Will Ferrell © Universal Pictures

Will Ferrell stars in the movie version of children’s tv series Land of the Lost.

While honoring the original, this re-imagining of the franchise has Ferrell portraying has-been scientist Dr Rick Marshall, who along with his research assistant Holly (Anna Friel) and Will (Danny McBride), a redneck survivalist, are sucked into a Space-Time vortex into a new and dangerous world.

There the trio find they must rely on their only ally, a primate called Chaka (Jorma Taccone), when facing the reptile-like Sleestaks and marauding dinosaurs who are always ready to attack.

This a different kind of movie for you, Sleestaks, dinosaurs, was it challenging?

Will Ferrell © Universal Pictures
Will Ferrell and dinosaur © Universal Pictures

Yeah, it’s completely different for me, because I really haven’t worked on an action-adventure movie, I guess it’s action-adventure-comedy. With all the visual effects and these sets that are on such a scale that they don’t make anymore, it’s completely different, but I’m loving every second of it.

Did you know and watch the show when you were a kid?

Will Ferrell © Universal Pictures
Will Ferrell © Universal Pictures

Oh yeah, it was one of my favorite shows hands down. I loved this script so much, Chris Henchy and Dennie McNicholas are good friends, and I spoke to Jimmy Miller and Julie Darmody, the producers, and I was like, ‘If you guys haven’t found your ideal cast and you can wait a little bit longer,’ because I had something else happening, ‘I’m very interested in doing this.’

Did you have any input in the script, because the type of humor you did on SNL, and because of the production values on the old TV show, it really could have been spoofed – was it a hard tone to find the comedy and how you were going to approach it?

Above you! © Universal Pictures
Above you! © Universal Pictures

We were all in agreement that that was the big trick, do you go for the kitsch factor of what is now perceived as funny, and not to be delicate around Marty and Sid, but we were like, ‘Do we do the Sleestaks where we can see the zippers up the back of the costumes, or do we take Jurassic Park and thrust comedy into it, and make the dinosaurs terrifying  and make the Sleestaks monsters that will leave an impression with you?’

We decided to make the world as cool and interesting and believable, and then off of that we can play the comedy.

Have you been injured doing the stunts?

I doomed myself right from the beginning when we were doing a read through and I said to Brad Silberling (the director), ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if in Rick Marshall’s haste to finally go on another expedition, he forgets to bring his camping boots?’ So I wear dress shoes throughout the whole movie.

I’m always dealing with, ‘God my knee is aching, oh, it’s because I’m in these horrible dress shoes.’ But, hopefully, it’s one of those funny touches we’ve added, and we comment on it throughout the movie, like, “I wish I had my camping boots.’

Successful summer movies turn into a franchise, are you prepared to stick with this for 2 or 3 or 4 sequels?

Well, if that were to happen this has been such a great group of people to work with that I would totally love to do another one.

But by Part 4 could you start getting a little bored with it?

Yeah, unless we shoot Part 4 early on. We could shoot Part 4 first, and then go back! If this has some success, it would be the first time I’ve ever been in the position to return to a franchise, which could be fun.


Judy Sloane

Judy is Film Review Online's regular Los Angeles based reporter.