Update from John – 2/13/2012
Ok, let’s just get right to the point. You’re here because you want to know when the movie is coming out. That’s totally understandable, but for right now, the most we can tell you is that the next screening is at SXSW. And it’s coming soon, so if you want to catch that, you’ll need to start planning. Like right motherfucking now.
The word around the campfire is that none of the films going into The Sundance Film Festival had distribution deals, John Dies at the End included, which means that they’re looking for distributors right now as you’re reading this words. Oh, in case you live under a tree (which I’ve actually done — twice), John Dies at the End premiered at The Sundance Film Festival at the end of January. And even the people who had never heard of the book promptly shit themselves.
Reviews started pouring in from all over, and the overall response was extremely positive. And we’re not talking about small time personal blogs, either. We’re talking about Entertainment Weekly, Ain’t It Cool News, Film School Rejects, and on, and on, and on, and on. It’s been crazy. Take a few minutes to Google “John Dies at the End movie review,” and see for yourself. This is far bigger than we ever dreamed.
It’s important to note that this is not just a bragging right. We’re telling you because with such a positive reaction, it gives the movie one hell of a leg to stand on where distributors are concerned. But whether it has a 3000 theater wide release, or it goes straight to video, make no mistake, we’re not going to keep that information secret. It’s the number one question we’re asked on the JDatE Facebook, and we just wanted you to know that it would not be beneficial to us in any way to have that information and not pass it along. As soon as we know, you’ll know. And we don’t mean, “You’ll know a day or two later.” We mean, “You will know as quickly as it takes us to type the letters and numbers.” It’ll be posted here, and the JDatE main page, and in a standalone article, and on Facebook, and on Twitter, and tattooed on our foreheads. Short of Dave and I showing up to your house and telling you personally, you will know that date. We’re not going to make it hard to find.
Until we get that date, here’s the trailer, located on the movie’s main website. And for those of you just finding out about this whole surreal “internet guy writes book that becomes movie” story, here’s how it all happened…
Don Coscarelli (writer/director/producer of Phantasm and the Bruce Campbell classic Bubba Ho-Tep) acquired the film rights to the novel John Dies at the End in 2007. Since then, a lot has happened, and you’re about to be hit with a full on fist of information right in your neck-heads. Get comfortable.
In October of 2010, Ain’t It Cool News unleashed the story that Don was in full filming mode, and had some news that had until then been kept under the radar. They announced part of the cast (we’ll list the full cast later on this page) and were given permission to show a shot from the set:
Don then began to throw out tidbits of information on his Twitter, which we highly recommend that you follow. He still drops some information from time to time on the status of the movie, and it’s the quickest and most reliable source for movie info.
In November of 2010, Ain’t It Cool announced even more of the cast, including some stars that surprised even us. So now we have the full cast as released by Don, and finally an IMDB page for John Dies at the End. Click the thumbnails for full sized pictures.
Don Coscarelli – Director. Screenplay. Known for his classic Phantasm series of horror films. Also known for his brilliant big screen adaptation of Joe R. Lansdale’s Bubba Ho-Tep, which was a short story which Don gave the utmost respect when translating it to film. He’s our guy, and we couldn’t imagine putting the integrity of this story into anyone else’s hands. For fans across the globe, you’ll be happy to know that Don is one of us. He’s a fan of the book, and he’ll treat it with the same respect that you would give it if you were making the movie.
Paul Giamatti – Paul not only plays Arnie Blondestone, the reporter who Dave talks to, but he’s also the executive producer of the movie. I’d list off all of Paul’s accomplishments, but holy shit, that would take forever. If your TV has ever been turned on, you’ve seen Paul Giamatti. The word on the web is that once he read the script for John Dies at the End, he wanted to make absolutely sure that it got made, so he threw his hat into the ring and offered his services as producer. Check out his monstrous resume on his IMDB page.
– In the order of their pictures, we have: Chase Williamson as David Wong, Rob Mayes as John, and Fabianne Therese as Amy. All three are newcomers to big screen productions like this, which means that we don’t have to worry about big screen egos depicting which direction the characters take. All three are very talented performers, and they know the art of dark comedy quite well. One of the points that is continuously brought up in message boards and whatnot is that the guys look “too pretty” for how they pictured John and Dave. Understand that head shots are supposed to do that. Even Gilbert Gottfried looks awesome in a headshot. Here are a couple of pictures of the guys together, which I believe represent the characters of the book quite well:
Rob Mayes (plays John) on the left. Chase Williamson (plays Dave) on the right.
Clancy Brown – Dr. Albert Macroni. That’s right. Clancy Motherfucking Brown. Starship Troopers. Shawshank Redemption. MR. KRABS! The guy has done such a massive amount of quality work in Hollywood that Dave and I believe that he may be on soy sauce, himself. The guy is a machine, and we’re incredibly honored to have him in the movie.
Glynn Turman – Detective Lawrence “Morgan Freeman” Appleton. Glynn has done TV and movies since before most of the JDatE audience was born, and he does it well. Cooley High, A Different World, The Wire. The guy has some serious credentials on a “we’re not worthy” level.
Doug Jones – North. You’ve seen Doug Jones before, but you probably didn’t know it. A lot of his work and his most famous roles have been in full makeup and costume. Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy I and II, The Silver Surfer, and he’s also the Gay Robot from Nick Swardson’s Pretend Time! Look him up on Google Image Search, and you’ll see right away how well he’ll fit in with the JDatE universe.
Daniel Roebuck – Largeman. Daniel was Dr. Arzt from Lost. He also did one of the most uncanny performances I’ve ever seen when he portrayed Jay Leno in HBO’s The Late Shift. He’s a very experienced actor, and he’ll make a kickass Largeman.
Some of the other characters who will be appearing from the book are:
In January of 2011, Quiet Earth released some neat little tidbits: Pictures of the Chinese Restaurant and blueprints for the set of the beloved Mall of the Dead. And two weeks later, Don Coscarelli Tweeted, “John Dies at the End just starting post and VFX. Could be some time. But worth waiting for, I hope!”
Two weeks after that, just last February, Ain’t It Cool News got an interview with Paul Giamatti where he talked about JDatE and producing the movie. And more recently, he gave a quick video interview with ReelNewz.com that just makes me smile like crazy.
So when is it going to be out? Well, IMDB is saying 2012, but I don’t know how much you can trust an estimate like that. The actual shooting is finished, and as Don pointed out in his tweet, they are now working on visual effects. Quite frankly at this point, you know as much as we do. But if you’re one of those people who want to know as soon as the news breaks, you’re in the right spot. We announce news as we get it both on this website, the JDatE Facebook, and our Twitter. Or you can Join the Google group or use our RSS feed.
Either way, this post should bring you up to date on everything that we know so far. And the second we get any more news, you’ll know it five minutes after that.