“Truth is stranger than fiction,” or so they say. The saying is rarely wrong—but it’s rarely more right than in the curious case of Bones And All, a forthcoming film about Reagan-era cannibalism from Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino. A full-length trailer just landed after a buzzy victory lap at the Venice Film Festival, meaning that excitement about the film is at an all-time high.
Let’s turn the clock back to 2017, when Call Me By Your Name hit theaters and launched one Timothée Chalamet to superstardom, starring alongside the already kinda-famous Armie Hammer. The film netted Chalamet an Oscar nomination for Best Actor (making him the third-youngest person ever to be nominated), then sent him on his merry way to a number of memorable roles, from an intergalactic leader to a series of fuckboys both historical and contemporary.
Now, Chalamet and Guadagnino are teaming up again for Bones And All, and it’s been announced that the film will hit theaters on November 23. Adapted from a novel by Camille DeAngelis, the official synopsis describes the film as “a story of first love between Maren (Taylor Russell), a young woman learning how to survive on the margins of society, and Lee (Timothée Chalamet), an intense and disenfranchised drifter, as they meet and join together for a thousand-mile odyssey which takes them through the back roads, hidden passages, and trap doors of Ronald Reagan's America. But despite their best efforts, all roads lead back to their terrifying pasts and to a final stand which will determine whether their love can survive their otherness.”
If that sounds cryptic, the novel can offer a helpful roadmap for what to expect: Maren and Lee’s “otherness” is their appetite for human flesh.
But has anyone checked on Armie Hammer? He may be feeling a little hot under the collar. You see, back in January 2021, Hammer became the subject of an astounding (and astoundingly strange) scandal alleging that the actor had engaged in erotic cannibalism. One former paramour compared dating Hammer to dating Hannibal Lecter, saying that “he likes the idea of skin in his teeth.” Another alleged that Hammer was “100% serious” about asking a doctor to remove her bottom ribs so that he could “smoke them, cook them, and then eat them.” Putting the erotic cannibalism aside, women also came forward to accuse Hammer of abusing and violating them.
Hammer has largely vanished from the public eye since the allegations, checking into rehab for seven months and checking out of Hollywood (save for Death on the Nile, which he shot prior to his undoing, and which landed in theaters this February due to pandemic-related delays). Meanwhile, a Discovery+ documentary detailing the actor's embattled private life, House of Hammer, landed on September 2. Some of Hammer's ex-girlfriends came forward to allege a pattern of disturbing conduct, including stalking and abusive behavior. The actor, for his part, declined to be interviewed for the documentary. According to a Variety report, he is currently working as a timeshare salesman at a Cayman Islands resort.
But Guadagnino has had enough of viewers drawing parallels between Bones And All and the allegations against Hammer. When asked about it at the Zurich Film Festival, he replied, "Any correlation with this kind of innuendo and silliness is preposterous.” In fact, you shouldn't expect any silliness from this cannibal romance, becuase Guadagnino and co. aren't playing around. “When it came to the topic of cannibalism, we took it very matter-of-factly," he revealed. "Several pathologists provided us with answers on how you perform a bite on the body of someone who just died, for example. We learnt practical stuff. It takes a lot of effort to bite through the skin. Someone was wondering if we would need [more defined] jaw muscles, but Americans are like that anyway. It’s from chewing gum.”
You hear that, everyone? This cannibal movie isn't a laughing matter, and chewing gum is the road to perdition. Needless to say, don’t expect to see Hammer at the red carpet premiere.
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