It's an interesting choice to sell "Your Highness" based on special effects and action, but it makes sense. After all, a green-band trailer for a film as relentlessly weird and dirty as "Your Highness" has to avoid all the things that made the original red-band trailer so much fun.
Like Natalie Portman's butt.
I love watching Universal try to figure out how to sell this one, because I admit… I'd be stumped. I'm already sold. I'm in. Danny McBride. James Franco. Natalie Portman. Justin Theroux. David Gordon Green directing. Co-written by one of the great wild men of the Carolinas, Ben Best. A fantasy-comedy about what happens when the wastrel second son of a King has to join his heroic older brother on a quest that involves magic, monsters, minotaurs, and hot maidens a-plenty. With a plethora of weed jokes. And puppets.
Pretty much everything I just typed makes me happy. So I'm obviously the very specific niche target audience for "Your Highness." Unfortunately, my patronage is probably not enough to put "Your Highness" in profit, so Universal has to figure out how to sell this to people who didn't go to Belfast to visit the locations from the movie. The red-band trailer was sort of awesome. This is a really smart first look at the movie for general audiences. They have McBride front and center, they show off the quality of the FX work in the movie (and I love that this looks like a real fantasy film and not a spoof), and there's a real strong action-movie vibe to the second half of the trailer.
They had their hands tied in a few ways with this trailer. For example, they put a digital bikini bottom on Portman, which had to be the single saddest FX job ever done. Can you imagine the poor guy who was told, "We want you to digitally paint over Portman's butt so you can't see it as well"? I bet he cried the whole time. And they don't really suggest the way the dialogue mixes fantasy-movie cliche with bracing modern profanity, because you can't. Not without playing the profanity.
Doesn't matter. That stuff can be the "oh, wow!" discovery once you've got people in the theater. At least you get to see that weird Yoda puppet thing again. I love his little glowing hat, whatever that is, and I am suitably creeped out by the idea of McBride making out with it.
On that note, I can't wait to see "Your Highness" when it opens on April 8, 2011.