I’ve heard many stories about the behind the scenes problems which pushed the release of Fanboys back again and agin, but having just left a screening of the finished version, a director’s cut by Kyle Newman, I can assure you that the problems have been greatly exaggerated. You have a very marketable cast, and a film which seems like an extremely easy sell to the target demographic. I think the problem is that The Weinsteins were hoping for an American Pie type film with mainstream appeal, but they instead have a movie aimed at a very targeted niche. But lets not forget, George Lucas has been able to make tons of money off this targeted group of fans.
After high school, Eric (Sam Huntington) ditched his Star Wars fanboy friends for a job as a car salesman, and now finds himself ready to take over his father’s franchise of car dealerships. When he learns that one of his former best friends Linus (Chris Marquette) has been diagnosed with Cancer and only has months to live, he convinces his former friends (Dan Fogler, Jay Baruchel) to go on a road trip to break into George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch, so that Linus could watch Star Wars: Episode I before he dies.
The film is your typical teen road trip film, laced with so many Star Wars references you’ll probably want to see it twice to take them all in. There are conversations about how Boba Fett is like Michael Bay, style but no substance, and arguments about if Luke really had a thing for his sister. The series of adventures include a stop in Riverside Iowa (the future birthplace of Captain Kirk) to fuck with Trekkies. Kristen Bell plays Zoe, a girl with feisty Princess Leia-like attitude who works at a comic book store, and is well versed in everything from Star Wars to video games. Basically, she’s a fanboys wet dream.
Seth Rogen has triple duty, playing a trekkie (who seems perfectly modeled after Gabriel Köerner from Trekkies), a Star Wars tattooed pimp, and a Star Trek alien who they run into while in Las Vegas. At one point in the film, one version of Seth Rogen fights another version of Seth Rogen on the big screen. Epic! Ethan Suplee plays Ain’t It Cool News’ Harry Knowles, and there is a bevy of other cameos which include Billy Dee Williams, Danny Trejo, Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Craig Robinson, Lou Taylor Pucci, Carrie Fisher, Danny McBride, and William Shatner playing himself. Ray Park (Darth Maul) even has a cameo as a THX security guard.
The film is not perfect, nor is it even on par with the best the teen comedy genre has to offer. Some of the problems include a kid dying of cancer who shows very little (if any) signs of sickness, a poorly developed romantic subplot, and a scene in a gay biker bar which should have been completely exorcised from the completed film. Oh, and Dan Fogler is painfully annoying. If only they had cast Jonah Hill or Tyler Labine instead. But the target audience of Star Wars fanboys and comic book geeks will surely eat it up. In it’s best moments it is a love letter to fandom and friendship.
/Film Rating: 7 out of 10
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JJ Abrams made a comment earlier this month that Captain Kirk was originally written into Star Trek, but that William Shatner‘s unwillingness to do a cameo nixed the scene from being shot. And of course, William Shatner has responded to JJ Abrams in his latest video blog, claiming that nobody ever offered him a cameo. “Maybe you wrote it, but it never presented itself to me,” snaps Shatner, before totally destroying his point by concluding that he “wouldn’t have wanted to do a cameo, because that you would have clipped that out.” But Shatner says it isn’t too late to bring Kirk back from the dead in a sequel. “If you make another one maybe you can think of ways of bringing Captain Kirk back to life. I brought him back to life in one of my books, very easily.” Watch the full video blog below.
Apparently JJ Abrams originally wrote William Shatner into the new Star Trek reboot.
“We actually had written a scene with him in it that was a flashback kind of thing,” Abrams told AMCtv. “But the truth is, it didn’t quite feel right. The bigger thing was that he was very vocal that he didn’t want to do a cameo. We tried desperately to put him in the movie, but he was making it very clear that he wanted the movie to focus on him significantly, which, frankly, he deserves. The truth is, the story that we were telling required a certain adherence to the Trek canon and consistency of storytelling. It’s funny — a lot of the people who were proclaiming that he must be in this movie were the same people saying it must adhere to canon. Well, his character died on screen. Maybe a smarter group of filmmakers could have figured out how to resolve that.”
So there you have it. William Shatner is the reason William Shatner doesn’t make a cameo in the new Trek.
In the new issue of Star Trek Magazine, both William Shatner and director JJ Abrams once again insist that the Shat has no part in the upcoming Star Trek reboot. Here is a quote from Shatner, courtesy of Trekmovie: “I have no connection with the film whatsoever. It’s the strangest thing. Even my dear friend Leonard [Nimoy] won’t tell me what it’s about.” Abrams claims that “the only cast member from the original films is Nimoy.”
Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I just don’t believe it. Yes, there are is that almost insurmountable story logic problem which would prevent Shatner from reprising the role as an older Captain Kirk, but I refuse to believe that he won’t be a part of the film in someway. Abrams seems like a very smart guy, and I don’t see how he could totally sidestep this opportunity. I could be completely wrong, and probably am, but I expect Shatner to appear on screen during Abrams’ film some how – possibly in a prop photo displayed on a monitor or something.
Discuss: Will Shatner Appear in Star Trek? Should Abrams try to find a way to squeeze him into the film?
Here is a round up of stories that just didn’t make the /Film front page, or what we like to call…. Page 2!
Lobster Johnson created this custom Heath Ledger-version Joker Munny.
Patrick Read Johnson has found financing to complete post production on his autobiographical indie “77,” (formerly titled 5/25/77) which chronicles the director’s journeys in Hollywood with George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. [THR]
William Shatner claims JJ Abrams never called him back. [trekmovie]
Warner Bros has scheduled a September 19th release date for Whiteout. [shock]
JustJared has new photos from the set of Crank 2: High Voltage which show star Jason Statham with some nasty fake scars on his back.
