Andrew Haigh, the writer-director, shares insights into discovering the ending of All of Us Strangers and draws inspiration from a classic Japanese ghost story.
Haigh got the idea for movie from a Japanese book called Strangers by Taichi Yamada. This book, written in 1987 and later translated into English in 2003, tells the story of a 47-year-old writer who sees the ghosts of his deceased parents draining his energy. The book was previously turned into a scary Japanese movie in 1988. Haigh’s film starring Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal, however, is quite different. Instead of a spooky tale, he created a gentle and heartwarming love story.
“Even from our very early discussions, we all felt that that wasn’t necessarily what we wanted to do with the story,” Haigh says in a conversation with EW. “We tried to use the idea of a ghost in a different way.”
Reflecting on the creative process, Haigh shared insights into the making of the poignant conclusion that captivated audiences.
“In many ways, the whole film to me was a love letter saying, it’s okay. It’s quite hard. You’ve all been through some stuff, but you can move on from this and you can find love,” Haigh says. “You might lose it again, but you might find it again. That to me is an optimistic outcome in some strange sense, that you can just keep finding love even when it vanishes. And it doesn’t vanish forever. That’s important to me. That’s where it is all about love at the end.”
Producer Graham Broadbent adds, “People might perceive the end of the film as being sad, but I think when you watch it again and again, you see it’s actually more optimistic.”
All of Us Strangers is out in theatres.