I must admit in the company of friends that when I heard that Will Ferrell would be headlining a modern movie adaptation of the classic television show Land of the Lost, I was filled with mixed feelings. On one hand, there was the awesome jubilation brought on from the knowledge that one of my favorite childhood shows was going to make it to the big screen. On the other hand, I felt the utter terror of knowing that Hollywood generally screws stuff like this up.
But so far, based on everything that we’ve seen (which isn’t much), things appear to be going well. The film will follow Park Ranger Rick Marshall (Ferrell) and two other adults (Hot Rod’s Danny McBride and Pushing Daisies’ Ana Friel) — a fact that was changed from a man and his two children in the original — as they are sucked into a realm ruled by dinosaurs, monkey-men called Pakuni and and evil, murderous creatures called Sleestak, which are pictured above.
The pic is being directed by Brad Silberling, who did a wonderful job with Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. In a recent interview with USA Today, Silberling said that he fought to keep the Sleestak based in reality rather than CG them up:
“There is a sense of humor that I loved from the original show that can only come from an actor trying to negotiate the suit. If it became CG, they’d be too perfect. For the Sleestak to remain in people’s memories, it tells you that it was about who was in the suit.”
This is always good to hear, especially from a director who is handling the delicate situation of recreating something that was such a big deal in people’s childhoods. To see that the wants to keep it respectful to the original show, which was created by Sid and Marty Krofft, is encouraging. Plus I don’t know about you, but those Sleestak in the picture above are invoking some serious nostalgia around here.
As for the rest of Land of the Lost, it is currently shooting on multiple sound stages at Universal Studios. It is currently scheduled for a July 17, 2009 release date.