Director Adam Wingard Talks THE GUEST, Dan Stevens’ Physical Transformation, the Way He Edits, His Next Two Projects, and More at Sundance 2014

     January 25, 2014


One of my favorite films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was The Guest.  Directed and written by the team behind You’re Next (Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett, respectively), The Guest is fantastic and as Matt said in his review, it “feels like a lost John Carpenter film from the director’s golden age.  The picture effortlessly moves between a nerve-wracking mystery to a gleefully dark comedy, and at its best it even mixes the two together.”   The story revolves around a soldier that befriends the family of a fallen comrade and becomes a threat to everyone around him when he may not be who he says he is.  Trust me, it’s a film you should be excited to see and I’m sure it’ll be released sometime this year.  The Guest stars Dan Stevens (in an amazingly dark turn), Maika MonroeLeland OrserLance ReddickChase Williamson, and Brendan Meyer.

Shortly after the premiere, I landed an exclusive video interview with Adam Wingard.  He talked about how You’re Next changed their approach to developing films, how they came upon the concept for The Guest, his process of editing, the length of his first cut, Stevens’ physical transformation and his topless scene, the other movie they almost made instead of The Guest (a non-stop chase action movie), and more.  In addition, Wingard talked about their next two projects, saying one is “a relentless horror film thrill ride” and the other has more action stuff in it, but both are totally different than anything else they’ve done.  Hit the jump to watch.

And if you missed my Sundance video interview with screenwriter Simon Barrett, watch it here.

adam wingard the guestAdam Wingard Time Index:

  • :10 – The experience of being part of the Sundance Film Festival, especially representing his own movie.
  • 1:30 – How You’re Next changed their approach to making movies. Instead of just “what could we do next,” they were able to ask “what should we do next?” now that they had a bigger budget.
  • 3:30 – Talks about how close they came to doing the non-stop chase action movie that was initially planned as their You’re Next follow-up. Says they were never able to put their unique stamp on it because they were trying too hard not to be pigeonholed as “the home invasion guys.”
  • 5:01 – How The Guest materialized.  The idea came about when Wingard watched The Terminator and Halloween back-to-back. They blended that idea with another more straightforward drama script from Barrett that resulted in taking the best things from both elements.
  • 7:45 – Dan Stevens’ physical transformation and his topless scene. Talks about choosing to cast Stevens after seeing him on Downton Abbey.
  • 10:42 – How long was his first cut? Talks his process of editing his own films.
  • 13:03 – What’s it like to be in the position of being able to be picky about his projects now that You’re Next and The Guest have been positively received?
  • 14:40 – When might their next project move forward? Says he thinks they could get going by spring.
  • 15:45 – Talks about their next two projects. Says one is “a relentless horror film thrill ride” and the other has more action stuff in it, but both are totally different than anything else they’ve done. One day he thinks they’ll do a big action film.
  • 16:58 – Talks about action, specifically in reference to The Raid. Says he thinks the type of action he does is more American and stylistic-based like The Matrix as opposed to having stunt professionals starring in the movie like The Raid.


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