Jon Hamm's Hilarious New Comedy About Adults Playing Tag Is Legit Based On A True Story

Warner Bros

Remember back in the day when you and your friends would play a game of tag during recess or after school? Well, tag isn't just a game for children anymore... or, at least it isn't in the upcoming comedy Tag. The new movie tells the story of a group of middle-aged friends who have been locked in the same game of tag for 30 years. It sounds like a ridiculous premise, but crazily enough... Tag is actually based on a true story! The new comedy starring Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, and more major stars is based on a 2013 Wall Street Journal story about 10 friends who have been playing a game of tag with one another for three decades now.

The first trailer for Tag just dropped, and although it may seem like a totally out-there, ridiculous movie idea, it really is based on actual events (as the trailer assures its sure-to-be-incredulous viewers). Star Ed Helms told People that he actually thinks the absurd premise of a 30-year game of tag really only works in the movie because it's based in reality:

It’s funny because I feel like it’s one of those stories you can only turn into a movie because it’s real. If someone came to me with this premise, and was like, "Yeah, it’s a bunch of grownups who play tag," I would’ve thought, that’s really corny and dumb. But because the guys really do it, suddenly it’s really kind of sweet and I don’t know, a poignant thing.

The game of tag that Tag the movie is based on began back when Patrick Schultheis and his nine friends were in high school in Spokane, Washington. They would try to catch one another each morning during their break from classes, but had to stop their tradition after they graduated and moved apart to attend different colleges across the country.

A few years later at a class reunion, Schultheis came up with the unique idea to revive the game, using his newly acquired law degree to draw up a contract establishing a new set of rules for him and his friends. The adult version of their tag game only remains active in the month of February, forcing whichever player winds up as "It" on March 1 to carry that shame throughout the entire year. Since the ten friends live across the United States now, there are also no geographic limits — players have flown across the country, enlisted the help of spouses and co-workers, and even burst in on funerals and job interviews to tag one another.

Of course, the new movie Tag does up the action and drama a bit. In the trailer, Ed Helms dives down the aisle at Jeremy Renner in an attempt to tag his friend on his wedding day, and Jon Hamm ambles through a hospital room to tag Helms while his wife is giving birth. Those extremes may not have happened in the real game, but one crazy tag that really did happen that is shown in the trailer is when Helms' character gets tagged at his father's funeral. Patrick Schultheis' favorite memory from playing the game was when one of his friends tagged him while at his dad's funeral, which he said was such a ridiculous scenario that his old man would have loved.

Check out the first full trailer for Tag below:

The new comedy will star Ed Helms, Jake Johnson, Hannibal Buress, Jon Hamm, and Jeremy Renner as the middle-aged tag players, with Renner's character as the game's long-running, never-been-tagged champion. We can see a bit of the surprising stunts that Renner's character performs in order to avoid being tagged, and there are clearly a bunch more in store, given that Renner broke both of his arms while filming the stunts for his movie. Annabelle Wallis, Isla Fisher, Rashida Jones, and Leslie Bibb round out the cast as players' girlfriends and wives, it seems.

Tag will sprint into theaters on June 15, 2018.