How Two Naked Men Fighting Influenced a Key Scene in ‘Dirk Gently’
SPOILER ALERT –This article contains spoilers for Episode 1, Season 2 of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.
The first episode of Dirk Gently Season 2 — the very first scene, in fact — features a sequence in which some oddball medieval-type men fight. One even has pink hair. So far, so weird. But it gets weirder when they use giant scissors for weapons.
At the New York Comic Con panel for Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, fans were treated to an early screening of the season premiere. Afterwards, when asked about that scene, what series creator Max Landis and the assembled cast said was as bonkers as the show itself.
Hannah Marks who plays Amanda in the series said, “I remember talking about that scene in Eastern Promises where Viggo Mortensen was completely naked in a sauna fighting. And Max was like: ‘What if there were scissors, though…’
“The first time I thought of scissors as a [dueling] weapon being used against each other,” Landis said once the laughter subsided, “was [when] me and Hannah were talking and I was like, ‘Yeah, that scene where he’s naked, it’s pretty scary — but what if it was two naked guys and they both had scissors?’ And then I went, ‘Oh, scissors… maybe even bigger…!”
Cronenberg is known for hard-hitting, visceral body horror and offbeat violent thrillers. Eastern Promises, a film about Russian gangsters, has a bit of both. Landis’s Dirk Gently, meanwhile, is tonally very different to anything Cronenberg has ever made – it’s zany with a sharp, quick-fire script. That said, it does have its share of fairly graphic violence. One of the characters is a holistic assassin, after all, and kills pretty indiscriminately.
A Unique Weapon
Landis loves the scissor sword because it’s so unique. “It made me very excited because I kept Googling ‘scissor sword’ and all I could find was an anime called Kill la Kill. Except he only uses one of the blades, so it’s a normal f—–g sword,” he said.
“The defining moment on set is there’s a moment later in the season where a scissor sword gets used by someone in a cool way, and when I first saw it I went, ‘Oh, you can do that with it?’ It’s cool to have something that’s not in anything else.”
The panel also featured Elijah Wood who plays Dirk Gently’s reluctant sidekick, Todd Brotzman. He shared an anecdote about how the team — who are all, of course, part of a detective show — failed spectacularly to crack an escape room.
“The first season we all did an escape room together,” said Wood. “It’s totally apropos, right, because an escape room requires one to use logic and find clues. That’s not how Dirk Gently works. But we f—–g failed. And not only that, they kept giving us extra time. We went 30 minutes over. We technically got through it.”
Samuel Barnett, who plays the titular detective, added, “They gave us so many clues. They were like, ‘Go and open that thing over there and you’ll find the key to get out.”
Dirk Gently’s methods of detection might be unorthodox, but they do at least prove successful.
Season 2 of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency premieres on October 14.
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