Writer and filmmaker Alex Garland revealed how the Attack on Titan series influenced his latest horror film Men in an interview with Polygon. The film premiered in the United States on May 19 and follows a woman who moves to the countryside to find peace, but finds herself being chased by men who all share the same face and want something from her.
Garland said that he watched the series after his daughter’s recommended it and that he was was blown away by the complex storyline. In addition, he also cited inspiration from the looks of the “Titans”, where these characters take human forms and change into edges of ridicule, but with courage and confidence.
“So it hovers on this strange space between something absurdist and something actually really frightening. I was just really, really impressed. And I thought, on some level, I’m being too — too lazy, maybe. I don’t know what the right word is. But I’m just not anything like as good as that, and I’ve got to get better. So it made me reinvestigate Men and rethink about it. That’s the nice stuff about other people’s good work — it sort of lifts everyone a bit, you know?”
Garland started working on Men around 15 years ago and has spent years editing it and revising the script. Although there is no specific image or idea in the film that was strongly inspired by Attack on Titan, Garland states that it was an something that jolted him.
“The truth is that any time you see something really good, it encourages you to just try harder, think harder, do better. What Attack on Titan did was, it gave me a kind of jolt. And when you get a jolt, you get a chance to step outside what you’ve been working on and thinking about, and kind of clear your head and start again and think not “What was the idea I originally had?” but What is right for the film?”
Alex Garland is well-known for writing the scripts for the 2002 post-apocalyptic horror film 28 Days Later and the 2007 sequel film 28 Weeks Later. He is also known as the director of the 2014 sci-fi film Ex Machina and the 2018 sci-fi psychological horror film Annihilation. Garland also served as the story supervisor for the video game Devil May Cry, released in 2013.
© Hajime Isayama, Kodansha/”ATTACK ON TITAN” Production Committee