"Whiteout" hits theaters today, and the long-awaited adaptation of Greg Rucka and Steve Lieber's graphic novel features Kate Beckinsale as Carrie Stetko, the U.S. Marshal who finds herself racing against time to discover the identity of a murderer in one of the most remote locations in the world: Antarctica.
Earlier this year, we talked to Rucka about the film based on his ice-cold murder mystery, and now we have some thoughts from the star herself about the source material, the controversial changes made to the original story, and her character's famous (to fans of the book, at least) injury—and ambiguous sexuality.
We also get the skinny on the possibility that we'll see the rest of Rucka and Lieber's three-book series brought to the screen.
According to Beckinsale, she didn't get a look at the Oni Press story (originally published in 1998) until well after she agreed to do the film.
"I was sent the graphic novel much more as a reference of this where this script came from," said the actress. "I like the fact that the character was this sort of tortured, sort of funny, person who has a point in her life where she won’t be trusting anybody."
Shot in Manotoba, the film's differences from its source material have long been the subject of debate among fans. Along with the addition of several plot elements related to the reasons behind the murder, the film famously changed the sex of one of its main characters, a U.N. agent who assists with Stetko's investigation, from a female to a male character (played by "The Spirit" star Gabriel Macht).
Not only does the original female character help Stetko, but there's an occasional hint that she and Beckinsale's character develop an even closer relationship.
"It wasn’t really up to me," said Beckinsale. "By the time it got to me it was well past the graphic novel stage. ... But by then, [Stetko] hadn’t been a lesbian for quite a while by the time I got a hold of it."
One thing that doesn't change in the film, however, is a significant injury Stetko receives as a result of her investigation. Without revealing too much, Beckinsale shared some thoughts about how the "subtraction" of a key part of her anatomy affected her performance.
"[It] does make handling things difficult," she explained. "But I think it’s just such a grizzly horrible thing to happen, and I think she’s in a state of some shock over it and denial about it for a while in the movie."
As for potential sequels, Beckinsale said she's heard the buzz, but hasn't heard any word thus far on whether the original book's follow-ups, "Whiteout: Melt" and the upcoming "Whiteout: Night," will make the jump to the big screen. However, she said she's willing to pack up her winter gear for another shot at the character.
"I’m a big fan of Greg’s work," said Beckinsale," but there’s nothing that’s planned at the moment."
"I’m really fond of the character," she added. "It’s a character that’s very dear to me."
"Whiteout" hits theaters today, September 11.
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