The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

Starring: Sam Rockwell, Martin Freeman, Bill Nighy, Mos Def, Zooey Deschanel, John Malkovich, Jerome Blake, Anna Chancellor, Warwick Davis, Steve Pemberton
Director: Garth Jennings

Opening Date: June 03, 2005


Well, to be honest author Douglas Adams’ cult classic Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (which can only be described as "Monty Python in Space!") never really worked for me as either a radio show or as a TV mini-series. I prefer the novelizations since the jokes simply fall flat in other media. Maybe it’s just me – I dunno . . . (E-mail me if you agree or disagree.)

Yeah, I know the whole cult phenomenon (or is that marketing phenomenon?) originally started as a British radio show way back in 1978 before being adapted as five (!) books and a BBC TV series, but I still prefer the first four books – the fourth having the perfect ending for any saga! – so I’m not particularly excited about a big screen adaptation.

I guess the temptation will be there to tone down the books’ many British-isms to appeal to the all-important American market and thus dilute the comedy in the process. But Hitchhiker’s purists may have it lucky since the movie doesn’t feature any mega stars, so it won’t have to try so hard to achieve mainstream success and can keep its various British idiosyncrasies. (At one stage the whole thing was rumoured to be a potential Jim Carrey star vehicle. Funnily enough, I don’t think this funny man’s presence would have been so detrimental despite what hard core fans might think . . .)

Still, if it manages to capture what makes Douglas Adams’ works so enduring then we’ll all be lucky cinema patrons indeed! (What do you mean you never read it!?! Buy a copy NOW!)

Anyway, here’s what the official site has to say:

"Every version of Hitchhiker's has been slightly different and this movie is no exception: it features several major new additions to the plot that Douglas himself introduced in scripts penned shortly before he passed away in 2001. The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy started as a BBC radio series in 1978 and has since metamorphosed into books (five of them), theatre productions (at least three of those), a BBC TV series, an award-winning computer game and a towel. The big-screen version was only a matter of time, albeit a really rather long and frustrating one. That time is the summer of 2005."




Plot Summary for The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (2005):

Seconds before the Earth is demolished for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is saved by Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised Guide. Together they stick out their thumbs to the stars and begin a wild journey through time and space.

Trivia about The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy:

  • This will be ninth version of The Hitchhiker's Guide. It previously appeared as a radio series, a record album, a novel, a television series, a computer game, a stage show, a comic book and a towel.

  • After Austin Powers director Jay Roach decided to pass on directing the movie, he brought the property to Spike Jonze. Jonze also passed, but suggested Nick Goldsmith and Garth Jennings (also known as Hammer and Tongs, also soon-to-be former music video directors), who accepted.

  • Jack Davenport was considered for the role of Arthur Dent, but in the end it was decided he was simply too good-looking for the role of the ultimate everyman Dent.

  • The movie's teaser features Louis Amstrong's "Wonderful World". The song featured in the end of the 1981 Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy TV mini-series.

  • The hymn sung by the Jatravartidian followers of Humma Kavula was recorded at St. Martin's Church, Highgate, London on 19 June 2004. The hymn was sung by several hundred untrained members of the public invited to the recording via a call for singers circulated on the internet.

  • In a chaotic scene shot in London, fans can spot Douglas Adams's widow Jane Belson, his brother James Thrift, sister Jane Garnier and daughter Polly rushing about in the general panic, as the earth is destroyed by the Vogons.

Some sources:


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