Director Augustine Frizzell Wants To Make 'Stoned Alone' An "Emotionally Well-Balanced Christmas Film" [Exclusive]

The recently announced Home Alone riff, Stoned Alone, is in good hands with director Augustine Frizzell. Frizzell's feature directorial debut debut, Never Goin' Back, is an acclaimed and wonderful A24 release that should raise expectations for 20th Century Fox's R-rated, Ryan Reynolds-led stoner comedy. Frizzell recently told us about the importance of the Christmas classic, making a holiday stoner comedy with some heart, and more.

Below, read what the director had to say about her Home Alone riff.

Reynolds will be home alone and stoned during the holiday season in the story, which is about a man who misses the flight for his holiday ski trip, so he decides to smoke up from home instead and enjoy himself. In the script written by Kevin Burrows and Matt Mider, Reynold's character grows paranoid and fears thieves are breaking into his house. The pothead quickly learns his stoner paranoia is correct and, Kevin Mcallister-style, he'll have to battle a pair of goons to protect his home. (A baseless theory: What if this stoner turns out to be the Kevin Mcallister almost 30 years after the events of Chris Columbus' movie?)

According to Frizzell, they're tweaking the script to get the emotional side of the story right, so from the sound of it, Stoned Alone could have a lot more going for it than stoner jokes:

It is one of the funniest things I've ever read in my life. I got a bunch of scripts, like several a week, and got that one and within three pages I was laughing so hard I thought I was gonna pee my pants [Laughs]. I immediately wanted it. We're just doing a few tweaks on the script, so it's really, really funny, but we're just trying to round out all the things that make it an emotionally well-balanced Christmas film. I've always wanted to do a Christmas film, and I'm a huge fan of Home Alone, and so trying to capture all those elements from the original that make it such a special movie to me and combining those in the humor of this hilarious script.

Frizzell added the goal is to make Stoned Alone feel like Home Alone and how important it is as a fan of the John Hughes-scripted comedy to get the story right:

We've all, the producers and I and everyone involved, when we signed on we know how important this movie is, and so the goal is we don't move forward with it until it is what we want it to be. There's no rushing it, we're not trying to hit a certain date, we're just saying, "Until this script is exactly where it needs to be, we are not making this movie." So that's what we're working on right now. We all recognize the importance. All of us are huge Home Alone fans, so we need to make sure this lives up to all our expectations first, and then society will find as much joy in at as we do.

Frizzell shows a great control over tone in Never GoinBack that makes her stoner take on Home Alone more promising than most reboots, updates, or riffs. Her directorial debut has its share of raunchy and pot-related humor, but it also has a big heart, a sense of authenticity, and a vibrant style that gels with the very filthy gags. The director can seamlessly balance broad comedy and character, which is a rare and potent blend she'll hopefully pull off again with Stoned Alone.

Never Goin' Back is now in theaters.