On Friday, Mar. 23, Netflix is releasing an original movie, “Game Over, Man!” starring Adam DeVine, Blake Anderson and Anders Holm, of Comedy Central’s “Workaholics.” The film, which was created, written and produced by the three stars, follows the antics and adventures of three hotel employees who, in the midst of making a pivotal deal with a young, reckless, millionaire party-boy (Utkarsh Ambudkar, “White Famous”) to fund the making of an original video game, find themselves combating terrorists and fighting for their lives.
In a sense, the movie is reminiscent of “Die Hard” — a “Die Hard” for stoners, if you will — filled with suspense, shock, stunts and, of course, humor. Between scenes involving capers, such as the building of a rig in an attempt to defeat the terrorists through Salvia asphyxiation and full frontal nudity, DeVine, Anderson and Holm are in their element, proving their writing, production and acting chops.
In an interview with The Daily, DeVine, Anderson and Holm discussed the process of writing and creating “Game Over, Man!,” how it differs from their work on “Workaholics” and their favorite production moments.
“We wrote the movie about six years ago, and we’ve been working it, and re-working it and changing different stuff,” DeVine said. “We finally shot it last year at about this time, and then we did post-production. We’re excited to actually have it come out for everyone to see. “
The movie’s original release date was Apr. 20 but got moved up to Mar. 23.
“Netflix saw it and was so excited, and wanted to release it sooner,” DeVine said. “We’ve been sitting on the movie for a while, so they were like, let’s just put it out. Also, we like to think it’s a 4/20 gift for all the people who are celebrating 4/20 every day in their lifestyle. It’s a 4/20 miracle.”
The personalities and energies of the three are electric, with their sense of humor just as present and sharp in real life as it is on screen. While each has his own distinct charms and characteristics, they seem to speak and think in harmony, in a way that is only possible if you have written, produced and acted together on a TV show for over seven years.
“The story (of “Game Over, Man!”) was something we were all throwing around,” said Holm, who is credited as the principal writer of the film. “I’m the guy that goes and takes our dreams and our ideas and turns it into what I like to refer to as ‘The Quilt of Comedy.’”
“And you keep them warm at night. Thank you for that,” Anderson chimed in.
“That’s right,” Holm agreed. “I bundle the ideas up, and keep them warm. But this is our movie — the group’s movie. It’s a labor of love for me to be able to go off and write for these goddamn comedy geniuses.”
“God, I love you,” said Anderson. “I love you Anders Holm and Adam DeVine.”
“Okay. Now we’re hugging, and kissing. We’re currently kissing,” Holm said, feeding kissing noises into the phone.
“Workaholics,” which wrapped up its final season in 2017, features characters Blake, Ders and Adam who, as college dropout druggies working in a telemarketing office, may seem quite similar to Joel, Darren and Alexxx of “Game Over, Man!” But, when asked if character confusion was a concern, Holm seemed optimistic.
“When you start from the ground up, and you go, OK: Who are these people, and why are they in this movie? Then, you start to find out why they’re different,” Holm said. “And then, when you start writing for actors, because you know their strong suits are in certain places and not in others, you can still play to their performing strengths. By putting a different point of view and perspective in the story, all of a sudden you have a new man.”
Though the film was originally written six years ago, it is quite hip to the times, including a number of jabs at current societal trends, such as the obsession with vaping and the purchasing of social media followers. But the heart of the movie stays true to the original script.
“Everything else was added later on. But we were like, ‘The world needs to see Adam’s penis. Everything else, we’ll come up with at a later date,’” said Anderson and Holm.
“You know, we’re like anyone else,” Anderson added. “We’re walking around seeing idiots vaping, and we’re lucky enough to be able to create a movie and put those freakin’ Bozo the Clowns in a movie.”
DeVine, Anderson and Holm have been working on the film with Seth Rogen and Scott Rudin’s company for five to six years.
“We had a few studios that were pretty interested, and then Netflix came in, in a real way, and gave us the budget that we wanted to make the movie as big and as fun as we needed it to feel,” DeVine said. “We wanted to come from ‘Workaholics,’ which is this small, basic cable television show, and make the movie feel much larger than anything you’ve seen from us. And Netflix was able to give us a proper budget to do that.”
The movie features a number of cameos, including Shaggy, Steve-O and Flying Lotus, as well as people who have appeared in episodes of “Workaholics,” such as Jillian Bell (“SuperMansion”).
“We filmed the whole movie up in Vancouver, and a lot of people we were calling just for one day of work. So, you gotta kind of pull the ‘Homie Pass’ for something like that. You know, the ‘Homie Pass,’” Anderson said.
