Justice League Mortal Helped Jay Baruchel Direct His First Horror Film

Though many know Jay Baruchel for his time appearing in comedies like Fanboys, Knocked Up, and voicing Hiccup in the How to Train Your Dragon series, but he's since turned into a filmmaker in his own right, directing Goon: Last of the Enforcers and the upcoming Random Acts of Violence. In a new interview Baruchel revealed the secret origin of what helped him prepare for this, and it was his work with none other than filmmaking maestro George Miller. Baruchel was previously cast in the cancelled Justice League Mortal, set to star as the villain Maxwell Lord, and got sound advice from Miller.

Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Baruchel revealed that despite his role being small in the film compared to the heroes of the movie he would have stayed on the set of the film for the full duration of production. This is because Miller knew he wanted to direct, and he had a chance to learn from one of the best (our words, not Miller's).

"I asked Miller if that's what he wanted," Baruchel said, recalling how he was supposed to fly back and forth from Los Angeles to Australia. "And he was like, 'No, I want you here the whole time, because I want you to shadow me. I know you have an interest in filmmaking and I'd like you to shadow me like Mel (Gibson) did on Thunderdome."

Though that film never actually it into production proper, Baruchel clearly learned a lot from the experience, channeling Miller for Random Acts of Violence which includes moments of gunplay and car chases, a staple of Miller's work in Mad Max.

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Based on the comic book of the same name from Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, the film is described as follows: “Todd Walkley (Jesse Williams) and his publisher Ezra (Baruchel) made their careers crafting a comic book based on a real-life serial killer called Slasherman. On a press tour to announce the launch of their final issue, they visit the town where Slasherman wreaked havoc twenty years earlier. Upon their arrival, a series of new murders unfold… murders that look eerily familiar to imagery in Todd’s Slasherman comics. Speculation and paranoia build regarding the identity of the mysterious killer.”

Jordana Brewster and Niamh Wilson also star in the film which is scheduled to be released by Elevation Pictures on July 31 on VOD and in a limited theatrical release. The film will then debut on the Shudder streaming service on August 20.

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