What would you do within the occasion of a zombie apocalypse? Would you traverse the nation in search of a secure place to hunker down? Maybe scavenge for meals? Or would you simply chill in your luxurious LA house along with your greatest pal and ex-girlfriend, ordering takeout, and watching Waterworld? Not a nasty option to spend the remainder of your time on Earth, proper? Well, in an identical vein to 2004’s Shaun of the Dead, that is precisely what Mike Castle, Oliver Cooper, and Taylor Blackwell did within the new zombie comedy As We Know It.
As We Know It is a pleasant buddy comedy packed filled with ’90s popular culture references. Its punchy jokes and absurd moments of comedy are all elevated by a incredible comedic forged with infectious chemistry. While nobody can deny the truth that As We Know It is a zombie movie, it primarily focuses on themes of “love, loss, friendship, and heartbreak,” as acknowledged by the movie’s director, Josh Monkarsh.
MovieWeb lately sat down with As We Know It’s author, and director, Josh Monkarsh, who talked about his admiration for his forged, ’90s nostalgia, and his inspirations behind the film.
Josh Monkarsh’s Inspirations
As We Know It Release Date November 10, 2023 Cast Oliver Cooper, Pam Grier, Chris Parnell Runtime 84 min Genres Horror, Comedy
As We Know It oozes with homages to movies like Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland. However, As We Know It wasn’t all the time a zombie movie. Monkarsh commented, “Originally, I optioned the script-from a UK-based author. And this was, I wish to say, 5 – 6 years in the past. It was nonetheless referred to as As We Know It, and there have been nonetheless the nuclear features of it, however there have been no zombies.”
“I bear in mind talking to the author, Christopher Francis, and we had been form of throwing out some concepts,” added Monkarsh. “I advised Christopher, ‘I gotta actually take into consideration this, and the way we’ll make this a bit of bit extra commercially interesting.’ Because once you’re coping with a narrative that is identical to the upcoming nuclear apocalypse, it is tough,” stated Monkarsh earlier than stepping into his love for zombie movies. “I considered it for like a yr. And I’m an enormous zombie movie fan. So by that point, I used to be watching a number of very several types of zombie movies, like Warm Bodies, and Zombieland. And the concept was, ‘How do I form of create the right storm?'”
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While the inspirations from different zombie movies are obvious, it wasn’t essentially Monkarsh’s favourite zombie motion pictures that served as his largest influences right here. “I’d say there are undoubtedly zombie movies, like those I simply talked about, that had been inspirations for the zombie side of it. But when it comes to the core dynamic between the three leads, that is extra form of a John Hughes-type inspiration.” He says As We Know It nods to “the ’80s traditional tales that I grew up on, the place you will have these sorts of pals and these obscure incidences and obscure environment. And in order that was like an ideal storm of these two worlds, primarily.”
Kevin Costner and Waterworld
One of the extra memorable moments of As We Know It is when Oliver Cooper and Mike Castle sat round watching Waterworld and engaged of their love for the movie, calling it “Kevin Costner’s greatest movie.” However, Waterworld wasn’t the film that Josh Monkarsh and his author Christopher Francis meant to incorporate within the movie:
It’s humorous, initially, like within the first draft that Christopher wrote, it was Timecop. And we simply had some points with clearance. Because apparently it is owned by 5 totally different entities. And so, we had been like, ‘Is it price chasing down all these totally different entities? Or, let us take a look at another choices.’
Monkarsh then went on to state how they got here in regards to the Costner movie. “We had been actually fortunate that Universal owns 100% of Waterworld. And they had been so cool about licensing the footage to us for the period of time that you just noticed it on display.” Waterworld wasn’t essentially the most beloved movie with critics, however it’s since discovered love with audiences, regardless of its high quality. “Obviously, it is controversial to say that you just like Waterworld. But it is a responsible pleasure. I’d say, if I’m simply chilling on a Sunday, and if it is on, I will not flip it off, proper?”
As We Know It’s Great Cast
Starring the likes of Oliver Cooper, Mike Castle, Taylor Blackwell, the hilarious Chris Parnell, and even the legendary Pam Grier, As We Know It has an exceptional forged. When requested how troublesome the casting course of was for the movie, Josh Monkarsh stated, “For me, as a filmmaker […] what’s on the web page is one factor, proper? What’s in your head is one other factor. But, once you really should put all of it collectively, it is tough.”
Oliver Cooper, who performs James’ eccentric greatest pal, was one of many main highlights of the film. But as Monkarsh quickly factors out, Cooper had a a lot greater function to play when it comes to the movie’s manufacturing. “So Oliver Cooper,” he started, “was a mutual pal of mine. And it was a telephone name and principally, I’m like, ‘Look, dude […] that is you. You are Bruce.’ He learn the script, and we form of spit-balled some concepts backwards and forwards for his character, some modifications that he would wish to make, [and] we carried out these modifications. So Oliver was very a lot concerned on this film from […] the conceptual stage, not less than in direction of improvement.”
“Mike and Taylor had been forged later. Taylor was forged first, and Mike was after Taylor. And I’d say […] primarily based on the Zooms, that the chemistry was there. But it is arduous, as a result of you do not know till they really meet one another. You don’t know […] It’s powerful. You cannot really organize for conferences and not using a formal provide. And so it is tough. It’s like a crapshoot. So I needed to form of wager on the chances, and I really feel prefer it paid off.”
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With a forged filled with comedian expertise, you possibly can wager that there have been loads of moments the place actors went off script, spit-balling their greatest improv. Monkarsh spoke about his expertise directing a forged filled with comedic actors, proclaiming that the actors did “a bit of little bit of each” when it comes to sticking to the script and venturing off into improv. “I’m fairly lax in terms of improv,” he stated.
“The approach I take a look at it’s, these characters which are written on the display, it is so black and white and 2D. But what [the actors are] bringing is 3D. And that has to principally be a replica of themselves. And so, if Ted Summers is written a method, however Chris [Parnell] needs to ship it the opposite approach, then I’m undoubtedly not going to cease him. Especially if he is riffing and feeling it,” continued Monkarsh.
“I’d say we form of have the script as an excellent basis for the characters, and the way far [the actors] might push it,” added Monkarsh, who talked about that almost all of footage they used within the last reduce was improv. “So a lot of the stuff that we really ended up maintaining was improv. A variety of the Chris Parnell, Oliver Cooper last credit score roll scene was 100% improv.”
Full of references to house movies, landlines, telephone books, and reminiscence containers, As We Know It affords an immersive ’90s nostalgia journey for audiences, in addition to Monkarsh himself,
I grew up within the ’90s in LA. And it is a very nostalgic time for me, and I simply bear in mind sure recollections and form of trinkets from my childhood, just like the Memory Box stuff.
Monkarsh continued, “Also, in terms of the ’90s, there was no — except you are speaking in regards to the late ’90s — there have been no actual cell telephones. And so I needed to get rid of tech in that sense. And like, once you’re taking pictures a film now, it is nearly unimaginable to not combine cell telephones and smartphones. So I used to be in my thoughts considering, ‘Yeah, the 90s are nice.’ But it is also wonderful as a result of we do not have to fret about cell telephones. And you additionally mix the truth that James is an antiquated man — it form of labored a bit of bit higher,” Monkarsh concluded.
It labored out fairly nicely. From Buffalo 8, As We Know It was launched November eleventh in restricted theaters.