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‘Longlegs’ director Osgood Perkins on its ending and how ‘Se7en’ inspired main villain
Longlegs director Osgood Perkins has shared further insight into the film after its worldwide release last week – on how its titular villain, played by Nicolas Cage, was inspired by Se7en, on deciphering its ending, and those creepy dolls.In an interview with Variety yesterday (July 13), Perkins (the son of Anthony Perkins, who played Norman Bates in Psycho) talked at length about the film after its first weekend at the box office.In Longlegs, Cage’s character kills himself after an interrogation by Lee Harker (Maika Monroe), long before its climactic, bleak ending. His sudden departure was inspired by the villain of Se7en: John Doe, played by Kevin Spacey.Perkins explains that, when making the movie, he and his team were “consciously aware of our references”, and that they wanted to “crib or steal a move from one of the great serial killer movies” when they could.And so, the total on-screen time of Cage’s Longlegs was inspired by how Spacey’s John Doe appears in the 1995 David Fincher film only in “three or four scenes” – “the fact that John Doe gave himself up” inspired Perkins’ intention for the full reveal of Longlegs to be “almost anticlimactic”.“We wanted to sort of — “rip off” is not the right word — “borrow” is more close to what we were doing,” Perkins says.On the film’s ending, which sees Harker trying (and only somewhat succeeding) to stop the spread of Longlegs’ Satanic murder spree in the Carter household, Perkins maintains to Variety that it was always intended to play out that way.“The ending was meant to be tragic,” he explains.
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