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All Sorts Of Groovy HITCHHIKER

Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...

I know, I know... a lot of sites ran this one over the weekend. And I meant to. I just got sidetracked as Harry and were putting up all the Sundance stuff on Sunday night. Looks like the rumor mill is ramping up on the Spyglass Entertainment production of THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY. Garth Jennings of Hammer & Tongs is still onboard as director, and Carey Kirkpatrick (CHICKEN RUN) is said to have contributed the final draft, with Douglas Adams actually signed off on. Personally, I’m rooting for this film. I adore the work of Adams, and I’d love to see a version of this film that was both loyal to the subject matter and that truly embraced the cutting-edge of FX in order to create something we’ve never seen before. There are so many amazing big ideas in the books Adams left behind, and an adaptation of any of his work has a lot to live up to.

One thing that will make it easy is the right casting, and the entire internet seemed abuzz with the rumors that Bill Nighy (LOVE ACTUALLY and UNDERWORLD) had been hired to play Slartibartfast (the name I used to give pizza delivery guys when I phoned in orders), and Martin Freeman (LOVE ACTUALLY and THE OFFICE) had been tapped to play Arthur Dent. If that’s true about Freeman, then consider me officially freakin’ rejoicing. Freeman’s the English Topher Grace, a young actor with remarkable comic timing and dry self-deprecating wit that makes him enormously likeable. He’d be a great Arthur. It skews the film a little younger than I typically would imagine, but that’s fine. As long as they’re hiring good actors that fit the roles, I’m in.

Lots of sites also picked up the story that originally appeared here, on a Douglas Adams fansite regarding some alleged design work on Marvin The Paranoid Android. Now, I can’t verify their story. Seems like a well-kept site, but still... this has all got to be filed as rumor for the moment. That aside, I love the design, said to have been created so Warwick Davis can play Marvin onset.

It’s nothing like I would have imagined it, but it’s a great design, and if that’s the sort of style Jennings is steering the Jim Henson Creature Shop towards, then I have a feeling HHGTTG is finally in good hands.

And I can’t WAIT to see his Vogons...

"Moriarty" out.

Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 21, 2004, 5:55 a.m. CST


    by mbaker

    That's all i have to say!

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 6:06 a.m. CST

    Martin Freeman as FORD !!!

    by minbari73

    After watching Martin in masterpiece that is THE OFFICE, I can only see him as Ford Prefect i'm afraid. The dialogue from the Hitch-hikers (LP, RADIO, TV) sticks in my mind and the voices saying the lines, the slighty toffy brit accent of Simon Jones, the *almost* american of Zaphod.. ask yourself is Martin right for Arthur ? Imagine him saying those lines. Nup. Ford is perfect for him :D Hugh Grant or even Jack Davenport as Arthur would be the ticket. And if JOHNNY DEPP isnt approached for Zaphod there's no justice in this world ! (there isnt) Just imagine Jack Sparrow, minus the Keef, add a head and an arm and there you have him !!!!!!! And what the fuck is with the midget Marvin ? Nice design, but this thing parks cars ?

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 6:20 a.m. CST

    The tv series

    by minbari73

    Nah, still disagree. One of the main reasons they chose that actor for the tv series was because he looked kinda 'alien' - Martin is all Fisher Price man, not quite normal looking - I can see him sticking a fish in Hughs ear. I'll give him a chance as Arthur tho, i'm so glad this thing is off the ground :)

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 6:30 a.m. CST

    Wake up you nerds

    by CellarDoor

    Martin Freeman will never be cast as the lead in a major motion picture. Yes, the office is popular but besides that his track record is piss-poor. Hugh Laurie should have been the only casting choice but it appears they're going to opt for a younger take. Marvin looks great but I would avoid letting Warwick Davis on set though, his 'habits' are getting out of control and the chip on his shoulder about Lord of the Rings isn't going away. He'll ruin the movie I swear!

