Friday, May 28, 2004

Karey Kirkpatrick, h2g2's screenwriter, interviews himself on the official movie blog

At last. We all wanted more informations about Karey's work. Karey's been hired by the director Jay Roach in september 2002 to rewrite the draft Douglas has just finished before he died.
It's a quite fascinating self interview. But, to tell the truth, I have been quite annoyed to read that he decided to interview himself because "noone has asked to interview (him)". I try to get an interview with him for now around eight months!! Damn guy!

Karey decided to choose humour for this interview. In the first questions, he dreams up a very wrathful fan who asks him harsh questions. And we learn that if he was "an avid Monty Python fan", he "had never read the book or any Douglas Adams before I was told this assignment". After reading Douglas' script, his first reaction was "I cant write this, this guy's a genius and I'm no genius". But, after meeting Jay, he decided to say ok. "I mean, how can you not get excited talking about poetry as torture or nuclear missiles that turn into a sperm whale and a bowl of petunias? Assignments like this dont come every day. Actually they never come along".

To familiarize with the material, he then started with the radio play and then the book "with pen and highlighter in hand". So "When I started writing, I had the novel on one side of my G4 laptop and the radio play scripts on the other side".

Robbie Stamp, co-producer of the movie and close friend of Douglas, "became an integral ally in my writing process of this film". He sent Karey "electronic copies of HHGG files from Douglas' hard drive, notes on his drafts, notes from him to the studio, random ideas and bits of dialogue exchanges....". He was also eager to know more about the man. So he read biographies, articles and seen Joel Greengrass' documentary.

He wanted his implication to be subtle : "My goal in the writing was to be like an editor on a feature film. If an editor has done his job well, you dont feel his or her presence.... Naturally there were holes (in Douglas' script) that needed to be filled so some new material and dialogue was required. But I was always going to the source material to find the right voice and tone."

Finally "I have never enjoyed writing a script more. And it is all because I had such amazing source material (and collaborators)... I started knowing little about this wholly remarkable book and have become a devoted fan".

Of course, Karey speaks also about Hammer & Tongs (some "incridble visual thinkers") and the three drafts he made (in the first one, too long, he mainly cut some narrator parts, and he tried to pay "a certain amount of attention to character, character relantionships and emotions").

Read the whole interview here

Friday, May 14, 2004

Martin's brother visits the movie set and adds a game to MF official website

Jamie Freeman, Martin's brother, is web designer and has made his brother's official website. He is also a true h2g2 fan, so he has opened a h2g2 section on Martin's website with some news. He also anounced he was working on a little silly online game, and that he soon going to visit the h2g2 movie set. Well, some guys have all the luck!

And now he wrote a quite detailed review of his visit, and has put online the long awaited h2g2 game.
I'll let you discover the first h2g2 movie game by yourself. It's a quite funny little thing. Regarding Jamie's text, let's say he spent a whole afternoon last week on the Lucas sound stage at Elstree studios, with such guides as Nick Goldsmith (the producing head of Hammer & Tongs) . According to Jamie, everything is "jaw-dropping" from the Heart of Gold design to Zaphod's second head, without forgeting the ugly vogons! Jamie had also the luck to talk a lot with Warwick Davis (Marvin) "a gent'', and he met Sam Rockwell (Zaphod) "a charming, funny man", and also (briefly) Mos Def (Ford) who seems to "get on really well" with Martin.

He also saw Zooey Deschanel (Trillian) at work (she's "fantastic on screen") and saw Garth Jenning's directing her : "Every take is different, always some variation in inflection, timing or expression. It means the director will end up with half a dozen different takes to choose from when it's time to edit, rather than 6 identical ones".

All the actors seem to be perfect in their parts : "I saw a bit of video playback with Mos as Ford Prefect with Zaphod and Arthur and I must say they looked great together. "

There's a lot more informations in Jamie's text so go to Martin's official website now.
Check out the h2g2 section on Martin's official website : IT'S HERE

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

The official website is now online !

The official website has opened the 11th may, just three years after douglas adams' death. The website opens with a funny flash animation of the earth destruction (in fact there are three animations available so you can try to enter again on the website once you've seen it to see the other animation). I like too what could be the movie's motto « The greatest adventure in the universe begins when the world ends ».

As promised, the website will be a blog, and will be (we hope) often updated to keep the fans in touch with the latest news avalaible from the better source you could dream of. It's great because i dont think they often do that kind of things for Hollywood movies.

The first entry is about douglas' death anniversary. All the staff made a one minute silence and were brought together for a great familly picture.

Thanks to this first entry, we also learn to that they've just began a scene in the heart of gold, after some muddy stuff in the british countryside.

To go to the official blog :

Sunday, May 9, 2004

Hugh Grant was not douglas' first choice

Honestly, I quite hesitated to put this news on my site. Thanks to "Ireland On line", this old rumour rose again. Not really a first choice rumour anyway. But it apparently came from a Bill Nighy's declaration. According to "Ireland On line", Nighy says of Freeman's casting in the role Adams wished for Grant : "They're both first class. Adams probably thought having Hugh on board would have got the film made."

So let's be clear about that. Douglas certainly though about Hugh Grant who is the most well known British actor. But his first choice, in the nineties, was undoubtedly Hugh Laurie (Blackaddder, Stuart Little, Fry and Laurie...). As, in the eighties, he still hoped to get Simon Jones (the original Arthur in the radio and tv series) on board.

It's not the first time that Hugh Grant's name is quoted when talking about the movie. In January 2002, Ed Victor (Douglas' agent and friend) announced that the movie was not buried, despite Douglas'death and that "Douglas thought Hugh Grant would make a marvelous Arthur and one of the Hollywood actors that's been tracking this for a long time, who wanted top play Zaphod Beeblebrox was Jim Carrey. So if you put those two together perhaps you could see a film there."

In fact an other choice of movie has been made. So there is a kind of opposition between a movie made by and with

Antony Jay (Austin Powers) + Hugh Grant + Jim Carrey
and what we've got now

Garth Jennings (Hammer & Tongs) + Martin Freeman + Sam Rockwell
Personally I've made my choice, even if it's the less commercial one.