Stardust (2007 film)


Stardust (2007 film)

Infobox Film
name = Stardust


caption = Promotional poster
narrator = Ian McKellen
director = Matthew Vaughn
writer = Novel:
Neil Gaiman
Screenplay:
Jane Goldman
Matthew Vaughn
starring = Charlie Cox
Claire Danes
Ricky Gervais
Rupert Everett
Jason Flemyng
David Walliams
Mark Strong
Peter O'Toole
with Michelle Pfeiffer
and Robert De Niro
music = Ilan Eshkeri
cinematography = Ben Davis
editing = Jon Harris
distributor = Paramount Pictures
released = August 10, 2007
runtime = 128 min.
country = United Kingdom
United States
language = English
gross = $135,553,806
budget = $70 million [cite news | author=Archie Thomas | url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117936890.html?categoryid=18&cs=1 | title=London shoots up 18% while U.K. prod'n falls | publisher=Variety | date=2006-01-26 | accessdate=2007-04-29 ]
amg_id = 1:345070
imdb_id = 0486655

"Stardust" is a 2007 fantasy film from Paramount Pictures, directed by Matthew Vaughn. The film is based on Neil Gaiman's novel of the same name, illustrated by Charles Vess, originally published by DC Comics, and stars an ensemble cast including Claire Danes, Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Charlie Cox, Sienna Miller, Rupert Everett, Ricky Gervais, David Walliams, Nathaniel Parker, Peter O'Toole, David Kelly, Ben Barnes and Mark Heap. Narration is by Sir Ian McKellen.

In 2008 it won the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form.

Plot

(SPOILER)
Tristan Thorn (Charlie Cox) is the son of Dunstan Thorn and a captive princess called Una. The couple met only one night and fell in love instantly. Unfortunately, when Tristan was born, she was not allowed to keep him and instead sent him to live with his father. She put in his basket a "Babylon candle" and a letter to Tristan explaining everything.

The story then jumps forward eighteen years to Tristan as a young man, in love with the prettiest girl, Victoria (Sienna Miller) in a small English town (Wall Village). He is desperate to bring her a newly fallen star by her birthday as that is the only way she will agree to marry him. He uses the candle to fly to where the star landed, which is not in England but in a magical land called Stormhold. Tristan soon discovers that the star is not what he expected. The star is actually a beautiful, immortal and spirited woman named Yvaine (Claire Danes). Despite this, Tristan is determined to marry Victoria. Tristan uses a silver chain that his father obtained while trying to free the princess to take Yvaine to England, promising to use the last of the magic candle to take her back to the sky afterwards.

However, Tristan is not the only one seeking the star. Yvaine is in terrible danger because the surviving sons of the King (Peter O'Toole) are looking for her because only the jewel that she wears can secure the throne for one of them. Septimus, one of the princes, later finds out that a star's heart grants immortality. Septimus wants to devour her heart so that he can rule the kingdom forever. Additionally, the three witches known as "The Lilim" — Mormo, Empusa and the eldest and the most powerful, Lamia (Michelle Pfeiffer) — want her because they can recover their beauty and eternal youth by devouring the star's heart.

As Tristan sets out to protect Yvaine and bring her back to Victoria at the other side of the wall his journey brings incredible encounters with the pirate Captain Shakespeare (Robert de Niro) and a shady trader (Ricky Gervais) among others. Yvaine and Tristan fall in love - Yvaine confesses her feelings to Tristan after the witch, Ditchwater Sal, turns him into a mouse, Yvaine not realizing that he can still understand her.

After being changed back into a human Tristan is too woozy to continue the journey, and the two stop at an inn. Tristan tells Yvaine that he returns her love. While Yvaine sleeps, Tristan cuts a piece of her hair and goes back to England to tell Victoria that he no longer loves her. However when he tries to give Victoria the hair he finds that it has turned into stardust, or rock. He realizes that Yvaine cannot enter England and stay in human form and hurries back to the other side of the wall to find her.

