"Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the drug store, but that's just peanuts to space."
That quote, from Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, sums up the classic bestseller as well as any—silly, philosophical, and deeply rooted in science fiction. What began life as a comedic radio program in the late '70s soon became a celebrated novel before evolving into a "five-book trilogy" that sold more than 15 million books. People continue to cherish and discover Hitchhiker's Guide (or h2g2 to diehard fans) even today. I was surprised by the age range at the screening I attended, with 10-year-old children blurting out the answers to pre-show trivia questions about the book.
Though Hitchhiker's Guide came to life as a low-budget BBC mini-series in the '80s, Adams had envisioned a cinematic adaptation for years. He finally signed a deal with Disney in 1998 to develop the feature, only to die of a heart attack shortly after finishing the second draft in 2001. Now roughly 25 years after its original publishing, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy finally comes to life on the big screen, written by Adams and Karey Kirkpatrick, whose previous screenplay credits include Chicken Run and James and the Giant Peach. (The latter is also the brother of acclaimed songwriter Wayne Kirkpatrick.)
Though filmmakers have appropriately analogized Hitchhiker's Guide to sci-fi as Austin Powers to the James Bond franchise, it's best to think of it as Doctor Who meets Monty Python. The story centers on the worst day in the life of neurotic English everyman Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman of the BBC's "The Office"). It's not enough that ...1
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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
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