Book Review – All Our Wrongs Today by Elan Mastai

Michelle Herbert reviews All Our Wrongs Today by Elan Mastai

Tom Berren, has messed up the present, or at least his present, as he now inhabits the present we have always known. Tom grew up in what we would think of as a post-scarcity utopia. People still work in that reality, but they work to achieve new entertainments because in Tom’s world most of the problems we have today in regards to dwindling resources and the energy crisis were solved decades ago with the invention in 1965 of a device called the Goettreider Engine. When switched on released a clean renewable energy that the creator Lionel Goettreider gifted to the world.

The story is told as an autobiography by Tom, so this is his version of the truth. From the start, it is interesting to see how self-absorbed Tom is. When we read about Tom’s life in the alternate present,
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Elan Mastai, Jonathan Topper Teamed Up at Variety’s 10 Screenwriters to Watch Event

Canadian screenwriter Elan Mastai (“What If”) couldn’t have predicted that a chance meeting with scribe Jonathan Tropper at the Whistler Film Festival would result in a $1.25 million sale for his debut sci-fi novel, “All Our Wrongs Today,” and a movie deal with Amy Pascal’s new shingle. But that’s exactly what happened.

Mastai and Tropper were in Whistler in 2013 to take part in Variety’s annual 10 Screenwriters to Watch event. A friendship bloomed and Tropper not only introduced Mastai to his lit agent, whom they now share, but also gave invaluable career advice.

“We don’t get out much, we writers,” jokes Phyllis Nagy (“Carol”), who attended Whistler as part of last year’s 10. When it comes to sharing writing insights, she equates scribes to superstitious baseball players.

“It’s as if you let that information into the ether, it somehow saps your power to do it.”

See full article at Variety - Film News »

News Bits: Wrong, Dog, Simon, Realm, Rim

All Our Wrong Todays

Paramount Pictures and Pascal Pictures have scored the film rights to Elan Mastai's debut novel "All Our Wrong Todays". Mastai will write the script for the adaptation while Amy Pascal is attached to produce.

The story follows a man from a utopian alternate universe who, through a time travel malfunction, winds up marooned in the real (and messy) 2015. He must decide if he wants to establish a life in this new world or head back home. [Source: Heat Vision]

Untitled Disney Sled Dog Project

Disney Pictures are developing a live-action film about Togo and Leonhard Seppala, two of the key sledding figures in the 1925 Nome Serum Run (aka. The Great Race of Mercy). Tom Flynn will pen the script.

In the incident, dog sleds played a major role in transporting diphtheria serum through harsh conditions over nearly 700 miles to save the city from an epidemic. The story will
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Paramount Lands Rights to ‘All Our Wrongs Today’ With Amy Pascal Producing

In a heated bidding war, Paramount Pictures has won the film rights to “All Our Wrongs Today” with Amy Pascal on board to produce.

Written by Elan Mastai, the film revolves around a man from a Utopian alternate universe who, through a time travel malfunction, winds up marooned in the real (and messy) 2015. He must decide if he wants to establish a life in this new world or head back to the one he came from.

Mastai will write the script for the adaptation and exec produce. Paramount executive v.p. Geoff Stier brought the project into the studio and will supervise.

The book was a hot property at the Frankfurt Book Fair, where it scored a seven-figure deal for publishing rights from Dutton.

Mastai’s past screenwriting credits include “The Samaritan,” starring Samuel L. Jackson, and romantic comedy “What If” starring Daniel Radcliffe. He is repped by Gersh.

See full article at Variety - Film News »

Interview: Daniel Radcliffe discusses ‘What If?’

Daniel Radcliffe has been acting since the age of 9, when he played the young David Copperfield opposite Maggie Smith in the BBC’s 1999 adaptation of the classic Dickens story. But it was in 2001, when Radcliffe was cast as the titular boy wizard of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone that he became an internationally recognised movie star. Eight feature films, adapted from the seven novels by Jk Rowling, were to follow, grossing more than $7bn at the global box office.

