What do you get when you take a group of actors from all different genres and put them in a LARP (live-action role playing ) game where roleplaying becomes fight-or-die reality? Well, we were hoping for an insanely awesome answer to that question ever since the film Knights of Badassdom teased us at the San Diego Comic-Con 2011 with a cast panel.
The short, unofficial premise that had been circling the internet is as follows:
“After being dumped by his sexy girlfriend Beth, Joe (Kwanten) reluctantly decides to join Eric (Zahn) and his LARPing (Live Action Role Players) friends in the woods rather than stay behind and feel sorry for his newly single status. There he meets hot, ass-kicking, intimidating LARPer Gwen (Glau), and finds himself plunged into a surreal adventure wilder than he ever imagined when a make-believe wizard casts an all-too-real spell from an ancient book. That spell releases an actual demon with a taste for human blood — and souls — that starts systematically decimating the players in this suddenly deadly “game.” Will our guys become the heroes they have been pretending to be before time runs out?”
It’s an over-the-top plot, but it hits all the marks of what a good, campy movie about a group of cosplay enthusiasts should be. What would be the supreme cosplay if your thing is D&D? REAL DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS! OK, so there are no dungeons or dragons as far as we can tell, but it’s close enough.
What makes the film even more alluring is the idea of having an outcast in the world of LARP, “the normal guy,” slowly gaining an appreciation for donning medieval battle-gear and hitting people with foam swords. It’s happened before. Once with James Franco in Freaks and Geeks, and again with Paul Rudd in Role Models.
Then there is the ginormous pile of cast in Knights of Badassdom: Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones, Death at a Funeral, both US & UK versions), Steve Zahn (Suburbia, Saving Silverman, Treme), Summer Glau (Firefly), Ryan Kwanten (True Blood), Jimmi Simpson (It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Loser), Danny Pudi (Community), Joshua Malina (Sports Night, The West Wing), and too many more.
Oh, you want a random cameo? How about Shelly from Friday the 13th Part 3? Yup, Larry Zerner is somewhere in this movie, too.
Unfortunately, with all of that talent and awesomeness (allegedly, as we haven’t seen a cut of the movie yet), the movie sat for 2 years. Then the trailer resurfaced earlier this year.
Now it has come to our attention that the film was finally picked up from IndieVest Pictures by Entertainment One for theater and VOD distribution. The question is, what sort of version will we be given?
One alarm that has been going off is the decimation of the film’s website, along with any official plot synopsis. Yes, the website is gone, along with all press releases, leaving us with a short byline that anyone can pull off of IMDb.com:
“Live-action role players conjure up a demon from Hell by mistake and they must deal with the consequences.”
It gets scarier, and this is without a succubus from hell stopping by my place in the middle of the night. Allegedly, the cut of the film that was picked up is 70 minutes long. If that isn’t bad enough, director Joe Lynch was taken off the project in 2011, which means that not only is the active cut not a “director’s cut”, it’s 2 years removed from a director’s cut. This can very well mean less subtle humor, which is what good, satirical humor thrives on.
Still, we can at least hold out hope that we will see Summer Glau in a hot, Milles Ages chemise. Peter Dinklage will be sure to play off of his comedic wit while being in a movie about swordsmen and dragons that satirizes his own success in Game of Thrones. And Steve Zahn, well, let’s hope that his character is inebriated to remind us how awesome he was in Suburbia.