Anybody want a peanut?
Quibi’s homemade Princess Bride remake is now dropping episodes, and it’s better than we could ever have imagined. Directed by Jason Reitman (Ghostbusters: Afterlife), the project recalls the DIY version of Alien we reported on a few weeks back.
It’s certainly funny to see blockbuster-caliber actors appearing in a production that looks like it was made with no money and zero CGI. All scenes requiring animals or crowds are simply brought to life with LEGOs. Cobbled together from different performances shot all over the world, this remake is emblematic of the staggering amount of creativity we’ve been seeing from folks in quarantine.
New chapters will be rolled out each day on Quibi for the next two weeks. Home Movie: The Princess Bride is benefiting World Central Kitchen, and Quibi has already donated 100,000 meals to feed those affected by COVID-19.
Chapter One: “As You Wish”
Chapter One fittingly kicks things off with the return of Fred Savage, who played the little boy in the 1987 original. His mother (a role originated by Betsy Brantley) is played by Retta and his grandfather (a role originated by the late Peter Falk) is played by Adam Sandler. The boy later turns into Josh Gad, while the grandfather becomes none other than Rob Reiner, director of The Princess Bride movie.
As the main story (based on William Goldman‘s novel) takes shape, the roles of Wesley (originated by Cary Elwes) and Buttercup (Robin Wright) are played by Annabelle Wallis, Chris Pine, Common, Tiffany Haddish, and Zazie Beetz. And as you can see in the preview above, Prince Humperdink (Chris Sarandon) is first portrayed by Hugh Jackman, wearing a bathrobe and what looks to be one half of a dumpling steamer basket for his crown.
Chapter Two: “The Shrieking Eels”
Chapter Two sees Buttercup (now Mackenzie Davis) kidnapped by Rainn Wilson’s Vizzini (first played by Wallace Shawn), who wants to inconceivably start a war between Florin and Guilder. Pedro Pascal and Jason Segel are the first to portray his henchman, Inigo Montoya (originally played by Mandy Patinkin) and Fezzik (André the Giant). Both are great in the role, but it’s Segel’s famous André the Giant impression that really steals the show.
As they sail off into the sunset (just a toy boat in an infinity pool), Nick Kroll takes over as Vizzini, Inigo, and Fezzik for the rest of the segment. It’s so weird, yet so awesome. Trying to escape her captors, Buttercup jumps ship and runs the risk of being devoured by the shrieking eels.
It’s at this point that Mckenna Grace and J.K. Simmons take us back to reality for a moment as the sick boy and his grandfather. Their conversation over Buttercup’s watery fate ends when the princess is yanked back into the boat. The kidnappers’ vessel (now followed by Westley) reaches the Cliffs of Insanity, which is just a brick wall.
Chapter 3: “The Cliffs of Insanity”
Fans of The Office will rejoice over the third installment, which features Angela Kinsey, Oscar Nunez, and Brian Baumgartner as Vizzini, Inigo, and Fezzik respectively. Climbing up the Cliffs of Insanity (again, just a brick wall) with Buttercup, the group (back to LEGO form) is pursued by Westley, who’s left dangling on the rocks when Vizzini cuts the rope.
Westley turns into Jack Black (wielding Kylo Ren’s lightsaber) and is helped up to solid ground by Inigo, who is now played by Diego Luna (wielding a red umbrella for his own weapon). As Westley catches his breath, Inigo recounts his tragic backstory and utters the famous line: “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” If they ever remake the movie for real, Luna should be at the top of the casting list.
Things cut off just before the two characters’ epic sword-fight, but it’ll be interesting to see how they handle all that choreography in Chapter 4.
Chapter 4: “Battle of the Wits”
The sword-play in Chapter 4 is brought to life by Kaitlyn Dever (Westley) and Finn Wolfhard (Inigo). Their banter is fun and made all the more charming by the fact that Wolfhard is wearing a fishing vest and not even trying to emulate Montoya’s Spanish accent.
Westley defeats Inigo in combat and Vizzini (King Bach) instructs Fezzik (a well-cast Dave Bautista) to take out the meddlesome Man in Black (David Spade). During their fight, Westley’s line about masks being “terribly comfortable” and how he thinks “everyone will be wearing them in the future” is now more relevant than ever.
Back at the Cliffs of Insanity, Humperdink (Thomas Lennon in his ridiculous Reno 911! costume) and Rugen (Lennon’s son, Oliver) suspect treachery on the part of Guilder.
And finally, we come to the Battle of Wits between Westley (Jon Hamm in the full get-up, save for a pair of Converse sneakers) and Vizzini (Patton Oswalt). Princess Buttercup is played by Oswalt’s daughter, Alice.
Armed with his packet of Iocaine powder (just a magic marker), Hamm’s Westley bests Vizzini after the kidnapper’s famously convoluted speech about logic.
Chapter 5: “Life is Pain”
Thomas Lennon is back as Humperdink, searching for his fiancée Buttercup (Leslie Bibb), who is now back with her true love, Westley (Sam Rockwell), although she doesn’t know it just yet.
Rockwell flaunts his Oscar-winning chops as the Man in Black, callously testing the princess to see if her love for him is still true. Unaware of his true identity, Buttercup antagonizes him in kind, saying, “You can die too for all I care.” She strikes Westley, causing him to roll down a hill (hilariously intercut with a trash bag being thrown down a flight of stairs). On the way down, he declares, “As you wish!” and Buttercup, realizing her mistake, joins him (cue the next bag of trash).
At the bottom of the hill, Westley and Buttercup turn into Neil Patrick Harris and his husband David Burtka. They share a romantic smooch before we cut back to the boy (Keith L. Williams), who’s grossed out by all the kissing in the story. “You know, someday you may not mind so much,” says his grandfather (Giancarlo Esposito).
Humoring his grandson, Esposito’s character gets back to the action, as Westley and Buttercup head for the dreaded Fire Swamp.