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‘Hitchhiker's Guide' Has Galaxy of Possible Extras

28 Apr, 2005 By: Fred Topel

After 25 years in development, Douglas Adams' beloved sci-fi comedy novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy comes to theaters this week. With so much prep time, filmmakers have already come up with ideas for the eventual DVD release, including bonus features that were shot during principal photography.

“We shot an awful lot,” director Garth Jennings said. “We had a sort of secret [DVD] schedule running parallel with our shoot.”

Some of these bonus features include fake deleted scenes — scenes never intended to be included in the film. Many of the fake deleted scenes are inside jokes about Hollywood tampering with Adams' text.

“[It would be uncharacteristic] if Arthur Dent had burst through the door to save Trillian with a laser gun and shot the place to pieces and said, ‘Give me the girl!’ Jennings said. “We did shoot that as a DVD extra. It's one of the ‘deleted deleted scenes.' It was so funny. The fans were so worried that that was the kind of thing we were going to do [that] I said, ‘We've got to shoot that.’

Shooting such silliness helped assure the filmmakers that they were remaining faithful to a story that has existed in print, stage, radio and television form before it became a film.

“We felt that what we were doing was making a movie that would hopefully appeal to as many people as the books appeal to,” Jennings said.

Producer Robbie Stamp revealed some of the straight bonus features in production for possible use on the DVD.

“There is a fantastic making-of documentary that's being done by Grant Gee, who did a fabulous documentary on Radiohead [Meeting People Is Easy],” Stamp said. Both Stamp and Jennings indicated that legitimate deleted scenes also exist and could be on a DVD release.

“Ultimately, it's just lots of very strange bits and pieces that wouldn't have ever worked in the film,” Jennings said.

Stamp said some of the real deleted scenes from the film are Guide entries. The actual Hitchhiker's Guide plays out on screen in animated sequences, but only a select few from Adams' book could be included in the theatrical release.

“There will be some of the stuff about God and God's plan, and so on,” Stamp said.

Stamp, a longtime friend of Adams, thinks the deceased author would have embraced the format.

“He would have loved DVDs,” he said.

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