Following his acclaimed debut, American Fiction, director Cord Jefferson wants to make an erotic thriller in the vein of Fatal Attraction next, he says.
A blackly comic satire, American Fiction was an assured debut for filmmaker Cord Jefferson. And having earned five nominations at this year’s Oscars – including Best Actor for its star, Jeffrey Wright – and Best Picture – the film will surely open all sorts of doors for Jefferson.
It was on the red carpet for the Directors Guild of America Awards – at which Jefferson was nominated for a gong for his directing – that the filmmaker gave a bit of detail about what he’s up to next. While he also has a noir western project in the works, he said that he’s also currently writing an erotic thriller.
Both projects have “similar themes to American Fiction,” Jefferson said in an interview published by Deadline, “but through a much, much different lens.”
Interestingly, Jefferson was inspired to start writing an erotic thriller after belatedly catching up with Adrian Lyne’s Fatal Attraction – the 1987 hit that arguably triggered the whole late 1980s/early 90s cycle of tense, erotically-charged nail-biters.
“It was a little bit before my time when [Fatal Attraction] first came out,” the 40-something year-old filmmaker said. “But I was like, man, Adrian Lyne is a genius. So I want to do an erotic thriller…”
For a period in the early 90s, particularly in the wake of 1992’s Basic Instinct, it felt as though just about everyone in Hollywood wanted to make an erotic thriller, whether it was famous pop stars (Madonna starred in 1993’s Body Of Evidence) or respected auteurs (William Friedkin’s Jade).
After gradually fading from view in the 2000s, though, it’s beginning to look as though the genre’s coming back into vogue once again, partly thanks to streaming. The Voyeurs, starring Sydney Sweeney and Justice Smith, was an unexpected hit for Amazon Prime in 2021; Saltburn – arguably its own twisted, aristocratic take on the genre – emerged as one of the most talked-about films of 2023. Adrian Lyne even got back into the erotic thriller game in 2022 with the not-so-hot Deep Water, starring Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas.
An erotic thriller made by Cord Jefferson, though? Yep, we’d watch that. More on this as we get it.