TIFF 2013: A24 to get ‘Under the Skin’ with Scarlett Johansson

One of the most talked-about pictures during the fall festival trifecta of Telluride, Venice and Toronto, Jonathan Glazer’s “Under the Skin” has been acquired by distributor A24. The company plans to release the film, starring Scarlett Johansson, next year.

Based on the novel by Michel Faber, the film stars Johansson as an alien being who has taken human form roaming Scotland in search of victims she needs to survive. The film’s unusual visual style comes from the fact that at least some of its action was shot “candid camera” style with Johansson interacting with real people; that footage mixed with scenes of her with actors.

In an interview with The Times’ John Horn in Telluride, Glazer, director of “Sexy Beast” and “Birth,” explained his unorthodox shooting method.

WATCH: Trailers from Toronto


“The core of the story that I was clearly interested in was her journey — and looking at our world as an alien planet through her eyes,” Glazer said. “What I needed to discover was a filmmaking language — to paint the character with credibility. It’s a tall order to paint an alien in human form.

“The key thing for me — the way I understood it would work — was to shoot her in disguise and use the idea of dropping her into the world and shooting her in a way, with the hidden cameras, that wasn’t calling attention to itself, so we are really photographing behavior.”

A24 has made itself a home to many bright young actresses. The company had success earlier this year with the release of Harmony Korine’s “Spring Breakers,” starring Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Benson. Its “The Spectacular Now,” with Shailene Woodley and Brie Larson, has been a modest hit this summer. The company also released Sofia Coppola’s “The Bling Ring,” starring Emma Watson, and Sally Potter’s “Ginger & Rosa,” starring Elle Fanning.

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A24 also just picked up Steven Knight’s thriller “Locke,” starring Tom Hardy, following its premiere in Venice.

The recent teaser trailer for “Under the Skin” is below:


A24: The brains behind the ‘Bling ring’ zing

‘Spring Breakers’ is one big, disorienting party

‘Under The Skin’ an undercover look at earth through alien eyes

Follow Mark Olsen on Twitter: @IndieFocus