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.
Reader Feedback - 35 Comments
"people are just intimidated by the subject matter" Well, duh. I'm pretty open minded, but the concept seems silly and misguided to me. Nor is it something that has mass appeal. Count me out. Like you said, it seems like a flick for a film festival or something, not mainstream America. And myself, as a "film buff" too, I think 90% of the films at the festivals are crap anyhow. But that's just me, we're all entitled to our opinions 🙂
Nicholas on Sep 28, 2007
Hi- Every Werewolf/Vampire movie ever made has a sexual component - vulnerability and passion go hand in hand . And I am hoping that this one gets it chance because I trust anything that Ellen Page believes in to be great. The werewolf effects look terrific from what's on the website for those who just want a horror flic but, I am hoping for more from this group.
rwf on Sep 30, 2007
umm.. do you guys think ellen page is gay? she looks like a little too comfortable in that picture with Thirlby on her lap.
jack-o on Oct 1, 2007
Well Jack-O to me she looks perfectly comfortable but, that's different from wildly passionate. Trying to guess a person's sexual preferences, virginity etc is a losing game - let them announce it when they want to.
rwf on Oct 1, 2007
I agree but they never announce these things, look at Jodie Foster. It's hard for them to do things like that, because it could hurt their job. That's just my guess. But Ellen really pings in my gaydar. what do you think, rwf? gay or not gay?
jack-o on Oct 1, 2007
There's no evidence to show she's gay, but you can speculate from using the "gaydar". I think it might because of her 'look' and her being tomboyish in her style. She looks a bit androgynous to be honest, not a super girly-girl. She's not a typical girly hollywood girl that is obsessed with fashion, dresses slutty, partying all night, getting into trouble. And she said one of her favorite movies is My Summer of Love.
jack-o on Oct 1, 2007
hey Alex, "I've met her in person and to me she seems the farthest from gay anyone could be." how do you get the sense that she's farthest from gay could be?
jack-o on Oct 1, 2007
the day she comes out, you will eat your words.
jack-o on Oct 1, 2007
She is gay, obviously you guys don't know anything about her to say she's not. She actually already came out. Search it up on TMZ or something.
Eliza on Dec 26, 2007
It's a bit silly to obsess about Ellen Page's gender preference because what ever it is, does it make a difference to her acting ? She's played straight sex scenes convincingly- if she is straight will that hurt her performance in Jack & Diane. Doubt it. She doesn't seem like someone who is shy about her opinions and in a recent interview she seemed irritated that some people ` questioned my orientation when I shaved my head for a role' . Other comments she's made recently indicate a preference for men. Being coy seems inconsistent with her personality- if she is Gay I would think she 'd be upfront about it because honesty seems to be a core value for Ellen Page. One can speculate endlessly on why she might want to keep her orientation private and if she happens to be Gay and wants to keep it private, I am sure she has thought out why. But, I'll bet she is really pissed off by people making conclusions based on her appearance.
rwf on Dec 26, 2007
People here want to picture her being a lez because of that picture of her with that other chick. Jeez... who cares. Anyway, Juno was the corniest indie piece of shit ever.
King Crimson on Jan 1, 2008
I would definetley watch this movie. And buy it. And worship it. And if it's got ellen page in it...I will love it. So this movie has to happen. The warewolf transformation kind of reminds me of foolycooly, if you know what that is. Its a weird connection. But I just made it.
Meow~ on Jan 1, 2008
Ellen Page is an amazing and beautiful actress, and I'm going to try my best to go to the city with some friends when it's released. And as to whether or not shes gay... I think there's a definite possibility from the interviews i've seen: her mannerisms, dress, androgyny in general... So if she is gay, i really hope she somehow gets my number, because she's gorgeous =]
mayo on Jan 14, 2008
I hope that this film regains funding! If Ellen Page has the merit of the actress who I think she is, she should have no trouble playing straight, lesbian, or bi roles--it's acting, after all. And it is sort of fun to leave it up to speculation as to her actual orientation. If she is a lesbian, more power to her for making it just another part of her personality. If she's straight, 1) lucky male population and 2) it shows the flexibility of roles she takes on as an actress. I love her work so far, and I hope no other films that she takes on lose funding because I'd really like to see her take on the roles that she chooses, rather than having to act in a high budget film that doesn't fit her m.o.
cleo on Jan 27, 2008
I would give this film a million dollors if i could. Ellen Page is amazing. And closed minded people freaking out about lesbian werewolfs need to get over themselves. If you don't like the idea, don't go see the damn movie! Problem solved right? Right.
