Marilyn Manson’s film project Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll has been put on “indefinite production hold” after a bad response to the film’s leaked trailer. The film has been shelved after a negative reaction to the overly “violent” trailer that leaked in April of 2010.
Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll was set to be Manson’s high-profile directorial debut. The production was set to be primarily handled by Wild Bunch, alongside Anthony Silva and Geoff Cox. Phantasmagoria had an estimated budget of $4.2 million and would star Lily Cole as Alice, and Manson himself as author Lewis Carroll. Angelina Jolie, Tilda Swinton, and Manson’s former fiancée Evan Rachel Wood were rumored to be among the cast as well.
Phantasmagoria was a film project first announced by Manson in February 2006 at the 56th Berlin International Film Festival. The script was completed in December 2005, only two months before it was announced.
The film was focused on author Lewis Carroll. The film was intended to portray the darker side of Carroll’s life in a psychological horror style. Originally, Manson wanted to do an Alice in Wonderland remake, but decided to turn the film’s focus to the story’s author after researching Carroll. He planned to incorporate his original plans for an Alice in Wonderland film into the the script for Phantasmagoria.
Several materials for the film were designed up until December 2007. The film then experienced its first delay due to the 2007-2008 Writer’s Guild of America strike. Marilyn Manson was also on the Rape of the World tour at the time, further halting the film’s production. He intended to begin filming once the tour was complete, with Ireland and Portugal being ideal filming locations. However, between his divorce with Dita Von Teese, his seventh studio album The High End of Low, and off-and-on relationship with Evan Rachel Wood, the film has experienced one set back after another.
On April 7, 2010, a 1:35 trailor of Phantasmagoria was leaked onto the internet by Revel Studios. By April 22, the leak became publicized, and Manson made the attempt to have the trailer taken offline. He later stated on his MySpace blog that the trailer was never intended to reach the eye of the public. The trailer can still be found on some websites, such as Youtube and various movie trailer sites.
Reception by people who have seen the promotional material for Phantasmagoria has been mixed. When Manson first announced the film at the Berlin International Film Festival, approximately 60 journalists viewed material from the film and gave it generally positive reviews. The journalists were shown a trailer, still photographs taken by Steven Klein, and a poster. However, when this trailer leaked onto the internet in April it experienced significantly negative reviews. The outcry resulted in Wild Bunch placing the film on “indefinite production hold.”
Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll is one of Manson’s many shelved projects, along side his novel Holywood and an independent film shot by Manson entitled Groupie. Holywood has yet to be published due to censorship issues, which Manson has never clarified on. Groupie was intended to be released on home video, but shelved after manager Tony Ciulla insisted Manson “hide the master,” stating that the film would end his career and possibly result in Manson being convicted.