British director Richard Ayoade is in Toronto with the world premiere of his second feature as a director, The Double.
Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn and Noah Taylor star in the story, loosely adapted from the Dostoevsky novella, about a man who discovers he has a charming doppelganger.
Protagonist Pictures handles international sales, WME and Protagonist rep the US rights to the film, whose backers include Alcove Entertainment. The film has its world premiere tonight as a Special Presentation. His previous film Submarine also played at TIFF.
He responded to Screen’s email questions with his usual dose of humour.
Does this film feel a lot different to you as a director than Submarine?
It was all shot at night, so I was able to direct as a werewolf.
How did you come across the Dostoyevsky novella, are you a fan of his work?
It was Avi Korine’s idea to adapt it. Everything I’ve read of Dostoyevsky is alarmingly brilliant and unique. I think if he’d been alive now he would’ve scripted Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
Why is the topic of a doppelganger ripe for exploration in film?
Because the actor has to do twice the amount of work for the same fee.
Why were Jesse and Mia right for the cast?
They’re two of the best actors in the world; they are a pleasure to be around; and they’re surprisingly tolerant of my acrid body odour.
Submarine was somewhat sweet and light but this sounds like it could have more sinister elements alongside the comedy — what kind of tone were you aiming for?
I like things that are funny and frightening. Sort of the opposite of Scary Movie.
What’s next for you?
I want to bring out another knitwear range.