You can read my full recap of the marketing campaign for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy at Film Threat.
It’s been a twenty year journey for “The Hitchhiker’s Guide” to get to the big screen. Adams himself says in the introduction to a collection of the first four books that he had been working on it in 1985. Just a few years ago it looked like it was going to happen with Jay Roach of Austin Powers infamy in the director’s chair. Prior to that the adaptation had gone through a number of hands, most of which were attached to filmmakers. Those filmmakers ultimately decided to do other things and the movie never, as you may have noticed, got made. Until now.
Disney (perhaps the last company I would have chosen for the adaptation of book filled with very dry and very British humor) finally got the movie made. Their first obstacle was the material itself. How does a movie studio, which not only embraces but actually runs to with open arms and heaving breast the lowest common denominator, film a book filled with very dry, very British humor? After all, their primary audience is a bunch of ape-descended primitives who still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea. And American ape-descended primitives at that. The answer to that question remains to be seen in its entirety.
The second obstacle is marketing said adaptation in such a way as to accomplish two simultaneous yet possibly mutually exclusive goals. Goal #1: Ensure fans of the book, who rival “Lord of the Rings” fanatics for the devotion to the source material, will be satisfied and therefore spend heaps of money at the theater and DVD store. Goal #2: Make sure the material is dumbed-down enough to appeal to those who aren’t familiar with the books because quite frankly those British tend to be too intelligent with their humor. These people are probably going to be happier with “XxX: State of the Union” and really should be written off. It’d be better for everyone.