When Luca Guadagnino announced he was making a movie (starring Timotheé Chalamet, no less) about cannibalistic characters, in the same month that his Call Me By Your Name star Armie Hammer was exposed for similar predilections, well, obviously people were going to draw a line from A to B. This isn’t to say that the filmmaker was deliberately commenting on the scandal, but it’s no surprise that people were pointing out the extreme coincidence.
No surprise, that is, except to Guadagnino, who admits to Deadline of the connection: “It didn’t dawn on me. I realized this afterward when I started to be told of some of these innuendos on social media.”
The director simply had loftier goals for the project, which was brought to him in 2020 after being “in development for a number of years” (yeah, yeah, before Hammer’s fetish was revealed, we get it). “I responded immediately to these characters who are disenfranchised and living on the edge of society. Any link with anything else exists only in the realm of social media, with which I do not engage,” he tells the outlet. “The relationship between this kind of digital muckraking and our wish to make this movie is non-existent and it should be met with a shrug. I would prefer to talk about what the film has to say, rather than things that have nothing to do with it.”
He goes on to perhaps hint at what Bones And All has to say, or perhaps to allude to the more concrete accusations of abuse that have surrounded Hammer since the scandal broke. “It’s also a travesty towards the fundamental need for new attitudes to the ways in which we work together and deal with one another,” Guadagnino says. “Women have historically been put in a lesser position by patriarchal entitlement, and it’s important for that injustice to be addressed constructively so that it brings about real change.”
He concludes, “The muckraking of social media doesn’t address anything constructively, and the idea that this very profoundly important fight for equality can be misdirected in this way is something that frustrates me greatly. We mustn’t diminish that most important thing with this muckraking.”
Guadagnino probably has a point about social media, but then again, social media is what enabled Hammer’s accusers to expose him as an alleged predator in the first place. Still, no one can blame the director for wanting to keep his film out of the so-called muck, though the strange connection will probably always be an eyebrow-raising footnote in his career retrospective.