Ellen Page's 'Lesbian Werewolf Movie' Jack and Diane Needs Financing
by Alex Billington
September 28, 2007
As a film buff myself, I know that I spend hours randomly browsing IMDb. After I saw the film Snow Angels at Sundance and met the talented and gorgeous Olivia Thirlby who stars in it, I presumed to meander around IMDb on her page, where I then discovered a film titled Jack and Diane. All I knew at the time was that it starred two of my favorite young female actors, both Ellen Page and Olivia Thirlby, and that I already wanted to see it, especially coming out of Sundance and in a mood for great indie movies. Now eight months from when I first discovered the film not a single word has been spoken about it until recently, when I had the chance to chat with both Ellen and Olivia while they were in Toronto promoting their other film together, Juno.
I know that everyone is wondering how exactly this is a lesbian werewolf movie, so we'll head right into the synopsis.
Jack (Thirlby) and Diane (Page), two teenage lesbians, meet in New York City and spend the night kissing ferociously. Diane's charming innocence quickly begins to open Jack's tough skinned heart. But, when Jack discovers that Diane is leaving the country in a week she tries to push her away. Diane must struggle to keep their love alive while hiding the secret that her newly awakened sexual desire occasionally turns her into a werewolf.
I caught up with the two actresses (pictured together to the left) while up at the Toronto Film Fest as they were promoting the film Juno, in which they star as best friends. Given I'm a sucker for great indies that have that "indie feel" to them via low budgets, practical on-location cinematography, and fantastic acting, I am fully interested in Jack and Diane which I'm positive will turn out that way. However the problem is that "people are just intimidated by the subject matter," as Olivia describes when explaining the concept. And thus it doesn't have the money it needs to get made, meaning they haven't even begun to film.
Ellen and Olivia go on to talk more about why this isn't in anyway an actual werewolf movie. Contrary to the way that it's described, it's more of a relationship drama. It just falls into the category of "lesbian werewolf movie" because that's the simplest way to identify it amongst other indie dramas.
Ellen: And we haven't shot Jack and Diane yet but hopefully someone will give us money soon and we can.
Olivia: We're having a little trouble getting money because people don't quite understand…
Ellen: They think it's about lesbian werewolves, and it's not.
Olivia: It does happen to be about lesbians and there does happen to be kind of very metaphorical references to werewolves…
Ellen: There's a dream!
Olivia: But that's a theme that is actually something that [director Brad Rust Gray] explores in his work - the concept of a girl or a character turning into something provoked by her repressed emotions.
Ellen: It sounds like Ginger Snaps, but he's actually never seen Ginger Snaps, he'd never heard of Ginger Snaps.
Olivia: In [Rust Gray's] movie Salt, it's about a girl and actually it's based on an Icelandic folktale, this girl turns into a seal. It's very metaphorical; it's not a literal metamorphosis that happens.
This is one of those times where I wish I had millions of dollars to provide to filmmakers and actors like this. Obviously this isn't going to be something your entire family is going to go see down at your local AMC or Regal or Cinemark. This is the kind of movie that'll play at film festivals and in New York and Los Angeles before quietly making it to DVD. From the sound of everything this will end up a cinematic gem that no one will ever hear about unless you're truly a film buff.
Since I don't have millions of dollars right now, in the meantime I'll be anxiously awaiting any news from the inside on whether someone does give them the money they need. And if you happen to be a film financier or a producer and are reading this, then please consider financing it! I'd even encourage you to go visit the film's makeshift webpage on Brad Rust Gray's site. Hopefully I can look forward to screening this at next year's Toronto Film Fest, if not earlier.