FANBOYS To Be Released In Original Version

The battle to save the Fanboys 'cancer cut' is over, and the fans have claimed victory.
On July 6, The Official Fanboys MySpace Blog announced that the long-awaited Star Wars-themed comedy flick Fanboys finally will be released theatrically and in its original, unadulterated version.

It's been a long, bumpy ride for this little indie darling, which survived a tug-of-war between the producers and the fans over a central plot which is unusual for a teen comedy but vital to the story's original intent.

Written by Ernest Cline & Adam F. Goldberg, Fanboys follows a group of friends (including Kristen Bell, right) 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.

A rough cut of the full film, with cancer storyline, received a standing ovation after its first public viewing at Star Wars Celebration Europe on July 14th, 2007.

Following this, Director Kyle Newman was given more funding to shoot additional scenes that the original budget would not allow. But the cast was unavailable until September '07, so the movie's release date was moved to January 18, 2008.

Then, on January 14 this year, TRAVIS TIDMORE at The CineManiac broke the story that the production company owned by director Judd Apatow (Knocked Up) had picked up Fanboys and sent Little Nicky director Steven Brill--NOT Newman--for last-minute re-shoots that removed the cancer plot and substituted the sort of raunchy humor more commonly found in teen comedies.

"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?"

Ain't It Cool News picked up the story and confirmed that the two versions of the movie were screened for different test audiences in Burbank, CA, in January. As for a new release date, Newman stated in a Movie Geeks United! interview that the movie hopefully would come out in April.

Upon hearing about the changes being made to the film, dedicated fans united for an internet campaign demanding that the original version be released in theaters.

In late March, Fanboys distributor The Weinstein Company announced that it would be releasing both cuts of the film on DVD "with the Company exploring options for its theatrical release.

"Star Wars fans nationwide have built a multi-tiered grassroots effort to voice their strong support for one of the earlier versions of the film, including a campaign which generated over 300,000 emails in support for the film. Based on the tremendous feedback and interest from the fans, today’s announcement will ensure both versions will be equally available within the marketplace."

In the same press release, TWC claimed that the new (no cancer) cut had "tested very well with audiences." But Slashfilm's PETER SCIRETTA reported at the time that all feedback he'd received led to the opposite conclusion.

"I think Star Wars fans expected that both cuts of the film would be included on the eventual DVD," Sciretta also wrote. "The fight was to get the first (and what I’ve heard, better) cut distributed theatrical, instead of the Steve Brill edit which completely ignores the cancer storyline."

Sciretta and the other fans can rest easy. Ain't It Cool News received an email late last week confirming the MySpace report that Weinstein will distribute the original version.

"We hereby end our boycott of the Weinstein Company!" announced AICN. "The studio has earned our respect and gratitude by actually listening to their target audience."

Newman is currently at Skywalker Ranch editing the final version of Fanboys for theatrical release later this year. We hope.

[Original article by CanMag's RYAN PARSONS. Thanks to Wikipedia for additional info.]
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