Tag Director Interview

The story behind the new film Tag is so simple and ridiculous, there’s no way it could be real, which of course it is. Based on a Wall Street Journal article about 10 men who have been friends since they were kids, the film concerns a game of tag that has been going on for decades among these folks (streamlined to five players for the movie, played by Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Ed Helms, Hannibal Buress and Jake Johnson), who dedicate a single month per year to actively playing. Naturally, the game has also kept these lifelong pals close for a lot longer than most friendships survive, and it’s that emotional core that makes Tag something more than just a silly action comedy.

With a cast this strong (also including Isla Fisher, Rashida Jones, Leslie Bibb and Annabelle Wallis), it’s surprising that the film comes from a first-time feature director, Jeff Tomsic, who comes to the project with many years’ experience producing and directing an array of stand-up specials and comedy series, such as Broad City, This Is Not Happening, and Idiotsitter.

/Film spoke recently with Tomsic about Tag (which is in theaters now) in Chicago, covering how he pulled together such an impressive cast, Renner’s well-reported accident that left him with two broken arms, which insane tagging scenarios in the film were based on real incidents, and how he kept the very silly story rooted in the friendship.

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Tag review

Tag is built on a foundation that most will likely find familiar. A bunch of childhood friends, now in middle age, persist in playing a game of tag despite the growing distance — literal and metaphorical — between them. In other words, it’s another tale of arrested development. But it’s got a few distinct things going for it that set it apart from the rest of the crowd.

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Tag Movie Clip

Don’t be surprised if you see adults regressing back to their childhood after they see this summer’s comedy Tag.

The feature directorial debut from television and stand-up special director Jeff Tomsic follows Ed Helms, Hannibal Buress, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner and Jake Johnson as a group of five friends who have been playing a game of tag intermittently for around 30 years. Based on a surprisingly true story, the film brings a mix of stylized action and comedy together for a movie that could be the sleeper hit of the summer. Read More »

Tag - Jeremy Renner's Broken Arms

One of the more unique offerings coming to theaters this summer is the comedy Tag. Based on a surprisingly true story, the film follows a group of friends played by Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Ed Helms, Jake Johnson, Isla Fisher and Hannibal Buress who who have played a game of tag one month out of the year for around 30 years. Even though the premise is far more simple than your average summer blockbuster, the movie will feature a surprising amount of CGI for one very specific reason.

You might remember hearing that Jeremy Renner broke his arms last summer. Funnily enough, he didn’t break them while filming his role as Hawkeye while shooting an Avengers movie. Instead, he broke them during a stunt that went a little awry while shooting Tag, and Renner ended up having to wear a couple green screen casts that will be digitally removed in the movie. Read More »

tag trailer

The internet was in an uproar when Jeremy Renner was nowhere to be seen in the latest Avengers: Infinity War trailer. And I, along with the the 12 other Hawkeye fans, were not assuaged by the Russo brothers’ promises that Renner would play an “important part” in the Marvel film.

But no matter. Because we have another movie coming out that’s all about Renner. And judging by the Tag trailer, he has more screen time in this than he ever received in any of the Marvel movies.

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Winds of change must be blowing in Burbank, because Warner Bros. has shifted a ton of release dates for films on the studio’s upcoming slate. The Scooby-Doo reboot and WB’s own clash of the titans, Godzilla vs. Kong, are just a couple of the films caught in the crossfire. Break out your red pens and prepare to update your calendars.
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Tag movie

Sounding a bit like the It Follows story model applied in a different way to a zombie story, the comic series Tag, by Kieth Giffen and Kody Chamberlain, features a setup where a man is turned into a rotting fleshpile after a simple touch from another. But there’s an upshot, maybe: he can tag someone else to pass on the curse rather than decomposing.

Now the collected Tag story is being turned into a film, from Fox and John Leonetti, who directed The Conjuring spin-off Annabelle last year. Read More »