With Guillermo del Toro on board as a producer, Splice looks set to become one of 2010’s must-see shockers. “I guess that Splice seems like a cautionary tale,” begins director Vincenzo Natali, speaking exclusively to SciFiNow. “However, I think that [characters] Clive and Elsa are very courageous people in some ways. I like to describe them as the Bonnie and Clyde of genetics but, just like Bonnie and Clyde, they are sort of justified in what they are doing…”
Consequently, Splice’s story of genetic research gone awry – and the conception of a carnivorous, half-human female amphibian – is, according to its creator, based entirely in science-reality rather than science-fiction… “I did do some research when I was writing this,” continues Natali. “In fact, I spent some quality time with a number of geneticists and the amazing thing was that whenever I felt as if I was suggesting something ridiculous I was told ‘No, no – you can actually do that.’ That was the beginning of my realisation that truth is stranger than fiction – especially when you get into the world of genetics and biotechnology. It is just shocking what is currently possible. For example, I will never forget when I was shown a pig foetus but it was only composed of 100 cells. Yet, it had a heart – and the heart was beating. It was the rawest display of life that I have ever seen. In a very visceral way it made me realise that life is more than just a collection of chemicals and proteins. It is really a force. I hope that with Splice audiences see that you cannot stop new life – once the genie is out of the bottle you cannot put it back in… This is a very bittersweet film but it is also a little optimistic.”
In addition, Natali compares his work on Splice to another genre heavyweight. “This is my homage to Frankenstein,” he states. “Adrien Brody’s character is called Clive, after Colin Clive – the actor in James Whale’s classic Frankenstein – whilst Sarah plays Elsa, named after Elsa Lancaster – the star of The Bride Of Frankenstein.”
Splice has been picked up by Warner Bros. following its screening at the recent Sundance Festival, and will hit theatres in June.
This article originally appeared in the print edition of SciFiNow, issue 35 by Calum Waddell. To buy a copy of the magazine or subscribe, go to www.imagineshop.com, or call our subscriptions hotline on +44 (0) 844 844 0245.