EXCLUSIVE: Palm Springs arrived with a bang at January’s Sundance Film Festival, when the romantic comedy with an existential twist (and turns) was acquired for a fest-record $17.5 million. Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti star in the pic, which Max Barbakow directed from a screenplay by Andy Siara.
Barbakow and Siera met at the American Film Institute, where they teamed to make the short film The Duke, a dark comedy about football and concussions. Palm Springs marks the pair’s follow-up, and centers on what happens when carefree Nyles (Samberg) and reluctant maid of honor Sarah (Milioti) have a chance encounter at a Palm Springs wedding. Things get complicated when they find themselves unable to escape an exhausting time loop, themselves or each other.
J.K. Simmons, Meredith Hagner, Camila Mendes, Tyler Hoechlin and Peter Gallagher co-star in the pic, which saw its theatrical release sidelined by Covid-19. It commenced streaming on Hulu in July.
During Sundance, Siara told Deadline that the movie was somewhat based on the experience Barbakow had at his own wedding.
“All those thoughts that go into making those major life decisions, commitment and all that stuff — it’s kind of just all injected into this movie,” said the screenwriter, who wrote on AMC’s Lodge 49 and currently working on a pair of UCP series, Angelyne starring Emmy Rossum and Martin Freeman, and his anthology The Resort, both in collaboration with Sam Esmail. “It’s just wrestling with those decisions that I think we all can relate to on some level.”
The film recently took top prizes at the Critics Choice Super Awards, winning the Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Movie honor and taking best actor and actress in that genre.
Check out the full screenplay below:
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