The “Ghosted” director knows people think the spy comedy is about the dead
Even his own family members thought the film, starring Chris Evans and Ana de Armas, had a deadly twist, the filmmaker told IndieWire.
Director Dexter Fletcher may not have been personally involved the concept of “ghost image”. before he signed on for “Ghosted,” but he knew for sure it wasn’t the real deal ghosts. Not everyone else who was eagerly anticipating the AppleTV+ spy comedy starring Chris Evans and Ana de Armas thought it was about the dead.
That confusion came to light when the film’s first trailer and official tagline arrived in March (followed by an official synopsis that tells us that “salt of the earth Cole (who) is head over heels for the mysterious Sadie — but then shocking discovers he’s a secret agent. Before deciding on a second date, Cole and Sadie are thrown on an international adventure to save the world.” But for a while, even Fletcher’s family he thought it was a love story in which at least one of the paramours died.
“No, I heard from a few people,” Fletcher said in a recent interview with IndieWire. “It was ghosts!” I did a family and friends screening in London because that’s what I like to do, I like to bring my family together and say, “Hey, look at me, I made a movie, come and see it.” And they didn’t know anything about it either, and I think there was a similar debate going on, “Which one died? Obviously one of them is a ghost. When I (heard) the word ‘Ghosted’ — because I haven’t done a lot of ghosting in my own time and I haven’t been a ghost — I thought people in this modern age knew what it meant.”
And perhaps some of that confusion is fueling interest in the “Rocketman” director’s latest game, which he knows has been handled somewhat under wraps and which he credits to the streamer’s good, old-fashioned marketing.
“I have to be wise, because I’d rather everyone know about it as much as possible, but there are marketers out there, and they’re very good at it,” Fletcher said with a laugh. “There seems to be a strategy and it can’t be left to people like me who just want to show off and tell everyone on the street all at once.”
There is also some slight confusion: what kind of sound is played in the film. While “Romancing the Stone” was often mentioned In a strong comparison to Fletcher’s film, the director also named a number of other characteristics that he says share DNA with “Ghosted.” It was all called out by “North by Northwest” (“There’s a bit of a mistaken identity thing and espionage that I liked”), “Midnight Run” (“You have these two people thrown together who are on a road trip and how do they figure it out? “), “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “disaster movies from the 70s and 80s”.
Mostly, though, the film’s biggest draw is the stars, as the action-comedy Knives Out involves Evans and de Armas in a flirtatious romance.
“Even though the premise and the title refer to ghost imagery, which is a very modern phenomenon, there’s something very honest and analog about it,” Fletcher said. “They meet at a farmers market — and that’s very unusual these days, people usually meet online or through some kind of device, but not these two. They meet face to face and there is an instant attraction.”
The pair’s characters, the more uptight Cole and the action-hungry Sadie, aren’t naturals, but they gravitate towards each other (thanks, old-fashioned meet-cute!), which Fletcher liked.
“I like how old-fashioned it was,” he said. “But he’s a very modern character, just like he really is.” I say he is a hero in the film, but the hero romance. Not an action hero. He is a romantic hero and she is the action hero. Terrible at romance. It’s terrible, but he’s really good at it because he’s above everything.”
Evans and de Armas were easy to work with, said Fletcher, who enjoyed how their real-life friendship and natural chemistry aided their work. “There’s a great camaraderie and familiarity there,” Fletcher said. “They really value each other’s work. They are each other’s true fans, I quickly realized that. It really makes you laugh. I guess we both do, because he’s also very funny. They are sitting in a corner telling each other jokes and talking about I don’t know what at halftime, but they’re laughing and I’m like, “Do you guys want to do this scene?” and they say, “Yes, yes.”
That comfort even led to Fletcher deciding to mix things up in the script—again, no one was involved—to heighten the romantic aspects of the action-driven adventure.
“It wasn’t originally scripted, but there is a very beautiful love scene in the film,” he said. “There’s a moment when they get together and I try to shoot it tastefully and romantically, it’s not gratuitous. And they said, “Oh, that’s not in the script,” and I said, “I think we should see that,” and they said, “Yeah, that’s a great idea!” They were very cool about it. We have the familiarity between each other. Both are on the same page. The best part was that they left him alone. I just sat in the corner and let them get over it.”
“Ghosted” begins streaming Friday, April 21 on AppleTV+.
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