INTERVIEW: ‘Shutter Island’ Writer Laeta Kalogridis

The last time filmmaker Martin Scorsese delved into the world of terror, it was for his 1991 remake of the 1962 thriller Cape Fear starring Robert De Niro. Over eighteen years later, he's exploring some of the same territories of fear and suspense in Shutter Island, his adaptation of Dennis Lehane's novel.

The eerie film reteams him with his regular leading man Leonardo DiCaprio, playing U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels, sent to investigate a mysterious disappearance at the high-security hospital for the criminally insane along with his partner Chuck (Mark Ruffalo). Once they arrive, they become trapped by a dangerous storm and must try to navigate their way around the institution's enigmatic director Dr. Cawley (Sir Ben Kingsley) who seems very casual about one of his dangerous patients vanishing into thin air.

Helping Scorsese to create the tone and mood of some of those great suspense and horror movies of the late '40s and early '50s is screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis, whose experience writing genre fare culminated in her collaboration with James Cameron on his worldwide blockbuster Avatar. She was also involved with the adaptation of Timur Bekmambetov's Night Watch, and is currently adapting two beloved Japanese animes, Battle Angel (also for Cameron) and Ghosts in the Shell, for American moviegoers.

Shock Till You Drop got on the phone with Ms. Kalogridis to talk about how her latest screenplay was realized by another master director.


Interview, Screenwriting

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