What happens, when fun turns serious, in a simply hilarious way shows now GAME NIGHT.
THE GAME NIGHT STARTS
“Tonight, we’re taking game night up a notch. You’re not gonna know what’s real and what’s fake.”
Max and his wife, Annie, and their four friends, are all set for a murder mystery Game Night party, courtesy of Max’s brother, Brooks. Hence, always looking to one-up his little bro, Brooks has promised the avid small-time gamers an epic night, far beyond their usual menu of charades, trivia and Pictionary.
© Images: Hopper Stone, 2018 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. AND RATPAC- DUNE ENTERTAINMENT LLC.
So, minutes later, when armed thugs break down the door and drag him away, bound and gagged, his guests are duly impressed by how realistic the fight seemed, how terrified Brooks had looked, and how menacing his assailants were. Therefore, they can hardly believe it was all staged. So, the chaos and an unforgettable Game Night starts.
Maybe that’s because it wasn’t. Or was it? Sharp, fast and unpredictable. “Game Night” is a full-on comedy with a fresh approach: shot like an action thriller from the first punch to the last reveal, it aims to keep audiences not only laughing…but guessing. “Some of our favorite films are ones that blend multiple genres, so that audiences go from a laugh to a gasp in a single scene,” says Jonathan Goldstein, who directed “Game Night” in tandem with longtime creative collaborator John Francis Daley.
“Comedy works best when you thwart expectations,” he adds. “The same is true of a good thriller. We wanted to lead viewers down a path where they think they’ve gotten ahead of us, then throw them a curve they didn’t see coming.”
Also, a laugh that leaps out from a dark and scary place can be all the sweeter. Toward that end, says Daley, “It was important to keep the stakes elevated. We wanted genuine shock moments, and this allowed us a slightly more artful approach in the cinematography and design, the pacing, casting, and even the music.”
THE GAME NIGHT PLAYERS
JASON BATEMAN (Max / Producer)
Bateman has attained leading-man status in Hollywood, in front of and behind the camera. Moreover, the actor, producer and director has evolved from the small screen to securing one major film role after another.
Bateman gained critical acclaim for his irreverent portrayal of Michael Bluth in the award-winning comedy series “Arrested Development,” created by Mitch Hurwitz. His lead role earned him a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy Series. In 2013, Netflix premiered a 14-episode return of the cult favorite, for which Bateman reprised his role, earning Best Actor nominations for the Emmy, SAG, and Golden Globe awards.
BATEMAN ABOUT GAME NIGHT
“It’s a real popcorn movie,” states Jason Bateman, who stars as Max and also served as a producer on the film. “There’s a lot of action and nighttime intrigue and, of course, you’ve got the comedy all the way through which makes it fun. There’s even a little romance.”
Addressing the relatability of an evening that starts with promise and then goes horribly, hilariously off the rails, he concedes, “I’m sure I’ve had my fair share of nights that have gone south. And I think all of us have had some experience getting together with friends and playing games. But it’s the escalation that happens here, when it gets out of the house and into the streets, that kicks everything up to another level.”
“Someone in this room is going to be taken and it’s going to be up to you to find them. Whoever finds the victim wins the grand prize.”
Max owns Game Night. Pick the contest, set the timer and watch him roll. It’s what made him irresistible to Annie the night fate brought them together: two razor-sharp players joining forces to wipe out a bar full of trivia hopefuls who didn’t know the meaning of the word cutthroat. Now married, they host a regular couples’ night to hang with their like-minded friends, break out the scorecards and have some fun.
RACHEL McADAMS (Annie)
McAdams is an Academy Award nominee, whose transformative performances have established her as one of Hollywood’s most sought-after and respected actors.
She will next be seen in Sebastián Lelio’s “Disobedience,” starring opposite Rachel Weisz. Based on the Naomi Alderman novel of the same name, it tells the story of a woman who returns to her Orthodox Jewish home following the death of her rabbi father and stirs up controversy when she rekindles a repressed love with her childhood friend. “Disobedience” premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. It will be released in April.
