Glass Onion Director Reveals Janelle Monae’s Deleted Blue Poop Subplot

Glass Onion Director Reveals Janelle Monae’s Deleted Blue Poop Subplot

With a runtime clocking in at well over two hours and enough twists and turns to make your head spin, "Glass Onion" is a narratively jam-packed film. According to writer-director Rian Johnson, though, there was originally even more to it. Johnson was a guest on the latest episode of The Filmcast podcast to talk all things "Glass Onion," and along the way, he revealed that Janelle Monae's character originally had a more in-depth backstory complete with some scatological humor.

"We actually show a whole runner in that second half where initially [Helen] had kids at home," Johnson shared on the podcast, "and she was getting Zoom calls from her kid freaking out because the kid's poop had turned blue because he had eaten too many blueberry Poptarts." This is -- minus the blue poop part, maybe -- a hilariously familiar situation for parents who survived early pandemic lockdown with their kids. Except, as with so many of the best parts of "Glass Onion," it would've played out under wild, life-or-death circumstances as Helen attempted to survive her undercover mission on Miles Bron's (Edward Norton) private island.

Helen Originally Had Kids

"It was a runner that she would be sneaking behind statues and hedges and getting these calls," Johnson recalls. "We shot it, and it actually took a lot of work to excise it from the edit once we were in there." In the final version of the film, Helen is a southern teacher and the twin sister of the murdered tech genius Andi, but we don't get to hear about her kids. According to Johnson, the reason they ended up cut from the film is pretty simple: "We pulled it out because the whole reason it was in there was to build in more empathy for the character, and we realized we didn't need that."

Johnson tells the Filmcast pod that he wanted to make sure there were elements of the second half of the film that were more engaging and unique than simply showing the same plot over again from a different perspective. "The intellectual twist wasn't going to be enough," he says, "So to me, the big thing was introducing the Helen character and getting you on her side, and I think this is all Janelle Monae." Monae gives a brilliant standout performance as both Andi and Helen, and somewhere along the line, Johnson apparently realized their charming turn as the character was enough to make us root for her even if she wasn't a harried, multitasking mom.

Monae Got Viewers On Their Character's Side Quickly

"The audience was on her side," Johnson says, so when it came to cutting the blue poop Zoom scene, "it became a pacing thing of, 'lets speed it up and stick with the mission.'" Johnson points out that Monae as Helen earns viewer sympathy quicky, "and then you're locked in" for the second half of the film. It's true: just as Ana de Armas immediately pulled our attention towards her working-class nurse character at the center of "Knives Out," Monae's humble, principled teacher character is easy to root for right off the bat. 

Plus, if she'd had kids, I actually think it may have made her triumphant recklessness towards the end of the movie seem less heroic and more frustrating. Since Helen doesn't have a family to run home to, we're able to enjoy her climactic, glass-crashing show of power without worrying about what it might mean for characters off screen who would end up in Miles' crosshairs as a result.

While Johnson says the film's pace works better without the blue poop Poptarts scene, I can't help but hope we'll be able to catch it as a bonus feature if "Glass Onion" ever gets a home release. For now, you can catch "Glass Onion" on Netflix and listen to the rest of Johnson's interview on The Filmcast here.

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The post Glass Onion Director Reveals Janelle Monae's Deleted Blue Poop Subplot appeared first on /Film.

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