How ‘Save Yourselves!’ Filmmakers Imagined a Couple in Quarantine Pre-COVID (Video)

Sundance 2020: Alex Huston Fischer and Eleanor Wilson’s sci-fi comedy is about what happens when two people shut off their phones during an alien invasion

Last Updated: October 1, 2020 @ 2:19 PM

When writer-director team Alex Huston Fischer and Eleanor Wilson conceived their sci-fi comedy “Save Yourselves!” they had no idea how timely it might become.

The film, which debuted at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, stars Sunita Mani and John Reynolds as a couple who head to upstate New York to disconnect from their phones and find themselves. Cut off from the world, they miss the news that the planet is under attack.

The duo said they got their inspiration by asking themselves, “What’s the worst thing that could happen?”

“What’s happening in real life is worse,” Fischer told TheWrap’s Beatrice Verhoeven at the festival in January — months before the idea of self-isolation and quarantine became a commonplace phenomenon.  “The slow death of the planet is more dramatic, but we went with the four-day end of world.”

Also in the interview, Fischer and Wilson shared that they wrote the script with Mani in mind for the lead role — and even named the character after the actress, who’s best known for her work in TV shows like “GLOW” and “Mr. Robot.”

“I’ve heard about this project for a really, really long time and I have worked with Alex for a really long time and so I got to read iterations of the script,” Mani said. “I was attached immediately.”

“We wrote the script for her,” Wilson said, while Fischer added, “Her character’s name is Su.”

“But I didn’t really know that!” Mani said.

“I know, we didn’t really tell you,” Fischer responded. “And then John, I don’t know, we weren’t really interested in John [Reynolds] for a long time and then for some reason we ended up …”

“No, no,” Wilson interjected. “We saw John in ‘Search Party,’ we loved him and he’s very, very funny. We couldn’t see anyone else in the role after that.”

Bleecker Street is releasing “Save Yourselves!” in select theaters on Friday.

Watch the video above.