Kimberly Peirce might not have been the first name that leapt to mind when theorizing which directors could shepherd a Carrie remake, but when you think about it, the Boys Don't Cry helmer is actually the perfect choice to tell this tale.
"There's a huge identity component, you've got an amazing misfit who, in this case, has special powers, and just wants to be loved and accepted. But when she goes about getting that, it has extraordinary consequences. When I read the script I really understand why they came to me," Peirce told ETonline at The 2013 OUTFEST Film Festival Opening Night Gala.
Once she accepted the gig and locked in her cast (Chloe Moretz as Carrie, Julianne Moore as Margaret), Peirce turned her attention to updating the 40-year-old story.
"We had to modernize it," Peirce says, highlighting a cyberbullying storyline that heavily factors into the film. "I was also able to go deeper into the mother-daughter relationship and treat it with the same kind of care that I put into all my movies; there's more depth and realism to it."
Peirce adds that her version of the film also spends more time with Carrie as she grapples with her newfound abilities. "In [the 1976] movie, she gets the powers and goes to the prom. In my version, once she gets these powers, we track how they grow and become part of her identity. I feel I was able to make a superhero origin story."
Technological advances also altered how Carrie's powers manifest. "Because of visual effects, I got to have the stones actually rain down on the house; she stamps her foot and breaks the ground; I get to play with her superpowers in this CG world, which looks really extraordinary. We really tried to do something unique and very much our own. "
Peirce recently received OUTFEST's Lifetime Achievement Award and may have jokingly balked at the timing ("I hope it's like a quarter-lifetime achievement award"), but not the importance of the honor.
"It's a huge honor. I know most of the people who've gotten this award before and it's an esteemed body of people who've not only made commercial movies, but personal movies -- and queer movies. I'm thrilled to be a small part of that [because] I think it's vitally important that queer film festivals exist and we're not limited by what the mainstream norm wants. We want to tell vibrant stories about sexual desire, gender identity, and it's crucial we continue to break the bounds that end up changing culture."