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New Cast Information For 'Hitchhiker's' Movie 420

Kathleen writes "I was listening to the old Hitchiker's radio plays, and feeling nostalgic, I decide to check out how the movie version was going along. Well, they've filled out some important parts, Zaphod and Marvin have been cast. Zaphod is played by Sam Rockwell who's most recently been in Matchstick Men and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. Marvin is being played by Warwick Davis (Who was Willow Ufgood in Willow). Slartibartfast will be played by Bill Nighy. This news is a little distressing, since I was under the impression that Stephen Moore would still be handling the voice of Marvin."
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New Cast Information For 'Hitchhiker's' Movie

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  • More information (Score:5, Informative)

    by ankit ( 70020 ) * on Sunday February 22, 2004 @05:19PM (#8357291) Homepage Journal
    here/a [slashdot.org]

    • another American atrocity this way comes

    • Just a reminder (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rblancarte ( 213492 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @05:50PM (#8357475) Homepage
      Not that you /.ers can be trusted to actually read a page BEFORE commenting on it, but IMDB.com does add this note to projects that are still in the planning stages (like HhGTTG):
      Note: Since this project is categorized as being in production, the data is subject to change or could be removed completely.
      • Re:Just a reminder (Score:5, Informative)

        by gbulmash ( 688770 ) <semi_famous@ya[ ].com ['hoo' in gap]> on Monday February 23, 2004 @01:05AM (#8359910) Homepage Journal
        Not that you /.ers can be trusted to actually read a page BEFORE commenting on it, but IMDB.com does add this note to projects that are still in the planning stages (like HhGTTG): "Note: Since this project is categorized as being in production, the data is subject to change or could be removed completely."

        Worth noting, though, is that if you subscribe to their IMDbPro [imdb.com] web site, they have news items (subscription required) [imdb.com] available from The Hollywood Reporter that confirm the casting of Martin Freeman (Dent), Mos Def (Prefect), Rockwell (Zaphod), and others. It may still not be written in stone, but when it comes from The Hollywood Reporter, it can be considered pretty reputable.

        - Greg

    • What's Important (Score:4, Insightful)

      by rpeh ( 691577 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @07:11PM (#8357880) Homepage
      It really doesn't matter who plays whom. What's more worrying is that Adams' script is being rewritten. HHGTTG is probably the finest comedy written thus far in human history and the idea that somebody could do better than DNA is tantamount to heresy.

      The main reason the film has never been made is that Adams was never happy with what Hollywod was offering. Do we really thing he'd be happy with some droid scriptwriter massacring his work?

      If The Powers That Be didn't like DNA's script, they don't deserve to benefit from it.
  • by focitrixilous P ( 690813 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @05:21PM (#8357300) Journal
    Who is playing the Vogons? I vote for Jim Carrey, but that might be too graphic for most people. I mean, I can't handle him reading normal lines. What will Vogon poetry sound like in the mouth of the child of satan himself?
  • Narrator (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jonin893 ( 666637 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @05:23PM (#8357312)
    I can only hope they have a compotent narrator, a good percentage of the jokes in the book/radio show are from the narration of book passages and exposition.
    • Re:Narrator (Score:4, Funny)

      by rholliday ( 754515 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @05:27PM (#8357339) Homepage Journal
      James Earl Jones would be good, though a more British accent would probably fit better. Maybe Sean Connery? Picure James Bond saying, "Oddly enough, the only thought that went through the bowl of petunia's mind was, 'Oh no, not again.'"
      • Re:Narrator (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Jonin893 ( 666637 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @05:31PM (#8357372)
        Well, I figure it shouldn't be that hard to find a good narrator. Basically every video that my teachers try and make me watch in history courses is narrated by some guy with a british accent. Although Bond talking about digital watches would have a certain level of entertainment value.
      • Re:Narrator (Score:4, Interesting)

        by iamanatom ( 700380 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @06:45PM (#8357746)
        I think Tom Baker would be excellent. He was one of the Doctor Whos and narrated 'Little Britain' (sketch comedy show made last year in Britain (oddly enough). His voice is quite deep and gravely but with lots of range when he uses it and it is totally English. It's a very nice voice to listen to explaining things.
      • Tim Curry (Score:3, Interesting)

        I think Tim Curry [imdb.com] would make a good narrator. He's no stranger to voice acting, either, as he did the voice for the Gabriel Knight games series (not including the lackluster second-installment).... and he's British!
      • Re:Narrator (Score:3, Insightful)

        James Earl Jones would be good,

        Bloody fucking hell.

