We at The Geekiary are very big fans of Dylan O’Brien, and so we were very excited to see a panel for his upcoming film Love and Monsters (out October 16th) on the schedule for this weekend’s virtual New York Comic Con. The Love and Monsters NYCC Metaverse panel was a great look at a movie that looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun.
Moderated by Akeem Lawanson from IGN, the Love and Monsters NYCC Metaverse panel featured director Michael Matthews and cast members O’Brien, Jessica Henwick, Michael Rooker, and Ariana Greenblatt recounting their experiences on set, peppered with behind-the-scenes moments that look ripped from Blu-ray special features. It’s definitely worth watching the entire panel just to see these snippets of what went into filming.
One thing the cast could all agree on was that it was a very fun movie to shoot. O’Brien said that it was probably his favorite experience ever. Later during the panel, the cast could not stop waxing poetic about Hero (the dog), and what a professional he was – almost too professional – until Henwick admitted that this was something that happened a lot on filming – taking a joke and just running it into the ground.
Filmed in Australia but set in northern California, Love and Monsters is a post-apocalyptic coming of age film about Joel (O’Brien), a 25-year-old whose life experience is stunted because he’s spent much of his life in an underground bunker after an apocalyptic event mutated animals into monsters. He’s been searching for his lost love, Aimee (Henwick), and when he finally finds her, he decides to set out on an 85-mile journey through monster-infested wilderness to find her.
In this sense, according to O’Brien, there’s a sweet sort of naivety to Joel as a character, because he hasn’t had a lot of the experience many 25-year-olds would. He has lost so much in his life that he just wants to reconnect with someone he once loved, and he wants to be a hero even though he’s completely inept at it. On the other hand, it was important that Aimee was not “just a goal” – that she was a fully fleshed-out individual and a character in her own right. However, both Matthews and Henwick emphasized that they couldn’t reveal too much about Aimee because she is so integral to the climax of the film that saying too much would be spoilery.
As for the other characters, Clyde (Rooker) and Minnow (Greenblatt) seem like an odd pairing, but these are two people who have lost their families and have come together. Rooker described them as an old guy who’s seen everything and a young kid who’s seen just as much as the old guy has. Minnow, as a kid who has essentially grown up in this world, is still able to stay optimistic. Greenblatt was afraid of spoiling too much, but her character seems to have a special relationship with the monsters.
The atmosphere of the film was extremely important. Matthews said he didn’t want the landscape to be bleak and desolate; it was more about nature reclaiming itself once the humans abandoned the surface, which is one of the reasons they wanted to shoot in Australia.
Also, all of those nods to The Walking Dead that people spotted in the trailer were completely unintentional, according to Matthews, who said he had wanted the film to have the spirit of the adventure movies he grew up watching, like Indiana Jones and Back to the Future.
Definitely check out the full Love and Monsters NYCC panel, and keep an eye on The Geekiary in the coming weeks, because we have more planned with this film!
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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