The story appeared more than 300 years ago, but it seems as if Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels” was written with the specific idea that one day Jack Black might portray the title character. Lemuel Gulliver, after all, is a giant among the tiny Lilliputian people he encounters after a shipwreck, a man whose fish-out-water energy both meshes with and disrupts life for the native population.
Joining in the adventure -- which is part satire on the human condition, part fantastical travel epic, part absurdist comedy -- will be Emily Blunt. While promoting her newest film, “Sunshine Cleaning,” the British actress revealed fresh details about a “Gulliver’s” production that is still very much under wraps.
“I’m playing the Princess of Lilliputia, who is confined to her role as princess and must conform to their manners and the ways she’s been brought up in court,” Blunt explained. “Jack Black comes in and just stirs all of that up and lights rockets under everyone and everyone gets a new lease on life and a new direction. So he comes in and contemporizes the whole palace setup, which is pretty funny.”
Rounding out the cast is Jason Segel (“I Love You, Man”), who will play Blunt’s love interest and fellow 6-inch-tall Lilliputian.
“I’m just thrilled to meet those guys because I hear they’re not only the nicest men in the business but also really fun,” said Blunt.
However, she doesn’t expect too much on-camera interaction with the man playing Gulliver. “I don’t know how much I’ll be actually working with Jack because I’m playing a little person,” she said. “So am I going to be working with ‘Jack the Green Screen’? That might be happening.”
On TV and at the movie theater, in live-action and animation, “Gulliver’s” has been adapted, with varying success, over a dozen times before. But this most recent incarnation comes at a moment when the popularity of fantasy-comedy hybrids (“Race to Witch Mountain,” “Land of the Lost”) is taking off. Its creative minds are also some of the best in the business: the script was written by “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” director Nicholas Stoller and will be helmed by “Monsters vs. Aliens” writer/director Rob Letterman.
“Rob has a really cool aesthetic for the whole film,” Blunt said.
So what other "Gulliver's" secrets can she let slip? “I don’t want to give too much away," she said, "because I think it will be really exciting for people to see it."
Will this newest "Gulliver's" adaptation be a worthy homage to a timeless classic or an exercise in cultural butchery? Sound off below...