NYCC: Your Highness Looks Vulgar, Hilarious, And Surprisingly Action-Packed
When Danny McBride and David Gordon Green first put together their dream version of the movie Your Highness, it was a loving tribute to 80s fantasy films like Krull and Conan the Barbarbian-- and according to McBride, "It was a $200 million movie, which was a little higher than we were shooting for." The old friends trimmed the script to the point that Universal was willing to make the film, and today at New York Comic Con they showed off the first footage from Your Highness, an extended trailer that is as hilarious as Green's last film Pineapple Express, but with some pretty amazing special effects to go along with it.
Set in the kind of faraway, fantastical kingdom you've seen in every generic fantasy movie, Your Highness stars James Franco and McBride as a pair of prince brothers, one noble and handsome and committed, and the other a total stoner fuck-up. You can probably guess which one plays which. The two wind up on a quest to rescue a princess (Zooey Deschanel), accompanied by a kick-ass warrior woman played by Natalie Portman, who both beats up McBride and strips down to her underwear over the course of the trailer. Like Pineapple Express, it looks like the plot is just a vehicle to include a lot of dirty, ridiculous jokes, from Franco getting stabbed in the groin by a poisonous snake and having to "suck my own venom" to McBride telling his brother, in a terrible fake British accent, "Handle your shit, Fabious, please." On top of it all there's Justin Theroux as the evil wizard, wearing 8 pounds of eyeliner and throwing around balls of energy as weapons and bragging about his powers of "Magic, motherfucker."
It's not that surprising to hear that the movie is funny-- the Gordon Green and McBride combination pretty much can't lose-- but the special effects were actually really impressive too. It actually looks like there's a significant amount of puppet work going on in there, which is both true to movies like Krull and also totally refreshing in these excessive CGI times. The trailer ended with a montage of action scenes set to typically over the top music, and while it was hilarious in context of the comedy that came before it, it actually looked like Your Highness will pull off the fantasy action as well as it does the pot and buttsex jokes.
The Q&A that followed the trailer went in all kinds of wild directions, from a long discussion of Franco's stint on General Hospital to several questions specifically for Kenny Powers. The energy in the room, though, was through the roof, despite the fact that the panel started half and hour late and, let's face it, no one really knew what to expect before the trailer started. With stars James Franco and Natalie Portman both likely to be nominated this year for Oscars (for 127 Hours and Black Swan, respectively), I cannot wait for Your Highness to come out on April 8 next year touting its Oscar-nominated stars… as it shows clips of them smoking pot out of medieval-style bongs. It's the kind of movie that's just weird and bold enough to get away with that.
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