        James Earl Jones as The Book:

        Here is what to do if you want to get a lift from a Vogon: forget it. They are one of the most unpleasant races in the Galaxy--not actually evil, but bad-tempered, bureaucratic, officious and callous. They wouldn't even lift a finger to save their own grandmothers from the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal without orders signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry, lost agai

    • Re:Narrator (Score:5, Informative)

      by Mononoke ( 88668 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @05:49PM (#8357470) Homepage Journal
      I can only hope they have a compotent narrator, a good percentage of the jokes in the book/radio show are from the narration of book passages and exposition.
      Nothing in the radio show is from the book, as the radio show came first. Obviously this required verbal exposition in the radio show to actually tell the story.

      If they want to do this well, they will go back to the original radio and TV scripts for the majority of their inspiration, as the book was actually the third generation of the story. (IMHO)

      • Re:Narrator (Score:5, Informative)

        by TomV ( 138637 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @06:10PM (#8357563)
        Nothing in the radio show is from the book, as the radio show came first. Obviously this required verbal exposition in the radio show to actually tell the story.

        Not passage from "the book", passages from "The Book" (as in "The Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, starring Peter Jones as The Book")
      • Re:Narrator (Score:3, Informative)

        by Hythlodaeus ( 411441 )
        The book passages in question are from that fictional Wholly Remarkable Book, not the novels.
      • Re:Narrator (Score:3, Informative)

        by albionsoft ( 629770 )
        the book was actually the third generation of the story.

        Second. The novel predates the TV series.
    • Re:Narrator (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Xolotl ( 675282 )
      The best would have been Peter Jones [imdb.com], the narrator from both the original radio series and the TV series. He had a particularly distinctive voice which made him wonderful as The Book (the narration in the HHG is actually the voice of the Guide itself), so much so that a number of documentaries even had their narration done in the same style with him reading it.

      Unfortunately, he died in 2000, but there are so many recordings of him, including all the right fragments from the radio series, that if they real

  • Marvin (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mononoke ( 88668 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @05:24PM (#8357314) Homepage Journal
    Marvin is being played by Warwick Davis (Who was Willow Ufgood in Willow). ... This news is a little distressing, since I was under the impression that Stephen Moore would still be handling the voice of Marvin.
    This may not be as bad as it initially sounds; James Earl Jones didn't 'play' Darth Vader, either. However, he did a nice job as Vader's voice.

  • by thestarz ( 719386 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @05:24PM (#8357315)
    I, for one, welcome the return of our old Vogon overlords.
  • by dupper ( 470576 ) <adamlouis@gmail.com> on Sunday February 22, 2004 @05:24PM (#8357318) Journal
    The man was Wicket Warrick in Return of the Jedi, for god's sake, and you should identify him as such!

    I'm sorry, Kathleen, but I have to confiscate your Geek license. Please hand in your badge and toy phaser, on your way out.

  • I wonder (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bobdoer ( 727516 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @05:25PM (#8357322) Homepage Journal
    How far will they have to pare [rinkworks.com] down the book to make a three hour (or so) movie?
  • by Sloppy ( 14984 ) * on Sunday February 22, 2004 @05:26PM (#8357329) Homepage Journal
    Sorry, but when I think of Warwick Davis...

    There once was a robot from Sirius
    His lust for my gold was quite serious
    He let out a cry
    As I punctured his eye
    Now he's depressed and delirious!

    • That was... (Score:5, Funny)

      by telekon ( 185072 ) <canweriotnow&gmail,com> on Sunday February 22, 2004 @05:36PM (#8357404) Homepage Journal
      Almost as bad as Vogon poetry.
      • The putty in my armpit is green
        But with these clothes it's not seen
        To it I will write
        An ode full of spite
        As a leprechaun, I'm most obscene

        A finitely improbable clover
        Of these I am no lo-ver
        But even look at me gold
        And a grudge I will hold
        And for you, it will all be over

        The size of a planet, my brain
        For me gold, I'll cut you in twain
        And then you'll be dead
        The last thought in your head
        Will be "Oh no, not again."

        • by Hentai ( 165906 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @06:13PM (#8357578) Homepage Journal
          Oozing with pustulent fervence the slippery slick G'gharfulk nippled its twarks through the fetid swamp.

          In, out, in, out, and in and out and in and out the G'gharfulk splorched disgustingly through the tight orifice of the N'hargla-fep. They quivered and squicked in an imperfect rythm as the G'hib flies laid their maggot-eggs upon them.

          O where has the G'hib laid its eggs? From deep within the pie-crust of my heart I wish to gloop and splorch with the lowly G'gharfulk!

