“We’re trying to make an authentic movie for a younger movie audience and they are really discerning and they can smell bullshit,” Schulman said. “I think people are incredibly savvy these days,” he said.“We talked to a lot of game designers and developers and hackers and did a lot of research and tried to arrive at something that was completely, technically possible.
“We just do that without thinking, without reading the terms and conditions.
We wanted to see what would happen if you kind of pushed that to its logical extreme.” It may not be a very original idea, but it’s one that both Schulman and Joost thought was ripe for an upgrade.
The thriller follows Emma Roberts as shy high school student Vee who, in a bid to prove that she can be just as wild and fun as the rest of her friends, starts playing a secret online game known as Nerve.
A combination of scavenger hunt, Truth or Dare and social media platform, Nerve forces its so-called “players” to take on wild challenges as dreamed up and tracked by its “watchers.” The reward?
“You work on this thing for two years plus and you screened it a couple months ago and all of a sudden you know that people respond, which is a huge relief,” Schulman said.
“Then you’ve got to put it out there and hope that the internet doesn’t cut your head off.” READ MORE: ‘Nerve’ Review: ‘Pokémon Go’ Meets David Fincher’s ‘The Game’ In This Fun Summer Surprise That Schulman is concerned about “the internet” is amusing, given the subject matter of his latest film.
The plot of “Nerve” is especially prescient, given the recent rise of games like Pokémon GO and the continued dominance of social media networks in the lives of hyper-connected millennials like Vee and Ian.
Based on Jeanne Ryan’s 2012 book of the same name and adapted by screenwriter Jessica Sharzer, “Nerve” is hitting theaters at exactly the right time.
READ MORE: Why Oliver Stone Thinks ‘Pokemon Go’ Could Create Totalitarianism Once those stakes are raised, “Nerve” takes on a very different cast.