Latest movie trailers, behind the scenes video features and more
THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE
TO THE GALAXY
USA: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution
UK: Buena Vista International UK
Cast: Sam Rockwell, Mos Def, Zooey Deschanel, Martin Freeman, Warwick Davis, Bill Nighy, Anna Chancellor, Alan Rickman, Helen Mirren, Stephen Fry, Thomas Lennon, John Malkovich, Polly Jane Adams, Bill Bailey, Mason Ball, Jane Belson, Jerome Blake, Caro Caccietta, Richard Coombs, Barry Dowden, Phillip Eason, Jane Garnier, John Gomez, Richard Griffiths, Brian Herring, Dominique Jackson, Mark Jefferis, Simon Jones, William Todd Jones, Ian McNeice, Steve Pemberton, Nigel Plaskitt, Katherine Smee, Jack Stanley, Mark Stevenson, James Thrift, Robert Tygner, Ben Uttley, Patrick Walker
Director: Garth Jennings
Countries: USA / UK
USA: 110 mins
UK: 109 mins
USA Rated: PG for thematic elements, action and mild language
UK Certificate: PG contains mild language and moderate fantasy horror
USA Release Date: 29 April 2005
UK Release Date: 28 April 2005
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.
- Douglas N Adams (or DNA), The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy
Don't panic! You are about to join the most ordinary man in the world on a most extraordinary space adventure across the universe to the furthest edges of irreverent sci-fi comedy in THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY. So grab a good towel, stick your thumb out at the stars and get ready for a mind-boggling ride of cosmically funny proportions.
Twenty years in the making, THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY brings the story that became beloved by millions - and a part of the world's pop cultural zeitgeist - at long last to the movie screen. Mix-mastering science fiction, comedy, adventure and philosophy into one original entertainment experience, acclaimed author and Renaissance man Douglas Adams' novel was always considered ahead of its time. But now a new day has dawned on the story with this motion picture version that Douglas was intimately involved in creating prior to his tragic early death of a heart attack.
It all begins with Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman), a typical guy having a very bad day. Arthur's house is about to be bulldozed, his best friend turns out to be an alien and, to top things off, it appears that Planet Earth will be demolished in mere seconds to make way for a hyperspace freeway. Arthur's only chance for survival: hitch a quick ride on a passing spacecraft, with the help of his best friend Ford Prefect (Mos Def). Jetting off into the complete unknown, Arthur makes some major, mostly harmless, discoveries about the true nature of the universe. He finds that a towel is the most massively useful thing a person can carry. He uncovers the precise meaning of life. And he learns that the answers to everything anyone ever wanted to know - and plenty that no one in his right mind could possibly have expected - are all to be found in one fantastically entertaining electronic book: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Inspired by Adams' runaway creativity, the film version of THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY (aka H2G2) pays homage to the spirit of irreverence and invention that have made this story so enduring. Using an eye-popping mix of state-of-the-art and old school special effects, the film propels audiences - whether long-time fans or the as-yet uninitiated - right out of everyday reality and into a side-achingly alternate universe that plays by its own set of rules.
THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY is directed by Garth Jennings, who makes his feature film debut after cutting his teeth as a founder of one of the UK's most innovative young production companies, Hammer & Tongs. Along with partner Nick Goldsmith, Jennings has been the creative force behind a visually dazzling array of music videos and commercials, including work with Blur, REM, Supergrass, and Pulp, and brings an outsider's sense of limitless possibility to the proceedings. The screenplay is written by Douglas Adams and Karey Kirkpatrick, based on Adams' book.
The unforgettable characters that Douglas Adams cast off into space come to life through the work of an ensemble of actors that includes Sam Rockwell as the two-headed, three-armed president of the galaxy, Zaphod Beeblebrox; Mos Def as Ford Prefect, Arthur's best friend; Zooey Deschanel as Zaphod's girlfriend, Trillian; Martin Freeman as Arthur Dent; Bill Nighy as the planet designer, Slartibartfast; and John Malkovich as religious cult leader Humma Kavula, an original new character created by Adams specially for this movie. Also appearing in cameos are members of Douglas Adams' family, including his daughter, brothers and sisters -- as well as one of the original cast members of the radio series, Simon Jones (who played the original Arthur Dent).
A Little Guidance on The Guide:
The Legacy of Douglas Adams and the Origins of H2G2
In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry
and has been widely regarded as a bad move. -- Douglas Adams
So, just what is THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY and where did it come from, anyway?
In 1978, BBC Radio 4 listeners were treated to a spectacular new play unlike anything anybody had ever heard before. Part sci-fi space odyssey, part laugh-out-loud satirical comedy, and part inquiry into the nature of reality, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy managed to spin tales of robots, space oddities and intergalactic encyclopedias, all the while meddling in some pretty massive questions - What is the nature of the universe? How did the universe begin? What is reality? Can we know meaning of life? - without ever taking itself too seriously. The result was that the audience had a blast - even as they were blasted into a world beyond ordinary belief.
Based on the success of the radio play, Adams was soon approached by a publisher who asked him to write a novel based on the play and he quickly found himself a galactic star of the literary world. His book became a near-instant classic best seller, and he would go on to write five more books in the series and to sell more than 15 million copies in the series before the end of his life.
The Hitchhiker's books became more than just bestsellers; they were a cultural phenomenon in their own right. Fans debated them, reading groups pored over their every rib-tickling linethe ideas, invention and engaging humour, and even world-famous scientists such as the Darwinist Richard Dawkins and the theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking discussed them in the same breath as the latest scientific theories. Two of Douglas Adams' hugest biggest heroes - John Cleese and Paul McCartney - went on to collaborate with Adams on other projects.
Adams would continue to be an innovator and a far-flungoriginal thinker - becoming an early proponent of the Internet and multi-media technology. In addition to his writings, he performed with the rock band Pink Floyd (a present for his birthday); designed interactive computer games; founded a multi-media company; started the "real" earth edition of the guide at h2g2.com; and campaigned passionately on behalf of endangered species, especially the mountain gorilla and rhino.
Having turned The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy into a radio show, novels, a television series, computer games and more, Douglas Adams knew his book was destined one day to be a feature film. But first Hollywood had a little technological catching up to do. With the advent of digital moviemaking, Adams watched as his sci-fi comedy extravaganza began to influence a whole new genre of Hollywood films. For nearly twenty years, he had battled with writing a screenplay. Finally, in 1998, Adams signed a deal with Disney and hunkered down to give it another try. Much to the world's shock, shortly after he finished his first second Disneysecond draft for Disney, Adams died quite suddenly of a heart attack.
His friends and fans were devastated by the loss, hosting memorials worldwide in more than 15 countries, including the United States, Brazil, Germany and, of course, the UK. Since his death, two planetary objects have been named in Adams' honor: one entitled Arthurdent after his most famous character from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the other named Asteroid Douglasadams.