          Why has this deep loneliness been denied me? I drink but my navel vomits forth, and I am not filled!

          By devouring the N'hargla-fep I become the G'gharfulk and thus take part in its oozing dance!

          Feed the G'gharfulk within your soul and let your mighty tendrils lick deep of the slime-covering on the N'hargla-fep's back!

          Its salty ooziness covers your eyes and makes useless the panting and wheezing of your lungs! It spurts! Watch as the Tsuuba worm coils deep within your colon, and feel it push its way through your liver and out your navel! I cannot hold water! Come, come, this constipation consumes me!

          So I dissolve, and the G'gharfulk eats deep of my brains and the stink of my teeth.

          Good night. Or is it morning? Who am I to care. Where's my jock strap?'

        • by Bloater ( 12932 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @06:23PM (#8357622) Homepage Journal
          That limerick's really quite crap
          Though I'm sure you're a reasonable chap,
          Only one line,
          nearly finished on time,
          So next time don't open your trap.
  • My Hero! (Score:4, Funny)

    by bbsguru ( 586178 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @05:26PM (#8357331) Homepage Journal
    I had no idea!
    I'm Thrilled!
    This means that one of my favorite stories will feature one of my favorite Televsion personalities!
    Bill Nighy the Science Guy will be in HHGTG!

    Wow. What's that? Nye? Not Nighy?

    ...Never mind.

  • by ArekRashan ( 527011 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @05:27PM (#8357340) Journal
    Sam Rockwell seems like a particularly good choice for Mr. Beeblebrox. I just wonder who will get the tap to be Mr. Prefect.
  • by benk ( 93688 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @05:27PM (#8357346)
    I always thought Alan Rickman would be a good Zaphod.


    And why not cast Darl as a Vogon?

  • by ixplodestuff8 ( 699898 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @05:28PM (#8357349)
    Movies never live up to the books, I predict critics will give this a SIX * NINE out of a hundred rating.
  • by telekon ( 185072 ) <canweriotnow&gmail,com> on Sunday February 22, 2004 @05:28PM (#8357351) Homepage Journal
    Warwick Davis?

    This explains soooo much! He wasn't a paranoid android, he was just self-conscious about his height! Really, there needs to be a support group for midget robots.

    Wait, no, that's not politically correct! What is the PC term for those like Marvin?

    "Little Androids?"
    "Dwarfbots?"
    "Vertically Challenged Metallic Artificial Persons?"

  • Mos Def as Ford Prefect?

    I know they are going to ruin it now. It's going to flop and everyone is going to talk about how much the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy sucks without knowing the triumph of the original radio, television and book series.

    In the original radio, TV and book series, Ford Prefect was an alien who tried to assume a hipster personality circa 1978. I guess the choice of Mos Def is supposed to have a hipster character that is appropriate to 2004. But all you HHGTTG fans and I know tha
    • by tealover ( 187148 )
      I like the choioce. I'd much rather see this production take some chances than emulate something that's already been done. Otherwise there's no purpose in it being made again.

      I certainly have no desire to see another stilted, British production. I can only put up with about half an hour of that stuff per month (thanks PBS).
      • I tend to think British productions are much higher in quality and presentation. Personally, I could watch hours of British programming as long as it's not DIY or gardening stuff. Dramas, Comedies and especially Mysteries tend to be the best programmes from the UK.
    • by Kupek ( 75469 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @05:59PM (#8357517)
      Someone else on slashdot, during the last hitchiker thread, addressed the issue of changes quite well: the series has appeared in a variety of mediums, and each time it was different than it was in the other mediums. It's going to be no different with the movies. So try to just enjoy the ride instead of saying, prematurely, "This person isn't right for this party for reasons x, y and z."
    • I'm enthrilled to see that the mods agree with this racist bullshit.

      Just cause the guy is black doesn't mean it's going to be Men in Black nor that there will be Hip Hop. JC what a bunch of stereo-typical crap.

      Maybe there IS going to be Hip Hop. So the fuck what?

      I don't remember Douglas Adams ever pointing out the color of Ford's skin.
    • by Trolling4Dollars ( 627073 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @06:58PM (#8357827) Journal
      Hmmmm... you folks are definitely out to lunch who think I'm racist. I mean, my cousin is considered black for god's sake (her father was black/native american). My point is that Hip-Hop and the HHGTTG don't mix any more than Masterpiece Theater and an Italian Gangster film do. I wouldn't mind if they picked say... Laurence Fishburne to play Ford, I think he'd do a good job with it. I mean... you're not going to pick Britney Spears to play Anne Frank, Marie Curie or even a Doctor Who companion and actually think it would work? As far as the other person who suggested that guy from RedDwarf (I'm assuming you mean the Lister character) I think he'd be an excellent choice.

