IFC recently released Would You Rather to VOD and digital download services, and I was given the opportunity to talk with director David Guy Levy about the making of the movie. Continue reading to learn about the casting of Jeffrey Combs, the "Would You Rather" option that he needed to test for real, and his interest in a sequel:

Thank you for taking the time to talk with me today about Would You Rather. For starters, can you tell our readers how the idea for the movie came about?

David Guy Levy: It started with a text message from the writer, Steffen Schlachtenhaufen. He simply asked: What if we made a movie about the game Would You Rather, but in our version, you had to do what you choose?

Within two or three days, we decided it was something we wanted to tackle. We wrote a treatment and it really poured out of us. We had a million ideas, and wanted to make a movie like the ones that disturbed us like Eyes Wide Shut and The Shining, and entertained us like Clue and any Agatha Christie fare.

Eventually, the story took its own shape. We started writing it in February of 2011 and had financing within a month to make it with just the beginning pages of the script and a full treatment. We needed to get the script ready as possible, and worked day and night for months. We were ready to start shooting in July, and it was definitely fast, but we knew what we wanted early on.

When it came to casting, did you know who you wanted while writing? Was it difficult to get Jeffrey Combs on board?

David Guy Levy: Iris was the first casting we concentrated on and we thought Brittany [Snow] was really talented, likable, and also had the ability to be a badass. She had an innocence to her that made me like her immediately as Iris and someone you'd want to root for..

For other characters, we had actors in mind for immediately while writing. That happened, for Julian [Robin Taylor] and Peter [Robb Wells]. I called them up and asked if we could write the characters with them in mind.

We had written the character of Shepard, knowing we wanted him to be big, lively, and over the top. He's sort of a game show host, but could be sadistic in the most loveable way. The character that came to mind as we were writing was Christoph Waltz from Inglourious Basterds. We thought he was pure evil, but so fun to watch. We didn't know who could play the role , but when Jeffrey's name came up, a light bulb went off and we immediately began pursuing him. Within 48 hours he was on board, because he read the script immediately and loved it.

When it came to "Would You Rather" options, did you have trouble coming up with any of the games? Were there any we that didn't get to see?

David Guy Levy: We sat around for a week coming up with Would You Rather options. We also thought about our characters and how they would put their own wellbeing in front of other people. We didn't want crazy choices, but things that would fit in with the story. We wanted the options to ramp up as the game went along, and started with shock as the first. For the cards, the known and the unknown makes me smile all day long. We got to put in the cards some of our favorite choices.

Once we knew what we wanted to do narratively, we didn't have gross or crazy things left on the table because we had created this structure we didn't need to deviate from. While we could have had people taking hammers to heads, it didn't go with the tone.

One of the fun things about this movie for me was talking with friends about it. We were talking about which of the Would You Rather options we'd pick and how we'd try to survive.

David Guy Levy: It's funny because all we wanted was for people to have a conversation about what they would have done after to the movie, and that's what they are doing. It's exactly what we were hoping would happen.

There are some really intense scenes in the movie. What was the most challenging scene for you to film?

David Guy Levy: The toughest round was the first round, because everyone had their own unique version of what getting shocked was like. Some were cartoony and others were more lifelike, so we spent some time to show everyone what it was really like.

Eddie Steeples volunteered to be tased so people could see what it really looks like. It's on YouTube if you look up "Method Acting with Eddie Steeples." I showed that video to everyone on set and said, "That's what it's like..." [laughs]

Is a sequel something you're interested in? It certainly appears that a sequel would be possible.

David Guy Levy: We're totally down for a sequel. It's just a matter of how well it performs. It's already been doing well on VOD and that's a good signal. There wasn't a ton of marketing, so it was mostly people finding it and it's taking on a life of its own. The other day someone sent me a link to fan fiction. There's fan fiction for this already? [laughs]

I'd love to make a sequel, if people want to see one. Steffen and I want to make more movies as a team, but it's so basic now that it's not worth talking about. We're not people who are going to make a horror movie and try to get away from the genre. With Would You Rather, we made our own brand of horror and it's different than what you've seen over the last ten years. We like bringing our own specific take to horror.


To learn more about Would You Rather, check out the official trailer below. You can watch four clips from the movie at: http://dailydead.com/four-clips-from-would-you-rather/