Luke Scott, son of the legendary Ridley Scott, is no stranger to film sets. The science fiction thriller Morgan, however, marks his first time in the director’s chair for a feature film.
Morgan tells the story of the titular Morgan (Anya Taylor-Joy), a genetically engineered being with superhuman abilities. After Morgan violently assaults one of her creators, Lee Weathers (Kate Mara), a corporate risk management agent, is sent to asses whether or not Morgan poses a serious threat.
Screen Rant sat down with Scott at Morgan’s L.A. press junket to discuss the characters of Morgan and Lee, who Scott thinks the hero is in this morally ambiguous film, and some of the unique design choices that were made in building Morgan’s sets.
I loved, loved the film.
Luke Scott: Great.
I do have a question though, because the thing that I thought about when I was sleeping at night was, in your opinion who was the hero in the film?
Luke Scott: Good question. Good question. [thinks] Morgan.
Morgan was the hero?
Luke Scott: Yes.
Towards the end of the film I thought the same thing too, cause I didn’t know who to root for in the end.
Luke Scott: Good.
The other question I have is Kate [Mara’s] character, Lee. When she is introduced to Dr. Chang (Michelle Yeoh) she doesn’t remember her. And I feel like, is that something? Like an origin set up behind that?
Luke Scott: [smiles] Could be.
So we could possibly be world building here?
Luke Scott: Yeah, I mean we didn’t want to articulate that too much because it would open up a whole can of worms in terms of backstory, but there is a definite connection between the two. And, you know, was Lee Weathers the subject of that outbreak? Or was Lee Weathers there to again solve the issue, but in a slightly different personality or appearance? We don’t know. They never build one, right? There’s a few going on.
So that’s something we could possibly explore later on down the line?
Luke Scott: Yeah, exactly.
Wonderful. The other question I have is yesterday at the Q&A you said that one of the set pieces, we’ll call it the cage, was built like an embryo.
Luke Scott: Yes. A womb.
Sorry. The audience obviously can’t see that, but what does that do for you, and what does it do for the audience that can’t see that?
Luke Scott: Well I suppose for us it was, as a design process we’re trying to figure out how are we gonna build this thing, what is the significance, rather than just a box? So building it, it just occurred to us that if we find a kind of human relationship in this thing then the design process has a reason, rather than just creating stuff. We looked at lots and lots of different references to build this thing, but actually I think it was a solid choice. And then it enabled us to--it actually fed then the idea. Like how Lee Weathers emerges and what that means. I didn’t necessarily tell anybody that, but it was what informed my opinion of particular characters at different times in the film.
What did Kate and Anya [Taylor-Joy] bring to their characters that wasn’t on the page?
Luke Scott: God, I think Anya brought this fantastic sense of vulnerability, this real palpable vulnerability. I mean, she really was a young kid in that room, but in an adult body with a superhuman mind. And, you know, I think Anya’s terrific sophistication, she has that vulnerability, she’s otherworldly as well in her appearance. But also she has that level of danger in her, of threat. It was a tough call for Anya to sort of balance that performance all the way through, but she did a great job. And I think it was really very difficult to remain consistent, but she did it. And for Kate, you know she had the--it was her idea to play this thing very armored and very controlled. And so this informed the way that we dressed her and those kinds of things, and the hair and everything. She mentioned last night, all her responses to all the things that happen are totally humanly inappropriate. They’re subtle and small but she’s really holding on everything, she’s so rigid, it’s great.
Morgan opens in U.S. theaters September 2, 2016.