      Sorry, you can be an idiot and paint me with the racism brush, but it's not going to stick. The only problem I've got with the casting is that they didn't pick a more British type of hipster. Thank god they didn't cast that idiot Kidd Rock as Zaphod. Now that would have been a total tragedy.
    • by aswang ( 92825 ) <aswang@fatoprofu ... t minus caffeine> on Sunday February 22, 2004 @07:17PM (#8357907) Homepage
      Before you criticize, it might be worthwhile to know what you're talking about. I can't believe you just equated Mos Def with Nelly. That's a lot like equating the Beatles with N'sync.

      In case you cared, Mos Def, unlike many self-styled "MCs," is a real artist, a poet who started off in spoken word venues like the Brooklyn Moon. Unlike the commercialized hip-hop spewed by Clear Channel radio stations targeted at white suburbanites to reinforce their stereotypes of people of color, Mos Def actually has a positive message for the urban counterculture, rooted in the Civil Rights Movement, and the struggle of people of color everywhere to attain equality.

      I have a feeling that Mos Def and Douglas Adams would have had a lot to talk about. After all tHHGttG saga talks a lot about the disgusting excesses of capitalism and the rampant insanity of corporate culture (see Magrathea and the collapse of the Galactic Stock Market, the Sirius Cybernetic Corporation, Hotblack Desiato being dead for "tax purposes," the awesome satire in the sequence involving the Golgafrinchans, and the fact that the enemy in the final book is an evil corporation), the way the powers-that-be and the media manipulate the masses (remember, anyone you actually meet is the product of a deranged imagination, the fact that most everything is "somebody else's problem" makes it possible to create a good stealth device, and there's the irony when the tourism industry's campaign in Ursa Minor Beta backfires when they state that "when you are tired of Ursa Minor Beta, you are tired of life," and then there's the message in front of tHHttG which advises "Don't Panic!") and then there's the whole idea of revisionist history and the desecration of ancient sites all in the name of progress and profit (as in the story of the Cathedral of Chalesm, the poet who was bought out by the pen company and who had to plagiarize his own work in order to get them written, and more obviously the destruction of Earth in order to make way for a hyperspace bypass), the pointless destruction wrought by war (see the Silastic Armor fiends of Striterax, and the Krikkiters after them, and then those guys who fought wars just because they saw strange things in the sky, and ended up killing mostly the peaceful forest people in the middle), the evil of racism (again, the Krikkiters) and the fact that the people who want to have power shouldn't be allowed to have power (wonderfully lampooned by the description of the guy who actually runs the universe)

      I think Mos Def would make a great Ford Prefect.
    • Everyone else here has mentioned "The Italian Job" already, so I'll content myself with pointing out that Mos Def also does a lot of on- and off-Broadway live theater work in New York City, for which he's won an Obie award and been nominated for a Tony.

      He's an extremely talented actor who happens to also be a pretty good lyricist as well. Get over it.
  • Martin Freeman (Score:5, Informative)

    by BitchAss ( 146906 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @05:30PM (#8357365) Homepage
    Great choice for Arthur Dent [imdb.com]. He's from The Office [imdb.com]. Anyone else seen that - it seems like a /. show. It's like Office Space with more bite.
  • Sam Rockwell... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Masem ( 1171 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @05:34PM (#8357394)
    ...is probably better know to the Slashdot crowd as the "extra/red-shirt/6th crew member" in "Galaxy Quest". He also played the main villian in the first "Charlie's Angels" movie, and is actually slowly moving up the Hollywood chain of success. I think this is a good choice, though certainly others could work as well. (for example, I think Robin Williams could do that part well).
  • by jjeffries ( 17675 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @05:35PM (#8357396)
    I know it's been decided but I can't help that Rowan Atkinson [imdb.com] would be a great Ford Prefect... there's just something not quite right about his [blogger.com.br] nose [actustar.com]...
  • by MROD ( 101561 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @05:39PM (#8357419) Homepage
    OK, so does this mean that we're getting a Marvin of small statue and squeaky voice? I do hope not. In the pevious discussion I made some snide remarks about the studios changing Marvin into a C3-PO like character. Maybe I didn't go far enough with my cynicisum, they maybe making him into a cross between R2-D2 and an Ewok. (eek! :-))

    I can see that the producers might be one of the first against the wall when the revolution comes. (After the board of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation, of course.)
  • by tealover ( 187148 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @05:47PM (#8357454)
    Since it's not a BBC production, it stands a chance of having production values above that of a 2nd grade art class.