WALL-E was given a G-Rating by the MPAA.Â [animatednews]
Cineleet takes a look at the influences of Star Wars in a column titled Before the Galaxy Far, Far Away.
The Incredible Hulk has invaded New York City. Head over to Marvel for more images.
Eric Lively, Tony Todd and Gil Bellows have been cast in the “24” prequel. [THR]
MTV has the first chapter of Vern’s new book Seagalogy: A Study of the Ass-Kicking Films of Steven Seagal.
Sony Pictures Classics is in final negotiations for James Toback‘s boxing documentary “Tyson,” which chronicles the life of former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson. [THR]
MovieMistakes has a list of over 70 mistakes from the original Indiana Jones series.
Blockbuster is advertising on Pizza boxes?! [Gizmodo]
Rotten Tomatoes takes a look at the top 20 sequels they’re still waiting for.
The Disney Movie Surfers have taken a behind-the-scenes look at WALL-E, and new footage is featured.
Fanboy has a look at all the Indiana Jones Knock-Offs in a segment they call The Hall of Shame.
Jim Hill blogs about the lost action sequences where Indiana Jones battled samurai and a machine-gun toting warlord, that was cut from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
The Daily Mail has the first photo of a bald Cameron Diaz on the set of My Sister’s Keeper. Scary!
Star Wars: The Clone Wars will be rated PG for "sci-fi action violence throughout, brief language and momentary smoking." [io9]
NBC will air a special Incredible Hulk-themed episode of “American Gladiators” with guest star Lou Ferrigno. [SHH]
Madonna‘s newest film, a documentary about the struggles of Malawi, titled I Am Because We Are, will screen at Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival in August. [variety]
One of NECA’s comic con exclusives is an action figure three pack from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles featuring a set of three Mousers. [mechzilla]
FestivalCentral asks people at Cannes how to pronounce the title of Charlie Kaufman‘s directorial debut Synecdoche, New York. Jeff Wells reports that Kaufman says the pronunciation is “Syn-ECK-duh-kee.”
Blogwarts has yet another new (but way too small) photo from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Twentieth Century Fox paid $550,000 to the Smithsonian Institution for the right to use its name in Night at the Museum 2: Escape From the Smithsonian. [sci-fi]
Build your own cubecraft Indiana Jones and Golden Idol on Cubecraft.com.
Fangoria reports that actor Glenn Morshower is set to return to Transformers 2. Morshower is best known for playing a secret service agent in 24, and appeared in the original movie as a military Sargent at the US Soccent.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine has wrapped principal photography. [iesb]
Check out these two videos from Sundance, director, writer and actor Clark Gregg discusses his new film Choke. [searchlight]
Screenrant has a report from a Star Trek panel this past weeknd at Creation Entertainment’s 16th Annual Grand Slam: The Sci-Fi Summitin Burbank, CA. Here are some highlights:
- The movie will be rated PG-13 and have a budget “far below” $200 million. A $160 million price-tag has been floating around the web for months now.
- The most interesting tidbit revealed a story (I had yet to hear) about of how JJ Abrams came onto the project. Apparently Steven Spielberg read the script and helped convince J.J. Abrams to sign on to the project. TrekMovie reports that Spielberg also visited the set during shooting scenes on the Enterprise and helped JJ Abrams work out a scene to help ‘with the action’
- Leonard Nimoy also admitted that “it would have been damaging to the story to put Shatner in the film.” As much as I want to see William Shatner in the film, an attemp to erase Captain Kirk’s death from Star Trek: Generations would waste valuable screen time, and just serve to sidetrack the story.
- The USS Enterprise will be assembled in space, although parts of it will be assembled on Earth.
- Screenwriter Roberto Orci claims that the film was pushed back because “Paramount really wants it to be a summer blockbuster.”
- There is at least one Star Trek reference in Transformers 2
You can read the full report on Screenrant.
Star Trek co-writer Roberto Orci is now saying that William Shatner might appear in JJ Abrams’ Star Trek prequel/reboot after all.
“Still, it could happen,” Orci admitted after explaining to SciFi that the problem is two fold: “One, from our point of view, we are still hoping to find a way. Secondly, one of the difficulties that was brought up and discussed with Shatner when we all met him and pitched him ideas is that Trek fans are sticklers for their canon. [And,] unfortunately, Shatner’s Captain Kirk was killed in Star Trek VII [1994's Generations].”
But Shatner will never be written into the script if the writers strike continues.
“From my point of view, it’s a very long shoot, and things change. It’s just whether we can figure it out.”
Call my cynical, but I continue to believe that a Shatner cameo has already written. Orci, Kurtzman, Abrams and Shatner have agreed to deny deny deny to keep the surprise, and many of Paramount brass have also been kept out of the loop. Could I be totally off base? Well, yeah…
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
A bunch of big name websites reported earlier this week that William Shatner will (at least) have a cameo in the upcoming JJ Abrams Star Trek movie. We haven’t believed Shatner’s story from the very beginning (heck, we love the guy, but he’s not a very god actor). But Shatner strikes back yet again with another video interview, again denying the recent rumor reports. He claims that the reason he isn’t being brought back is because his character is dead. But even Shatner understands in the world of Science Fiction, if dinosaurs can be brought back to life, than so can Kirk. The funniest part has to be Shatner saying “I don’t do cameos!”
I have no inside info on this one, one way or the other. But my money is on a Shatner appearance in JJ Abrams Star Trek. Check out the video after the jump, and tell me what you think: Will Shatner return?
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