With seven Oscars, "Everything Everywhere All at Once" was the big winner at the 95th Academy Awards. The genre-defying spectacle won four of the "Big Five" Oscars: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Actress (Michelle Yeoh, 60).
In recent months, the multidimensional action comedy has become more and more a favorite, but when it premiered at the South by Southwest Festival in March 2022, nobody could have predicted it. The project by the directing duo Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (both 35), also known as the Daniels, seemed too weird and niche. But word of mouth quickly made "EEAAO" (this abbreviation caught on) a cult film.
Kwan and Scheinert were inspired by a philosophical theory for their concept of a multiverse, in which every decision a person makes leads to their own alternative existence. The modal realism of the philosopher David Kellogg Lewis (1941-2001) was the inspiration. Put simply, it is about possible worlds that are just as real as the real world. However, more in a logical than in a physical sense.
The filmmaker Ross McElwee (75) processed this theory in his 1986 documentary "Sherman's Campaign", which in turn inspired the Daniels to their screenplay for "EEAAO".
The Daniels already designed their concept of a multiverse of possibilities in 2010. But the implementation was delayed further and further. During the waiting phase, the directors were always horrified to see other films or series that juggle with similar ideas.
That's how the launch of "Spider-Man: A New Universe" (2018) worried the duo. "'Oh crap, everybody's going to preempt us with this thing we've been working on," Daniel Kwan said at the time. The second season of the cult series "Rick and Morty" also frustrated the filmmakers. After all, the theatrical release of "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" was a few weeks before.
Originally, the main character of "Everything Everywhere All at Once" was not supposed to be a laundromat owner. The Daniels had envisioned a professor with ADHD as the protagonist. As the main actor, they had none other than Hong Kong superstar and martial arts icon Jackie Chan (68) in mind when writing.
At some point in the writing process, Kwan and Scheinert changed their plan and the main character's gender. Lucky for Michelle Yeoh. The Malaysian became the first Asian woman to win an Oscar for Best Actress.
For the role of the heroine's husband, the Daniels managed a real casting coup. They took Ke Huy Quan (51) out of acting retirement. In the 80s, the American with Vietnamese roots was a child star, starred in the cult films "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" and "The Goonies".
In 2002, Ke Huy Quan ended his acting career out of frustration with the lack of offers for Asian actors. He returned to the big stage with "EEAAO" and the parallel Netflix film "Abenteuer ʻOhana".
The Daniels came to cast Ke Huy Quan after seeing a meme depicting US politician Andrew Yang as the adult Short Round, Quan's character in Indiana Jones. They wondered what Ke Huy Quan was doing now and struck out. Quan won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his comeback.
Almost a year after its theatrical release in Germany, "EEAAO" can be seen on various streaming platforms in this country. You can buy or rent the film on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Maxdome and many more.
Subscribers to Sky Go via the Sky streaming service WOW can stream "EEAAO" as part of the flat rate.