There Will Be Blood's Paul is not Eli

Posted 6 years ago by Evan Tishuk

Eli and Paul Sunday were identical twins (not split personalities) because the original actor who played Eli wasn't working out and they didn't feel like auditioning for a replacement. Given the amount of intrigue this generated, I would call this a happy accident.

5 Comments

Lord ~ 6 years ago

Let's talk lit theory on this one (or critical theory in general). Now the fact that the script was not written as Eli and Paul being two greatly different sides of the same person is one thing but we should consider the audience reaction regardless of how the script was written and what happened behind the scenes in filming. The director, Paul Anderson, and the whole Production staff, made no major indications in the movie itself that allowed for us, the viewing audience, to determine whether or not Paul and Eli were just identical twins or the same person (hence the reason why we were asking the questions about it in the first place). That being said it makes me wonder if Anderson and the producers liked the idea of the ambiguity/uncertainty that was created by using Paul Dano to play both roles. And here is the other thing. While changes on the set or to the script obviously impact what it is that we see as individuals engaged in the story of the film what happens backstage is kind of irreverent to the whole "There Will Be Blood" tale that we view on the screen (this is all kind of author function shit really). All and all I would make the argument that it is the audiences personal choice and interpretation that is more relevant to the Eli/Paul conflict regardless of what the original intentions of the director and script.

Just my opinion on it all.

Adam Gautsch ~ 6 years ago

Yep, if PTA really wanted to make it clear they were two different people he'd given one of the two twins a scar. You know, like Xamot.

Lord ~ 6 years ago

Yeah, obviously the creators of G.I.Joes have a much better understanding of the whole twin deal.

Lord ~ 6 years ago

by the way

Ryansam ~ 46 weeks ago

Think it's more a metaphor, where Daniel and Eli represent a type of money/business vs. religion, Eli and Paul represent the conflict of religion as a means of making business/wealth. Eli obviously has both forces driving his motivations, but hides under the veil of religion, Paul is just more blatant about wanting the dinero:)

Just a thought from someone who's happily loved watching the film a billion times:)

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