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 6:55 a.m. CST

    Which reminds me :)

    by minbari73

    "The Mostly Harmless Ring of Power" by Douglas Adams On this particular evening, something changed hands quietly in the back of a hobbit-hole in the Shire many miles from the dark realm of Mordor. A small, metallic something. Something which could be accurately described as a circular loop of shining metal. The land of Middle Earth was almost oblivious to the change of ownership, which was wonderful for the two parties concerned. The trade went unnoticed among the citizens of Rivendell, it escaped the Nazgul completely, and even the dark lord himself continued straight on with his day without noticing. This was a pity for him, because it was exactly the thing he had been searching for all these years. by Michael Ellis

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 6:57 a.m. CST


    by ph27

    i have to agree with minibari73. I was just thinking as I read the article that Jack Davenport would be a perfect Arthur Dent. Lo and behold someone thought it first. Depp as Zaphod would be amazing as well. What about the rest of the cast for Trillian we could have Kiera Knightly to continue the POTC:COTBP theme. Ford Prefect is a tough one to cast and i have no idea who it should be. Any ideas?

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 7:02 a.m. CST

    Zaphod's just this guy... ya know?

    by TheAquabatman

    I would love to see unknown actors in these roles. As much as I do like Hugh and etc., he would make the character too hughey... Johnny Depp? As much as I love Pirates:COTBP, I can't bear the thought of THGTG turning into "John Sparrow - in outer space". I can live with the current rumours though. Marvin looks a little 'young', in my opinion - what's up with the cue ball head? (brain the shape of a planet?). Hurry up and make this movie, I want it NOW!!! Thank you Mr Adams (DNA), hope your legacy of brilliant comedic literacy does justice.

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 7:05 a.m. CST


    by minbari73

    Martin is *almost* POTC themed, his OFFICE castmate Mackenzie Crook had a fairly significant role in that movie !

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 7:06 a.m. CST

    Casting Ford

    by Pandas

    Yeah, Ford Prefect is a tough one to cast. Mind you, some Hollywood suits will probably get involved and decide he should be a wise-cracking CGI character who can morph into human form when living on Earth. Or Snoop-Dogg.

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 7:09 a.m. CST

    I swear, there was a comment about this on the SW 7, 8, 9 talkba

    by BarrelRider I stuck another one up! It's not really off topic, if people end up talking about another sci-fi franchise of discussing a different sci-fi franchise. Weirdo mods! Anyway, Nighy is perfect for Slartibartfast, and Freeman's perfect for Dent. Who should be Prefect?

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 7:16 a.m. CST

    Ford should be played by...

    by zedcon4

    ...Richard Coyle, Jeff from the UK version of Coupling. He seems alien enough. And why not Tom Baker as Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz?

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 7:19 a.m. CST

    "Martin Freeman will never be cast as the lead in a major motion

    by Otto Parts

    I'll hold you to that, Daniel. Gonna enjoy watching you eat humble pie when this movie comes out. The Office was ENORMOUSLY successful in the US. Unlike Alan Partridge, but that didn't stop them offering lead roles to Steve Coogan. Get a clue, boyieee!

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 8:38 a.m. CST

    Holy Acronyms

    by purplemonkeydw

    How about just calling it Hitchhiker''s about as long as that acronym...geemahnee

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 9:07 a.m. CST

    Adams approved the script?

    by baboonery

    Must have been sitting on a shelf for a while then. He's been dead almost 3 years. I doubt any script going through the approval process stays unmolested 3 weeks, much less 3 years. This'll suck ass, if it ever hits the screen.

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 9:09 a.m. CST

    The Acronomancer

    by TheAquabatman

    may i waste precious moments of my time in a discussion i love concerning the beloved story and characters of D.N Adams to defend my right to use acronyms. WYSIWYG (mac users please) TLOFR:ROTK etc, I live to abbreviate but why, why is abbreviate such a long word (old joke - should have tossed it).who care and whatever.................

