Don Coscarelli discovered the idea for his latest movie, John Dies at the End, from a somewhat odd source:

“Well, true story, I got an email from an Amazon robot and it said that if I like the zombie fiction that I just purchased from this small market press, called Permuted Press, that I would love their next release, called John Dies at the End,” Coscarelli told Uinterview exclusively. “And then I read the little log-line and I was hooked because it just sounded great.”

“And literally I was thinking, ‘This would make a great movie,’ and then I went on the web, and see [author] David Wong had created his own little paradigm and self-publishing, and what he was doing was just releasing his chapters on the internet for free, and he developed a massive fan base, and then Permuted Press put it out in a limited paperback and that’s when I got it. When I contacted David and made the arrangement for the movie rights, then after that St. Martin’s bought it for distribution. So it’s an interesting evolution, where the movie really helped him [David] get writer distribution, but he was really the one who created this movie idea. “

Coscarelli shared the idea with Paul Giamatti, who jumped at the opportunity to work with the horror master. “I wanted to do something with him so badly that I was like whatever, and it happened to be this thing that was really amazing," Giamatti told Uinterview.

The screenplay ultimately ended up taking a section from the beginning and a section from the end of the book. “It was my first time adapting a bigger novel like that and one of my defense systems was to just jam as much in there and keep it moving,” Coscarelli said.

Check out Uinterview’s full interview with Paul Giamatti and director Don Coscarelli here.

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