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The Princess Bride is a much-beloved movie, known to many as an untouchable classic full of memorable characters like Princess Buttercup, Inigo Montoya, and a Rodent of Unusual Size. While there have been rumors of a potential remake over the last few years, nothing has been definitive to date, and to the relief of many a fan, the original 1987 film has remained the only screen version of writer William Goldman’s story.
And then a series of unrelated events occurred: The world found itself in the midst of a global pandemic, and a new streaming service, Quibi, launched on a smartphone near you. According to Vanity Fair, these two events spurred director Jason Reitman (Ghostbusters: Afterlife) to undertake a unique creative endeavor, something that would likely never have come to fruition if it weren’t for these COVID times.
“The week that the stay-at-home order came through in California, I just woke up one of the first mornings, I think like most people did, feeling as though, All right, I need to be able to do something of value,” Reitman told Vanity Fair. “I just thought, Can we remake an entire movie at home? And I had seen that a fan-made Star Wars had been done. I just started reaching out to actors I knew, saying, ‘Is this something you’d want to do?’ And the response was kind of immediate and fast. It was like, ‘Oh—that sounds like fun.’”
Once Reitman settled on his DIY vision for re-enacting The Princess Bride, he also reached out to Rob Reiner, the director of the 1987 film, as well as the people and organizations who retained rights to the original. Everyone signed on in support of the charitable effort, in part because it clearly celebrates the original rather than trying to re-do it. “If you already know the movie, that’s what makes it fun,” Reiner told Vanity Fair. “The audience already knows every line. I had no reservations. I was like, ‘Nah, let’s do it!’”
Reitman also got Quibi—the recently launched streaming service that’s intended for people to watch short 10-minute clips on their phone—on board. The platform will not only start streaming the remake starting June 29 (the film will be released in short snippets over two weeks), but has also pledged $1 million to World Central Kitchen, an organization that provides food meals to communities in need.
Once everything was greenlit, Reitman was able to wrangle a star-studded cast to take part in the effort. And those who watch at least some of the Quibi installments will catch glimpses of Hugh Jackman (Logan), Rob Reiner (The Princess Bride), Tiffany Haddish (The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part), Common (Suicide Squad), Patton Oswalt (BoJack Horseman), Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok), Neil Patrick Harris (Dr. Horrible’s Singalong Blog), Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones), Chris Pine (Wonder Woman), and many other surprise guests, including at least one cameo from some Lego minifigs playing townspeople.
The original film is currently streaming via Disney+ for those who need a refresher before Quibi's homemade version begins serializing on June 29.