From Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein to Spaceballs and The Producers, legendary filmmaker Mel Brooks has been responsible for some of the most beloved movies ever made. And unsurprisingly, at various points in his career, he has discussed the making of almost all his films. Except for one—the lone dud in his canon—a film so bad The New York Times declared it “an embarrassment,” and which Brooks has never publicly discussed: Solarbabies. Well, at least not until now. Because last week, on behalf of the How Did This Get Made? podcast, I spoke with Brooks at length to try and figure out how (the hell) did this get made?
Going into the interview, I expected to hear tales of unforeseen calamity and production run amok. But what I didn’t expect—and what became the prevailing thread of our conversation—was the enormous personal toll that Solarbabies had on Brooks.
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In 1970, an L.A.-born artist who went by the name “Metrov” moved to New York City. He began the decade working as a designer for the famed Push Pin Studios and then eventually made a name for himself as a fine arts painter, working out of a loft studio across the street from Andy Warhol’s Factory.
In 1979, inspired by a friend and guerilla filmmaker, Metrov came up with an idea for a low-budget, high-concept movie he wanted to direct: Solarbabies. This is a story about what happened next—how it was sold to Mel Brooks, how it was directed by a choreographer—and why, by the time Solarbabies was finally shot, its creator was no longer involved in his creation.
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Update: We originally posted about these screen printed posters on December 8th 2015, and the set quickly sold out. Well Nakatomi has announced they are bringing the Josh Budich’s sold-out three-print set back in a new OPEN edition, so if you missed out on these fast-selling prints last time, FORTUNE SMILES UPON YOU. Individual prints are $30 each, and full sets are $80. Orders should ship by the end of the month.
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If for some reason you’ve seen Star Wars but you haven’t yet partaken of Mel Brooks‘ classic parody Spaceballs, it’s about time you fixed that. In classic Mel Brooks fashion, Spaceballs mocks everything about Star Wars with self-referenctial humor, fourth wall breaks, and jokes about sci-fi tropes and goofy characters like Dark Helmet. It’s a favorite among comedy fans and sci-fi fans alike.
And now there’s the chance to partake in wise Yogurt’s noble endeavor of merchandising. One fan at LEGO Ideas has crafted two custom LEGO sets that give two of the iconic spacecrafts from Spaceballs the building block treatment. You can help vote to make them a reality. See the Spaceballs LEGO sets after the jump! Read More »
Family issues get more complicated in Hotel Transylvania 2 when the half-vampire grandson of the Adam Sandler-voiced version of Dracula doesn’t seem to be developing his monster side, and when Drac’s daughter gets a real taste of the human world while visiting human in-laws.
But the real attraction here is probably Mel Brooks, who voices the very old and seriously old-school father of Sandler’s vampire. That’s likely to provide even more generational conflict, and with Brooks providing the voice work, we’re ready to see (or hear) it in action. Get a taste of Brooks’ work in the Hotel Transylvania 2 trailer, below. Read More »
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The idea of Spaceballs 2: The Search for More Money was a great joke in Mel Brooks‘ hilarious 1987 comedy Spaceballs. The line about a hypothetical, self-aware sequel was a commentary on the licensing and popularity of the original Star Wars franchise Brooks was spoofing. Yet, because of that joke, Brooks and his co-stars have been asked about the sequel for the past twenty-five years.
Well, with a new series of Star Wars films coming this year, Brooks thinks it might finally be the right time for the Spaceballs sequel. In a new interview he hypothesized that, if they were to ever make Spaceballs 2, after the release of The Force Awakens would be the time. But the hurdles are many. Read more about Spaceballs 2 The Search for More Money below. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014 by Angie Han
Not only is Beca back for Pitch Perfect 2, so is her signature plastic cup. Also after the jump:
- Felicity Jones will join Tom Hanks in Inferno
- Mel Brooks signs on for Hotel Transylvania 2
- Stephen Hawking would like to be a Bond baddie
- The Paranormal Activity franchise is going 3D
- The Wanted 2 script is still being written
- The Rocky spinoff Creed is looking for extras
- Silent Night, Bloody Night 2 is in the works
- Tom Cruise has a close call while shooting M:I 5
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Two Mel Brooks classics are screening as a double feature at San Francisco’s Castro Theater Friday and Spoke Art has commissioned two really cool posters for the occasion. The films are Blazing Saddles and Spaceballs and the artist is Brandon Schaefer. Check both images out below. Read More »
It’s easy to overlook the fact that David Lynch‘s career is inexorably linked to Mel Brooks. The two men don’t seem to have much in common. But when Lynch’s first feature Eraserhead was on screens, one of Brooks’ producers, Stuart Cornfeld, saw the film and recommended Lynch as someone to work with. That ended up leading to The Elephant Man, which landed Lynch a Best Director Oscar nomination and established him as a filmmaker who could do more than outrageously weird stories.
Lynch had also been part of AFI’s class of 1970 — Eraserhead was made during Lynch’s tenure at the school — and yesterday AFI honored both Lynch and Brooks with honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts degrees. That’s one shot of the two men at the ceremony, above, but there is a much better image of the two grads below. Read More »