Fatal attraction – which will be resurrected as a series starring Joshua Jackson and Lizzy Caplan, premiering April 30 on Paramount+ – began as the 1979 short film Distractionabout a one-night stand that got out of hand, which writer-director James Dearden turned into a feature film screenplay.
With contributions from Nicholas Meyer (writer-director of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan), Paramount producers Stanley R. Jaffe and Sherry Lansing were convinced they had a viable erotic thriller on their hands. The script tells the story of Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas), a married New York lawyer who he believes has casual sex with Alex Forrest (Glenn Close), a publisher, while his wife, Beth (Anne Archer), and daughter are out of town. out. How wrong he is. Alex soon becomes dangerously obsessed with Dan and the woman standing in her way. The rest — from Alex’ “It won’t be me ignoredDan’ against a boiled bunny – is cinematic history.
“It was a really good script,” said director Adrian Lyne in 1987, a week before the film’s release. “I really wanted to know what else this woman would do, and when would the woman find out?” There were no intimacy coordinators around when they shot the steamy scene that kicks off the plot.
“I didn’t want to do their sex scene in bed because it’s so dreary,” Lyne said. “And I thought about the sink, because I remembered having sex with a girl over a sink once, way back when. The plates will rattle around and you will laugh. There should always be laughter in a sex scene.”
After modifying the original ending – instead of Alex cutting her own throat, she is shot dead by Beth as she emerges from a bathtub holding a knife with Dan’s name on it – the film released to a monumental response, eight weeks at number 1 and becoming the second highest-grossing film of 1987 (behind Three men and a baby), made $157 million ($426 million today) domestically. It was also nominated for six Oscars and made an impact THR‘s critic, who called it a “sleek, compelling horror-of-personality film”.
This story first appeared in The Hollywood Reporter magazine on April 26. Click here to subscribe.