In July, director David Gordon Green begins shooting Your Highness in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Inspired by herb-friendly ’80s fantasies like Krull, Yor, and The Dark Crystal, the R-rated adventure-com centers on Danny McBride as a regal fuck-up who’s forced to save his kingdom and his brother’s fiancé. James Franco recently signed on—Pineapple Express reunion, natch—to play the feted, charming brother. And today, Natalie Portman is officially a lock to for McBride’s would-be love interest, described as a “warrior princess.” Some may recall that Portman was attached last year to headline Green’s remake of Dario Argento’s macabre, color-obsessed Supiria; that project remains on the back-burner. She’s currently producing and working on Hesher, a cool-sounding teen angst film co-starring Rainn Wilson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
McBride, who co-wrote Highness with Ben Best, has said that the supporting cast will consist of “serious” British actors to align with the film’s play-it-straight tone; in jest, he’s even compared the tone to Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon. The movie’s SFX by Spectral Motion will go light on CGI (a welcome trend) and—a la the actor’s upcoming Land of the Lost—willl shoot on built-sets that are “huge and crazy.” This project easily makes my top-5 most anticipated. For more info on Your Highness, click here.
While David Gordon Green and Danny McBride‘s trippy fantasy movie, Your Highness, has been sizzling on my radar for many months now, the project now sounds like it’s happening sooner than later. Hell yes. When I spoke to these dudes last year, they were hopeful, but Green also had a lot of plates spinning (Suspiria remake, Freaks of the Heartland). I also got the impression that if their HBO series, Eastbound & Down, was successful and claimed its place in pop culture—and boy, has it—that it might serve to launch such a high-concept R-rated flick with McBride at the lead. One thing more people are starting to admire is that these guys make sure to do things their way, no “one for them” studio fluffing.
According to Knowles at AICN, McBride confirms that the film has been greenlit by Universal, will shoot soon in Ireland, and the creature effects will be handled by Spectral Motion (Hellboy 1 & 2). In ode to its myriad inspirations, the film won’t feature heavy CGI but more traditional, weirder effects. Moreover, McBride let out that James Franco will co-star, in a Pineapple Express trifecta reunion of sorts. Many of you might be like, “So WTH is Your Highness?” Here are some quotes from my interviews that didn’t see light until today…
/Film: Can you go into Your Highness? Judging from the title and from what you guys previously did on Pineapple Express, is this a true-blue stoner genre film?
Green: It’s not really a weed movie. [Danny’s character] smokes shit [weed] in it, yeah, but it’s whatever they had in olden times. This is an R-rated adventure, it’s ridiculous, played with lo-tech effects. I looked at Army of Darkness recently for it, but it’s not campy. Krull has Juliard actors, it’s really ‘80s. At the same time, Danny ain’t Orlando Bloom.
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