'American Ultra' Stars Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart Celebrate L.A. Premiere
The film features Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart as two unlikely, stoned heroes.
While Ant-Man and Fantastic Four debuted in theaters earlier this summer, this Tuesday saw a new kind of superhero at the premiere of American Ultra. Stars Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Topher Grace, Connie Britton, Tony Hale and John Leguizamo hit the red carpet outside of the Ace Hotel to celebrate the release of the action comedy.
Or, rather, a “blend of a nineties-style action movie with the indie stoner comedy,” according to producer David Alpert (The Walking Dead), who spoke to The Hollywood Reporter.
The film does read like Jason Bourne meets The Pineapple Express meets love story, as stoner Mike Howell (Eisenberg) tries to find the perfect moment to propose to long-time girlfriend Phoebe Larson (Stewart). His plans are disrupted when he learns he was trained by the CIA to be a lethal weapon, and an arm of the agency, led by a delightfully sociopathic Adrian Yates (Grace) decides to eliminate him.
“I believed in Mike and Phoebe so much. I rooted for them,” said Stewart on what intrigued her about the script. “That doesn’t always happen.”
Eisenberg also attested to the strength of the characterization and writing as what drew him to the project.
"The script was successful in so many ways. It was as funny as any comedy you’d see, as exciting as any action movie and as sweet as any romantic movie,” said Eisenberg. “It was the most unusual script I ever read. That’s the party line, but it’s true.”
“Unusual” was the sentiment echoed by both cast and crew about the story idea and unsuspecting and untraditional heroes, who fashion spoons, frying pans and teddy bears, along with other household objects, into deadly weapons, a combination of humor and violence that director Nima Nourizadeh (Project X) hopes will keep audiences constantly surprised.
“It’s a really fun, crazy ride. It’s something you’re not going to expect to see,” said Nourizadeh. “It’s a mix of genres. It will make you laugh. It will make you feel emotional. It’s a really, really great story, and that’s why I loved it. It’s got all these unique elements and components to it that make me so excited.”
Screenwriter Max Landis, who also penned 2012’s hit Chronicle, was drawn to creating a film that had audience appeal while still playing with genre expectations.
"If there’s one thing movies don’t do right now, it’s take risks. Movies have gotten safer and safer in literally every way,” said Landis. “Life isn’t one genre.”
The screening was attended by guests including Taylor Lautner, Holland Roden and Chrissie Fit, and was immediately followed by a reception.
American Ultra arrives in theaters August 21.