Actor, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter Tracy Letts didn’t have the best time working on the upcoming thriller The Woman in the Window. Letts adapted the screenplay from the novel by A. J. Finn for 20th Century Fox. The film, directed by Joe Wright and starring Amy Adams, Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, Anthony Mackie, and Brian Tyree Henry, was supposed to be released this past October, but after the Disney/Fox merger, the House of Mouse opted to push it back until May 2020 after some rewrites and reshoots. In an interview with The Playlist, Letts was pretty candid about his experience working on the film.
“It kind of sucked,” he says. “I read the book and I thought, oh this will make a good movie, I can do this job. And then I got into the weeds of it. I was like, oh shit, this is hard. And I was also working with a lot of producers, a director and they had a lot of notes and it was hard.”
Letts says he eventually produced a script that everyone was happy with, but when the film was screened for an audience, “they didn’t like it. And so there have been some rewrites and re-shoots that I didn’t have anything to do with. So we’ll see what happens.”
He seems to take the experience in stride, though. “I felt we made the movie we set out to make, so I’m a little confused by that. But it’s a thriller and people have certain expectations about the way a thriller works… I haven’t seen the redone version and we’ll see what it looks like. You always try to choose those things carefully because it is going to take a lot of time out of your life. So you want to choose those projects very carefully, but there’s only so much you can do to safeguard against intangibles, things you don’t know are coming down down the road.”
Disney is notoriously protective of its image as a producer of A-list mainstream entertainment, so the film’s delay could be seen as an attempt to make The Woman in the Window more “Disney-fied.” However, the movie’s test screening reportedly left its audience feeling confused, so it’s likely that reshoots would’ve been on the table regardless of Disney’s involvement. Like Letts, we’ll just have to wait and see when Woman in the Window is finally released next May.