Unfortunately, he arrives too late. Una, having seen Yvaine solemnly head towards the wall, races to warn her. Lamia, too, heads towards the wall. The princess stops Yvaine just in time, but Ditchwater Sal, who's been keeping the princess captive, attacks her and drags her back to the cart. Lamia confronts Sal and kills her, which sets Una free. However, Yvaine and the Princess Una are both captured by Lamia and taken back to The Lilim's castle, Yvaine to be killed and the princess to be a servant.

Tristan meets Septimus at the castle, and the two decide to attack the witches together. Septimus is about to attack Una when he sees that she is his sister, daughter of the King of Stormhold (the ghosts of the other six brothers are delighted to see her). Tristan, with the help of Septimus, manages to defeat Empusa, but Lamia kills Septimus.

Tristan is forced to fight the prince's animated corpse and witches alone. Tristan defeats Mormo and the animated corpse of Septimus, and then confronts Lamia in a fierce battle. During the battle, Lamia nearly kills Tristan, but Yvaine, now knowing that Tristan really loves her, is able to unleash a powerful wave of light that disintegrates Lamia.

Tristan picks up the jewel that Yvaine's been wearing. As it is restored to ruby red Tristan becomes the next king of the land of Stormhold, with Yvaine at his side as queen. Una, Tristan's mother, was the king's daughter, making Tristan the last male heir. It is stated that the two will live forever since Yvaine "gave" him her heart when she fell in love with him. After several generations pass, the two lovers use another Babylon candle, a wedding gift from Una, to return to the sky, where they become twin stars. And they still live happily ever after.

Cast

*Charlie Cox as Tristan Thorn
*Claire Danes as Yvaine
*Michelle Pfeiffer as Lamia
*Robert De Niro as Captain Shakespeare
*Mark Strong as Septimus
*Nathaniel Parker as Dunstan Thorn
*Kate Magowan as Una
*Sienna Miller as Victoria Foresster
*Peter O'Toole as King of Stormhold
*Jason Flemyng as Primus
*Joanna Scanlan as Mormo
*Sarah Alexander as Empusa
*Rupert Everett as Secundus
*Ricky Gervais as Ferdy the Fence
*Mark Heap as Tertius
*Adam Buxton as Quintus
*Julian Rhind-Tutt as Quartus
*David Walliams as Sextus
*Melanie Hill as Ditchwater Sal
*Ben Barnes as Young Dunstan Thorn
*David Kelly as Guard
*Mark Williams as Billy
*Dexter Fletcher as Skinny Pirate
*Henry Cavill as Humphrey
*Sir Ian McKellen as Narrator
*Jake Curran as Bernard

Production

Optioning

The 1998 fantasy novel "Stardust" by Neil Gaiman was first optioned for the movies by Miramax in 1998-9. According to Gaiman, the film went "through an unsatisfactory development period", and he recovered the rights after they expired. [cite news | author=Brooke Tarnoff | url=http://www.ugo.com/ugo/html/article/?id=17568&sectionId=2 | title=Neil Gaiman, Stardust Interview | publisher=UGO: Underground Online | accessdate=2007-04-29 ] Eventually, discussions about a film version of "Stardust" began taking place between Gaiman, director Terry Gilliam and Matthew Vaughn. After Gilliam dropped out following his involvement with "The Brothers Grimm", Vaughn left the talks to direct "Layer Cake". Gaiman and Vaughn resumed talks after the director walked away from helming the film "" and in January 2005, Vaughn acquired the option to develop the film adaptation. [cite news | author=Adam Dawtrey | url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117916360.html?categoryid=19&cs=1 | title=Vaughn pushes ahead with 'U.N.C.L.E.' feature | publisher=Variety | date=2005-01-16 | accessdate=2007-04-29 ] In October 2005, the director entered final negotiations with Paramount Pictures to direct and produce "Stardust" with a budget estimated at $70 million (US). [cite news
url=http://www.mtv.com/movies/news/articles/1566862/story.jhtml | title='Stardust' Author Neil Gaiman Tells Why He Turns Down Most Adaptations — But Not This One | publisher=MTV | date=2007-08-10 | accessdate=2008-02-14
]

