Following on from the success of Boyhood, which saw him nominated for several Academy Awards, many people would have been surprised that Richard Linklater would choose a semi-autobiographical 80s college baseball comedy as his next project.
But it was a script that Linklater had been gestating for years and Boyhood's success was the perfect opportunity to get it into production. Billed as a 'spiritual sequel' to Dazed and Confused, Everybody Wants Some!! has a lot of the hallmarks of the 90s classic. An exciting young cast, an ace soundtrack and natural dialogue.
The story follows Jake (Blake Jenner) on his first weekend in college as he moves into the house reserved for the baseball team and learns the ropes of college life from the older (and in some cases eccentric) players on the team. While all of the young cast excel in the movie the two standouts would have to be Tyler Hoechlin (McReynolds) and Glen Powell (Finnegan).
McReynolds and Finnegan are two of the senior players on the team, with the former being the team captain that breaks the freshmen players as they join the team. While the latter builds them back up and shares the wisdom he's accumulated in his college years about life, baseball but more importantly, girls.
While neither actor is a household name (yet), it's likely they've been brought to your attention in the past. Hoechlin made waves at thirteen years of age, playing Tom Hanks' son in Road to Perdition. An experience he describes as 'invaluable'.
"Just working with those guys....legends, actors but also just as people. Tom Hanks, I know has this reputation and he is genuinely just the nicest, greatest guy. Paul Newman was the exact same way. Just absolute consummate professionals."
Powell was also getting cast in movies from a young age, getting a bit part role in Linklater's Fast Food Nation back in 2006. Although he almost couldn't do the role after he broke his arm in a baseball game just before filming started.
"I broke my arm like a week and a half before and he you know let me keep the role and incorporate my cast in the movie which was so cool of him."
Despite working with Linklater before, Powell had to go through the same gruelling audition process as the rest of the cast for this movie.
"Rick has a very particular eye. We had to jump through a lot of hoops to get these roles." he says.
Said hoops required the actors to do several auditions reading for different parts each time. They also had to send in baseball skills tapes to prove that they could play the part of college baseball players. Once the actors had won the parts, all twelve of them moved into Linklater's Austin ranch for three weeks to workshop the script.
"The script was just constantly evolving as we all worked on it as a group in collaboration. It was an incredible process. I really wish that was the way that every film worked." laughs Hoechlin.
One of the real strengths of Everybody Wants Some!! is the natural camaraderie amongst the characters, something that was forged during their time living together according to Powell.
"It was one of those weird situations where you throw a dozen strangers in a room and they become best friends. And that's almost never the case on film. It's just a special group and I think it feels so real on screen because it is real."
Everybody Wants Some!! is a film that will resonate with anyone that's been to college, or played on an organised sports team or even just anyone who's ever had friends. As Powell concludes, it sums up what true friendship is really about.
"The essence of friendship in my opinion, is giving each other shit." (laughs) "It's the idea of never letting anybody get away with anything unscathed. Because if you're able to rib each other on stuff in life then it shows that you have a bond that rises above just being nice and cordial. There's something about this movie that I just think captures that better than any other I've ever seen."
Everybody Wants Some!! is in Irish cinemas from May 13th.