Comic-Con 2010: Simon Pegg & Nick Frost's 'Paul' is Hilarious
by Ethan Anderton
July 26, 2010
The terrific trio of director Edgar Wright and actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost brought us two amazing comedies in the form of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. But recently, these three kings of comedy have taken a break from the Blood & Ice Cream Trilogy to work on different projects. Wright has Scott Pilgrim vs. the World coming up soon, and Pegg/Frost hit the road with Greg Mottola (Adventureland, Superbad) for an extra-terrestrial comedy called Paul. This year Comic-Con attendees in Hall H were treated to the first bit of footage from the comedy including our first glimpse of the Seth Rogen-voiced titular alien. Read on!
Honestly, the concept in this so simple I'm surprised no one had ever thought of it before. But with Paul, I'm actually thankful that no one has because Pegg, Frost and Rogen have stumbled on comedy gold. Aside from all the laughs, these three guys bring Sigourney Weaver, Jason Bateman, Bill Hader, Joe LoTruglio, Jeffrey Tambor together in what many of the cast members called a loveletter to all of us nerds and geeks who make Comic-Con the epic event that its become. This is a film for anyone who has ever loved comedy or science fiction and wouldn't mind having a vulgar best friend in a perfect alien embodiment of Seth Rogen.
If you haven't been keeping up with Paul, the story follows two sci-fi enthusiasts who embark on a road trip across the US starting at the San Diego Comic-Con. Having enjoyed the delights of the Con, the boys head towards Area 51 to search for UFOs, but their trip takes a sudden turn when they happen upon a crashed government vehicle containing an alien named Paul. Supremely excited, scared and confused all at the same time, Paul joins them on the trip but the government (agents played by Bateman, Hader and LoTruglio) isn't far behind as they're looking for the escaped extraterrestrial at the command of Sigourney Weaver's request.
Maximum hilarity was on display in the sizzle reel that was shown to Comic-Con audiences highlighting the convention itself and all its intricacies and details complete with Jeffrey Tambor as cocky science fiction writer "Adam Shadowchild," plenty of costumed characters and even blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearances from FirstShowing friends like Steve "Frosty" Weintraub from Collider and El Guapo from Latino Review. But the real star here, of course, is the alien who couldn't be anymore different than Steven Spielberg's E.T.
The footage gives us our first look at Paul who is simply a more textured and detailed version of the typical alien description including an elongated head, angled eyes and green/grayish skin. But Paul doesn't exactly behave like an alien so much as an obnoxious stoner, which isn't something that's too difficult for Rogen to pull off. Rogen also puts more than just his voice into the character as he also had his physical performance taken from motion capture before physical production. Interestingly enough, while on set LoTruglio would sometimes stand in for Rogen and stand on his knees to interact with Pegg and Frost because that was the perfect height. Some of the improvisation the comedian did on-set made it back to Rogen to re-record in the studio for the film. Such gems from Paul (as the alien) include lines like: "Hey, fucknuts! It's probin' time!"
Hopefully an official trailer is on the way soon (our footage was obviously not appropriate for all audiences with multiple F-bombs littered throughout), and you'll all be able to witness the hilarity of Paul, a film that takes the best of science fiction and comedy (and plenty of crazy geeks) and throws it all into one package.