How Attack on Titan Inspired The Story of A24's New Horror Movie, Men

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Alex Garland, the creator of the critically-acclaimed Ex Machina and Annihilation, has a new horror film titled Men, produced by A24, the American independent company behind some of the best horror movies in recent years, such as Hereditary, Midsommar, The Lighthouse, and The Witch. It turns out that Men is also inspired by one of the most popular manga/anime franchises, Attack on Titan.

Attack on Titan
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Credit: MAPPA
Attack on Titan

In a recent interview, the writer-director of Men broke down the impact of Hajime Isayama's Attack on Titan series had on his latest movie.

Speaking to Polygon, Garland revealed that he originally had a much different approach to the horror film that sees one man apparently swapping bodies throughout its run time to terrorize a grieving woman, but the story of the Survey Corps and the terrifying titans had him rethinking just where he wanted to take the story.

"So [Attack on Titan] hovers on this strange space between something absurdist and something actually really frightening. I was just really, really impressed. And I thought, on some level, I'm being too — too lazy, maybe. I don't know what the right word is. But I'm just not anything like as good as that, and I've got to get better. So it made me reinvestigate Men and rethinkt it. That's the nice stuff about other people's good work — it sort of lifts everyone a bit, you know?"

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Men Chapel
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Credit: A24
Men Chapel

Garland also talked about why he was blown away by Attack on Titan, and how watching the anime series with his daughter changed his mind on the story of his latest horror film:

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"I was watching it with my daughter, who brought me into it saying, 'Dad, you really should watch this. I'm just blown away by that show. It's so complex on so many levels, but in the Titans themselves, it did something really interesting — it takes human forms and makes slight changes that take things to the edge of ridiculous, but does it with real courage and confidence."

Attack on Titan is famous for its designs of the weird and terrifying titans, and it looks like the series inspired the filmmaker to take his horror story to a darker atmosphere that fans of Isayama's franchise would be familiar with.

Related: Attack on Titan Live Action Hollywood Movie - Everything You Need to Know

The official description of Men from A24 reads:

"In the aftermath of a personal tragedy, Harper (Jessie Buckley) retreats alone to the beautiful English countryside, hoping to have found a place to heal. But someone or something from the surrounding woods appears to be stalking her. What begins as simmering dread becomes a fully-formed nightmare, inhabited by her darkest memories and fears in visionary filmmaker Alex Garland's (Ex Machina, Annihilation) feverish, shape-shifting new horror film."

Watch the trailer for Men below:

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Men hits theaters in North America on May 20, 2022.