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12 December 2007 @ 11:23 am
KBell pickets; Fanboys release pushed... again; Sarah Marshall renamed?  
Mostly a KBell news-related only entry.  Apologies.

Just wanted to link the small headline that Kristen made her way to the WGA picket line outside of NBC-Universal, to show her support for the writers.  Now that all of the thus-far scripted eps have been filmed and aired, I think more cast members from Heroes and various other shows may be doing what they can to be more visible and/or vocal in all of this. 

Some online posters have griped over these "delayed" supporting actors, who continued to cross the picket lines to finish filming episodes for the first couple of weeks the strike was on.  Personally, I don't begrudge them for fulfilling their SAG contractual obligations, since they actually prolonged the work for the shows' crew members who are being hit hardest financially by this strike.  And IMO, delayed or not, any future appearances by actors along the strike lines are good, as their overall visibility helps the regular viewing public - who may not be internet-informed to all the details - know more about the importance of the WGA and AMPTA issues and why the work stoppage is happening.

Short interview with Kristen over at IGN, found HERE, and I'll c/p the text, too:

Heroes: Kristen Bell on the Strike
Joining her writers, the actress talks to IGN from the picket line.
by Eric Goldman

December 11, 2007
- Outside the main entrance to Universal Studios today the writing staff of Heroes were joined by fans from the show, as they walked the picket line during the ongoing Writers Guild strike. Also there to show support and walk with her writers was Kristen Bell, who plays the villainous and troubled Elle on the series.

Bell may have only joined the series a few months ago, but she clearly has made a strong and highly positive impression on her colleagues, as Heroes creator/executive producer/writer Tim Kring and co-executive producer/writer Jeph Loeb greeted her warmly before they walked the picket line together with the fans. Loeb even joked that later that afternoon, he and Bell were going to get married.

During her time joining the picket line I spoke to Bell about the strike, its affect on Heroes and her thoughts on the situation.

Kristen Bell and Heroes writer Jeph Loeb on the picket line outside Universal Studios
IGN TV: You've got fans out here today walking with you. In general, have you found that they are very understanding about why the strike is happening at this point?

Kristen Bell: I think people are trying to understand. I mean it's a little confusing to everybody when anybody goes on strike. They always think they're making inappropriate demands, but I think in this case word has gotten out enough that the writers are just looking for some fairness.

IGN TV: Did you have many conversations with the writers on Heroes as the possibility of the strike grew more likely?

Bell: Oh my gosh, yeah. It was like anxiety 24/7. We were all just sad, because we knew it was coming and it was the lesser of two evils. It was nerve-wracking for everyone. Nobody wanted it to happen; nobody wanted it.

IGN TV: What was it like when the strike began and you were still filming?

Bell: Obviously we were all very much in support of the strike, so there was a little bit of anxiety when you had to cross the line. But we looked at it like it was written prior to this and we were simply honoring our commitment to what they had already written. And then after that, I think we've all stayed pretty strong with the fact that everybody's now going to be supporting the writers… Because we have no scripts! 

IGN TV: Do you hope days like this -- where the writers, fans and actors like yourself are all here together -- is helping send a message to the studios?

Bell: Oh, absolutely. I think the more people they see out here and the more consistent it is, the better. It died down for a minute when they went back to the [negotiating] table, but I think the stronger everybody's attitudes are kept up that it just has to be acknowledged that this needs to be settled and soon. Because I think what a lot of people don't realize is how many people take a hit with this. I one-hundred percent support the writers and support the directors and obviously support SAG, but what no one's really acknowledging is that none of the crew can work, and they're not even in a place where they would be able to request residuals. So to be in an argument over residuals, which are deserved…

I'm in support, but my heart really goes out to the crew members who haven't had work for two months before Christmas. It's a different situation that I don't think is really being acknowledged. So just even for that alone I hope that we can all come to a settlement soon where everybody gets their just desserts, you know?

Kristen Bell as Elle on Heroes
IGN TV: You're having some in-person reunions today, but have you been in contact with the writers as this has been going on?

