Although I don’t have particularly high hopes for Kyle Newman’s upcoming comedy Fanboys, I have to admit that there’s a part of me that’s secretly hoping that it can live up to its promise of being Revenge of the Nerds for a new generation. The fact that it revolves around a group of geeky friends going on a road trip to see Star Wars: Episode I before its premiere seems so dated at this point, however, that it would have to be really smart and have a lot of heart in order to make up for its stale concept. Haven’t we all had our fill of lightsaber jokes by now?
Unfortunately, it seems like the folks at The Weinstein Company still don’t quite know what to make of it either, and now they’re about to do the movie a disservice by removing what little heart it might have had. The reason Fanboys still has not hit theatres yet (it was supposed to be released this month) is that they don’t think audiences will laugh at a movie that involves the Big C. That’s right, Cancer. The inspiration for the road trip in the film is that it is a last request from a friend who is dying of cancer. According to The Cinemaniac, Judd Apatow’s production company has been brought on board to fix the problem, by heading up reshoots that will remove any mention of cancer at all. WTF? While I agree that cancer in general is a bit of a buzzkill, it sounds to me like it’s a pretty essential part of the story here. Are they really so thick-headed that they think this will make the movie better?
Supposedly, the Apatow crew did some serious research into the matter and found that audiences “won’t laugh for 5 or 10 minutes after cancer is mentioned”. And what’s wrong with that? Not every comedy needs constant laughs. Apatow of all people seems to understand this, although apparently he’s not directly involved in this fiasco. Please, let’s just release the damn thing already so we can deal with the quips about Han shooting first or whatever and get on with our lives!