Daybreak actor Colin Ford pitches the post-apocalyptic Netflix series as “Mad Max meets Ferris Bueller meets Zombieland,” and the show is wearing its influences proudly on its sleeve. Case in point: Ferris Bueller himself, Matthew Broderick, plays the teen characters’ high school principal on the show, in a neat subversion of one of his most famous roles.
Stopping by EW’s New York Comic Con video suite with his Daybreak costars, Broderick called his character “a little bit Rooney-like,” in reference to the 1986 film’s antagonistic dean of students, Ed Rooney (played by Jeffrey Jones). He added that he thinks Bueller would have a good chance of thriving in post-apocalyptic society (post-society?).
“I think he’s a bright guy with a lot of friends, so he would probably manage pretty well,” Broderick said, to which his castmates quickly assented, with Krysta Rodriguez noting Bueller would probably form his own tribe to rival Daybreak’s clique-based gangs.
Daybreak is set in a post-apocalyptic Glendale, Calif., after a nuclear blast has turned adults into braindead, bloodthirsty savages, leading teenagers to form their own tribes to survive the desolate wasteland. These include a group of warrior women made up of cheerleaders and a murderous gang of jocks.
During the interview, the actors also discussed the show’s other, more subtle pop culture references, what they’d loot in the event of an apocalypse, and Broderick having to explain references to his younger costars, one of whom, Austin Crute, admitted to never having finished Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. (Though he did profess affection for 1999’s live-action Inspector Gadget film, which starred Broderick in the title role.)
Daybreak premieres Oct. 24. You can watch the full interview above.