Kati on Jan 28, 2008
Honestly, who CARES if she's gay? This isn't to discuss her sexual orientation, but to talk about the film. Which, by the way, I've been waiting to hear news about for a year. I really hope someone will give them funding soon. This movie looks like it will be amazing once it's out!
balaustine on Feb 3, 2008
uhm straight or gay.. IT DOESNT MATTER. Shes an amazingly talented actress who wants to pursue this movie. Get over yourselves.
kat on Feb 10, 2008
Ellen Page is 100% gay. My Gaydar went off as soon as I saw and heard her.
Jay on Feb 22, 2008
What is "Gay-Dar" anyway? Just because you have an invisible sense of "gayness" doesn't make it right for anyone to judge. Is Ellen Page a great actress? -Of Course! Is she a good person? -I have never met her but the interviews that I have seen her in, I would have to answer that one as yes too. Then what does it matter to any of you if she is gay or not? Secondly, this is a page dedicated to Ellen Page and her movie, if you dislike her so much, and think that she is gay, then why the hell are you here??? Accident? I don't think so... As Ellen Page would say, "Get the hell over it!" Ellen if you read this, I think you were great in the movie Juno. That was the first movie that I have ever seen you in, and I enjoy watching your character very much. I look forward to watch many more movies of yours in the future. Rock on Girl! _JenniferB_
_JenniferB_ on Feb 26, 2008
I think ellen page has so much potential as an actress and I will love her whether or not she's straight or gay. I, personally, am WAY looking forward to this movie and I would fund it if I had money. I hope that I can create a film as unique as this one someday. I wish the best of luck to both Olivia and Ellen..........why hasn't anyone questioned Olivia's sexual orientation? She's in the movie too! (just thought I'd put that one up in the air) ~Courtney
Courtney Howard on Apr 2, 2008
Ellen "came outta the closet" in an SNL skit. Listen carefully to it, it's called jokes and sarcasm cuz stuff had been coming out about her possibly being gay. OUR generation has these types of girls, that specifically do not want to follow the traditional whats-to-be-expected role of being a female, which i dig. lol srsly, like she says, quit with the judging and labeling you narrow-minded morons rofl.
bobottababyitsaboy on Apr 5, 2008
BTW, keep in mind this isn't a werewolf movie. The werewolf aspect is actually a visual metaphor. When the site's back up, go here http://filmsalt.com/ and read for yourself. Also, think about how many guys have played homo roles, who aren't anywhere near gay. Ex: The birdcage, and Brokeback mountain. Most "tomboys" or even "femenists" are the gay ones. When you look at a girl and mistake her for a guy, she might be gay. If you glance at a girl and the word "BUTCH" comes to ur mind, she might be gay. Ellen, is not.
bobottababyitsaboy on Apr 5, 2008
"Most "tomboys" or even "feminists" are NOT the gay ones." - sucks you can't edit lol
bobottababyitsaboy on Apr 5, 2008
ellen page is by far the greatest actress ever and the fact that she plays a lesbian is even more evidence to that you no wut if she is a lesbian then she is still the worlds best actress (my dreams of marrying her would be shot but she would still b awsome) so 4 all of u who really make a big deal out of it u dont deserve to call urselves movie lovers.