In 2016, McAdams starred alongside Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Mads Mikkelsen and Chiwetel Ejiofor in Scott Derrickson’s Marvel film “Doctor Strange.” It took the #1 opening weekend spot with an opening domestic gross of $85 million. Additionately, the film has grossed $636 million worldwide and is in the top 10 highest earning domestic releases of 2016.
RACHEL McADAMS ABOUT GAME NIGHT
It’s not just entertainment; it’s the glue that keeps them together. Describing their relationship, Rachel McAdams begins, “It was love at first sight,” prompting Bateman to chime in, “Actually, it was more like ‘first answer.’”
“Yes,” McAdams agrees. “First answer. What brought Max and Annie together was their competitive nature. That, and being able to finish each other’s sentences and just enjoying the game. It didn’t take them long to realize they were better as a team.”
Before Game Night, the actors previously worked together briefly in the 2009 crime drama “State of Play,” and welcomed the chance to share more screen time and to cut loose with a comedy — in a way McAdams fans haven’t seen since she killed it in “Wedding Crashers.”
“We had a lot of opportunities to play off each other, and I especially loved the physical comedy,” says McAdams about their play in Game Night. “There are some really great set pieces that made me laugh out loud when I first read them on the page and were even better in the execution. Getting in there and running around… it just never got old.”
“This is not a joke. People are in real danger.” Not technically a goon, but certainly far from a regular guy in this scenario is Gary, Max and Annie’s neighbor with a too-convenient view of their front door. A cop who likes to wear his uniform to collect the mail or just hang around the house, Gary speaks in a highly formal monotone reminiscent of serial killer confessions, and always seems to be on the outside looking in.
JESSE PLEMONS (Gary)
Best known for a range of acclaimed dramatic roles, in Game Night Jesse Plemons enjoyed the opportunity to make a rare comic turn as Gary, of whom he says, “Gary is sort of in a completely different world from the rest of the characters. He used to be invited to game night because of his ex-wife, who everyone liked.”
He’s not likely to find his name on a guest list now, though, since the only remaining vestige of Gary’s ex is the elaborate shrine he’s built for her in his home office. “He’s just awkward, a bit of an over-sharer, and has a way of making everyone uncomfortable,” Plemons adds. “You see him and think, ‘Oh God, how do I make this as quick as possible so I can get away?’”
Plemons was born April 2, 1988 in Dallas, Texas. He received an early start as an actor, making his debut at age three in a Coca-Cola commercial. His Texas charm helped him land the role and would shape the early part of his career all the way to his breakout role in “Friday Night Lights.” Cast as Landry Clarke, Plemons was a fan favorite on the Emmy Award-winning show that followed the Dillon Panthers, a fictional Texas high school football team.
BILLY MAGNUSSEN (Ryan)
Billy Magnussen is establishing himself as one of the most promising rising actors in the business, having worked with directors including Steven Spielberg and Guy Ritchie, among others. He most recently wrapped production on the highly anticipated liveaction adaptation of “Aladdin.”
Magnussen is currently filming Cary Fukunaga’s limited series “Maniac,” opposite Emma Stone and Jonah Hill. Following this, he will join Ike Barinholtz’s independent feature “The Oath,” opposite Tiffany Haddish, John Cho and Carrie Brownstein.
SHARON HORGAN (Sarah)
Sharon Horgan is an Irish actress, BAFTA-winning writer, and director who is perhaps best known for her multiple award-winning sitcom “Catastrophe,” which she co-writes and stars in with Rob Delaney, and which airs on Amazon Prime and the UK’s Channel 4. For her work on the show, Horgan won a BAFTA TV Award for Best Writing in a Comedy Series and gained a further nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy, alongside a Primetime Emmy Award Nomination for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series.