Writing

The adapted screenplay was written by Vaughn and screenwriter Jane Goldman. When asked how the book inspired his vision for the movie, he said that he wanted "to do "Princess Bride" with a "Midnight Run" overtone." [ [http://www.superherohype.com/news/topnews.php?id=6109 Exclusive: Stardust Director Matthew Vaughn ] ] One of the difficulties with adapting the novel was its earnest and dark nature: an adult fairy tale in which sex and violence are presented unflinchingly. As a result of changes, the movie version has a greater element of whimsy and humor, with Gaiman's blessing given to the screenwriters. Gaiman did not want people to go the theater to see a film that attempted to be completely loyal to "Stardust" the book and failed. [ cite news | author=Anthony Breznican | url=http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/news/2007-07-30-neil-gaiman_N.htm | title=Storyteller Gaiman wishes upon a star |accessdate=2007-09-27 ] After creating the
audiobook version of the novel, Gaiman realized that there was 10 1/2 hours of material in the book. This led him to acknowledge that the film would have to compress the novel, leaving out portions of the work. Budgetary concerns also factored into the adaptation, even with the level of 2006 technology. [cite news | author=Brooke Tarnoff | url=http://www.ugo.com/ugo/html/article/?id=17568&sectionId=2 | title=Neil Gaiman, Stardust Interview | publisher=UGO: Underground Online | accessdate=2007-04-29 ]

Vaughn and Goldman decided that the witches needed names (as in the book they were collectively Lilim); their Classical decisions included a reference to "The Books of Magic" (Empusa) and "Neverwhere" (Lamia). [ [http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal/archive/2006_04_01_archive.html Neil Gaiman's Journal: April 2006] ]

Locations

In mid-April 2006, principal started on Stardust. The production was filmed at Pinewood Studios in London. Location filming started in Wester Ross, in the Scottish Highlands [cite news | author= | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/highlands_and_islands/6658877.stm | title=Highland films screened at Cannes | publisher=BBC.co.uk | date=2006-05-12 | accessdate=2007-09-03 ] followed immediately by filming on the Isle of Skye. Some parts of the film were also shot in Iceland.

Several nights and days of location filming also took place in the woods near Ashridge Business school, Hertfordshire in June.cite news | url=http://www.onlocationvacations.com/category/stardust/ | title= OLV INTERNATIONAL Road Trip: The Enchanting Locations of Stardust | accessdate=2007-09-28 ] In summer 2006, there was some filming at Stowe School in Buckinghamshire and in the village of Castle Combe, Wiltshire. Filming was finished by July 13, 2006.

One film location was on Elm Hill in Norwich. The area, with a mixture of Tudor and medieval buildings dating as far back as the 11th century, was transformed into the streets of Stormhold. The Briton's Arms tea house became the Slaughtered Prince public house. The owners were so enthralled with the new look - including a spectacular mural and new thatching - that they appealed to the local council and English Heritage to keep it. However, their request was refused.

Casting

In March 2006, the studio cast Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, and Sienna Miller. Production began in the UK and Iceland in April 2006, with the majority of filming taking place in the UK. [cite news| author=Michael Fleming| url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117939318.html?categoryid=13&cs=1| title=A sprinkling of 'Stardust'| publisher=Variety | date=2006-03-06| accessdate=2007-04-29 ] Vaughn himself picked Danes, Cox and Pfeiffer for their roles. He intended Captain Shakespeare to be played by either De Niro or Jack Nicholson. Stephen Fry was pitched as a possible Shakespeare, but Vaughn eventually picked De Niro. [cite news| author= Damon Wise|url=http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/article2538898.ece| title=Stardust is a fairytale like no other| publisher=The Times| date=2007-09-29|accessdate=2007-09-29 ]
Sarah Michelle Gellar was offered the chance to audition for the role of Yvaine but turned it down to spend more time with her husband, Freddie Prinze, Jr.. [cite web | title=Sarah Michelle Gellar Turned Down 'Stardust' Role For Her Husband | url=http://www.starpulse.com/news/index.php/2007/08/02/sarah_michelle_gellar_turned_down_stardu | accessdate=January 28 | accessyear=2008]

Reception

"Stardust" was released on August 10 2007 in the United States in 2,540 theaters, earning US $9,169,779 in its opening weekend (an average of $3,610 per theater). The film also opened the same day in Russia and the rest of the Commonwealth of Independent States, earning $8,118,263 as of October 14 2007. "Stardust" has earned a total of $135,553,760 worldwide. [cite web | url=http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=stardust.htm | title=Stardust (2007) | publisher=Box Office Mojo | accessdate=2007-10-15 .] Its biggest markets were the US where it made $38 million, and the UK where it made $31 million (approx. £16 million GBP).