mike_rab on Apr 13, 2008
Ellen Page is in a relationship with Ben Foster, currently. They are dating and have known one another since they both worked on the third X-Men film. Maybe I should not reveal that, but, there are already several pictures of the pair kissing online and attending numerous events together. But, ultimately, what does it matter if she is gay. Although, I suppose peoples perceptions of her would change and it might limit her opportunities. People, including directors and other film bigwigs, would probably gain preconceptions. I don't know if my reasoning makes sense or not. English is not my first language, sorry
Yuki on Apr 17, 2008
i've seen ellen page and olivia thrilby act. i think they could really pull this off. i mean, it's not just being open-minded here. the issue of being gay is no biggie anymore. ok, so the werewolf thing is pretty far off and pretty dark and not quite in-line with the whole point of the movie; i mean you could just forget about it. i can't wait to see this one.
accir on Apr 22, 2008
Cool... i don't really care if she's gay or not, that's her choice. the real question: WHERE DID SHE GET THAT HOODIE???? I want it really bad and if anyone knows where i can find it i'm desperately searching
Chloe on Apr 24, 2008
well considering that ellen page is one of my FAV actors. i really don't want to see her kissing another girl through an entire movie. especially w/Olivia Thirlby, another actress that I grealty admire. I think Ellen will lose a lot of respect from her fans. especially the young ones that look up to her now after her huge success w/JUNO. I mean, I personally don't care about the lesbian context, its just the press that'll make it some huge deal. like the whole Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana thing w/the 1/2 nude pics. I mean, it seems biast to me that someone will pay for a gay movie, Brokeback Mountain, but a lesbian flick can't get any funds??? how sexist! well, this is America people, and women still aren't getting equal rights.
shawtylo on May 6, 2008
Homosexuality is not a choice, some people are just born that way, unfortunately that choice was made for me by a man when i was four years old. I'm proud to be lesbian but being lesbian doesn't define me, neither should it define anyone else. This movie will be a love story between two people, two souls, who gives a fuck that they're in the same body form? And religion? Its meant to be personal, its our right to believe in whatever we feel is right as long as we're not harming others. I wish people could stop the war against these pointless issues and focus on issues like the tiny innocents that get raped every second.
Broken on Jun 2, 2008
i reckon they should stop filming more SAW movies (i mean come on...4 saw movies and going for a 5th and 6th.....) and make this movie....its better than watching people being cut up, drowned in rotton pigs, having their face sliced......
AnimaticallyInsane on Jul 1, 2008
OMG jajaja Ellen page talking about GINGER SNAPS jojo i love that movie, well i think this movie is going to be good, i mean is ellen page and olivia... but i don't know, mmmm that kind of thing with the lesbian thing is mmm a very big step, but it's ok i'm a fan number one from ellen page in mexico aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Muajaja on Jul 7, 2008
oh my god, this sounds like the best movie ever! what is wrong with you people?! they should definately make it coz it would be a mint film. THEN they should make an actual lesbian werewolf film and that would be amazing too! i would definately buy both.
Misty on Oct 20, 2008
I don't see why it matters if she's gay or not. It's kind of stupid to discuss it, it's not our business. She'll tell if she feels like it.
BBg-oo on Oct 30, 2008
I watched Sucker Punch today, meandered over to imdb to check out the cast, and ended up on Jena Malone's page, which led me to Jack and Diane. The page was not satisfactory enough. Then I found this article and was excited for Ellen Page and Olivia Thirlby to star in the film. However, I was disappointed to find that this film still has not progressed any farther. Not to mention, Page's and Thirlby's imdb pages don't even mention the film. Juno Temple and Riley Keough are now cast as Diane and Jack, respectively. It would have been interesting watching Page and Thirlby play the characters. Temple and Keough are probably cheaper actresses, but the film won't get as much hype with these actresses. I still look forward to the film. I hope it comes into fruition one of these days. This is a romantic story with a surreal werewolf twist- sounds good. Why should people discriminate against it for having a lesbian quality? America needs to catch up to the rest of the world and realize gay/lesbian film shouldn't be some taboo genre. I support this film 100%.
RainStand on Mar 28, 2011
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