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 9:17 a.m. CST

    Bring it on!

    by ATARI

    Been waiting for a good live-action HHGTTG since listening to the BBC radio version low these many many years ago...

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 9:18 a.m. CST

    IanMckellen should be Slartibartfast!

    by jaminator45

    It would be perfect. He could just leave on his Gandolf outfit!

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 9:40 a.m. CST

    hitchhikers casting rumors

    by waites

    Someone named Holly has been posting on IMDB that her family had dinner with Todd Arnow and he is listed as a producer now. She says he told the family that rap artist Mos Def will be Ford Prefect and Robert Downey Jr. is Zaphod. She seems legit... she says her family has been friends of Arnows and it came out over dinner.

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 9:47 a.m. CST

    Great droid design

    by Human Tornado

    Very expressive. But in my mind, Marvin always has, and always will, look like Larry from Time Squad.

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 10:10 a.m. CST


    by Fiscus

    Andy Serkiss needs to be gotten into this flick! There, I said, it!

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Otto Parts

    by CellarDoor

    Howsa 'bout a gentlemens wager? If Freeman gets cast in the movie AT ALL then i'll eat a hat of your choice (including Stormtrooper helmets and wizards hats) and if he doesn't then you'll promise to never give away my secret identity again. I knew it was only a matter of time before the abyss stared back at me, only I didn't realise that it would know my first name. I'm offically freaking out!!!!

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 11:22 a.m. CST

    "excellent radio adaptations" mrhappyboy?

    by raw_bean

    Hitch Hikers was a BBC radio series BEFORE it was a book (and no version yet - written, video or audio - has equalled that radio series (there's a lot in the second series of the radio version that was never used in any other version), and I agree with minbari73, Simon Jones with his slightly upper-class accent WAS Arthur Dent. Especially since the book was an adaptation of the radio series, so Doug Adams would have had Simon Jones' voice in his mind. Still, Martin Freeman is great, so I'm interested to see how he'll do.

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Jack Davenport would be ideal for Arthur Dent, as has been sugge

    by raw_bean

    He looks and sounds a lot like Simon Jones, and he's hilarious in Coupling. And zedcon4's right, his co-star Richard Coyle would be great as Ford.

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 11:31 a.m. CST

    How about the Witch-King's helmet, Mr. Lewis-Carter?

    by raw_bean


  • Jan. 21, 2004, 11:48 a.m. CST

    Ok, look my ID says CellarDoor so...

    by CellarDoor

    SAY MY NAME!! I realise my name IS my e-mail but isn't there some unspoken rule about preserving anonymity on the internet? And yes, Bean old chap, Angmar's helmet would be a tasty treat.....Wait, that didn't come out right. Regardless, I forsee a distinct lack of head-wear in my diet seeing as Freeman doesn't sit well in big roles and most execs will see the same thing. I'd love him to get the role but I can see a more obvious choice in Davenport. He has a better look at least.

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 12:41 p.m. CST

    I don't know, can this really work as a movie...

    by Dragonfire

    Honestly, it would be like trying to adapt Terry Pratchett novels. You can't translate that kind of witty, weird humour to the screen when most of the impact of the humour comes from the writing style. Still, it's another movie to look forward to, so I'm in.

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 1:18 p.m. CST

    While it is at this point irrelevant, I've worked up my own HHG

    by Hammer2Fall

    I was kind of hoping they'd follow my casting, but if Freeman really is Arthur Dent, it looks like I'm already way off:

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 1:47 p.m. CST

    what moriarty fails to mention is that the Marvin photo came fro

    by BEARison Ford

    that is all

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 2:48 p.m. CST

    The VOICE if Marvin

    by tensticks

    As long as it's still STEPHEN MOORE and PETER JONES is still the voice of THE BOOK (are they both still alive? time to check IMDB!) then I don't care what else they do. I recall Adams' last postings on the subject included them, along with JEFF GOLDBLUM as Zaphod....

