Actor Jason Trost (THE FP, THIS IS THE END, HATCHET III) is gearing up to raise funding via crowd-funding site, Indiegogo, to make his fourth feature as a director, A WORLD WITHOUT SUPERHEROES, the sequel to 2011’s ALL SUPERHEROES MUST DIE. Jason was nice enough to give Icons of Fright the lowdown on why he wants to make the film, the differences between a film like A WORLD WITHOUT SUPERHEROES and another recent project, WET AND RECKLESS, as well as a few other things. Read on!
ALL SUPERHEROES MUST DIE came about at a time where every studio film having to do with superheroes seems to be completely destructive towards cities, people, etc, without it even being an issue five minutes later. Your film had consequences for the characters, and from the indie go-go campaign, A WORLD WITHOUT SUPERHEROES seems to heading towards the direction of the heroes’ decisions actually affecting everyone around them. Is that an important element for you?
I think it’s important in entertainment to show people there are consequences for actions. It raises the stakes. It teaches morals. It makes you more emotionally invested. Especially because whether your movie is rated PG-13 or R or whatever, kids are inevitably going to watch it. I think superhero movies have some of the biggest weight on their shoulders as being something that can shape kids perspectives. Every kid wants to be a superhero so they are going to want to be and act like them. So I’d like to make sure they know there are consequences for actions, both good and bad. I think superheroes should always be about doing the right thing and what that means.
What inspired you to do a sequel to ALL SUPERHEROES MUST DIE? It almost seems to be a response to the MAN OF STEEL and AVENGERS-studio films.
Well a lot of things really. I’ve had the idea for a superhero movie that eventually became A WORLD WITHOUT SUPERHEROES long before ALL SUPERHEROES MUST DIE. I’ve had drafts of this script for 6 or 7 years. I’ve always thought, wouldn’t it be terrifying if you woke up one day and realized there was a superhero in your life. And after watching MAN OF STEEL it’s like, holy shit, superheroes are scary. And that is actually the main motivation of the sequel. The theme being “Good and Evil are only a perspective.” And I think with what superhero movies have become “terrorist/superhero” movies instead of movies about saving people, this really needs to be addressed.
How do approach a film like A WORLD WITHOUT SUPERHEROES differently than a film that you direct that has a completely different tone and genre, such as WET AND RECKLESS?
It’s just a completely different animal visually. A reality TV show vs something like THE WRESTLER. But emotionally you approach it very similarly. I think the best comedies work because underneath the characters are believable and everything is treated seriously to them. For me the difference is really just a change in the dialogue style. I think the chief thing that makes a movie good whether it’s a comedy or drama is “stakes” and simplicity. A clear goal. If you can’t describe what a movie is about in one sentence, it’s probably not going to work. Make the world complicated, but the story simple. It’s like why is BLADE RUNNER a classic? It’s literally just about a guy trying to “retire” a couple of robots. It’s that simple but the world is so complex that it’s awesome. For me at least that’s what I like to see.
You cast Lucas Till, Sean Whalen and Nick Principe a lot in your films, what is about them that makes it so easy? Do you write with certain people in mind?
They’re just all buddies of mine. You’ll see at least two of them in the sequel. I like working with friends because I know their strengths and how hard I can push them. We all have the same sense of humor too, which helps. I like to write for what I know I have when making low budget movies. I don’t like to write a scene about a spaceship and just hope it shows up when we shoot… Unless of course, I have a spaceship in the backyard. Then I’ll write in in. Ha.
Now that you’re gearing up to do A WORLD WITHOUT SUPERHEROES, we know that you’re not opposed to doing sequels. Any chance JTRO might return for another round of THE FP?
God I wish. My dream movies are THE FP 2 and 3. The main problem is we literally didn’t recoup a dime on the first one due to a bad distribution contract. So essentially Brandon(my brother) and I have to wait until we both have money to burn to fund the sequels. No one in their right mind will fund a sequel to a movie that didn’t recoup any money. It’s bad business. But I say, fuck business. When the time comes and I have money to throw away or launder, I know exactly where it’s going.
If A WORLD WITHOUT SUPERHEROES does good, and is well-received with fans like ALL SUPERHEROES MUST DIE was, are there additional stories planned, whether it be another sequel, or comic book?
I’ve got a lot planned. Writing a six issue comic that should release next year that will be a prequel to the first movie which may or may not set up events in A WORLD WITHOUT SUPERHEROES and beyond. I am also toying with the idea of turning it into some sort of TV series after AWWS because there is a very interesting direction you could take it in. And I think a Superhero show with the tension tone of something like BREAKING BAD would be awesome. But, who knows. Maybe it will just be a videogame, or maybe A WORLD WITHOUT SUPERHEROES will flop and I’ll never talk about any of this again. You really never know. But if the best case scenario happens, I’m ready.
Thanks a lot for talking to us Jason.
Awesome, this was rad.
For more info on A WORLD WITHOUT SUPERHEROES, and how you can help make sure it’s made, visit the IndieGoGo site:
or visit Jason Trost’s Facebook page for more updates.