With roles in December Boys and My Boy Jack, Radcliffe proved he was no one-trick pony. But it was his 2007 turn on stage – in Thea Sharrock’s West End revival of Peter Shaffer’s play Equus – that established Radcliffe as a serious young actor. Then 17, Radcliffe earned rave reviews for his haunting turn as Alan Strang, a role that required him to disrobe. The actor was nominated for a
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'Birdman' and 'Mommy' lead Vancouver Film Critics Circle nominations

  • Hitfix
'Birdman' and 'Mommy' lead Vancouver Film Critics Circle nominations
The Vancouver critics have just joined the party, always offering an interesting assortment of nominations given their practice of splitting off a whole separate section for Canadian films. "Birdman" led the way in the international list, while Xavier Dolan's "Mommy" led the way in the Canadian section (which will probably be cold comfort after his film was unceremoniously snubbed by the Academy's foreign film committee). Check out the full list of nominees below. Winners will be announced on Jan. 5. And, you know: The Circuit. International Best Film "Birdman" "Boyhood" "Whiplash" Best Director Wes Anderson, "The Grand Budapest Hotel" Alejandro González Iñárritu, "Birdman" Richard Linklater, "Boyhood" Best Actor Benedict Cumberbatch, "The Imitation Game" Jake Gyllenhaal, "Nightcrawler" Michael Keaton, "Birdman" Best Actress Marion Cotillard, "The Immigrant" Tilda Swinton, "Only Lovers Left Alive" Reese Witherspoon, "Wild" Best Supporting Actor Edward Norton, "Birdman" Mark Ruffalo, "Foxcatcher" J.K. Simmons, "Whiplash" Best Supporting Actress Patricia Arquette,
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What If review: Daniel Radcliffe gets trapped in the Friend Zone

What If review: Daniel Radcliffe gets trapped in the Friend Zone
Director: Michael Dowse; Screenwriter: Elan Mastai; Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Adam Driver, Mackenzie Davis, Rafe Spall, Megan Park Running time: 102 mins; Certificate: 15

Can men and women ever be 'just friends'? Director Rob Reiner asked the question in 1989 with When Harry Met Sally and we knew the answer then, just as we do from the very beginning of What If. After all, much of the comedy springs like the sweat of desperation from Daniel Radcliffe's brow as he tries to contain his feelings for Zoe Kazan (aka Ruby Sparks), playing the typically cute, clever but kooky heroine who keeps him dangling.

Wallace (Radcliffe) is a med school dropout, which might imply issues around commitment, except that he's split from his long-term college sweetheart and can't get over it. That is until he claps eyes on cartoonist Chantry (Kazan) at one of those cosy, dimly lit parties that only exist
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Movie Review – What If (2013)

What If, 2013

Directed by Michael Dowse

Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Megan Park, Adam Driver, Mackenzie Davis and Rafe Spall


Wallace, who is burned out from a string of failed relationships, forms an instant bond with Chantry, who lives with her longtime boyfriend. Together, they puzzle out what it means if your best friend is also the love of your life.

What If is an explosion of quirky characters on screen spouting contrived, quirky dialogue in a quirky fashion while standing around quirky surroundings and quirky scenarios. It’s a quirk smoothie; mixtures of all the worst kinds of quirk with some of the less-irritable iterations of it. But for all of its quirkiness, What If is a rather bland experience – even if the two leads are sickeningly likeable.

Daniel Radcliffe (now free of the Harry Potter mantle) plays failed doctor Wallace, who is still heart-broken from his previous relationship one-year after it happened.
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Bww Interviews: What If Writer Elan Mastai Embraces & Subverts Rom-Com Conventions

In the new romantic comedy, Broadway regulars Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan play a couple who are struggling to stay 'just friends.' In my review, I wrote, 'the chemistry between the two threatens to light the screen on fire.' In advance of the opening in select cities, including New York and Los Angeles, I spoke with director Michael Dowse and screenwriter Elan Mastai about the film.
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Talking To The Cast And Writer Of The F Word (aka What If) At The Canadian Premiere

The F Word, or What If as it’s being titled in the Us, is hitting theatres this Friday and last week, the stars, writer and director of the film stopped by Toronto for the Canadian premiere.

