How do you, with a straight face, make a movie about a group of buddies taking their terminally ill friend to break into Skywalker Ranch to see Episode I before it comes out (and before he dies)? Unless the film ends with Cancer Boy seeing the bad film and using it to make his peace with dying – ‘Now that this movie is so bad, I have no reason to live’ – all you have is a sham. A relentlessly sentimental sham, at that.
But that’s the story of Fanboys, a movie that has been sitting undistributed for what feels like ten years. It’s been tinkered and toyed with over time, and it may hold the record as the film that has been to San Diego Comic Con the most consecutive years. Recently I talked to Dan Fogler, one of the stars of the movie, and he told me that the film was delayed this time because they got money to include new FX from ILM. He assured me the film would be out soon. Director Kyle Newman, whose remake of Revenge of the Nerds imploded in an ugly and sudden way during filming, has also said that the film would be seen.
Now the question becomes in what form will it be seen? According to some guy with a blog (not the most auspicious of credentials), Judd Apatow has become involved in the film and he (and or his people) have created a new cut of the film, one which jettisons the cancer storyline, which apparently bummed people out. Harry Knowles of Aint It Cool News* says that the film is being tested this week in Burbank in both forms.
I have not seen Fanboys, which I think makes me in the minority in the internet movie world, but I have read the script and I must tell you that I hated it. Despised it. I have nothing against Newman, who is by all indications a nice guy and apparently gave the nod to let me into his overflowing party at Comic Con last year, but even if he was personally curing AIDS orphans with his tears, the script still sucks ass. It reads like Kevin Smith after a tremendous blow to the head. The movie may be better than the script, based on the fact that Newman gathered a decent comedic cast, but the basics still stink. And the idea of taking the shameless and cloying cancer plot out is one that would at least make the film hateable, and not actionable.
By the way, Fanboys is only one of the MIA Star Wars-related movies. Whatever happened to 5-25-77, the movie about a guy trying to see Star Wars on opening day? Here’s my theory: there’s a curse on all Star Wars films post-Jedi, and you’re better off when they’re unreleased.
*The guy who gave Cloverfield a rave similar to the ones he gave Godzilla and Episode II!