Will long-awaited feelgood nerd movie Fanboys find itself swallowed by the Judd Apatow comedy juggernaut? That's the rumor doing the rounds right now, according to Ain't It Cool. The movie - which stars Heroes' Kristen Bell and features cameos from a slumming-it Carrie Fisher and a grateful for the paycheck Billy Dee Williams - centers around five friends in the nineties breaking into Skywalker Ranch to steal a pre-release print of The Phantom Menace for a dying friend... or, at least, it did before test audiences decided that they didn't like that whole "dying friend" thing.
Enter Shauna Robertson, Judd Apatow's producing partner, who's been brought in by studio boss Harvey Weinstein to make the movie more palatable to audiences. And according to the AIC post, that makes it less palatable to those closest to its heart:
Apparently the Apatow people have done research which says most people won't laugh for 5 or 10 minutes after cancer is mentioned so they want to do away with the entire cancer subplot and I've heard they have a version which edited out the entire cancer plot. This means it's just a group of punk kids breaking into Skywalker Ranch to steal a movie to see it before it comes out. Why would I root for these kids to steal the film, if the noble reason for doing it is gone?
Considering Andy's action figure collection in The 40 Year Old Virgin, it's not as if sympathy for the geek is an unknown quality to Robertson, but time and more test audiences will tell whether this ends up more Walk Hard than Knocked Up.
The Weinsteins effing the f out of FANBOYS?!? [Aint It Cool.com]