Universal is promoting a film based on how many followers the cast has

It's come to this

Christopher Hooton@christophhooton
Thursday 25 August 2016 14:48
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Acting talent is great and all, but the ability to disseminate content to millions might be better.

This is the distribution-first approach Universal is going for with new movie Laid In America, which stars YouTubers Caspar Lee (6.5 million subscribers) and KSI (16 million) and has a supporting cast almost entirely populated by Instagram, Vine and YouTuber users with big followings (The US Office’s Angela Kinsey is a notable exception, presumably there because there was a slightly older role to fill and YouTube stars in their 40s are hard to come by).

A cast list sent to journalists showed thumbnails of the stars, and read:

SUPPORTING CAST

Demi Olatunji - 5,458,218 YouTube subscribers

Josh Leyva - 1,617,125 YouTube subscribers

Madison Iseman - 184k Instagram followers

Timothy DeLaGhetto - 3,075,797 YouTube followers

Alexa Losey - 731k Instagram followers

Bart Baker - 6,966,347 YouTube followers

Angela Kinsey - 267k Twitter followers

Bobby Lee - 148,254 YouTube followers

Alexis G. Zall - 776,564 YouTube followers

Gabbie Hanna - 3.8m Vine followers

Laid in America Trailer

Laid In America, which is going straight to VOD in accordance with its demographic target, follows two libidinous British teens who head to America and blag their way into a much-hyped party. ‘Aaaaaand let's just say things ESCALATE QUICKLY’, MTV summarised (sic).

Hollywood is becoming increasingly tempted by the big viewership that comes with social media stars. Earlier this year, Alicia Vikander told us about an actor friend who lost out at an audition because they didn’t have enough followers, while Bret Easton Ellis recently hired an Instagram star to play the lead in his upcoming web series.

Laid In America is released on digital download on 26 September. For reasons unknown, given the aforementioned strategy, it will also be out on DVD. DVD!

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