Greg Sestero – best known for appearing alongside Tommy Wiseau in cult favourite The Room – is starring in a brand new movie, and can exclusively launch the trailer.


The Founder Effect sees Sestero star as a missing persons expert with some unusual ideas about the paranormal who finds himself helping a distressed man desperate to locate his missing grandson.

The project reunites the actor with director and producer pair Justin and Kristopher MacGregor and co-star Rick Edwards, all of whom he collaborated with on his previous film with Wiseau, the two-part comedy thriller Best F(r)iends.

In the trailer for the new film, which you can watch below, we are first introduced to Sestero's character by a presenter who explains: "It gives me great pleasure to welcome back our favourite missing persons expert Declan Bakker," before some on-screen text tells us that: "In the wilds of America, thousands vanish every year."

We then hone in on the particular missing person the film will be focusing on – a ten-year-old boy named Kristian Rooney, whose grandfather Jack (Edwards) is determined to put things right by finding him having already lost his son.

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This is what leads him to Bakker, who we see pontificating: "It's almost like the missing persons are connected in this way, they're surviving, communicating through this wavelength or frequency."

Intrigued? Click play on the video below to watch the trailer in full:

The Founder Effect had initially started as a short film some years ago, but after working with Sestero on the Best F(r)iends films and then taking a brief hiatus forced by the COVID pandemic, the MacGregors decided it was time to flesh the idea out into a fully-fledged feature.

"I couldn't get away from the memory of that short that we had done," Justin tells "Because I had unfinished business with it, it was an incomplete piece of work in my opinion and it had to be fully realised."

Speaking more broadly about the film, he calls it "the story about a boy who goes missing in the small town of Hope" and "the story of his grandfather who goes on a mission to find him".

He adds: "It's a mystery that's really shrouded in the possibility of the paranormal, because of other disappearances that have happened here before. But at its heart, it's really a redemption story. And it's the story about this grandfather's mission to find self forgiveness in this case, through a really sensational act of heroism."

Meanwhile speaking about his cinematic influences, he mentions a "gentle Spielbergian magic" and also cites an interesting fact about the film – it was shot in the same town as the iconic first Rambo movie First Blood.

Kristopher and Justin MacGregor
Kristopher and Justin MacGregor. Roguescots Pictures Incorporated

As for re-teaming with Sestero, both brothers point to a certain kindred spirit between his approach and theirs.

"I think he understands, just coming from the whirlwind and the chaos of The Room, he understands a lot of just what it takes to make an indie film," says Kristopher.

He continues: "After Best Friends, he went on and made Miracle Valley, his directorial debut, and so he has a really good sense of what it takes to make a film and just the tenacity to persevere just from his own background story of making The Room a success. And so I think we relate to that aspect of his personality."

Justin adds: "Another thing with Greg is that he has a really infectious love of pop culture and cinema and also just the entertainment industry itself and his unique station in that system.

"When we first made Best F(r)iends and we were getting to know each other, a lot of our early development of that project was spent just driving around Los Angeles and looking at locations from films that we loved and using that as a springboard to talk about our own ideas.

"And so he has an infectious love of media and movies like we do and when you have that with people creatively, you just can't help but make a movie. You have that energy about you, you have the wind at your back and you kind of feel like you can't go wrong."

Rick Edwards as Jack Rooney in The Founder Effect
Rick Edwards as Jack Rooney in The Founder Effect. Roguescots Pictures Incorporated

An official synopsis for the film reads: "A perfect family getaway is suddenly upended when a policeman’s grandson disappears. Jack Rooney (Rick Edwards) has already lost a son. He’s not about to lose his grandson, too.

"Forced to reckon with family history, he sets out to rescue the boy from the shadows... a journey of conscience rippled by the voice of a visiting missing persons expert (Greg Sestero), whose haunting tales of the vanished illuminate the mysterious phenomena that seem to be in Jack’s way.

"In a town called Hope, can redemption be found?"

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