Jeff Wadlow is an American director, screenwriter, and producer, who is most known as the writer and director of the superhero comedy film, Kick-Ass 2. He has gone on to direct films in a variety of genres like his horror film Prey, the comedic film True Memoirs of an International Assassin, and the action thriller Non-Stop. Jeff Wadlow will be directing the upcoming Blumhouse project, Truth or Dare, which will be released in theaters on April 13, 2018.
Screen Rant got a chance to chat with director Jeff Wadlow on press day, where we discussed shooting the movie in 23 days and a crazy stunt that almost didn’t make it into the film due to the quick paced filming schedule. Wadlow also talks about what he wants teens to take away from Truth or Dare.
SR: This reminds me of a modern day, kind of like Twilight Zone episode.
Jeff Wadlow: Wow. I like that.
SR: So how does this concept even come about? How does Truth or Dare make it?
Jeff Wadlow: So I had a meeting with Jason Blum and he said, I want to make a movie called Truth Or Dare. And I said, great, that sounds fun. You got a script? He said, nope, just the title. And I said, OK, well what if it opens with this woman in a gas station? And she gets asked Truth Or Dare, and she picks dare, and she's gotta set this other woman on fire. He's like, that's great. What happens next? I said, I don't know, I'm just making this up. And so I got together with my friend Chris Roach who wrote Nonstop, the Liam Neeson movie for me. And uh, his wife, Jill Jacobs, and we just started spitballing ideas and we actually quite quickly read the script.
SR: Interesting. Now Blumhouse is like a safe haven for creators and filmmakers with big ideas on modest budgets. Can you talk to me about the process of working with them?
Jeff Wadlow: Uh, yeah. It's basically micro budget, a no micromanagement. They give you this, they give you not a lot to work with, but they surround you with great people that support you and Jason says, you know, go make your movie. You know, I'm not gonna, get in your way if you need help, you know, pick up the phone. But otherwise I want you to do what you think is best. I want your vision of this film.
SR: Interesting. Now, social media plays a little bit of role in this film just a little bit. There's a lot of added pressure with teens and social media nowadays. Can you talk to me about what you want those teens to take away from this film?
Jeff Wadlow: It's funny, I hadn't really thought about in that context. I think one, one of the lessons that our characters in the film as it real friendship, real relationships are the most important thing. And I imagined that on social media, things often feel very real, but they're not as real as, as a relationship that you have with someone in person. So I hope what they take away from it is to treasure their, their in-person friendships, because those are the most meaningful ones.
SR: Talk to me about the, I don't know if this was true or on. If it's called the Willem Defoe face?
Jeff Wadlow: The where did this come from?
SR: Is that it a thing?
Jeff Wadlow: No! That's not a thing at all. And now, um, I don't know, but I also love it. One of the things I love about film making is it's collaborative art. So everyone contributes. Everyone comes up with ideas and kind of throws them in the mix. And the smile really came from me looking at snapchat filters and thinking about, well, what's a unique possessed look? I didn't want to do the milky ice. I didn't want to just see the black eyes thinking about the spirit of the game. It's a mischievous spirit. I'll say I always draw this kind of evil smile and...
SR: You always draw this smile?
Jeff Wadlow: Yeah, yeah. Long before I made this movie, It was one of the doodles I always did and people even sending me, it kind of looks like my smile and I love that. Now people online are saying it looks like a Willem Defoe's smile because that means the movie is, is getting as taking on a life of its own and it's growing and people are coming up with their own ideas about it. And for me as a, as a person who likes to tell stories to the largest possible audience and it's incredibly exciting.
SR: Can you talk to me about the largest challenge of creating this film?
Jeff Wadlow: Making it in 23 days with the budget we had. You know, I wrote the roof sequence and, and you know, some of the people who work with Jason (Blum) read the script and they were like, well you can't do this with the money you have. And I was like, well we got to try because I want to do it. And there was a moment when we had Sophia (Ali) up on the roof and I was standing there and I was looking at all these cranes because you have to use the cranes to make it safe. Um, and I standing next to the line producer and he said to me, he goes, we have never done anything this massive on a, on a Blumhouse movie before.
SR: That's actually my favorite scene in the film. So much tension building. Now, if you had to sum up this film in a Hashtag, what would that Hashtag be?
Jeff Wadlow: Lie And Die.
SR: Lie and Die.
Jeff Wadlow: Yeah.
SR: I like it. Congratulations on the film. And it's so much fun.
Jeff Wadlow: Thank you so much. I appreciate it.
- Truth or Dare (2018) release date: Apr 13, 2018