“We wanted to, of course, pay homage to the original, but also kind of make it our own,” explains production designer Erin Magill about the process behind “Dead Ringers,” an Amazon Prime limited series that reimagines the 1988 film directed by David Cronenberg. “It was most important to me to keep that heightened sense of tense thriller and horror throughout, but of course now through this feminist lens and female perspective. And so I think while we took bits of the original, there were a lot of female artists and architects and photographers.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Magill above.
The original “Dead Ringers” told the story of twin gynecologists played by Jeremy Irons. This 2023 version flips the gender script with Rachel Weisz playing both Beverly and Elliot Mantle, who push the boundaries of their field in ways that aren’t always ethical — or legal.
Much of the sisters’ work is done at a sprawling birthing center that is one of the story’s central locations. “We found that beautiful lobby that had the kind of intertwining walkways and stairwells that was very organic,” Magill remembers. Reflecting Beverly in that space meant “leaning into those curves and shapes and palette,” the “feminine” aspect of the design. And then for Elliot, they would “lean into that red and lean into a little starker, cooler, sharper edges, materials that kind of lend themselves to where obviously Elliot’s journey goes.”
And of course one of the spaces that best reflects the Mantles is the home they share. “This apartment was basically emblematic of the twins and their completely codependent, dysfunctional, toxic relationship,” she says. “It might look beautiful,” but the deeper you get, the more you begin to recognize how “unhealthy” their dynamic is. The set was built in such a way that you can “see from one bed straight through to the other twin’s bedroom.” Beverly and Elliot can’t escape each other, and you can feel it in the spaces they inhabit.
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