Movie set to premiere May 1 with Craig resident in lead role
John-Paul Howard, the son of Moffat County High School Athletic Director Bobby Howard, is currently working at Rocky Mountain Chuck Wagon with Los Angeles in lock down
With COVID-19 keeping people at home and out of the movie theaters, John-Paul Howard is hoping his first true lead role in a feature film takes off on streaming services amid the pandemic.
Howard, the son of Moffat County High School Athletic Director Bobby Howard, landed the lead role in “The Wretched” a horror flick that premieres on streaming services such as Amazon Prime, iTunes, and more on Friday, May 1.
“The Wretched”, featuring Howard, Piper Curda and Jamison Jones, was written and directed by Brett Pierce and Drew T. Pierce. The movie is based on a defiant teenage boy, struggling with his parent’s imminent divorce, who faces off with a thousand year-old witch, who is living beneath the skin of and posing as the woman next door.
“The script was one of my favorite,” Howard said from behind the bar of the Rocky Mountain Chuck Wagon, where he’s currently working for his father due to Los Angeles’ lockdown amid the pandemic. “It’s a pretty fun film, honestly. It’s gotten a lot of good reviews, and has a real ‘Fright Night’ feel to it.”
In fact, Sam Raimi – an American filmmaker, actor, and producer, primarily known for creating the cult horror Evil Dead series – gave “The Wretched” rave reviews, giving the small, indie film a major boost.
For Howard, the lead role is hard work paying off. After starting out in film as a 9-year-old in the 2010 film “First Dog,” Howard’s acting career has taken off, landing roles in the TV series “Midnight, Texas” and the 2016 film “Hell or High Water” which grossed $37 million and was named one of the 10 Movies of the Year by the American Film Institute.
That role in “Hell or High Water” really helped his career take off.
“Absolutely, it’s really helped,” Howard said. “I have to give a huge credit to ‘Hell or High Water.’ It really boosted me and put me in touch with the right people.
“Being a kid from North Alabama and now living in Colorado, there’s no networking for me,” Howard added. “Primarily, for actors, networking is how you get into the industry, so it’s been a pretty slow start for me, but that film boosted me so much and has enabled me to begin networking.”
That networking led him to the role in “The Wretched,” which is a film that despite the challenges it faces with its release date, has made Howard proud to be part of.
“All you can really say is you want it to be successful,” Howard said. “The mindset you just have to have is it doesn’t matter if it’s successful or not, you just hope that those who watch it enjoy it.”
With the release scheduled for Friday, Howard was hoping to have a release part at the Chuck Wagon, but the pandemic has canceled those plans. For now, Howard plans on sitting down with his family Friday night, rent the movie and enjoy his time with his family before eventually returning to Los Angeles to find more acting work.
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Moffat County continues to see a downward trend in COVID-19 cases as the community has seen 31 new cases dating back to Friday, Jan. 8, according to Public Health.