Screenwriter John Logan on Directing Them/Them and Penning Gladiator, Penny Dreadful & More – Exclusive Interview

The movie wasn’t quite what I expected. I went into it thinking it was a slasher, which it is, but the real horror is what happens in the camp day after day. How did you come up with the idea to put him in a gay camp?

I wanted to write a film about queer empowerment. I have loved horror films since I was six years old and when I was growing up I remember that gay characters were almost non-existent. If they existed at all, even in coded form, they were jokes, victims or killers – they were never heroes. I know how much it would mean to me to see a queer hero in a horror movie, so that’s exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to create some context for this.

I have met people who have gone through so-called conversion therapy and they have told me about their experiences which have stayed with me. Often these are camps in very isolated areas. It occurred to me that a secluded camp in the wilderness is the main image of slasher, and I love slashers. I make no apologies for my love of slasher movies and I thought it was a good setting for this empowering queer drama.

As you said, the slasher elements are part of the horror. It’s fear of jumping, tension [and] massacres, but the real, true horror is the psychological warfare being waged on these kids, trying to get them to deny their queer identity.

Why is Peacock the right place for this?

First off, Peacock was great from start to finish. I’m an aspiring filmmaker and Blumhouse and Peacock have been very supportive. I needed more time to rehearse because I had never done this before. I needed more shooting time and they were so generous.

Peacock is a very pro-queer network. They are very open to alternative stories like Queer As Folk. They are very open to telling stories that the mainstream can shy away from. A gay empowerment movie set in a conversion camp might not be for everyone, but Peacock was in awe of it from the start, I think because it was different. It was unique and if you look at what Peacock has to offer, there is always a quality of uniqueness that is very special and very rare to me.

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: