Sunday, August 29, 2004

Simon Jones in the movie + Empire photo with Ford and Arthur on line

Well, this sounds like a great news, doesn't it? Simon Jones, the original Arthur from the radio and TV series, will play a small part in the Hitchhiker's movie (but which one? That is the question). BBC apparently made an unvoluntary scoop on their Hitchhiker's third phase radio series website, in Simon Jones' biography, "Among his film credits are Privates on Parade; Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life; Brazil; Miracle on 34th Street (the 1994 remake); Twelve Monkeys; The Devil’s Own; and the forthcoming The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” MJ Simpson jumped on the news and here it is ! We can suspect that Robbie was speaking about Simon when Robbie Stamp wrote some weeks ago in his production update on the official blog that we should soon "look out for news about an old friend.".... Of course we're still waiting for the confirmation of Stephen Moore playing Marvin's voice. Come on guys!

British magazine "Empire" has scooped the first picture with Martin Freeman (Athur) and Mos Def (Ford). This picture could come from the scene where they are knocking down Arthur's house. Anyway the picture (thanks to Gusty who sent it to me) doesnt look like a picture from the movie, but rather a behind the scene picture taken while the actors were quietly chating just after a scene. of course they are dressed like the actual characters.

J enz Kjellberg aka The Duke of Dunstable, webmaster of the fabulous website, has just put online his own set visit report after the visit we did together with fellows Nick Webb and an other fan called Simon Hall. Duke shares his enthusiasm with us, and I'm sure that after reading so many eager movie set visits (including mine), you won't ever have any doubts about the fact that the movie is in good hands. As Duke says : "It’s tight, it makes sense, it’s a new angle with new scenes and characters, and it’s funny. I am 100 per cent confident, and all these people involved are so dedicated it brings tears to ones eyes." Besides the fact that i look like a "a young but balding Robert De Niro" (i take that as a compliment), Duke reveals that we indeed saw the movie trailer a few days before everybody. It looked fabulous on their big flat TV set of course! He also reveals a lot of interesting bits like the "Vogon arse print in a special “throne”,... That one is also quite good : "I felt warm to discover that a new item invented by Douglas and which I have been talking about earlier is indeed still in the script, and not only that; it plays quite an essential part". Indeed, even if he can't talk much more about it, Mr Duke has been really a prophesier on this one. And it is a great concept. Of course, you would still complain about the obvious fact that we can't give you a lot of details about the movie, but well, it would spoil the suprise, wouldn't it?

That's great news. First, "each episode will be available for 7 days following the Thursday evening repeats" on Radio 4's amazing website. So you can't even miss one episode, even if you're very absentiminded.

And of course you will absolutly want the episode on tapes or even better on CDs (well you can buy both too!). They are already available in pre order on BBC shop. The release date is next 25 october, so you won't have to wait long! The CD version (3 cds) cost 11£99 (you get 4£ off the usual price 15£99) and the tapes version (3 tapes) costs 14£99. As notice MJ Simpson on his website, they are worth buying because they are longer edits. In total there is about 21 minutes of extra material – which is nearly an entire other episode!"

You'll have to wait a little more to get your hands on the scriptbook, but you'll get the whole new series (14 episodes, "So long" and "Mostly Harmless" will be broadcasted next spring in eight episodes). It's going to be published by Pan Macmillan the 1st July 2005.

Of course, the press is going to cover the radio series broadcast. You've got to buy a copy of this month' TV Zone. Some great articles have been writen in this issue by Hitchhiker's legend Kevin Davies (see his interview here) and Andrew Pixley, a researcher into archive TV and radio. As Raymond Daley wrote on afda : "Get off your arses and speed your way to your nearest newsagaents to buy Tv Zone #180. It has an article about the hikers original radio series (some very nice pictures there) and stuff about the NEW radio series transmitting in September.Well worth a look, LOTS of nice pix to look at. and a mention of a special dvd for the new series (I'll say no more, read the mag!)".
The Mail on Sunday plans to publish some good stuff too. MJ Simpson wrote on his site that "Dirk Maggs tells me that he was recently interviewed about the Tertiary Phase for the Night and Day section of the Mail on Sunday. This article will be published in the paper on 12th September".

