9. Silberling Is Announced
In October 2007, Variety announced that Will Ferrell would indeed play Dr Rick Marshall, albeit as a much more bumbling, Ferrell-like character.
The man responsible for finally getting the film off the ground was Lemony Snicket director Brad Silberling, who was approached by Ferrell and his manager, Jimmy Miller, a producer on the film.
“When Will told me what they wanted to do, I peeled with laughter because I used to watched the show on Saturday mornings back in its original run and I thought it sounded like a completely brilliant idea if you could be ballsy and take the things that you loved and bring to it this real slant on the humour,” says Silberling.
“So I read some material they were playing with at that point and came back and told them what I thought they needed to do to make it a movie and it was all very quick.
"I sat down with the studio and hit them over the head, and said, 'Here's what you need to do, and what you need to secure.'"
With a script provided by Entourage’s Chris Henchy and SNL veteran Dennis McNicholas, the film entered production in March 2008 as one of the biggest ever seen at the Universal lot.
Dispensing with the idea of casting kids as Will and Holly, the filmmakers opted to turn them into a redneck attraction operator who gets sucked into the Land with Marshall, and an enthusiastic British research student who idolises Marshall and comes along for the ride.
Tropic Thunder’s Danny McBride nabbed the Will role, while Anna Friel – complete with her proper accent for a change – would play Holly.
And despite the comic tone, Silberling is quick to point out that it’s respectful of the original. Well, mostly…
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