The director of new film The Festival says he is “delighted” by comparisons between it and The Inbetweeners.
The comedy stars Joe Thomas – who played Simon in the coming-of-age series – as a university graduate who heads to a festival after getting dumped by his girlfriend.
With the trailer revealing his character gets an infected piercing, wears some cringeworthy outfits and is trying to dodge police, it is no surprise there are already comparisons being drawn between it and The Inbetweeners.
But director Iain Morris – who created and wrote Channel 4 hit The Inbetweeners – says that is something he welcomes.
“I’m absolutely delighted – I’m delighted people are still talking about The Inbetweeners and I love talking to people about it, and I love that people still want to see it,” Morris told Sky News.
“I think I’m the same as I was ten years ago, my sense of humour hasn’t changed, what I find funny – torturing Joe Thomas for example – is pretty much the same, so there will be comparisons.
“Not that I’m anywhere near his level, but Judd Apatow in America when you see his comedy films, same sort of people in them, same sort of sense of humour, same sorts of things happening, and I would love it to feel like it’s a sort of continuation of an idea.”
Morris went on to explain that the film compliments his previous work.
“The Inbetweeners and The Festival are all part of the same cinematic universe,” he said, before joking: “It’s going to be bigger than Marvel.”
Joe Thomas added that audiences may have certain expectations because of those familiar elements.
“Comedy is about trust I think, the stuff that I really love is in some cases 15, 20, 30 years old and I’ll just go back to it because I still love it, and I think that having got that trust it’s a bit about not losing that trust,” Thomas said.
“I think this film is just made by people who are absolutely passionate about making something funny and just desperately want to make people laugh.
“It’s a new gang, but I think having Iain and hopefully me is no bad thing.”
Thomas is no stranger to acting in scenes that leave audiences with their toes curling in embarrassment – and The Festival promises more of the same.
Asked if he ever reads a script and thinks it’s gone too far, Thomas says it’s not happened yet.
“I think that train has sailed with my career, I’m not going to play Lincoln anytime soon,” Thomas laughed.
“I’m quite committed I think and quite passionate about committing to the joke basically and wanting to do it to the full extent, so I’ve never really thought I don’t want to do that.
Morris admitted that Thomas did go through a tough time while shooting.
“There was a two-week period, just because of the scheduling, it seemed to be every single day Joe was doing something terrible,” Morris said.
“And even I – and I’m pretty hardened against making Joe do things that are pretty horrible – even I was like ‘it might be getting a bit much now'”.
While parts of the film were shot at real festivals, a fake festival set was also built close to where Glastonbury is filmed in Somerset.
Morris said it was definitely comparable to the genuine festival experience.
“The rain was real, and the tents were real, and the shops and stuff were real and people that really go to festivals set up our set so we had a kind of huge set that was actually… the mud was very, very real,” he said.
Thomas agreed: “The mud was genuinely unbelievable, like next level.
“A long festival is five days, whereas we were on this site for seven weeks, so by then it was just unbelievable, you couldn’t even really function, there were whole bits you couldn’t go in to.”
The Festival is out in cinemas in the UK on 14 August.