This Jake Johnson Story Inspired His New Movie

Digging for Fire, the Sundance hit from Joe Swanberg and Jake Johnson, comes to mainstream theaters on Aug. 25. The film has an amazing cast, featuring stars like Anna Kendrick, Orlando Bloom, Mike Birbiglia, and both Rosemarie DeWitt and Brie Larson (United States of Tara reunion, anyone?). It also has a crazy premise: his character Tim takes a housesitting gig as a mini break from his wife, but then finds a gun and a bone in the backyard of the house. The discovery prompts him to launch an investigation as to the items' origins, like a home movie version of CSI. This aspect of the plot almost sounds too unique to be made up, which begs the question: is Digging for Fire based on a true story? Hold onto your hats, because — shockingly — it is!

At the Sundance premiere, Johnson told Bustle, "I had been digging in my yard at one point, and found a gun and a bone and a license plate. I didn't know if it was a real gun or a rusted toy gun or what have you, but I thought there could be a body in my backyard. I called a bunch of friends, and got a bunch of shovels and we went digging. [This story] is inspired by true events."

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Creepy, right? It's interesting how Johnson managed to turn this bizarre childhood experience into a film, but what's also interesting is the fact that there have already been some films with similar concepts. Check out a few of these movies that have some plot points and themes in common with Digging For Fire.

The Lovely Bones

This film tells the story of a murdered girl who must watch her family try to move on with their lives while her body remains concealed near their home and her soul remains stuck in an other-worldy state. Based on the 2002 novel by Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones is heartbreaking and creepy as hell but also incredibly beautiful.

Stand By Me

This movie about boyhood and friendship follows four kids on their search for the body of a boy who disappeared from their town. The drama is actually based on Stephen King's novella "The Body," and the author has said that it's his favorite adaptation of one of his works.

Hall Pass

Surprised to see this comedy included on this list? Well, it's actually really similar to Digging For Fire in how it revolves around a "boys' weekend" while the protagonist is, um, taking a breather from married life. And both movies are genuinely funny!

Digging for Fire is a quirky and inventive film, and the fact that it's inspired by real events makes it even more fascinating. It's also notable that the movie comes from a cast and crew with truly impressive track records, making it look even more promising. The writing and on-screen chemistry is sure to bring this true-life story to a cinematic level.

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