As its title suggests, Everything Everywhere All at Once from creative duo Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, takes audiences on an elaborate adventure across multiple universes.
The film stars Michelle Yeoh as laundromat owner Evelyn Wang who has trouble connecting with her family and paying her taxes.
Preoccupied by a visit by her estranged, aging father, things come to a head during an audit meeting with an IRS agent (Jamie Lee Curtis) when Evelyn’s husband unexpectedly introduces her to an alternate multiverse. Evelyn and versions of who she might have become with different life choices are tasked with saving it from impending doom.
“The multiverse is such a terrible thing to explore in narrative or in film because the moment you introduce the idea of infinite possibilities, nothing that happens in this movie matters anymore,” Kwan told Reuters.
“That became an opportunity to kind of explore scary thoughts and philosophically resonant feelings that, the more we talked about it, we’re like, that’s kind of what the 21st century feels like,” added Scheinert.
Collectively known as Daniels, the duo directed music videos and the 2016 film Swiss Army Man.
“It takes a lot nowadays to surprise people because we’ve seen it all,” said Kwan. “Everything’s a sequel. Everything’s part of a franchise or a remake. And because of that, we had to constantly rewrite because we kept searching for things that really felt fresh.”
In a nod to Kwan’s roots, the film’s dialogue mixes Mandarin, Cantonese and English. Early versions were written for Hong Kong superstar Jackie Chan and Yeoh.
“When we realised that Jackie Chan is unbelievably expensive and famous and busy, we just decided to focus more of our attention on Michelle’s character because we already loved her and her character. And honestly, the script came alive. So it was for the best,” said Scheinert.
A box office hit in the United States, the movie opens in UK cinemas on Friday.