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 3:09 p.m. CST

    The voice of Marvin will be ...

    by taxman2001

    ... provided by STEPHEN MOORE (as I emailed Harry over a week ago). Bill Nighy confirmed it on the BBC website. Alas PETER JONES is dead so his role is open ...

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 3:19 p.m. CST

    Love the BBC Version

    by Russman

    I used to watch that a couple of times a year. I hope they get the same guy to be the voice of the book though.

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 3:39 p.m. CST


    by Thing-Fish

    Hugh Laurie !!! Please, Hugh Laurie as Arthur Dent - it's Douglas Adams' first choice, for goodness' sake!

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 4:27 p.m. CST

    YES!! I love it! It's him! It's Marvin! LOL!

    by exit272

    That's an OSSOM design! I know they've probably got a zillion different ones being considered but I hope that's the one they go with. He justs LOOKS depressed standing there, poor little guy! I hope they keep in the scene where Marvin is sent off all by himself to stop the heavy duty battle machine "while you run and save yourselves, I suppose." With him looking like that going up against something the size of a Sherman tank it'll be fucking hilarious. Now if they get the rest of the movie as right as they've gotten this character design we could end up something that works.

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 5:50 p.m. CST

    I AGREE - MARTIN FREEMAN AS FORD!!!! Harry it's your duty to hel

    by workshed

    When I read that Martin Freeman had signed to do it my mind immediately said, 'A Marvellous Ford Prefect', but Arthur, nooo - needs to be older and facing his mid-life-crises head-on. Freeman has that sort of alien-like spaced-out quality required for Ford. Does anyone else agree with us? Make your voicesheard so as to avert a bad casting decision that could either make, or break, this movie.

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 7:40 p.m. CST

    Alan Davies as Ford Prefect.

    by Nomadic_Mouse

    He's odd enough to play him.

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 8 p.m. CST

    It is Warwick:

    by Declan_Swartz

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 8:33 p.m. CST

    Only one thing is certain...John Cleese must be the narrator!

    by Hammer2Fall

    Every time I read the books, I hear John Cleese. Just imagine his voice over the opening titles as we float through the stars: "Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the galaxy lies a small, unregarded yellow sun..."

  • Jan. 21, 2004, 9:37 p.m. CST

    by ghostyghost

    Dream casting: Steve Coogan as Ford Prefect

  • Jan. 22, 2004, 2:03 a.m. CST


    by Rev Scapegoat

    ... that's not Marvin! It's GIR! So where's Zim? ( Love it really... )

  • Jan. 22, 2004, 2:06 a.m. CST

    Alan Davies as Ford Prefect

    by Shan

    I personally liked the idea of Alan Davies (British Comedian, stars in Johnathan Creek) as Ford Prefect.

  • Jan. 22, 2004, 3:11 a.m. CST

    Ford Prefect, etc.

    by Jeremperor

    "There was something very slightly odd about him, but it was difficult to say what it was. . . . Perhaps it was that he smiled slightly too broadly and gave people the unnerving impression that he was about to go for their neck." Go look at Alan Cumming's picture on IMDb. Seriously, the man is Ford Prefect. As for the voice of the Guide, I hope they either reuse Peter Jones's classic narration or scrap the concept altogether: anything else would be sacrilege. Incidentally, Marvin's new look is pretty out there (sort of a bubble-headed chibi storm trooper) but since Stephen Moore is doing the voice I'll go with it. Oh, and I always thought John Cleese would be a great Slartibartfast. Oh well.

  • Jan. 22, 2004, 8:48 a.m. CST

    Shouldn't the title say froopy instead of groovy... I have probl

    by TheAquabatman

    Marvin was not designed to be looking depressed, from memory (my book, bible if you will is in storage). He was designed to be a plastic pal... hence, the depleted sad looking concept art is possibly out of line. I feel THGTG is an acceptable acronym with 5 letters compared to even 'hitchhikers' which is more than double the letter count. But please dont turn this shrine to DNA into a dontrinal debate. leave that to the fanboys over at the Passion of Christ.

