An Oscar-Winning Icon Showed Up to the ‘Freaky Tales’ Set on Day Two and Delivered Sundance’s Most Surprising Cameo: ‘We Were Thrilled’

An Oscar-Winning Icon Showed Up to the ‘Freaky Tales’ Set on Day Two and Delivered Sundance’s Most Surprising Cameo: ‘We Were Thrilled’

SPOILER ALERT: This story hints at a major cameo in the Sundance Film Festival premiere “Freaky Tales,” which debuted on opening night.

Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden’s electrified the opening night of the 2024 Sundance Film Festival with “Freaky Tales,” a genre-driven anthology movie that tells four interconnected stories in 1987 Oakland, California. The movie is a return to indie filmmaking for Fleck and Boden, who made a name for themselves as the directors of indie hits like “Half Nelson” before they jumped into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with “Captain Marvel.”

More from Variety

“It was great to come back to the indie film world in a lot of ways,” Boden said at the Variety Studio presented by Audible. “It felt really natural because we’re telling a story that is very personal. At the same time, we had all these tools we learned from making ‘Captain Marvel,’ from the stunts to the action and visual effects…we could bring that into a much more intimate way of telling a story.”

“Having fewer resources and money is always challenging,” Boden continued. “Fewer days and less time… but there’s something beautiful about bringing people together that are hustling to get the same thing done. That intimacy of a small set…that one on one relationship is really incredible”

Fleck said he “would’ve loved to have more days to shoot, but at the end of the day it’s the movie we wanted to make. It was hard, and that’s how indie films should be.”

While the “Freaky Tales” cast features such heavyweights as Pedro Pascal, a lot of people left the film’s world premiere screening buzzing about an unexpected cameo that has turned out to be one of the biggest surprises of Sundance 2024 so far. The cast and crew would not give up the name of the actor and only referred to the surprise as “that cameo,” so Variety will do same.

Fleck said his experience working on the upcoming Apple TV+ World War II miniseries “Masters of the Air” with Boden opened the door for that cameo to take place. Landing it proved a bit easier then expected since because “this person is from Oakland,” and the film is such a love letter to Oakland.

“Of course we were thrilled to have him show up on day two of shooting and hang out with all of us,” Fleck said.

Cast member Ji-Young Yoo was “heartbroken” when she found out who showed up to set because “I was flying in from a different shoot when that cameo was filmed and I was an hour or two too late.”

“My first day was the day he left,” added co-star Jack Champion.

“Freaky Tales” is seeking distribution out of the Sundance Film Festival.

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.