wanted.”

West continues, “Even though Maxine, for instance, is using movies to springboard herself into the life she wants, Pearl was dreaming of it more than Maxine was. Maxine was more tactical about it. In doing that, certainly, the aesthetic of X didn’t make sense. X was a movie about the craft of filmmaking. I was trying to remind a modern audience of what it’s like to make a movie by going from the movie within a movie. It felt to me like the aesthetic of Pearl had to be just as rich but different and appropriate to the story.

Being that it was a psychological story about this character and what’s happening to her, what best seemed to match her emotions and her psychology was a somewhat naïve, idyllic, technicolored-inspired kind of Disney movie with demented, oddly grounded, psychological subject matter within it. That also felt fresh to me. I felt we could take something particularly retro and modernize it because it was unexpected. That irony to it, I guess, was inspiring, for lack of a better term. It just is a cool idea. It’s a big swing. Let’s go for it.”

West shot X and Pearl back-to-back, allowing the sets to remain in place but with a refresh to make them feel new. Naturally, that kept production costs low. It’s because of this that the prequel happened in the first place. Had A24 not greenlit the pitch for Pearl so quickly, West revealed we wouldn’t have a trilogy underway.

He tells us, “We would’ve never made this movie. That was part of it. It was like if we go home, this script is nothing. I knew that when we wrote it. I knew that it was completely a gamble to do this back-to-back, or it was a writing exercise, and that’s all it would be because it wouldn’t make sense. The movie’s budget would be enormous to recreate all this stuff. The benefit of Pearl and why Pearl looks at the scope that it does is because we had already spent an entire other movie creating the world for the most part. Painting a barn is inexpensive compared to building a barn. To go back and rebuild a barn would be foolish. It was really a movie that was birthed out of one of the most unique timing scenarios ever. But because of that, I knew that we could, because of all the amortization of everything we had already put together with X, I just knew that there was a way to make a movie that looked a lot bigger than it was and to give it a scope and an identity that would feel, not like a bonus movie, but a second completely different, fully realized story.”

Luckily, we did get Pearl and can expect a third entry in the yet-to-be-filmed MaXXXine. Once again, West already had the idea for the X sequel while working on the other films, and teased what we can expect down the road.

“[A24] liked the third movie idea, and I felt we had to go back before we could go forward for that one,” West notes. “To round the whole thing out, MaXXXine as a sequel to X is fine. MaXXXine as part of a trilogy is infinitely more interesting, so that was part of the overall concept. I think what’ll be fun in MaXXXine, I’m not going to tell you what it’s about, but what’s fun is it is an evolution of the character, in the way that you met Pearl in X, but then you get to know a different side of her in Pearl. Yes, you have met Maxine. It is a continuation of Maxine, but she is at a very different point in her life. It’s going to be an interesting thing to catch up with her when we do, and to see Mia Goth in yet another way.

“That was why the trilogy made more sense than a sequel because in many ways, MaXXXine is a sequel to X and should be more X. But MaXXXine as a part three will be a real departure, especially now, and there will be context of why that is. You’ll go, ‘I’m expecting something very different now.'”

The post ‘Pearl’ Writer/Director Ti West Teases ‘MaXXXine’ and Explains How ‘X’ Became a Highly Unique Trilogy [Interview] appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.


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