Friday, August 27, 2004

Launching of

Launching of this website. This website is of course dedicated to the memory of Douglas Adams. Most of the content have been translated in english by Bruno Barwise from my french website about Douglas and Hitchhikers. But I've updaded, corrected and added new material.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

The radio adaptation of "Life, the Universe and Everything" will be aired on Radio 4 from the 21st september. It will be broadcast on Tuesdays at 18.30hrs and then repeated the following Thursday in each case at 23.00hrs.

First episode : 21st Sept at 18.30h + 23rd at 23h Second episode : 28th Sept at 18.30h + 30th at 23h Third episode : 5th Oct at 18.30h +7th at 23h Fourth episode : 12th Oct at 18.30h +14th at 23h Fifth episode : 19th Oct at 18.30h +21st at 23h Sixth episode : 26th Oct at 18.30h +28th at 23
If you're in UK, you can obviously listen to the radio show on your old radio set, but if you're an internet geek, and if you're not currently living in UK, you can of course listen to the the new Hitchhiker's radio show on Radio 4 website. Just make sure you've got the right plug ins before the show if you don't want to miss the begining.

And to celebrate this broadcast, Radio 4 website had already launch a section regarding the h2g2 radio series. We could see a little making of (made by Kevin Davies) and listen to a preview. We have now a new great design and a lot of other amazing stuff so go there NOW !

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Official blog update : Douglas family set visit report + new pics

A great update today on the official blog. James Thrift, Douglas' brother, has posted a report about the last Douglas familly visit on the set some weeks ago. Douglas' brother, sisters, mum and daughter even joined the cast for the day.

A saturday morning at the end of july, the 2nd unit was filming on location in London at Moorgate tube station. They shoot several street scenes as the Vogon fleet arrive overhead. And among the crowd, in panic, several members from Douglas Adams familly have been filmed with even a close-up! The familly have been also filmed by "the crew making a documentary for the DVD, and another crew from Disney who will be filming us throughout the day". So they can boast now that they are some true movie stars !

They also had the opportunity to see the long awaited trailer (and not the teaser we all already know!) : "hey join us as we take over a little cafĂ© on the corner so see a sneak preview of the first movie trailer. How can I describe it without giving anything away, despite being only 30 seconds long, it’s a big trailer for a big film, but unmistakeably Hitchhikers. Does that make sense? It’s the sort of thing that Douglas would pull out his laptop to show to a complete stranger in the street'. We can presume they will show it to the rest of the world quickly. Hope so anyway!

So read James'full and detailed report here. You will see also the picture with goes with the update : a behind the scenes picture with director Garth Jennings, Ed Victor (Douglas' litterary agent) and Jane Belson (Douglas' widow).

An other behind the scenes picture can be found in the gallery. I don't recognize everybody, but you can see the Hammer & Tongs team, producer Nick Goldsmith and Director Garth Jennings. And we also see the back of a creature that could look like a Vogon.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Shooting finished + Hitchhiker's movie composer Joby Talbot interviewed in The Guardian

Just this short mesage to say that the shooting for the movie seems to be now finished. The 19th august, one knowledgeable user posted on my forum that "The final shot for main unit was shot this afternoon at Shepperton, the model shoot has one more day of shooting. Drinks all round". Shepperton is a studio close from Elstree where they made all the main filming. In Shepperton, they shot all the scenes which required some digital effects afterwards, using some blue walls.


Once again we owe many thanks to MJ Simpson who spotted the interview in today's UK newspaper "The Guardian". As you certainly know, Joby Talbot ("The League of Gentlemen") is currently writting The Hitchhiker's movie soundtrack. Joby is a real Hitchhiker's fan : "Some people can recite the Koran. I can recite The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy... During meeting with the producers, somebody would mention a line and I would have to stop myself from reciting the whole scene for fear that they would assume I was a stalker. I can't quite believe I'm working on the film of it, which is going to be brilliant".
Joby loves classical music but also pop music. Ant both could learn from eachother : "The famous statement about classical music is that it's 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. I beg to differ. Having worked with all these pop musicians, I've realised that the initial inspiration is all-important. Too much concert music is based on technique and no idea. And pop music should try and appreciate originality a bit more."

Joby likes a lot different things. In his teenage years, he was really into Yes and Jeff Wayne. He listened also to Van Halen and Aerosmith, which seems a little difficult for him to assume now! "Mahler, Shostakovich and Stravinsky are among Talbot's favourite composers, and he discovered modern composers such as John Adams and Steve Reich at the age of 18".

Anyway, his love for music is not new! "He has been playing classical music since the age of four, when he picked up piano and oboe, and has studied at the Guildhall and worked with Michael Nyman... At the age of nine, Talbot wrote his first piano piece". Precocious? "It was rubbish!" answers Tolby.

Monday, August 16, 2004

The Hitchhiker's movie merchandising "not an enormous retail opportunity"

In an interview granted to Financial Times, and published this morning, Andy Mooney, chairman of Disney's consumer products division, said that, altrough it should translate well into a computer game, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy would not be "an enormous retail opportunity". Lack of confidence or realism?

In this interview, Andy Mooney talks mainly about the new movie version of Narnia stories, an other story from a British author, CS Lewis. "The chronicles of Narnia : the lion, the witch and the wardrobe", a live-adaptation of the first of the seven Narnia books, is due to be released at Christmas this year. "On a successful animated movie it is not unusual to do $500m to $1bn in retail sales for the lifetime of the product... We would except Narnia to be bigger than that because we have the advantage of phenomenal awarness around the world. The lifetimes (retail) revenues could be in the multi-bilion dollar range". Aware of the "Phantom Menace" phenomenon (shops were left with unsold merchandise), Mr Mooney said the Narnia ties-in woul begin with interactive computer games before the launch of the film but would not turn into such a flood that consumers tired of the auction figures, stationery and other products well before the seventh and final instalment".

Anyway, Hitchhiker's movie merchandising will maybe go on after the theatrical release if it's a hit. Variety reported last june that Andy Mooney "told a group attending the Licensing Show in Gotham (...) that big retailers have started hawking certain film-based toys more aggressively at DVD launch than at theatrical release. A proven property that's already a hit in theaters is less risky, he said, and chains can also cross-sell discs and related product". It seems that Disney's consumer products division missed a good opportunity with the "Finding Nemo" DVD release, ant they obviously don't want to make the same mistake twice.

Right now, we still don't know what kind of merchandise we'll get for the Hitchhiker's movie. It seems rather obvious that there will be a video game, and that a company should already work on this game if they want it in the shops at the same time, or even a few weeks before the movie's theatrical release. And we already know that NECA will make some collectibles. But even if there won't be some masssive merchandising, which is not a bad thing, we can expect other products to be anounced soon.

Saturday, August 7, 2004

H2G2 movie collectibles soon ! + the ANNIMATED movie trailer

J Simpson got the news that, during the San Diego Comic Con, a company called NECA got the licence to produce action figures and collectables based on the Hitchhiker’s movie characters and designs. According to they've been told by a NECA official that the "company was producing action figures and vehicles along with a range of other collectibles, which could include statues and props, though the complete program has not yet been finalized". I hope to bring you more infos about this soon.

NECA (The National Entertainment Collectibles Association) has already worked for a lot of big movies like "lord of the rings", "Spiderman", "pirates of Caribbean", "Kill Bill", "the nighmare before Christmas". It was founded in 1997 to manufacture high quality licensed collectibles. Over the past 5 years NECA has evolved into a major manufacturer with over 60 licenses from the worlds of sports, music, television, and film. Everything from retro style tin lunchboxes, resin bobbing heads, snow globes, and action figures.


As you all know, we've got already an official movie teaser. But Kevin, convinced that it should be an animated movie, has made a funny cartoon movie trailer. In his "dream theater", you will find parodic versions of Peter Jackson's gore movie "Bade taste 2", "Casablanca 2025", "the lord of the bings", "The binch", "Pokemon Evil Dead"... and many others !

