Darren Aronofsky Says ‘mother!’ Might Become an… Opera?
Every year, Hollywood releases a movie that sparks up so much pre-release controversy that I find myself discouraged from ever seeing it in theaters. For example, I still have yet to see La La Land, the 2016 Best Picture runner-up, owing mostly to the ugly back-and-forth I saw regarding the movie. This year’s contender for that slot? mother!, the brilliant or terrible or visionary or derivative thriller by brilliant or terrible or visionary or derivative filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (depending on who you ask). Like La La Land, I know I’ll see the movie eventually, I just need some of the shouting to die down a little before I give it a chance.
Or maybe I’ll just wait for the opera! In a recent Reddit AMA (via The Playlist), Aronofsky was asked if he felt that mother! could be adapted as a stage play given its theatrical qualities and narrow locations. Before readers were even able to wrap their heads around that premise — is it possible for mother! to also get an ‘F’ TheaterScore? — Aronofsky had taken the question and pushed it one step further, noting that he and composer Johann Johannsson were currently collaborating on an opera.
And while I haven’t had an opportunity to see mother! yet, I do know a thing or two about opera — I studied music for three years in college before realizing I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life as an underemployed singer — so let me be the first to tell you that mother! as an opera isn’t as far-fetched as you may think. Based on the reactions I’ve heard, the introduction of musical numbers might actually improve the story in some viewers’ eyes, providing a more medium-specific outlet for the bombastic elements and religious iconography. If nothing else, it's the kind of high-concept work we've come to expect from Aronofsky as a filmmaker.
mother! is now playing in theaters everywhere, so be sure to catch if you want to be in on the controversial ground floor.