LAMORNE MORRIS (Kevin)
Lamorne Morris is an American actor best known for playing fan-favorite Winston on the popular Fox series “New Girl.” Morris stars opposite Zoey Deschanel, Max Greenfield, and Jake Johnson in the comedy about a dysfunctional yet loving group of friends in their early 30s, living together in a loft in Los Angeles. Morris displays his comedic talent as the hilarious Winston, who was a former pro basketball player in Latvia and is now trying to figure out his true calling back in the States. “New Girl” premiered in Fall 2011, and has consistently garnered rave reviews while being a huge ratings hit. The show is currently airing its sixth season.
DANNY HUSTON (Anderton)
Danny Huston award-winning actor, writer and director, versatility and dramatic screen presence made him famous. Recognized for his roles in films such as Martin Scorsese’s “The Aviator,” Alfonso Cuaron’s “Children of Men” and Alejandro Iñárritu’s “21 Grams,” Huston has worked with the finest film directors of his generation.
Huston got his start directing “Mr. North” with Robert Mitchum, Anthony Edwards and his sister, Anjelica Huston. He went on to give his breakthrough acting performance in the independent film “Ivansxtc,” for which he was nominated for Best Male Performance at the 2003 Independent Spirit Awards. Since then, his film acting work has included “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”; Ridley Scott’s “Robin Hood”; “Hitchcock,” with Anthony Hopkins; “Wrath of the Titans,” with Liam Neeson; “The Constant Gardener,” with Rachel Weisz and Ralph Fiennes; Sofia Coppola’s “Marie Antoinette”; “The Congress,” with Harvey Keitel; John Hillcoat’s “The Proposition,” with Guy Pearce; “Birth,” opposite Nicole Kidman; “30 Days of Night,” with Josh Hartnett; Peter Berg’s “The Kingdom,” and many more.
Kylie Bunbury launched her acting career playing one of the leads in the feature film “Prom,” opposite Aimee Teegarden, and “The Sitter,” opposite Jonah Hill, directed by David Gordon Green.
Bunbury most recently portrayed the first female professional Major League Baseball player in the Fox series Pitch.
The groundbreaking series debuted in the Fall, 2016 with the cooperation and support of the MLB.
Her past television roles include ABC Family’s murder mystery series “Twisted”; working opposite Ben Kingsley in the miniseries, “Tut”; and joining the CBS hit summer series “Under the Dome,” for writer and creator Brian K. Vaughn and Stephen King, as a key figure in the series finale.
KYLE CHANDLER (Brooks)
Kyle Chandler has quickly become one of Hollywood’s most sought-after talents, constantly delivering memorable performances. He is most widely known for his role as Coach Eric Taylor on “Friday Night Lights,”. The series wrapped its final season in 2011 to both critical and popular acclaim. For his final season, he was awarded the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. Chandler also starred in the critically acclaimed Netflix series Bloodline. The series ran for three seasons. Chandler’s performance earned him two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.
THE LOCATION OF GAME NIGHT
“Game Night” plays largely on locations in and around Atlanta, Georgia. In keeping with the directors’ tone, locations and sets were staged, lit and shot in a noir palette. Dark streets, high contrast, the kind of night where light seems to exist only to cast more shadows.
Likewise, they chose Grammy-nominated composer Cliff Martinez, a frequent Steven Soderbergh collaborator whose film scores tend toward the more dramatic, to imbue the action with a modern, synth-centric blend of fun and menace.
Game Night is a hilarious movie. Therefore, those, who think it would be just another American comedy are completely wrong. Besides a real funny story with a smart sense of humor, Game Night has much more to offer. So, the film captivates through an amazing cinematography and pace.
However, there is hardly a minute without action and fun. Furthermore, the actors are absolute brilliant. All of them are likeable and they place their punch lines perfectly. Therefore, Game Night is an outstanding entertaining movie, full of surprises, fun and action. Hence, it is a perfect start into the film spring season.