Monday, August 2, 2004

Official blog update : Douglas family set visit report + new picd

We're pleased to confirm that the City of London, along with the rest of planet earth, was destroyed between 7am and 6pm on Saturday 17th July."

The official Douglas Adams website is not often updated but it can be very informative sometimes. Yesterday, the guys who update gave us a little report of one fascinating day of filming. The Movie's second unit was at Moogate tube Station in London from 7am to 6pm, to film the destruction of earth! A group of former employees of The Digital Village (the former dotcom company founded by Douglas Adams and Robbie Stamp) was here with Douglas' family (including his brother James).

Confirming what i've seen the day before in Elstree Studios, and told you in my own set visit report, the TDV guys report that "the production team was determined that everything had to be perfect and packed with detail - from familiare faces rushing for the not-so-safety of the Underground station, to posters in tea-shop windows and street signs."

Of course, i'm really disappointed. I missed this bit of anthology though I was in London that day and spent the day before in the studios. But, well, we cant see everything.
If you want to read the whole report, it's here!


Jamie Freeman, who runs his brother's official website, have already been on the set months ago. And around the 22th of july, Jamie was again on the movie set, this time in central London, at the Masonic Hall just off Covent Garden. "The scenes being shot were related to new character Humma Kavala, played by the inimitable John Malkovitch...This particular plot development, while not in the earlier books and series, is very interesting, and makes great play of the inner struggle that Zaphod faces – and just how far he will go to get what he wants, for that matter."

And like everybody who has been on the set, Jamie was quite impressed by the attention to details : "But there are superb little references to HHGG lore everywhere; the entire production is completely steeped in it..... And there are tributes to Douglas Adams literally everywhere in this scene, if one knows where to look. It's these sort of touches, which might mean nothing to lots of viewers, that are keeping the film grounded in his original vision and will give us (ie, the crazy ones) something to talk about for years to come. It's simply not being diluted; it's the real deal."

Well, anyway you can read the full report here


An other website have been updated with info and it's no less than the official blog. Executive producer, Robbie Stamp, wrote a production update. It is online now but it is apparently from the 28th july. He tells us about his emotion to see the movie coming alive. He also adds that, as we could guess from the update, some members of douglas' family will appear in the movie. His mother and sisters and brother and his daughter are all extras in the scene when earth learns of its impending destruction!

He remembers fondly the recording of Humma's hymn, reason why this update is illustrated with a new picture from this special day.

We learn too that the movie staff is currently working in Elstree on the Vogon' poetry scene!
And he announces aldready the next official blog' updates : "Keep an eye on the photo gallery in the coming weeks - look out for news about an old friend and we may just be providing an insight into what the HHGG crew eats to keep its energy levels high, courtesy of Garth Jennings' Mum"!!!


I've launched this website ten months ago when the movie was greenlit by Disney. It grew a lot, and is now, I hope, a rather not too bad looking website. I know the weak points : this website is a lot smaller that my french douglas adams website, the design is rather poor, as my english. But i'm going to work a lot, as much as i can, to improve it.

This first ever h2g2 movie website begun its life with around a 50 visitors per day. It rose to 500, then 2000, and it already attracted more than 4000 visitors in one day. And without even one single picture of a naked girl!

I think that the excitement around the movie will grow a lot till summer 05. And I'd really love that this website is not going to explode when 2000 visitors try to connect at the same time. Last sunday, a few hours after I posted the movie trailer, this website was out of service. It's easy to understand. I'm hosted freely by my Internet provider.

If I want to make a solid website, I will have to choose a professional web hoster. And of course it's not free. I will have to spend about 150 euros per year just for that. And even if it's not that expensive, I can't afford to pay this amount of money for this website. I already spend a lot of time to run it. So for me, the problem is this one. If I dont find the money, my website will stay here, but will remain fragile OR I find some money and buy some webspace. To find some money, there are not one thousand ways. Pulicity and Donations. So I've decided to launch a "Support us" section. You can help me, if you wish and if you can, by clicking on the banner and buying some stuff there, or by giving me a few quids thanks to Of course, it's not a matter of life and death, and you can decide to support Save the Rhino or The Dian Fossey Gorilla fund instead!