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Warning: mild SPOILERS for a sequence in Truth or Dare. Read ahead at your own risk!
Pitching a movie is an incredibly complicated process. Usually it involves coming to the table with a fully-formed idea and a detailed plan showing how to bring that idea to life. However, that wasn't the case for Blumhouse's Truth or Dare. In fact, in a recent interview with CinemaBlend, Truth or Dare director Jeff Wadlow explained that he got the job for the film by spitballing an opening scene after learning the title of the movie in his initial meetings with Blumhouse. During the interview, Wadlow told us:
Truth or Dare came about because I had a meeting with Jason Blum and we hit it off. He said, 'I want to make a movie with you,' and I said 'Okay!' He said, 'Would you be interested in making a movie called Truth or Dare?' and I said 'Yeah that could be interesting. Do you have a script?' He said 'Nope.' I was like 'Do you have a book? Anything?' Nope. Just the title. I sort of thought about it for a moment, and I said 'Well what if it opened this way, and I pitched him the opening scene in the gas station. He was like 'Well what happens next?' And I said 'I don't know! I am making this up!'
Talk about improvisational skill. Jeff Wadlow did not have a full idea for what Truth or Dare would eventually become when he walked in for his meeting with Jeff Blum because there wasn't an idea at all. Blumhouse simply pitched him the title, and then the Kick-Ass 2 director came up with a sequence that would eventually go on to become the film's horrifying opening scene. Once that idea was locked into place, Wadlow got the job and crafted a narrative that could build off of the seeds planted in that original meeting.
Of course, a story did eventually come together. Once he obtained the job, Jeff Wadlow sat down with several other writers (in a manner more akin to TV writing than feature film writing), and they all collaborated on a core story that could build off of the idea established in that initial pitch. From there, Truth or Dare finally evolved into the film that will hit theaters this weekend.
Despite the overall simplicity of the premise, we should note that Truth or Dare arguably feels reasonably indicative of the style of horror filmmaking that has worked for Blumhouse in recent years. With movies like Happy Death Day and Unfriended (to name just a couple), the horror studio has seen great success by pitching low-cost, high-concept thrillers that maximize easy-to-understand ideas into full-blown feature films with three-act structures. Truth or Dare is the latest movie to take that idea and run with it, so we will have to wait and see how audiences respond to it.