    • Re:This is Good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @06:02PM (#8357527) Homepage Journal
      "Since it's not a BBC production, it stands a chance of having production values above that of a 2nd grade art class."

      Crack jokes about it if you like. But HGtGttG was and Dr. Who were far better than the scifi we have today. When you have '2nd grade art class' effects, you have to focus more on making the script interesting.

      Frankly, I wouldn't complain a whole lot about the fx they had back then. I recently purchased the DVD for Hitchhiker and they actually stunned me with one of their effects. The guide had a full color animated screen. Today that'd be done with either a PocketPC (like in Nemesis) or by digitally adding the imagery later. What they did back then was they found a neat way to funnel light from a projector in that thing. Ingenius.

      It's also worth mentioning that the animations they did for the guide won awards. Despite being hand-animated, they were quite effective in selling people on the idea that they were watching a computerized presentation of the information the Guide contained.

      As an artist who does that kind of work, I found Hitchhiker to be surprisingly good, even today. I nitpicked it far less than I did Episode II.
  • by DaveRomigh ( 103658 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @05:49PM (#8357469) Journal
    Alright, kiddies.. am I the only one who's kept their head here?

    Kathleen, you cite NO sources in this - just links to the actors' pages on IMDB.com.

    What gives? We're now posting news articles with no sources at all? Let me rummage around for my bullshit flag.
  • by fafaforza ( 248976 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @05:53PM (#8357484)
    Wait a minute. That second single quote be escaped.

    New Cast Information For 'Hitchhiker\'s' Movie
  • by ravepunk ( 754155 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @06:05PM (#8357538)
    He's the title designer for "Da Ali G Show" for chrissake. I do not believe that the delicate sarchasm in Adams' work can be trusted to a music video director who designed the titles for a reasonably good TV show.

    In both the radio show and the BBC TV Series, what made the jokes work was the voice characterization and acting. Without a good director at the helm who has a letter perfect sense of comic timing and voice characterization necessary to pull off the sarchasm, this movie will fail. My vote would have been to use a Disney cartoon director taking on live action for the first time if they wanted to save money.

    Of course, I was the one that poopoo'ed the idea of Peter Jackson doing LOTR, so who the Hell am I to comment?

    - ravepunk :/
  • by alexandre ( 53 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @06:15PM (#8357587) Homepage Journal
    ...as ford prefect :)
  • by w3weasel ( 656289 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @06:19PM (#8357607) Homepage
    Sam Rockwell is Zaphod...
    Who plays the other head???
  • by nemo ( 2417 ) <[xc.esuoh.omen] [ta] [todhsals]> on Sunday February 22, 2004 @07:07PM (#8357863) Homepage
    it's the iMDB folks.

    Some REAL information:

    Note that Nighy is NOT confirmed for Slarti. Note that Warwick as the body of Marvin means nothing about his voice. And Moore has NOT been cast as the voice. Mos Def is the most controversial choice, but let's not write him off as Ford just cos nobody expected a black guy in the role before.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 22, 2004 @07:24PM (#8357959)
    I'm sure even the most patriotic of American slashdot readers will agree with me that the Englishness of the piece should be retained, and Arthur Dent not moved to New York state etc. etc. That said, I am mindful of the fact I said similar things about High Fidelity and was shown to be completely wrong.
  • More Casting... (Score:3, Informative)

    by dodald ( 195775 ) * on Sunday February 22, 2004 @09:07PM (#8358592) Homepage
    On the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The (2005) [imdb.com] page they have more casting.

    Ford Perfect, Arthor, and Trillian are all listed.
  • by The Famous Druid ( 89404 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @10:20PM (#8359013)
    Check out the 'Executive Producer' credit on imdb [imdb.com]

    That would be quite a trick!
  • by Snart Barfunz ( 526615 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @09:32AM (#8361450)
    "OK, what's the pitch?"
    "Well, these alien Vogons destroy Earth so this English guy chases them across the Galaxy, destroys the Universe in revenge, and then learns the ultimate meaning of everything from some mice."
    "I like it - but we have to make some changes...
    Let's change Ford Prefect to Ford Pinto, Arthur Dent to Art Bump, Vogons to Russians (with English accents, the mice to Santa Claus, and the answer to the ultimate question is a big hug. Then the kid says, 'I love you Daddy'. Now that's a movie!"

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