Bell: I have, yeah. It's a very tight nit family which is lovely I think. And actually, Jeph and Tim have been very supportive and I've gotten a couple of messages from Tim just of moral support saying "We're still all here and waiting to get back to work and I hope you're doing well." They check in. They don't just sort of abandon you and I think that's a reason the show is successful, because they do run it like a family.

IGN TV: I assume the experience of having just joined the show has been an odd one, because of the strike happening in the midst of it too.

Bell: Obviously I would have loved to have not been interrupted by the strike, but it is what it is. I've been happy to be involved in the show and I hope I continue to be.

And again, I'll refer anyone who wants to see real actor/fan devotion to this cause to Whedonesque and that site's links to last Friday's Mutant Enemy Day - just look in the archives for November and December.  Regardless of the once-again stalled negotiations this weekend, having so many notable actors showing up in support of the writers - with fans (actual viewers the networks need) showing up, too - only helps to increase the awareness, especially when more news media outlets pick up the story.

In other news, it appears that the theatrical release date of Fanboys has once again been pushed back.  The future date is as-yet unspecified, even though IMDB still shows it incorrectly as 1/14/08.  The previous date was actually 1/18/08 - the same weekend that the J.J. Abrams-produced and Matt Reeves-directed thriller Cloverfield comes out.

Apparently The Weinstein Company has little faith in Fanboys to turn a profit, and keeps bumping it out of the way of other genre-blockbuster releases. However, it may also mean that the company is waiting for the release of the Judd Apatow-produced, Jason Segel-written comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which may have been renamed to Dumped, based on short interviews with Russell Brand, and recently with Kristen Bell - backstage at the Spike TV 2007 Video Game Awards - referring to the title as such.  Not sure Dumped as the new title works for me. It may fall in line with the other Apatow produced and directed stuff, but it seems... baser.  The former sounds more indicative of the plot, rather than a screwball comedy. *shrug*

Anyway, I'm guessing Weinstein Co. is banking on the still-rolling Apatow train to bring in some good publicity for KBell, that could ripple into a positive opening and returns for Fanboys around the same time framethat Dumped opens - Memorial Day 2008.  But then - that's right back into the start of the summer movie season, which is what delayed Fanboys the first time around, back in August 2006, when it was originally supposed to be released. *sigh* I guess we'll just have to wait and see.  I really hope this gets the theatrical release, though, and not just some DVD-only brush-off.  The 10-minute clip I saw back in January at the FX Show, with the cast and crew panel, was laugh-out-loud hysterical.

*ETA: IESB has added a new still from the film along with their article on the release-delay.  It's another shot of Kristen in the Leia gold bikini slave outfit. Not much else to be said, other than 'mmmm... yummy'. Direct-linked due to large size.

Geek-chic has never been hotter.

Lastly, it seems ABC is going to be releasing a strike-adjusted spring schedule later today, according to Michael Ausiello at TV Guide online. Only thing I really care about with that is whether or not the 8 filmed episodes of Lost S4 will be on it - and if so, when.  February was the plan, but now I'm hearing April, if at all.  *grumble*

Back to work...

Kristen Bell is awesome.
teacherdarling on December 13th, 2007 04:38 pm (UTC)
I and my son were lucky enough to be there
our pics and report are up at http://www.mycelebrityencounters.com
Jeff: Heroes - Elle - smirkj_mac179 on December 13th, 2007 05:00 pm (UTC)
Re: I and my son were lucky enough to be there
I think I saw your write-up with you and your family at Mutant Enemy Day, over at Whedonesque. I'm a member over there, user clarkkent179.

This is so awesome that you were able to meet so many cast members - from Heroes, and especially from the universe of Joss's shows last Friday. Lord knows if the distance was any kind of feasible for me, I would have been ecstatic to be there. Not only for the meet-and-greet of the stars, but especially for the support for the WGA. The larger the fan-support is that joins the picket lines, hopefully the larger impression is made that the viewing public actually knows and cares about these important issues.

The autographed sign is one hell of a souvenier, too. My own firsthand experience meeting Kristen proved that she's a sweetheart, but it's also nice to see that the whole Heroes cast and crew were so accomodating and gracious to fans like yourself. Those pictures are great, too.