H2G2 began filming April 19th

After 5 years of waiting, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Movie officially began filming yesterday. The official movie page at Douglas Adams' site has been threadbare for ages, but MJ Simpson's Magrathea site has been the definitive source for rumor and news. MJS has the advantage of living in Britain and actually meeting many of the principals, including an exclusive interview with director Garth Jennings and producer Nick Goldsmith. Here's an excerpt of interest :

MJ: The script has three elements: material that we know and love from the books and the radio scripts; new stuff that Douglas wrote in his various drafts; and whatever new stuff Karey Kirkpatrick has had to put in to make the whole thing fit properly. How much new stuff are we going to see?

Garth: �There�s an awful lot of new Douglas stuff. There�s some wonderful inventions � characters and creatures and devices. I don�t think we�ve put anything in. Karey�s main role has been ordering and editing and making sense of it. We never once had to invent something. I don�t think you ever get projects like this where you could never be stuck for an idea. If you�re ever concerned about �What are we going to do here?� you just go back to the original material or back to the hard drive and there�s always an answer there. Even in production design, if ever we�ve been stuck for an idea or not sure what to do, we just go back to the books or the radio series and it�s all there. There�s always an answer, which is really fabulous.�

Robbie: �It is important to stress that this is not a literal adaptation of the novel, just as the novel was not a literal adaptation of the original radio series � and indeed neither was the TV series nor the computer game. It�s not like Lord of the Rings, where you have a book and you want to turn that into a film which is as faithful to its source as possible. There is no single definitive Hitchhiker�s Guide story, and never has been. The book, radio, TV, game � they all share some characters and plot elements but they add, remove, change or re-order others. Douglas� various script drafts did the same. And that�s another difference from Lord of the Rings. All the fundamental changes from previous versions were made, in this instance, by the original author.

�Every step of the way, the team who have been working on this since Douglas died have been striving to be faithful to the spirit of Hitchhiker�s: its humour, its intelligence and its astonishing inventiveness. To use a great phrase I heard from an executive in Hollywood, there really is no need to �put a hat on a hat.� It was Douglas who showed us the way for the new ideas in the film, they are fundamentally his.�

Now, if only the Tertiary Phase could move forward... things looked so promising late last year, but the project remains in limbo.

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