Magazine article Variety

Tyro Helmer's 'End' Game

Magazine article Variety

Tyro Helmer's 'End' Game

Article excerpt

When Lorene Scafarla sold her pitch for "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World" to Mandate in 2008, she had one stipulation: The buyers had to agree to let her make her directorial debut with the film.

It was quite a request from a writer with only one produced feature to her name, "Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist" (2008), and a handful of spec sales and assignments. But even with deal in her pocket, she knew it was no guarantee she'd actually get to helm the film.

"I don't think anyone would've gotten rid of me," she says. "It was more a matter of getting a cast to approve of me as a first-time director, and be interested enough in the script to do it for very little money."

So it was no small thing when Scafaria met with Steve Carell in early 2011 to talk about him playing the film's lead character, Dodge, a meek man who, faced with the Earth's imminent destruction, boldly embarks on a road trip to find his high school sweetheart, accompanied by his freespirited neighbor, Penny. …

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