Patrick Schwarzenegger has been praised for his terrifying role in Shudder’s Daniel Isn’t Real. The trailer for the horror thriller just dropped and it is intense, to say the least. Adam Egypt Mortimer directs the movie from a screenplay by himself and Brian DeLeeuw, which is based on the novel In This Way I Was Saved by DeLeeuw. Reviews have been overwhelmingly positive for Daniel Isn’t Real after its premiere at SXSW. Now, Shudder has the project hitting select theaters and VOD in December.
With the first trailer dropping at Comic-Con, Daniel Isn’t Real centers on troubled college freshman Luke (Miles Robbins), who suffers a violent family trauma and resurrects his childhood imaginary friend Daniel (Patrick Schwarzenegger) to help him cope. Charismatic and full of manic energy, Daniel helps Luke to achieve his dreams, before pushing him to the very edge of sanity and into a desperate struggle for control of his mind — and his soul. This barely scratches the surface for the horror movie, which has been called over the top several times now.
Adam Egypt Mortimer recently spoke about the “intense” time he had making Daniel’s Not Real. He also talked about the casting process, noting he needed someone really special to take on the Daniel role. Thankfully, he found Patrick Schwarzenegger, who just happens to have one of the biggest action stars in the world as a father. Mortimer had this to say.
“Daniel himself had to be such an incredibly handsome and charismatic young man, who is also sinister and (the actor) had to pull off all the secrets and mysteries that are revealed about the character. Patrick was forged in the fires of incredible genetics, and has a personal confidence, and a technical awareness of the camera, that allowed him to be free and weird and sexy.”
As for casting the role of Luke, that was another challenge. However, Adam Egypt Mortimer was able to find Miles Robbins, who he first saw in the comedy Blockers. Mortimer has nothing but great things to say about working with Robbins, who brought a lot more depth to the Luke role. Mortimer explains.
“When I met with Miles Robbins, I had seen and loved him in Blockers, where he was hilarious and warm and crackling with life – something that was super important to me for this character. He brought to our meeting so many great ideas about the themes of modern masculinity and had such a deep understanding of what this movie is all about. He then proceeded to audition for both characters and completely smash it. He is an empathy machine, the moment you see him on-screen you are in love with him.”
In addition to Patrick Schwarzenegger and Miles Robbins, Daniel Isn’t Real also stars Sasha Lane, Hannah Marks, and Mary Stuart Masterson. Producers include Daniel Noah, Josh C. Waller, Lisa Whalen, and Elijah Wood. The horror thriller is all set to hit limited theaters and VOD platforms on December 6th via Samuel Goldwyn Films. It will then release on Shudder at some point. A firm release date has not been determined. While we wait, you can check out the trailer for Daniel Isn’t Real below, thanks to the Samuel Goldwyn Films YouTube channel.