In hopes of avoiding showing audiences things they've already seen before, remakes have a tendency to put clever spins on story elements to take the audience by surprise. During a recent screening of Leatherface, the prequel to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, French filmmakers Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury revealed that they had considered making the teenager who would become Leatherface a female.
At Fright Fest, the filmmakers had apparently responded to a fan's question with the response, "Yeah, we thought about making Leatherface a female." To get more information about how that could have worked on a logistical level, Bloody Disgusting reached out to Maury to clarify the claim.
***Possible LEATHERFACE spoilers below***
When elaborating about the potential of making the character female, Maury explained that their main goal was to make sure the audience couldn't anticipate which of the young characters would go on to become Leatherface.
"We loved that idea that the audience could think that even her [Jessica Madsen's character] could be the boogeyman in the end in people's mind," Maury clarified. "And it wasn't a so crazy idea to have regarding the passion Leatherface had for dresses and makeup in the previous movies."
Swapping the gender of a character could have potentially been confusing for later installments in the franchise, but the filmmakers clearly wanted to follow the path the story took them on, regardless of an audience's preconceived notions.
In the film, Jessica Madsen plays one of four inmates (Sam Coleman, Sam Strike, James Bloor) who escape from a mental hospital. One of them becomes the title character and iconic slasher. The quartet kidnap a young nurse (played by Vanessa Grasse) and take her on a road trip from hell. Along the way, they are pursued by an equally deranged lawman (Stephen Dorff) out for revenge.
Fans can enjoy Leatherface when it hits DirecTV on September 21 and on VOD and in limited theatrical release on October 20.