The romantic comedy features Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan in the lead roles, playing Wallace and Chantry, respectively. After getting out of a particularly bad relationship, Wallace is looking for love again and finds it when he meets Chantry. Hitting it off almost immediately, it’s clear that there’s a potent spark and chemistry between the two. There’s just one problem, however, and that’s that Chantry is currently living with her longtime boyfriend.

While at the Canadian premiere, we had the chance to catch up with Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, co-star Megan Park and writer Elan Mastai. They spoke about how excited they are that people are finally seeing the movie,
See full article at We Got This Covered »

What If | Review

The C Word: Dowse’s Latest a Joy Despite Censor Scramble

Don’t let the marketing snafu and the hopelessly generic title fool you into thinking that What If is the forgettable rom com it’s being offered up as. Directed by Canadian director Michael Dowse, the man behind the Fubar films and the equally underrated Goon (2011), the film premiered last fall at the Toronto Film Festival as The F Word and has since been retooled to meet the constrictions of the MPAA rating system and snag a PG-13 rating. While this was an ill-advised move since the film isn’t designed for the bauble headed teens hungry for more heteronormative confirmation about what adolescent romance should look like, Dowse’s final product prevails as an enjoyable jaunt through a stale genre. Ultimately ending up exactly where we think it will, the journey there is always fresh and never contrived,
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What If

What If
This rom-com is really an updated take on When Harry Met Sally . . . for millennials. Meaning, can a guy be friends with a babe without trying to boff her? Luckily, Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan spin sweet magic out of blah-blah-blah clichés. I like when that happens.

In this Toronto-set fable, Radcliffe plays Wallace, a med-school dropout, dumped by his Gf and – ouch! – living with his single-mom sister. Kazan, radiating smarts and seductive appeal, plays Chantry (great name), an animator Wallace sparks to at a party. She has a boyfriend, Ben (Rafe Spall). If she didn't,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Bww Interviews: What If Director Michael Dowse Discusses Working with Stage Vets Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan

I recently spoke to the director of 'What If,' Michael Dowse, about the film's intelligent, cliche-defying approach to the familiar Rom-Com genre, and directing actors with extensive stage experience like Radcliffe, Kazan, and Driver. I also spoke to screenwriter Elan Mastai, and that conversation will be available on BroadwayWorld tomorrow, as will my review of the film, so check back with us on Friday for all the 'What If' you can handle.
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Daniel Radcliffe Dishes On 'What If,' Playing A Contemporary Character [Exclusive Video Interview]

Daniel Radcliffe stars in the new romantic comedy What If, opposite Zoe Kazan, as Wallace, his first non-fantasy, non-period character.

Daniel Radcliffe Stars In What If

Over the years, Radcliffe has played both fictional characters, such as the most famous boy wizard (Harry Potter series) and real people, like beat poet Allen Ginsberg (Kill Your Darlings). What If, however, may have presented him with his most challenging role yet: that of a normal, contemporary man. In an exclusive chat with uInterview, Radcliffe revealed that, despite his accomplishments, he worried about playing a character who so closely resembled himself.

“I think I’ve always been nervous about playing a character that was similar to me, because I thought, ‘Well, that’s not really acting.’ But being yourself on camera is, actually – well, there’s an act to that,” Radcliffe told uInterview at a fan screening of What If.

Daniel Radcliffe On
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What If Review

Canadian director Michael Dowse is not the sort of filmmaker that seems well-suited to handle a twee romantic comedy like What If, but he is qualified for a ribald look at 20-something relationships like The F Word, which happen to be the same film. Titles, like book covers, shouldn’t be used to judge a film itself, but the name change from The F Word (which the film premiered as at the Toronto International Film Festival) to What If is indicative of the competing sensibilities at play in Dowse’s latest. Transitioning here to the friend zone from the penalty box, Dowse’s 2011 film, Goon, was a piss and vinegar-fuelled story of a lunkhead bouncer rising to minor fame as a hockey enforcer, its secret weapon being a surprising sweetness to compliment the small stakes. As implied by its original, MPAA feather-ruffling title, What If carries over Goon’s gently raunchy spirit,
See full article at We Got This Covered »

