We’ll Probably Never See Jacob Tremblay’s ‘Before I Wake’ in Theaters (Remember ‘Before I Wake’?)
Remember Before I Wake? It stars Jacob Tremblay, Kate Bosworth, and Thomas Jane, is directed by Oculus’ Mike Flanagan, and we’ll probably never get to see it in theaters. The last anyone heard about it was a trailer that came out over a year ago, following the first trailer that was released a year before that. Release date shuffling and Relativity Media’s bankruptcy combined to form a perfect storm in which Before I Wake was cast overboard into the graveyard of international streaming and downloads on the Pirate Bay.
Appearing on Mick Garris’ Post Mortem podcast, Flanagan explained exactly what went wrong, as far as he could understand how Relativity’s collapse affected his movie.
It was a great deal [with Relativity], and it was a big fat wide release, and coming off of what they did with ‘Oculus,’ it was like, This is going to be great,” Flanagan revealed. “And so we sold the movie to Relativity, and we had a release date, and we were all set, and I moved on to the next project… And then things just got weird. Everything kind of stalled. We weren’t getting trailers and posters and materials. It was kind of cagey. We didn’t know it at first, but it was because of the collapse… And so they moved it off the date, and they didn’t really have a good reason, and they didn’t ask us to change anything, which was odd… And it was testing better than ‘Oculus’ ever tested. We were in a really good place… We just couldn’t get these materials.
It was like, ‘Well where’s the marketing materials?’ And we eventually found out that a lot of the vendors had cut them out because they had too much debt and so the vendors weren’t turning the materials over… And then we started to really learn about how much trouble the company was in, and they finally came to us, and it was like, ‘Yes, we’re going to file Chapter 11, but we’re confident we’re going to pull out of it.’ But they’d pushed the date back twice at that point, and we had had international buyers that had picked it up based on the wide release commitment in the States, and so we kicked and screamed and shook our fists, but there was no choice but to kind of wait it out and hope they emerged from bankruptcy and would pick up where they left off and do right by the movie.
Regardless of how you feel about how good the movie might have been, it’s still sad for a director and for all the people who worked on the movie not to see their project get its due. Despite Tremblay becoming a huge star (he shot Before I Wake before he did Room) we probably won’t see Before I Wake in theaters here. All those international distributors waited, but some had to go ahead and release it. It’s currently available on U.K. Netflix.