In Spiderhead, the Deadpools writers explain their Chris Hemsworth dance dreams

In Spiderhead, the Deadpools writers explain their Chris Hemsworth dance dreams ...

There is no such thing on Netflix''s dark science fiction film Spiderhead, which stars Chris Hemsworth (the MCUs Thor) as Steve Abnesti, a drug tester who is testing exotic drugs on semi-willing convicts in the high-tech Spiderhead prison. Jeff (Miles Teller) and Lizzy (Jurnee Smollett are both exchanging remarks, but they are not a fan of the program. There is also a lot of banter, laughs

Renewal, a screenwriter, and Paul Wernick, who have written on many projects like the Zombielandmovies, Life, and G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and the two Deadpool movies, weren''t just interested in the magazine, according to Wernick. We immediately fell in love with it. Top Gun: Maverick director Joe Kosinski was eventually on to direct, and Netflix has picked up the project, which is now available.

We discussed the location of Spiderhead and Deadpool, why writing a sci-fi drama was just a bit different from writing a comic action movie, and what Chris Hemsworth does every night in Wernicks dreams.

This interview has been refined for clarity and concision.

Polygon: This film resurrected the two little details that appealed to me as a result of Chris Hemsworth''s little solo dance in his room. Was that filmed?

Paul Wernick: The dancing came from our wildest dreams. When we close our eyes at night and put a smile on our face, we see Chris Hemsworth dancing seductively by himself.

[laughs] Okay, speak for yourself. Every night, I just don''t realize that. But Chris brought it in. We decided to use this yacht-rock soundtrack, where Steve enjoys his fame. It was just [written] like, yeah, he unwinds while he is on his medication, listening to his music. It''s absolutely incredible. He''s really amazing. He''s funny. And yet, he''s just not enough.

Wernick: Oh, stop it. He''s quite capable.

The Etch A Sketch Jeff uses to create and destroy art was another obvious feature. Where was the idea originated?

Reese: From time to time, the Etch A Sketch was in the script. I just liked it when I was young. We liked the theme of something where you might make choices and then [whisking noises] just redeem it. So we liked that. Jeff would very much like to shake up his life and start with a blank slate, but yet he cant, so he does it through this Etch A Sketch. We just thought it was very cool.

Is scripting something more dramatic like this a different skill after writing Deadpool and Zombieland scripts?

Reese: It''s a bit of different that used to perform a different exercise at the gym, but on the same muscles, and thus we can stay connected. I''m sure this fits in in the general realm, but it''s often funny, and it''s just a little darker. I''m guessing it''s up to the audience to decide whether or not to make the same movie over and over.

How did you respond to the adaptation?

Reese: The most important thing was that we saw Georges'' short story. We really wanted to keep every piece that we could, including the one on the screen. The first half to two-thirds of the movie is pretty much the short story.

Wernick: We used every bit of that turkey, because it George, and he''s so grateful.

Reese: So the challenge became the invention. We had to leap past that and figure out a plot. What is Steve after more than anything else? Well, what is Steve''s obedience, how does he get there? Well, maybe you get there by convincing someone to hurt someone they love. So then we need a love interest.

So these things begin to pile on top of each other, and you begin to see the shape of the rest of your plot. You start to see a protagonist whos striving to redeem himself, you start to see a villain who has a real goal thats now being forwarded. We wanted him to confront a fate that was a result of his actions. So, a lot of skill on the back end, and a lot of self-driving.

One of the larger things you cut was the verbosity medication that allows people to express themselves poetically. Did you discover that it didn''t work as well in dialogue?

Reese: It actually came out a bit in the edit. We had written some silly stuff that Miles is expressing his love for Victorian society but was removed from the short story. I think it was rather disappointing. But then we were trimming for time here and there, and sometimes like those little babies and darlings go away. When we get back to our original screenplay, we see a little bit more of him suddenly phoning like a humanities professor living in the ivory tower.

Miles hit on that as well. [That dialogue was difficult to spit out.] We wanted Miles to play the Everyman as an audience throughout the film, and when he became philosophical, he felt he was making himself a little bit improbable.

Reese: As you know, if my character doesn''t know about Victorian society or knows these vocabulary words, why would he be saying them? Generally, if it wasn''t in the [movie], it is because it came out after our first draft, because we just removed everything from that short story into the first draft, to be honest.

Was this project originating with you? Whose baby was it?

Wernick: Conde Nast came to us. The short story was in The New Yorker about ten years ago, just before it was in Georges'' Tenth of December.

Reese: We wrote this on spec. We were not paid to do Deadpool. We packaged ourselves onto it for a while. But then we sold it to Netflix. They found out, and so we finally got paid many years later. I mean, we have had a couple times in my career where we love something that was like, Look, we were sorry if we get paid, but we have to do it. This is what we don''t know about it.

Given that timeline, im assuming you were not thinking of these actors when you wrote it. Was there anything else on the way specifically for them?

Wernick: When they were officially cast, we had conversations with them about character and motivation, and just general style of acting, as well. This was one of the most significant things we sat with Chris and kicked around for a long time. It gives us a little bit of insight into how the script works.

The spot where this appears to be coming mostly from Deadpool and Zombieland is in the darker, more flippantly called things Chris Hemsworths character says, including his little barbs towards people. Did you know that you should go harder on humor, or re-do it?

Wernick: One particular one was interesting: She isn''t that good, or was it?

Reese: The story itself was different. She isn''t the best.

Wernick: In such a dark moment, there was a whole debate about whether or not that line was too flippant or too silly. And Chris fought hard for it. It exposed a really fucked-up side of Abnesti that he wanted to explore. It was a debate we went around for a bit, whether it was inappropriate. However, we always bring an element of darkness and humor, allowing them to keep the audience on the edge of their seat. Or at least it''s our intention

Reese: Yeah, and I think his inappropriacy we found it came from a place where this guy is not familiar with taking on a lot of consequences for the things he gets out of his mouth. He can sort of get away with saying anything when you think, and he has a twisted worldview. But people who have so much fun with it. It can be funny, but it can also make you feel sad.

Wernick: People think a lot of what our characters say, but they are afraid to say it. It just makes it a little bit juicier for the audience to think Oh man, yeah, I would be thinking that, but I would not have the stones to say it.

Spiderhead is now available on Netflix.