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Twice the Fanboys

03.24.2008
There's been a tremor in the Force -- and it has come from the STAR WARS fan community. See, there's a movie called FANBOYS about friends way back in 1998 who take their terminally ill friend on a road trip to sneak into Skywalker Ranch so he can see THE PHANTOM MENACE before he croaks.

The uproar stems from the lengthy delay to its release and an alternate cut made by the Weinsteins (aka "Scissorhands") that excises the cancer plotline. The IRL fanboys went so far as to start a campaign and a boycott of future Dimension/Weinstein releases, demanding the tragic disease be replaced. The response from the studio: you'll have your cancer and eat it too!

Their official statement: "The Weinstein Company announced today that it plans to jointly release two versions of its highly anticipated film, “Fanboys,” on home video, with the Company exploring options for its theatrical release. In recent weeks, Star War 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.

Set in 1998, the film, starring Jay Baruchel (“Million Dollar Baby”), Tony Award Winner Dan Fogler (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”), Sam Huntington (“Superman Returns”), Chris Marquette (“Sugar Mountain,” “Joan of Arcadia”), and Kristen Bell (“Veronica Mars,” “Pulse”) is a heart warming comedy of a group of young, passionate Star Wars fans, drive cross-country to raid George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch, and watch “Star Wars: Episode 1- The Phantom Menace.”

“Over the last few weeks we have received a tremendous amount of input from Star Wars fans nationwide,” stated Matthew Frankel, Chief Communications Officer, The Weinstein Company. “While the later version tested very well with audiences, the grassroots support we have received for the first version simply cannot be ignored. We are very excited to launch these two films and look forward to giving the fans the opportunity to see both versions.”

Interesting to note that they are "exploring options for its theatrical release" -- having already missed the synergy of the 30th anniversary of STAR WARS last year, they'd have to wait until the CLONE WARS flick this summer for any kind of tie-in. Perhaps we'll be ready for 90s nostalgia by 2012.

But come on -- the only reason to be emotionally invested in this movie is for Kristen Bell in a slave Leia costume. The only cut of the movie I'd be interested in seeing is one where the 2008 versions of the characters travel back in time to 1998 and explain in excruciating detail what inconceivable abominations the prequels really are/were/will be. I'm still working on a way to do that for myself.
Extra Tidbit: Preference: Slave Leia Bell, or bare-stomach Padme from ATTACK OF THE CLONES?
Source: Weinstein Co.

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