Rumours are swirling that Big Little Lies director Andrea Arnold ’lost control’ to Jean-Marc Vallee. Picture: Foxtel/HBO
Rumours are swirling that Big Little Lies director Andrea Arnold ’lost control’ to Jean-Marc Vallee. Picture: Foxtel/HBO

Big Little Lies’ backstage scandal

Hit show Big Little Lies has been rocked by claims of a serious, behind-the-scenes power struggle.

On Friday, IndieWire reported that director Andrea Arnold "lost creative control" of the second season when it was in post-production, with executive producers including season one director Jean-Marc Vallée taking over.

The publication cited several anonymous sources who claimed there had been a "dramatic shift" last year when the show was "yanked away" from Ms Arnold, with the objective of recreating season one's style.

The show is based on the hit novel by Australian author Liane Moriarty. Picture: Foxtel/HBO
The show is based on the hit novel by Australian author Liane Moriarty. Picture: Foxtel/HBO

"In other words, after all the episodes had been shot, take Arnold's work and make it look and feel like the familiar style Vallée brought to the hit first season, which won eight of the 16 Emmys it was nominated for in 2017, including Outstanding Limited Series," the publication claimed.

According to IndieWire's sources, producers had planned on Mr Vallée to rejoin the show - although apparently, Ms Arnold was unaware of the situation.

"Not only was Arnold given free rein, it was never explained to her that the expectation was her footage would be shaped by Vallée into the show's distinctive style," the sources alleged, claiming there was "no style bible laying out the visual rules of the show" and that Ms Arnold was even allowed to hire her own creative team.

The allegations threw the rumour mill into overdrive, but in a statement sent by HBO to The Hollywood Reporter, the network downplayed the situation.

It stars Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley and Zoë Kravitz. Picture: Foxtel/HBO
It stars Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley and Zoë Kravitz. Picture: Foxtel/HBO

"There wouldn't be a season two of Big Little Lies without Andrea Arnold," the statement reads.

"We at HBO and the producers are extremely proud of her work.

"As with any television project, the executive producers work collaboratively on the series and we think the final product speaks for itself."

So far, Ms Arnold has refused to break her silence regarding the controversy.

The popular series - based on the hit novel by Australian author Liane Moriarty - stars Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley and Zoë Kravitz.



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