  • Jan. 22, 2004, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Right around now shouldn't somebody be saying something about Hu

    by Cory849

    "Don't forget your towel, brother!"

  • Jan. 22, 2004, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Martin Freeman

    by jamieFreeman

    CellarDoor said some things... "Martin Freeman will never be cast as the lead in a major motion picture. " Martin has indeed been officially offered the Arthur Dent role by the films money-men, Disney. "Yes, the office is popular but besides that his track record is piss-poor." I refer you to his recent track record: The Office is critically massive in the US (up for a Golden Globe), he's just been in Love Actually (albeit with a smallish role) and has played a major role in Ali G In Da House. Before that he's appeared in, what, 20 UK TV series and shows, even starring in his own Hardware, now in it's second series. If that's 'piss poor' then god help the majority of the acting profession! I"f Freeman gets cast in the movie AT ALL then i'll eat a hat of your choice" Fries with that? :-) All the best Jamie (Freeman) ----------------------------------- The Official Martin Freeman Website

  • Jan. 22, 2004, 12:27 p.m. CST

    Whoa raw_bean, I almost dropped my towel at that bit of news!

    by morGoth

    Just ignorance on my part, I suppose, but you're saying that the book, "The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy" by DA, was based on a BBC radio play? Well I'll be...Anyway, the Marvin robot looks a bit too cartoonish for me. I admit it's been about a decade (or more) since I read the books but wasn't Marvin described as polished metal in look and tallish? At any rate, the only thing I like about the pic is the obvious depressed look on the bots face. Please don't screw this up!

  • Jan. 22, 2004, 12:44 p.m. CST

    No no no morG ye great chowder head! ...

    by Skyway Moaters

    ...the BBC radio paly was based on the first novel, not vice versa. Is that really what beansie was saying? I must have mis-read...

  • Jan. 22, 2004, 12:49 p.m. CST

    Derp, Connexions bloak blows head gasket near Waymoot...

    by Skyway Moaters

    Erm, *sheepish grin* RB is precisely correct: Adams wrote it as a radio play to begin with. Dang this rusty ol' excuse for a memory anyway! SORRY BEAN. (But we won't apologize to his sootiness, nooo precious...)

  • Jan. 22, 2004, 1:50 p.m. CST

    Ford Focus

    by hbfair

    Casting for the nicely inconspicuous Ford Prefect: how about Richard E Grant?

  • Jan. 22, 2004, 2:28 p.m. CST

    Wasn't this posted by SOMEONE on the Spider-Man talkback?

    by ZeroCorpse


  • Jan. 22, 2004, 2:35 p.m. CST

    Actually- Re: Marvin and The radio version

    by ZeroCorpse

    Marvin was depressed-looking in the books. He WAS a Sirius Cybernetics Corp. robot, and THEIR slogan was "Your plastic pal who's fun to be with" but MARVIN is a prototype, and he has a Genuine People Personality (tm) that happens to be "depressed" or "paranoid". As for the order of the releases, the book was actually written AFTER the first BBC radio drama. Adams wrote HHGTTG as a script first, and then fleshed it out (and changed several things) to turn it into a series of novels.

  • Jan. 22, 2004, 2:39 p.m. CST

    One more thing- Marvin's height and look

    by ZeroCorpse

    Yes, the books describe him as "metal looking" (paraphrased), but I think once they finish their movie magic he'll look sufficiently metallic. From the footage of Warwick walking in the costume, you can see that Marvin isn't going to be "little" or "short". He's going to end up being about 5'5" or so (a guess) considering the size of his head makes up for about 2 feet of height.

  • Jan. 22, 2004, 4:13 p.m. CST

    Gotcha ZeroCorpse...

    by morGoth

    ...I guess it's the optical illusion of the head being so disproportionatly large that it gives the appearance (to me, at least) of a very short (like three feet tall!) figure. ** Thankee kindly for the info folks. Well, except for you, Moaters. You vill rue de day yew ver bornt!

