Which brings us back to Clown, shot in 2012 and only just now creeping into theaters. Watts' increased visibility isn't the only reason. When you write a crackling satire that also involves bloody murder, strategy is required.
"What's fun about doing movies at this budget level is you can take chances," Roth says. "You look at It Follows, Babadook, and The Witch, they're all made at this budget level and aren't conforming to the norm. As a producer, to literally take the first fake trailer with my name on it to a movie that's in a movie theater, I'm very proud of that ... Whether or not it's me, someone else would have eventually given [Watts and co-writer Chris Ford] that break because they were due. You could tell they were about to pop."
True. Watts wasn't the only candidate for Spider-Man: Homecoming, but the same way he impressed Roth, he impressed Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige. "We really liked [Jon's] movie Cop Car," Feige said in an interview last July. "We met with him four, five, or six times, and each time he had more and more interesting things to say. And at Marvel, it always comes down to ultimately, 'We can make a movie with this person for two years, we could spend almost every day with this person for two years. Let’s go.'"
Watts is now an established director, his sadistic directorial debut is out in the world, and the future of Sony Pictures' flagship superhero franchise is in his hands. What if Tarantino didn't shepherd Eli Roth's Hostel, Roth didn't become a savvy producer with the muscle to get movies made, and Watts never posted that trailer provoking Roth into action? Well, we don't have to worry about that -- it happened.