At the risk of giving away any spoilers (apart from DeVine’s nakedness), it is safe to say that the film has its fair share of unexpected plot lines that drive the exciting and unpredictable nature of the movie.
“Anything that comes off as shocking ties into the story. There’s not nudity for nudity’s sake — it is pushing the story forward,” Anderson said.
“Though, I have been dying to see Adam’s nude penis,” Holm said. “It served my story, I’ll tell you that.”
“Yeah,” DeVine agreed. “Ders has a life story, and at the end of it, he gets to see my penis.”
Not only is “Game Over, Man!” the three’s first major motion picture together, but it is the first production of this caliber that they have approached as a single entity.
“Weirdly, for me, it was kind of seamless,” Holm said, of the transition from “Workaholics” to “Game Over, Man!” “We walked onto our giant set where we literally built an entire floor of a hotel, with hotel rooms, stairwells… it was a trip. But then I was like, let’s do this. We shoot tomorrow.”
“Yeah, I think if we would have done this movie during season one or two or three (of ‘Workaholics’), we might have been overwhelmed,” DeVine said. “I think we got to this movie at the perfect place in our lives and careers. Because it is a lot, to be given millions and millions of dollars to go off and make a movie. But since we were able to do ‘Workaholics’ for so long, and feel so comfortable, and be the bosses for seven years, by the end of it — we got pretty comfortable steering the ship.”
While there is no disputing their experience with “Workaholics” greatly prepared them for their work on “Game Over, Man!,” there is a stark difference between working on a TV show and a high budget film.
“When you’re making TV — and we were involved in every aspect of the show — you’re reading scripts for episodes, you’re acting, you’re casting episodes, you’re watching cuts of episodes. So stuff can really back up on you,” Anderson said. “But in the movie biz, you really get to focus on each thing individually, and you have a lot more time to live in the scenes and the comedy, so that was refreshing.”
“Also, TV shows move so quickly. We would have to shoot, sometimes, eight to 10 pages in a day, which is a ton,” DeVine said. “In a movie, you only need to shoot two to four pages for the whole day, so you really have time to make sure you get it right. So when you see a bad movie, just know that they really, really blew it.”
“Also,” Anderson added, “we were coming off of seven seasons of a show on TV, so it was kind of refreshing to have all those freedoms that a movie allows you to have.”
“And especially at Netflix, where you don’t have to worry about popcorn or candy sales — they allow you to be as creative as you want to be,” DeVine said. “They also don’t have “R” ratings, so… anything goes.”
“Anything goes,” agreed Anderson.
When asked about the ideal way to view “Game Over, Man!,” Anderson sung, in a teasing tone: “With your pants off.”
DeVine and Holm scoffed and laughed at Anderson, as if they suddenly disapproved of a joking, insincere response.
“I would say,” DeVine started, “get the biggest TV you can find. Watch it with your friends. Watch it on a gigantic TV — the biggest TV that you can get your hands on. Because it’s a cool, big movie, and it’s kind of a shame to watch it on your phones. This is a movie that I think will play better on a larger screen.”
“Take all the bedsheets in the dorm and you tie them together, and hang them out the window to make a giant screen, and project it,” Holm said in a booming, affected tone.
“I know you’re doing, like, a fake voice, but that’s a really good idea,” DeVine said.
As the creators and stars, picking a favorite moment of the film proved to be difficult for the bunch.
“They’re all our babies,” DeVine confessed. “A fan favorite is probably the fist fight when we first encountered the terrorists, and I am fully nude from the waist down. That was also pretty difficult to film, because Blake wouldn’t stop staring at me.”
“Knock it off!” Anderson refuted. “One of my favorites was the big stunt with us hanging between the two buildings, because we had never really gotten to do a stunt of that scale. It almost felt like we were Marvel heroes for a second.”
“I like watching all the bad guy stuff,” Holm said. “I’ve acted with these guys for so long, which is fun, but to sit back and watch characters that I’ve never seen come to life, and do what was in my brain in my basement, was a lot of fun. Watching the scene where Jillian (Bell), who’s just credited as somebody who shits her pants… that was funny.”
“Also, Blake shit his pants one time,” DeVine stated.
“No I didn’t!”
“I wish that were a joke — ”
“I did not do that,” Anderson said.
“Well,” explained DeVine, “something happened that one day. We’ll never know, but he definitely left the room and changed his pants, so…”
“It was a wardrobe malfunction,” Anderson said.
“Yeah. A wardrobe malfunction,” DeVine repeated. “Sure.”