Studio Defends & Director Explains “mother!”

In the wake of all the reaction to Darren Aronofsky’s “mother!” from the critical division (but mostly acceptance) to the flat out audience rejection both at the box-office and reaction wise, something unexpected has happened.

Paramount Pictures has now issued a statement, via Indiewire, that essentially comes out to defend the movie and in the process slap themselves on the back for doing something that isn’t a sequel, toy commercial or adaptation of an old TV series. Paramount worldwide president of marketing and distribution Megan Colligan says:

“This movie is very audacious and brave. You are talking about a director at the top of his game, and an actress at the top her game. They made a movie that was intended to be bold. Everyone wants original filmmaking, and everyone celebrates Netflix when they tell a story no one else wants to tell. This is our version. We don’t want all movies to be safe. And it’s okay if some people don’t like it.”

While some of the conversation has been about the film itself, a good portion has been more about the choices with how the film was handled – from the $30 million budget to the deliberately vague marketing to the decision to go for a wide release rather than a limited release and slow expansion as was done with the better received “Black Swan”.

Even so, there’s no question the studio did take a gamble with the project and it’s a film people are going to be talking about for a long time to come. Aronofsky himself is taking all the conversation around the film in stride, telling EW:

“I think I knew it was going to be a lot of stuff. Anytime you do something that aggressive there are going to be people who enjoy it, who want to be on that roller coaster ride, and then there are others who say, ‘Oh no, that was not for me.’ It’s a strange one. You see Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfeiffer and people are conditioned for a certain type of movie. And… we didn’t do that type of movie. [Laughs] It’s all good. I don’t mind people are upset by the film because it’s supposed to be a reflection and a cautionary tale of what’s happening to the planet.”

For those who want to get into spoilers, there’s an interview with Aronofsky also at EW in which they break down the spoilers, allegories, and what the whole film means.

“mother!” is in cinemas now.