Marjane Satrapi’s new horror film makes a splash at Sundance

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What could be cuter than the above image of Ryan Reynolds talking to a kitty and a puppy and…a woman’s severed head? Oops. It’s all part of Marjane Satrapi’s directing career.

Satrapi’s Persepolis led the way for the Graphic Novel boom of the Aughts, and she could probably coast along as an ink-slinger for a while, but no, she’s gone celluloid on us, co-directing the award-winning cartoon adaptation of her masterpiece and establishing herself as a “stand alone” director—how stand alone? Her new film, The Voices, stars Ryan Reynolds, Gemma Arton and Anna Kendrick in

a film about a man whose cat tells him to dismember women. And it’s apparently quite the gorefest:

Surprisingly, the movie was directed by Marjane Satrapi, the Iranian-born cartoonist who first earned Hollywood’s attention in 2007 with the very different, Oscar-nominated animated feature Persepolis. Even Satrapi could hardly believe that she pulled off such a blood-drenched film. “I read the script and I said to my producer, we are not going to do anything with gore,” Satrapi said at the post-premiere Q&A. “I don’t like blood, there’s no way I’m gonna do this kind of stuff.” But when it came time to film a scene where Arterton is splashed with blood by a talking deer who asks to have his throat slit (it’s that kind of movie, guys), some sort of switch went off in Satrapi. “I was just completely crazy,” she said. “I was like, ‘MORE BLOOD! MORE BLOOD!’ And I realized that I actually really liked it.”

A poster was just released for the film, which doesn’t have a release date yet.
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Unlike Satrapi’s previous three films—Persepolis, Chicken with Plums and The Gang of the Jotas—she did not right The Voices—it’s more of a commercial directing job. (Her L”Association comrade Joann Sfar also has quite an accomplished directing career going in France.) It will be interesting to see if Satrapi can bust through some more glass ceilings in her new career.

One thing she hasn’t conquered: like the Coen Brothers with Inside Llewyn Davis, Satrapi found directing a cat to be a nightmare.

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