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‘Your Highness’ Panel - NYCC
L-R: Danny Mcbride, David Gordon Green, moderator, James Franco, Justin Theroux
After running almost a half hour late the cast members and director came out to an obviously energetic crowd. Justin Theroux, looking completely unrecognizable in a hat and shaggy beard. If I didn’t know better I would have thought he just stepped off the L or the set of Jackass. Without much delay they premiered a full length trailer.
Footage: This thing full exceeded the expectations I had for it. For the uninitiated it’s a stoner comedy, action, fantasy, period piece mash up in the tradition of the 80s (think The Dark Crystal, Conan The Barbarian). The trailer shown was equally hilarious as it was action packed. There’s a clever mix of CG, puppetry, and stop motion animation (with help from Guillermo Del Toro’s company). The sets and locations are epic and sprawling. In short they really went for it. The level of commitment is up there.
Performances (at least from what can be gleaned in the trailer) are strong as well. Theroux plays an evil wizard, again unrecognizable but instantly memorable. McBride is the film’s comedic center and provides most of the laughs in the trailer. A lot of which come from using F-Bombs in medieval Britain. You could also hear a collective schwing when the audience got a glimpse at Natalie Portman’s bikini scene (watch your back Princess Leia). All in all, it’s a great follow up to Pineapple Express for this team and looks to be carefully balancing comedy, action, and heart.
The rest of the panel was spent fielding questions (always hit or miss). When asked how he does so much Franco responded, “it only looks like I do a lot.” He also shared that Danny Boyle hired him for 127 Hours because of his work in Pineapple. Regarding General Hospital, Franco shared that it was all for art and eventually became a weird self referential performance exercise that blended reality and fiction. He shared that he might do more General Hospital and possibly even direct.
Danny McBride share with the audience that he was picked on in high school because, “he couldn’t throw a baseball.” Kenny Powers wouldn’t have that. He also expressed that getting to work on something you wrote such as this is endlessly gratifying as you see it come to fruition.
David Gordon Green spoke more about the film itself. Saying that the initial idea (and title) for it was first brought up ten years ago between McBride and himself on the set of All The Real Girls. It’s a mix of cult and commercial that the studio was very behind. He also spoke about the design of the film saying that there’s a lot of attention to detail and the period was taken seriously but there are many purposeful anachronisms done for comedy’s sake.
When asked if there would be a Pineapple Express 2, Gordon Green said there are ideas floating around and always gets excited when Seth and Evan (Rogen) talk about making it like Scarface or Clear and Present Danger.
And nobody asked about Natalie Portman or Zooey Deschannel. Weird.
Your Highness hits theaters April 8, 2011.