Saltburn director Emerald Fennell reveals hilarious, explicit reason behind name of viral movie

 Barry Keoghan and Emerald Fennell.
Barry Keoghan and Emerald Fennell.

Director Emerald Fennell has quite the reason for naming her latest film Saltburn.

"It's a real town in England, but when I heard the name Saltburn it sounded like a sex injury – a really nice one," Fennell explained to Access Hollywood. "Like a sort of sting, a pleasurable sting. And I think that's kind of what the film is, isn't it?"

Set in 2006, Saltburn follows Oliver Quick (Barry Keoghan), who is invited by his rich classmate Felix (Jacob Elordi) to spend the summer at his eccentric family's estate. The cast includes Rosamund Pike, Richard E. Grant, Alison Oliver, Archie Madekwe, Cary Mulligan, and Sadie Soverall. It marks Fennell's second film as writer and director after 2020's Promising Young Woman.

The film has gone massively viral mostly for its bathtub scene, gravesite scene, and just about every single weird thing Barry Keoghan does throughout. You can also buy a candle based on that bathtub scene, though we're not sure why you'd want to (it allegedly smells very nice). Rosamund Pike told Access Hollywood that there's a mug based on the bathtub scene that has a drain at the bottom – and that she bought it for her dad for Christmas. The movie is also responsible for the resurfacing of Sophie Ellis-Bextor's 2001 song Murder on the Dancefloor, which plays in the last scene of the film – and is probably stuck in your head right now.

Saltburn is streaming now on Prime Video. For more, check out our interview with Emerald Fennell, or, check out our list of the most exciting upcoming movies in 2024 and beyond.