FANBOYS Reshoots Delay Release...Again?!

From THE RUMOR MILL: Ain't It Cool News has passed along gossip about the much-delayed Kristen Bell flick, Fanboys.
January 18th had been set for the theatrical bow of the long awaited Star Wars-themed comedy Fanboys, which CHUD's DEVIN FARACI said "may hold the record as the film that has been to San Diego Comic Con the most consecutive years." Then, on Monday (14 January), citing anonymous sources, TRAVIS TIDMORE at reported the rumor that the production company owned by Knocked Up director Judd Apatow had picked up Fanboys and taken it back for some last-minute re-shoots.

The report is that Apatow's producer, Shauna Robertson, is helping to re-edit the film using the new footage, which was shot from existing script drafts (thus observing WGA rules), in order to rework the central plot.

Written by Adam F. Goldberg & Ernest Cline, Fanboys follows a group of friends (Sam Huntington, Chris Marquette, Dan Fogler, Jay Baruchel, and "petite Veronica Mars va-va-voom girl Kristen Bell") who try to break into Skywalker Ranch to steal a pre-release copy of Star Wars: Episode I so that another friend can see it before he dies of cancer. It features Ray Park, Danny Trejo, William Shatner, and Star Wars vets Carrie Fisher & Billy Dee Williams.

"Sounds pretty funny to me," commented JOHN BROWNLEE at, "but apparently I'm an evil sociopath with an ichorous heart."

Why would Brownlee make that crack? Because the reported rumor includes the claim that Apatow's people want to excise the entire cancer plot, based on research which says most people won't laugh for five or ten minutes after "cancer" is mentioned.

"This means it's just a group of punk kids breaking into Skywalker Ranch to steal a movie to see it before it comes out," explained Tidmore. "Why would I root for these kids to steal the film, if the noble reason for doing it is gone?"

HARRY KNOWLES at Ain't It Cool News, who saw the original version of Fanboys, said that it "wasn't just a 'yuckfest' but actually had a heart and a soul to it. Like most fanboys themselves, the movie was about the friendship and the possible loss of a friend that made the boys stand up and take on the impossible."

Trying to give the producers the benefit of the doubt, AICN's MORIARTY suggested that "there's a real push happening here to find a version of the movie that makes everyone happy."

But Tidmore's not convinced. "From what I saw the movie didn't need reworking, which is apparently what the Apatow crew are doing."

"First of all, pulling the release this close to the date is just mean," vented MICHELLE GRAHAM at, "not to mention bad business as all the fans who were previously interested in the movie just drift away, and secondly removing the motivation of the characters...would be the equivilent of a failed heart transplant on a previously healthy patient."

CHUD's Faraci hasn't seen Fanboys, but he has read the script and thinks it "sucks ass." And, while admitting the possibility that director Kyle Newman and his talented cast could salvage the story, he still thinks that "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."

Some reporters and bloggers, however, are suspicious about the veracity of the rumor--Slashfilm's HUNTER STEPHENSON pointed out that it comes from a "friend of a friend close to the production." Others choose to be optimistic. The apparently despairing Tidmore hopes the re-edited version has been "shot down," and KATEY RICH at Cinema Blend doubts that producer Robertson, the collaborator of so successful a filmmaker as Apatow, would turn a "tender and sweet comedy...into a raunchfest."

Either way, Rich has "a feeling there’s plenty we don’t know in this situation, and Robertson probably isn’t ruining everything the way a lot of, well, fanboys fear."

"I'm a bit confused by the hub-bub, frankly," admitted AMCTV's Brownlee. "Is dying of cancer funny? Certainly not. But being forced to watch The Phantom Menace isn't all that hilarious either and I have first hand experience of the latter."

[Thanks to SciFi Wire for the link.]
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