The original version of the screenplay didn’t feature Nyx. The idea for including her came when I’d at last settled on the lead detective, Coxon, being a clay sculptor. When I tried to think of what he might be sculpting, it occurred to me that it should be something relevant to night and the dark side of humankind. I started doing a bit of research and soon it became clear that the goddess of night was a perfect fit.
Once I’d settled on using Nyx, I needed to develop the relationship between her and Coxon. Why did he sculpt her? What does she mean to him? What will he do with her? Answering these questions helped me to know how to interweave her into the script, both in terms of dialog and action.
One of the first ideas I had was to have Coxon actually fire the sculpture of Nyx. I wasn’t too keen of his just placing her in a commercial kiln, so I spoke to my consulting artist, Rebecca Boatman, about using actual fire. She said it was possible to use flame, but that it wouldn’t reach the required temperature to sufficiently alter the clay to make it lastingly hard. That was okay with me; I liked the idea of using fire. I had it in mind to use the firing scene as the opener to the movie.
As I was developing the relationship between Nyx and Coxon, I wrote a poem that I imagined he composed to Nyx. I even thought about adding it to the film somehow, but it didn’t really fit. Nevertheless, I’d like to share it with you here:
Nyx, Daughter of Chaos,
Goddess of the Night.
Your children give us Grief,
Death, Deceit, and Strife.
You bring upon us Sleep,
And our crimes you can conceal;
Yet it’s only due to you
Stars of Heaven are revealed.
Your power is so great
Even Zeus is sore afraid.
You’re the only goddess
Whose word he must obey.
Ultimately, I decided that opening the film with the firing of Nyx was too much of a visual non-sequitur to follow with the violence that needed to occur early. So instead I placed it elsewhere in the movie, but used it as the background of the languages-selection menu.