The 63-year-old actor stars in the sci-fi thriller as Howard, a man who takes a woman called Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) hostage amid a mystery attack on the world. It's quite the change of character for John as he's famed for his comical roles, but Dan knew he was the man for the job.

"Well I think what was so great about him is that he can be very menacing, very intense, but he’s also funny," Dan explained to "I thought it was so critical to have someone that you would really enjoy being terrified by. There are other antagonists in movies that are scary in very oppressive and intense scenes, but I don’t know how fun they are to watch...

"I was very scared to work with him, but he was so nice and it went away. He really loved getting direction despite my best efforts to not to say anything and let him do his thing. He really did crave it and it was a lot of fun."

Dan also heaped praise on protagonist Mary, who did a lot of her own stunts throughout the film even when she was suffering from the flu. The filmmaker had long been a fan of the actress, ever since watching her movie Smashed, with one scene in particular standing out.

"I went on YouTube and watched a clip from a scene where she’s in an AA meeting and she’s confessing stuff for the first time," Dan recalled.

"She gives the most real performance I’ve ever seen! It didn’t feel like a performance, it felt like... I know when I’ve done that in life and I’ve behaved that way, she’s very nervous and tries to disguise her nervousness and starts laughing, but then starts crying."