‘What If’ Review: Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan Jolt Life Back into the Rom-Com

  • The Wrap
‘What If’ Review: Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan Jolt Life Back into the Rom-Com
Perhaps the best thing about “What If,” the new romantic comedy from director Michael Dowse (“Goon”), is that for all of its banter and batted eyes, from its awkward introductions to its inevitable climactic declarations of love, everyone in it feels like a real human being. They make mistakes, they talk over each other, they recoil or lash out when their feelings are hurt. Adapted by Elan Mastai from a stage play by T.J. Dawe and Michael Rinaldi, “What If” doesn't follow the traditional rom-com template where our young couple holds hands in a montage set to a chiming, catchy.
See full article at The Wrap »

‘What If’ is an observant little charmer

What If

Directed by Michael Dowse

Written by Elan Mastai

Ireland/Canada, 2013

While the new indie rom-com, What If, has a serious aversion to conflict, it’s also inescapably charming. A strong cast delivers enough laughs and cheeky irreverence to elevate this otherwise breezy tale to more delightfully cynical heights. You probably won’t remember it in a couple of weeks, but What If is a great way to spend the evening with your future ex.

The true measure of success for any romantic comedy is how badly we want the lead characters to hook up. On that count, What If scores major points. Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe) and Chantry (Zoe Kazan) are two slightly-odd ducks who “meet cute” at a friend’s party; while everyone else mingles, they abscond to the kitchen to re-arranging refrigerator magnets. Wallace hasn’t had much luck in love, a point frequently hammered home by his outgoing best friend,
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Movie Review – What If (2013)

What If, 2013.

Directed by Michael Dowse.

Starring Zoe Kazan, Daniel Radcliffe, Adam Driver, Mackenzie Davis and Rafe Spall.


Failed medical student Wallace meets art designer Chantry at a party after a failed relationship. There is an immediate connection and they become great friends, but should they risk their friendship for something more?

I think it was Echo (he of the Bunnymen) that stated, quite without irony, that people are strange. And there are few better cinematic examples this year of how flawed we all are than the screwed up characters featured in Michael Dowse’s What If‘.

Adapted from the stage play Toothpaste & Cigars, by T J Dawe and Michael Rinaldi, Elan Mastai adapts this into a screenplay actually worth paying attention to. More than your average rom-com? Well, yes and a bit no. The no portion does little to astound the audience, anymore than it creates any kind of new or original ideas.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Daniel Radcliffe tests the friendship waters in The F Word featurette

  • Cineplex
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming romantic comedy The F Word starring Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, andAdam Driver in this video featurette.

The shot-in-Toronto film is a modern love story that explores the question of whether or not men and women can be friends…especially when there’s an underlying attraction to the other person present. Directed by Michael Dowse(Goon) with a script by Elan Mastai, The F Word breaks out of the conventional rom-com box and positions itself as a unique tale of what it means to be friends in the 21st century.

Co-starring Megan Park, Mackenzie Davis, and Rafe Spall, the film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last year and is finally hitting Cineplex screens on August 22. But you won’t be able to find The F Word in Us theatres.

The film underwent a name change in the United States where it has
See full article at Cineplex »

‘What If’ Review

Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Adam Driver, Zoe Kazan, Rafe Spall, Megan Park, Mackenzie Davis, Lucius Hoyos, Jemima Rooper | Written by Elan Mastai | Directed by Michael Dowse

I was lucky enough to see an advance screening of What If this week, a romantic comedy with a quirky edge to it that makes if feel somewhat fresh, like Ruby Sparks (2012) or 500 Days of Summer (2009).

Based on a play by T.J. Dawe and directed by Michael Dowse (Goon, Fubar), this indie comedy with heart is heavy on conversationalist dialogue, wears it’s heard on its sleeve and is, throughout its just-over 90 minute running time, a delightful story of boy and girl meet, girl has boyfriend, boy wants to make a move but can’t, difficulties in their friendship occur. It seems, on the surface, and on paper, a little predictable and run of the mill, but feels much more out of the ordinary in
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »
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