I’ll be curious to see what happens with “John Dies At The End” as the year progresses.
It’s got to find a distributor… it’s just too singular an audience experience. I understand that the William S. Burroughs version of “Ghostbusters” is a hard audience sell, but I also think there’s real value in it for the right distributor. Someone’s going to have to give it some TLC if they plan to open it, but with the right campaign, the film’s weirdness could be an asset, not something to run from.
While we were at Sundance, I published a conversation I had with Don Coscarelli, the director of the iconic “Phantasm” films, about adapting and directing the book by David Wong as a film. He was joined by his co-producer Paul Giamatti, who helped produce the film. I had a blast with those two, and of all the formal interviews we did at Sundance, that’s the one that I could have sat there continuing all day. Their enthusiasm for the film they made was infectious.
The night before, as I was walking up Main Street to get in line for the film, I ran into the cast emerging from a pre-screening party. Coscarelli introduced me to them, and to Jason Pargin, the writer who published the book under his pen name, David Wong. It’s always difficult to meet someone for the first time right before you see their movie, but afterwards, if you end up enjoying the film, it’s great to have the conversations about what they’ve accomplished.
With “John Dies At The End,” I wanted to talk to Chase Williamson and Roy Mayes about playing Dave and John, the friends who find themselves at ground zero for all of the film’s willful weirdness. If they don’t work as a duo, the film doesn’t work. It’s that simple. For both Williamson and Mayes, this is a new experience, and they’re both fairly new to film in general. That makes their confidence in their roles even more impressive.
I sincerely hope you get a chance to see “John Dies At The End” sooner rather than later. We’ll keep you posted about how and when that might happen.