  • Jan. 22, 2004, 5:24 p.m. CST

    Hugh Laurie as Dent! Chris Walken as Ford (handsome yet alien)!

    by Big Bad Clone

    Ron Perlman as the Vogon Captain, Rachel Wiesz as Trillian, Mick Jagger as Zaphod (shit, that's how I always pictured him) Ian McKellean as Slartbartfast. Chris Guest and Micheal McKean as the voice of the mice that comissioned Deep Thought and Earth, and Harry Shearer as the god like character that shows up at the End of the Universe.

  • Jan. 22, 2004, 5:31 p.m. CST

    Marvin................ No !

    by the_dee_dee

    Sorry, but that does not bring the vision of Marvin to life for me. This glorified puppet looks too cute and looks like some thing you would feel sorry for. Not the sarcastic paranoid android he is. Are they doing this to appeal to a kiddy market? Is the film aiming to be that too ? This is not true to the book. Or to Douglas Adams, hopefully this prototype stays in the cupboard.

  • Jan. 22, 2004, 5:36 p.m. CST

    Prototype Marvin

    by the_dee_dee

    Just one other little thing, how's it going to fit that head in a bucket of water ?

  • Jan. 22, 2004, 5:48 p.m. CST

    Patrick Warburton as Zaphod.

    by menocqu

    Its only logical.

  • Jan. 22, 2004, 10:13 p.m. CST


    by Purple Toupee

    Am I mistaken, or was Ford Prefect posing as an out of work American actor in the book?

  • Jan. 23, 2004, 1:53 a.m. CST

    I have to agree with a hell of folks here...

    by Mithril

    Jack Davenport for Arthur Dent. He has the look, the voice (kind of sombre and with an upper-class accent), the comic timing, and has perfected the art of being flustered by the weirdness around him (in "Coupling").

  • Jan. 23, 2004, 3:26 a.m. CST

    Setting the record straight

    by Dunstable

    1. Hitchhikers started out as a radio series in the late seventies that Douglas wote. 2. From those script, Douglas wrote the books. 3. During writing the books, Hitchhikers also became a mini TV-series with Simon Jones as Arthur and David Dixon as Ford. 4. Douglas had just finished the screenplay when he died in May 2001. Since then, the script has been revised by Karey Kirkpatrick, of Chicken Run fame, and it was only after Kareys revision that the project got greenlit. 5. Not one single cast member has been announced officially from the producers yet. 6. The Marvin suit on the picture is a prototype developed by the Jim Henson Workshop in September last year. What else is there? Hmm. Ok, that'll have to do for now. Cheers! Regards DoD

  • Jan. 23, 2004, 9:10 a.m. CST

    thanks for clearing that up for us about our plastic pal

    by TheAquabatman

    I know a marvin, sometimes i want to ignore him but i cant help like him. I myself am often a Marvin frustrated by the idiots i must constantly liase with. But dammit if this sad pathetic boring clothe-eared git isnt my favourite character out of the whole trilogy in five parts.

  • Jan. 23, 2004, 9:15 a.m. CST

    xpect Casting this weekend

    by Dunstable

    The producers will probably go official with the cast during this weekend or early next week. Keep an eye on the site referred in the article above or at

  • Jan. 23, 2004, 12:15 p.m. CST

    Zaphod Beeblebrox

    by Darth_Soderbergh

    Dream Casting - Colin Farrell as Head #1, Hugh Grant as Head #2.

  • Jan. 23, 2004, 4:44 p.m. CST

    Zaphods heads

    by Dunstable

    "I'm casting Julian Clary as one head and Oprah as the other." Douglas Adams

  • Jan. 29, 2004, 3:53 a.m. CST

    Current cast is official!

    by Dunstable

    Have a look at