Thursday, June 11, 2009

Land of the Lost

Today marks the Australian release of Land of the Lost. A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to be part of the Land of the Lost press frenzy that took place before the film’s World Premiere in Sydney. In the afternoon I interviewed director Brad Silberling about the film and his previous work on Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events and Casper. He had only handed over the final film days before and was in high spirits prior to the main event. Then in the evening I walked the red carpet and entered the press pit to have a chat with the film’s star Will Ferrell who seemed thrilled to be part of the film, a remake of the old 70s TV show. “When I heard the premise that they were going to ignore the kitsch style special effects and go for the realistic ones and play the comedy off of those it sounded like a lot of fun to me.”

“It was Will,” pipes in Silberling. “At some point Will was talking to a couple of friends and he, like I, was an original viewer of the show. His manager and producing partner Jimmy Miller tried to sort out how to get the rights to the show to potentially adapt it. It was just circumstance that I got involved; Will and I have known each other for a very long time but have never worked together. I was writing a piece and had a role in mind for Will, we were just having lunch. He said OK, I want to talk to you about Land of the Lost. He wanted to make the movie and there was also a threatened SAG strike. I had been an avid watcher but hadn’t set eyes on the show for thirty five years. It was fantastic when he told me, I just started cracking up. My memory bank immediately refilled with the images that stayed with me. The concept of taking a comedic sensibility and then selfishly harnessing the elements of the show that we remembered was kind of fantastic.”

It’s obvious the pair have an innate love for the source material but after last weeks US box office results it seems that the money paying public are not wearing the same rose tinted glasses. It will be interesting to see if the casting of Ferrell had a detrimental effect on viewers but it seems that those who loved the show do not want to see the Old School comic messing with their childhood memories. Ferrell does, however, finish by talking about his proposed Sherlock Holmes project with Sasha Baron Cohen that you would have though would have run out of steam following the soon to be released escapades of Robert Downey Jr and Guy Ritchie, “We just met a couple of weeks ago, just trying to figure out if we can still do it. We have both been so busy so we probably wouldn’t have a chance to do something until next year.”

I also reviewed the film today on Cinemascape on Eastside 89.7 FM for anyone living in the Sydney area.

Check out www.rollcreditsonline.com & www.cinemaretro.com for more Land of the Lost.