The film rates 66% at the movie review aggregator Metacritic based on 33 reviews. [cite web | url=http://www.metacritic.com/film/titles/stardust | title=Stardust (2007): Reviews | publisher=Metacritic | accessdate=2007-08-14 ] On another aggregator, Rotten Tomatoes, the film received 76% rating. [cite web | url=http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/stardust/ | title=Stardust | publisher=Rotten Tomatoes | accessdate=2008-03-17 ] The film has received Rotten Tomatoes' Cream of the Crop rating of 65% from major news outlets. [cite web | url=http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/stardust/?critic=creamcrop | title=Stardust - Cream of the Crop | publisher=Rotten Tomatoes | accessdate=2007-08-14 ] Stardust was released in the UK and Ireland on October 19 2007, where it enjoyed particularly strong reception and box office success.

Associated Press film critic David Germain named the film the #7 best film of 2007. [cite web|url=http://www.columbiatribune.com/2007/Dec/20071227Go!013.asp |title='No Country for Old Men' earns nod from AP critics |accessdate=2007-12-31 |author=David Germain |coauthors=Christy Lemire |date=2007-12-27 |publisher=Associated Press, via Columbia Daily Tribune] "The New Yorker’s" Bruce Diones called it “more surprising and effective than the usual kiddie-matinée madness.” [cite web|url=http://www.newyorker.com/arts/reviews/film/stardust_vaughn|title='Stardust review'|author= Bruce Diones]

DVD release

The film was released on both Region 1 DVD and HD DVD on December 18, 2007. The DVD was released in both Fullscreen and Widescreen aspect ratios. [ [http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/content.php?contentid=66107 DVD Times - Stardust (R1) in December - New artwork ] ] The HD DVD and DVD special features include:
#"Good Omens: The Making of Stardust"
#Deleted scenes
#Blooper reel
#Theatrical trailer

The film and special features on the HD DVD version are presented in 2.35:1 Widescreen high definition 1080p and feature a Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 audio soundtrack. [ [http://hddvd.highdefdigest.com/1137/stardust.html HD DVD Review: The Bourne Ultimatum | High-Def Digest ] ]

The film was released for Region 2 DVD and HD DVD on February 25 2008. The only special feature contained on the DVD release was a commentary by Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman.

Music

*British pop band Take That wrote (after watching an early cut of the movie) and recorded the theme for the film titled "Rule the World", featuring Gary Barlow on lead vocals. The song is not featured on the soundtrack to the motion picture. However, the song was released as a single on October 22, 2007 in the UK where it peaked at no.2 on the UK singles chart.
*U.S. record label Decca Records released a soundtrack album featuring Ilan Eshkeri's score on September 11, 2007. However, the song "Rule the World" was not included on the album. [ [http://www.deepdiscount.com/viewproduct.htm?productId=21218707 General - Stardust Original Soundtrack / 0 ] ]
*Dimmu Borgir's song "Eradication Instincts Defined" is featured in both the UK and USA trailers.
*Prelude 2 in C Minor from the first book of the "Well-Tempered Clavier" by Johann Sebastian Bach was adapted for use in the first part of the scene at Lamia's inn.
*Slavonic Dances, Op. 46, No. 3 in D Major by Antonín Dvořák was adapted for use for the dancing scene aboard the flying ship.
*"The Galop Infernal" from Jacques Offenbach's "Orpheus in the Underworld", more commonly known as the "Can-Can", was used for the fight on the pirate ship.

References

External links

* [http://www.stardustmovie.com Official movie page]
*imdb title|id=0486655|title=Stardust
*metacritic film|id=stardust|title=Stardust
*mojo title|id=stardust|title=Stardust
*amg movie|id=1:345070|title=Stardust
*rotten-tomatoes|id=stardust|title=Stardust


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