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Recreating Animal House in the Netflix movie A Futile and Stupid Gesture

On the set of Animal House

The Netflix original movie A Futile and Stupid Gesture tells the true story of National Lampoon co-founder Doug Kenney (Will Forte). It goes as far as the National Lampoon production of Animal House and Kenney’s Caddyshack before he died.

Knowing that part of Kenney’s story would include Animal House, director David Wain didn’t want to just do the Animal House scenes everyone was expecting.

“The goal was to pick moments that are very memorable from Animal House but see them from a different perspective and from a different context,” Wain said.

David Wain directs Will Forte in A Futile and Stupid Gesture

There is a food fight in the movie, because you had to have that in Animal House.

“We were trying very hard not to just recreate scenes that people will already know because whenever we see those in biopics we feel like it’s never going to match exactly,” producer Peter Principato said. “So we were trying, through David’s vision, to be inventive and creative in the way we looked at it so we’re seeing it from a different angle and then it embodies the spirit of it.”

There is an authentic Animal House car in A Futile and Stupid Gesture though. Principato happens to own one, and the crew enlisted it for the movie.

“My car has been in pristine shape,” Principato said. “I drive it around everywhere. When I got to set that day, I didn’t realize they were going to literally spread dirt all over the car. So when I first got there, my mouth was kind of hanging open shocked.”

On the set of A Futile And Stupid Gesture

Principato has had the car long before he became involved in A Futile and Stupid Gesture.

“As a kid seeing that movie, it was one of those things of really fantasizing about one day,” Principato said. “That became a dream car because I saw it in that movie. Then I was able to be lucky enough to be able to buy one.”

A Futile and Stupid Gesture is now streaming on Netflix.

Fred Topel has been a journalist since 1999. Over the decades he’s written for About.com, Hollywood.com, CraveOnline, Rotten Tomatoes and Slashfilm. Fred brings Monsters and... read more

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