Santa Barbara
60° F
Clear
Clear
Santa Maria
48° F
Clear
Clear
San Luis Obispo
55° F
Clear
Clear
Ventura
54° F
Clear
Clear

Shatner boldly returns to sci-fi genre with 'Escape from Planet Earth'

Published On: Feb 14 2013 12:43:43 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 15 2013 12:03:29 PM CST
William Shatner Escape from Planet Earth

The Weinstein Co.

William Shatner voices General Shanker

"Star Trek" icon William Shatner is returning to one of his favorite genres with the new sci-fi film "Escape from Planet Earth," but this time around, he wanted to make sure it was safe to take some special passengers along for the ride.

In a recent interview, Shatner, 81, told me that it was important to him to make a movie that he and his wife and three grandchildren -- two are age 7 and the other is 10 -- could see without worry. And that's not easy given the few number of films made for families in theaters.

"The line between having a film that's entertaining between a 6-year-old and a 12-year-old is very narrow, and the reaction we're getting with this movie is that we've been able place it exactly in the middle of that line -- where you don't scare a 6 year-old and yet you occupy a 12-year-old's attention," Shatner explained.

Shatner voices the pivotal role of General Shanker in "Escape from Planet Earth," a military heavy who lures the smartest aliens from across the galaxy to earth so he can imprison them, steal their technology, and make loads of cash off it. Shanker's operation however, is threatened when he captures Scorch Supernova (Brendan Fraser) -- a national hero among his blue alien population -- and his brainy brother, Gary (Rob Corddry), comes to rescue him.

Opening in 2D and 3D in theaters nationwide on Friday, "Escape from Planet Earth" also stars the voices of Sofia Vergara, Jessica Alba, Ricky Gervais, George Lopez and Sarah Jessica Parker.

While Shatner plays the "bad guy" in "Escape from Planet Earth," he wants to point out that evil here is "evil fun," and not "evil evil." Evil fun, he said, helps the younger audience members retain their naiveté and avoids what true evil is.

"You have to be careful, because a 6-year-old doesn't know what evil is," Shatner said. "My daughters, for example, are very careful about what they let their children see. I guess you can make an argument either way. You can let them retain their innocence as long as possible, or you can say, 'There are evils in the world.' But at what point do you do that? I don't have the answers to that."

Shatner, of course, has one of the most distinct voices in the entertainment business, and part of the allure of voicing a character for an animated film like "Escape from Planet Earth" is that he can have creative input into shaping the character.

In this case, General Shanker is a threatening-looking character, but the voice coming out of him isn't exactly what you would expect.

"They drew a large, imposing figure, but I wanted to move in the opposite direction," Shatner recalled. "So I chose to do a little lisp, and I chose to make him more diddly and more feral, so he's more of a wild cat than a wild lion."

Of course, Shatner has been deeply connected to the space and sci-fi genre for years, dating back to the "Star Trek" television series and movies, and in more recent years, though his "Star Trek" novels.

Still, the prolific actor and author said it's fun to do a film like "Escape from Planet Earth" with alien characters involved, because it once again gives him the chance to contemplate the boundless universe that we live in -- a universe he says undoubtedly contains other life forms.

To believe otherwise, Shatner said, is "ludicrous."

"The stuff that I am starting to think about it is, the universe is so complex, that we can't even begin to imagine what we don't know," Shatner observed. "We mere mortals don't have the ability to encompass what strange things are out there that are bigger than our imagination. We have no possibility of finding out what it is, because we can't imagine what is out there."

Shatner added while scientists have caught glimpses of how the universe works, our knowledge of it is still meager.

"Even with our total knowledge, we still know nothing," Shatner said. "So with that point of view, to think we're the only ones is the universe, in this complex, multi-layered -- no English word can contain what strange things are out there. How dare we say, 'Well, we're the only ones out there.'"

Comments

The views expressed are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms Of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. 
blog comments powered by Disqus
  • Triple Fatal Auto Accident on Highway

    3 Dead In Early Morning Accident, Driver Arrested For DUI

    The 101 southbound through Santa Barbara reopened just before 12:30 Monday afternoon as authorities investigate what they say was a deadly two car DUI accident.

  • Witnesses to Fatal Crash

    Eyewitnesses See Triple Fatal Crash from Roadside Camp

    A homeless couple watching the freeway from their campsite in Santa Barbara this morning, witnessed the triple fatal accident that took the lives of two teens and a young man.

  • Triple Fatal Auto Accident on Highway

    DUI Driver in Fatal Early Morning Accident Ordered to Detox Program in 1995

    The Santa Barbara woman arrested for DUI in the early morning accident that left three people dead early Monday morning has a lengthy court record out of Ventura County. Kimberly Kreis, 52, was ordered to serve 30 days in a detox program as far back as 1995.

    The car that Kreis was driving crashed into a disabled Mazda near the Castillo off-ramp of the southbound 101 freeway in Santa Barbara. Two 17 year old North Torrance High School students were killed in the accident- Jessica Leffew and Danielle Murillo. 20 year old Brian Lopez also died in the wreck. The driver of the Mazda, Eric August, is hospitalized in critical condition.

    A NewsChannel 3 investigation found records out of Ventrua County that appear to show that Greis has at least one prior conviction involving drugs and or alcohol, and in 1995 she was ordered to serve 30 days in a Cottage Hospital detox program.

    CHP investigators are still trying to piece together why the Mazda veered right into a guardrail, causing it to flip onto it's roof before coming to rest in the middle of the southbound freeway, which set into motion the deadly accident.

    CHP Officer Jonathan Guiterrez, said "A lot of things could have happened, He could have fallen asleep. We just don't know at this point."

  • Santa Barbara Fatal Accident Folo

    Extensive Investigation into Triple Fatal Accident

    An extensive investigation is underway to determine the cause of death in a triple fatal rollover accident Monday morning in Santa Barbara.

  • Parents of Mallory Dies Sue Congresswoman, Her Former Aide, and U.S. Government

    The parents of a young Santa Barbara woman killed in a high profile, DUI case are suing Congresswoman Lois Capps, her former aide Raymond Morua, and the U-S government in federal court.

  • Larry Lee Cal Poly Coach

    Cal Poly Baseball Earns No. 1 National Ranking

    The Mustangs achieved the school's second No. 1 national ranking in Division I as Collegiate Baseball Newspaper has placed Cal Poly atop its Top 30.

  • fuzion_store_business_santa_barbara

    UCSB Group Boycotts Business For Promoting Deltopia

    A UCSB student group is boycotting a local business for creating the Deltopia Facebook page, which they said brought in thousands of outsiders to the small college town.

  • girl_child_coughing_sick_whooping_cough

    Contagious Diseases Making a Comeback in California

    Deadly diseases that were a thing of the past are making a comeback in California.

  • Slideshow: 3 Dead In Early Morning Accident, Driver Arrested For DUI

    The 101 southbound through Santa Barbara reopened just before 12:30 Monday afternoon as authorities investigate what they say was a deadly two car DUI accident.

  • Netflix file

    Brian Snyder/Reuters

    14 alternatives to Netflix

    Out of love with Netflix? Check out these alternatives to the company's instant streaming and DVD-by-mail services.