Underage drinking. Drawing genitalia on a sleeping friend’s face. Getting high and going to work. Being arrested with your best friend. All the trials of youth are on display in the new red-band trailer for Augustine Frizzell’s feature-length directorial debut, Never Goin’ Back.
Never Goin’ Back is a comedy about two high school dropout best friends (played by Maia Mitchell and Camila Morrone) and their misadventures on the quest to spend a weekend at a Galveston beach. Set in Garland, the movie earns its R rating with an unflinching examination of disaffected youth looking for the next party, pulling no punches with the language or actions of young people living out their invincible years.
Frizzell, a Garland native, based many scenes in the movie on her experiences growing up in Texas. Her journey to make Never Goin’ Back started in 2014. After showing her short film, I Was a Teenage Girl, at South by Southwest, Frizzell received a grant from the Austin Film Society to work on her next project.
With the aid of the grant, Frizzell wrote and directed an early version of Never Goin’ Back. Unhappy with the finished product, she cut the footage into a short called Minor Setback, which was screened at South by Southwest in 2016.
Frizzell recast, rewrote and reshot the story into what would become Never Goin’ Back. The shoot took place over a 20-day period in Dallas with Frizzell serving as director, writer and co-editor of the film.
"I wanted to make a movie about people like me and kids who grew up like me that was not a drama," Frizzell told the Observer last year. "So many times, you have lower economic kids who come from a lower socioeconomic background, and it's always full of drama and parental conflict, and there's drugs and it's a such a big deal and lives are ruined, but that's not always the case. Sometimes the things that are most important about that hectic life at that age are the friends you have around you."
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Between its screening at the this year's Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, and its showing South by Southwest, Never Goin’ Back was purchased for distribution. A24, the production company hot off the success of Lady Bird and The Disaster Artist, is eyeing an Aug. 3 release for the comedy.
Frizzell has spent time both in front of and behind the camera, appearing as an actress in such films as A Ghost Story and the Pete’s Dragon remake. Soon, she’ll be able to add another credit to her resume in the realm of television.
HBO has hired Frizzell to direct the pilot and be co-executive producer for its upcoming series Euphoria. Adapted from a 2012 Israeli series, Euphoria examines the tumultuous lives of teens seeking an escape from isolation and uncertainty with the aid of sex, drugs and violence.