GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Grand Valley State University graduate will premiere his first produced screenplay Friday at the Austin Film Festival, the movie starring the late Bob Saget.

Matt Dressel, a Grand Rapids native, told News 8 that it has been 10 years since he sold the rights to “Daniel’s Gotta Die.” The production faced several hurdles, including finding a new director and COVID-19 limitations.

“There’s been a lot of ups and downs,” Dressel said. “There’s been a lot of false starts where we thought this is the moment but then it just didn’t happen.”

While the film is Dressel’s first, it is also Bob Saget’s last.

“I will be forever saddened by the fact that he never got to see anything from the film,” the screenwriter said.

The set of "Daniel's Gotta Die." (Courtesy Matt Dressel)
The set of “Daniel’s Gotta Die.” (Courtesy Matt Dressel)

The dark comedy is about a family whose father dies and the inheritance is left to only one of the four siblings. That sibling can share the money with the others on the condition that they all spend a weekend together at their family beach house. Dressel said the movie takes a turn when three of the sibling plot to kill their brother, Daniel.

Saget’s character, the executor of the estate, who was meant to keep the family in line. Dressel said he was honored when the late stand-up comedian joined the cast.

“I had been championing that Bob would be part of the project for a while. I’ve always really respected him as a comedian,” he said. “So when he came aboard, that was really big.”

Saget died Jan. 9 at a hotel in Orlando, Florida.

“He would often remark on set about how he was really excited for people to see what he could do and what he was capable of,” Dressel said. “It makes me really sad that he’ll never get to see that he accomplished that.”

The independent film will air two times during the Austin Film Festival. Dressel said he hopes theaters pick up the feature so that the world can enjoy Saget’s last piece.