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Big Little Lies Season 2 had a behind-the-scenes struggle for creative control

  • British filmmaker Andrea Arnold was brought in to bring her distinctive visual style to the second season of the HBO drama, replacing Season 1 director Jean-Marc Vallée, who was busy working on Sharp Objects. According to Indiewire, Arnold was told she would be given free reign in not only directing the episodes, but in pre- and post-production. But showrunner David E. Kelley didn't like that Arnold's style was dramatically different from Vallée's. So the show was taken away from her after she completed filming and just as she was starting on the editing, and Vallée was brought back to edit Season 2 to remove Arnold's unique style while also directing 17 days of additional shooting. "Before the February order of additional photography started, the Vallée-led direction the show was taking was obvious, but sources close to Arnold say she felt obligated to see it through to the end," reports Indiewire's Chris O'Falt. "While DGA rules required Arnold be the director on set, Vallée was now an extremely hands-on EP dictating not only what would be shot, but how it would be shot, oversight that Arnold never had during the initial shoot. The optics were not lost on many associated with Big Little Lies: A show dominated by some of the most powerful actresses in Hollywood hired a fiercely independent woman director – who was now being forced to watch from the director’s chair as scenes were shot in the style of her male predecessor."

    TOPICS: Big Little Lies, HBO, Andrea Arnold, David E. Kelley, Jean-Marc Vallée