The last time Emma Stone worked with writer/director Yorgos Lanthimos in 2018’s The Favourite, it earned her a Best Supporting Actress nomination at the Academy Awards and Golden Globes. Now, Stone and Lanthimos are teaming up for an adaptation of Alasdair Gray’s Poor Things, in which a woman in late-Victorian Glasgow is brought back to life after a scientist puts the brain of a fetus in her skull.
Released in 1992, Poor Things is seen as a satire of Victorian novels, and an update on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. While this is clearly a strange story, this is fairly normal for Yorgos Lanthimos, who has a penchant for bringing such weird concepts to life. For example, 2015’s The Lobster told a story where single people had 45 days to find romantic partners or they would be turned into the animal of their choice. In his 2009 Greek film, Dogtooth, a husband and wife keep their adult children ignorant of the world around them, which causes expectedly uncomfortable and strange results. While Emma Stone has worked with Lanthimos before, she’s never worked with him at his strangest.
Recently, Emma Stone left Babylon, the latest film from her La La Land director, Damien Chazelle. Stone likely left the project due to her pregnancy, however, some believed it meant Babylon conflicted with filming a role in the upcoming Spider-Man 3. While it’s unclear if Stone will be appearing in another Spider-Man film, as of right now, it seems unlikely the actress will return. Next, Stone will be seen in Cruella, where Stone will play the One Hundred and One Dalmatians villain, Cruella de Vil, in Disney’s latest live-action adaptation. It is unclear when Cruella will be released at this time.
But Emma Stone and Yorgos Lanthimos’ last collaboration, The Favourite, was a huge success for both. The film made $95 million worldwide, and received nine Academy Award nominations, including for Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress for both Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, Best Director for Lanthimos, and Best Picture. The film won a single award, with Olivia Colman winning for Best Actress in her portrayal of Anne, Queen of Great Britain. After a career of insane concepts and disturbing films, The Favourite showed that Lanthimos could make high-profile, Oscar-caliber films that didn’t also creep people out.
Yet Poor Things sounds as though it could fulfill both Yorgos Lanthimos’ interest in crafting wild ideas and his newfound ability to make award-winning features. It’s also unclear if Lanthimos’ adaptation of Poor Things will be straight-forward, or the concept is just a jumping-off point for him. Lanthimos previously adapted Euripides’ Iphigenia in Aulis into The Killing of a Sacred Deer, in which a doctor’s family starts to become sick once he meets a mysterious boy. Poor Things sounds strange enough that Lanthimos could adapt this story in all its weirdness, and it will be fascinating to see Emma Stone take on such an unusual role as the one of Bella Baxter, the woman brought back to life.
Emma Stone and Yorgos Lanthimos are already a proven combination, and their reunion over this updated Frankenstein tale sounds like a perfectly weird and intriguing project for both of them.