Fans of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) have a new movie to look forward to next spring when Paul debuts.
Paul is the story of two British men, visiting the U.S. in search of their favorite UFO landmarks, who meet up with a real alien who has been stranded on Earth for the past sixty years and wants to go home.
Pegg spoke about the project, including how the idea was born. “Let’s go somewhere hot and make a movie about something hot,” he said. “Let’s make it in the desert. Yeah, Area 51 and yeah, these guys they help him get home.’ And I drew a poster with Paul giving the finger and it said, ‘In America, everyone is an alien’ and that was the kind of the pitch.”
Paul is the alien, created by CG and motion capture and played by Seth Rogen. Pegg explained the difficulties of filming the alien. “We have to shoot Paul so many times,” he said. “I mean, we did a scene during a night shoot and the sun was coming up and I had like ten minutes to do my single and we reshoot Paul’s stuff the other day and he had like an hour and a half for his shot. For an actor who isn’t there.”
The adventure begins at Comic-Con, which was filmed in Albuquerque, not San Diego, as filming at the actual Comic-Con, which has 125,000 people in attendance, would have been impractical. A faux Comic-Con has been created with the help of Comic-Con International and some of the regular floor exhibitors from the real Comic-Con.
Paul is the first “big-time” studio comedy for Pegg and Frost and they had nothing but praise for the other actors in the movie. “It always sounds like being a bit of a love fest when actors talk about their fellow actors because no one really bitches,” said Pegg, “but we really feel like we’ve had to raise our game on this movie because everyone is so … good. Like Jason [Bateman] and Joe [Lo Truglio] and Bill [Hader] and Kristen [Wiig] are so, so funny. Sigourney Weaver was absolutely lovely. She was so up for it. Blythe Danner is like everyone’s mom. She’s incredible. A couple of times Nick and I have had to think, ‘We better start working hard or we’re gonna vanish in this film.'”