The Red Dwarf Movie FAQ (v0.51)

Questions about the Movie? We got answers. Any suggestions for new questions and/or answers, or improvements to existing ones, are gratefully recieved. Either e-mail me at john@ganymede-titan.info, or post them to alt.tv.red-dwarf. You may freely copy this entire FAQ, or quote sections of it, as long as you mention Ganymede & Titan somewhere.

What's new

21st September 2004 (v0.51)

When is the movie due to be released? question revised with the new news that the "July/August" pre-production date has been removed from reddwarf.co.uk, although the "January 2005" shooting date remains. This is the only new news there is. Wah!

18th July 2004 (v0.50)

Document spun off from the combined DVD & Movie FAQ; and brought completely up to date again.

Contents

Answers

What's the movie's title?

The working title is Red Dwarf - The Movie. Well, at least it isn't Smegheads in Space, or something.

When is the movie due to be released?

No date has yet been given for release. Shooting is scheduled for January 2005.

Why the delay? It was supposed to be out Winter 2002...

Money problems. Simple as that. Read the statement Doug gave at DJ XI for the full sorry tale. (The statement also answers a lot of other questions you may have.)

Where is the movie being shot?

Australia. The Making The Movie article on the official site gives more details - Doug says:

"We had originally planned for Shepperton, but at the time we were told there were no studios available. We looked everywhere - Germany, Austria, Italy - and eventually Richard Taylor at Weta (Lord of the Rings) recommended Australia...We've been delighted by everything we've found out here. Australia's the sci-fi capital of the world right now. Star Wars, The Matrix, Farscape... It's the ideal place for Red Dwarf."

The other main reason is money, which he has explained in his DJ statement:

"We can't afford to shoot the movie in the UK and get the same production values that we will be able to get in Oz. Remember both The Matrix and the last Star Wars were made in Oz. Most Brit movies are shot on location in the UK and can't afford the expense of months of studio hire. Movies like Harry Potter aren't British movies, they're American movies, funded by American studios, with Brit actors in them, so they can afford to shoot in the UK studios because they're funded by the US. Red Dwarf is science fiction, so we need to build many of the sets, and therefore need several studios. That is much more affordable in Australia, plus they have locations out there which are very spectacular."

The location Queensland has been linked to the production - but this has not yet been confirmed by GNP. The Herald Sun reported that the "Pacific Film and Television Commission confirmed yesterday that they had spoken to those involved in the Red Dwarf movie, and it was possible that the production would come to Queensland". The Danny John-Jules interview mentioned above also says that shooting will happen on the Gold Coast; so it looks like this is likely to be correct, and is still the plan.

Is it with the original cast?

Yes. The Crew Roster on www.reddwarf.co.uk's Movie Deck gives the TV cast. Rehearsals have also taken place the original cast (minus Danny John-Jules, who was filming Blade 2 at the time).

Will the movie's plot follow on from Series VIII?

No. From Doug's Mr Flibble interview:

"...there was also a real feeling that we must not make the movie 'Series IX', because then it'd just look like it was a TV movie. The movie has to be a movie-movie and be accessible to both fans and people who don't know Red Dwarf. So it's going to be starting from a different place."

Any details on the plot?

YES. In late February 2003, Ain't It Cool News posted what they said was a teaser poster for the movie (and don't bother with the comments - most of it is the usual bollocks). On the poster was this:

RED DWARF THE MOVIE is set in the distant future where Homo Sapienoids - a fearsome combination of flesh and machine - have taken over the solar system and almost wiped out the human race. The only survivors are the crews of long-haul space freighters that left Earth before the conflict began. The Sapienoids send forth fleets of Death Ships to hunt them down.
One by one - the human ships fall, until only one remains.
It's name RED DWARF...

Oddly, this sounds rather like the Aganoids section of the Rob-Grant-only Red Dwarf novel Backwards. Anyway, in April 2003 the official site confirmed that the poster is genuine, in their Making The Movie article. Along with some nice scans of the flyer, it says that the errors in it that made certain fans suspicious were made by the graphic design team - and that a GNP corrected version went missing in the post, and therefore could not be printed in time.

The article also gives us some more hints on the plot:

[The flyer] misses the bit where Lister, Rimmer, Cat and Kryten come together, obviously. It also misses out Holly and Kochanski. It misses the actual plot, in fact, and with good reason. This flyer was produced as a marketing tool for Winchester Films to sell the movie in various international territories. What story is included is there to whet the appetite.

Excellent.

What's the budget?

Around 11-13 million; these kind of figures have been mentioned in various interviews. In the latest interview Doug has given, he mentions 13 million; but interestingly he also says:

"We're in a situation where the screenplay's gone through a lot of rewrites, and it's a pretty lean, mean, fighting machine but still all of the things I want it to do. I know how to shoot it, I know how to make it look great - I say £13 million, but we're not even looking for £13 million. With all the stuff we know we can get, we're actually looking for about 6.5, altogether..."

Will the ship effects be CGI or physical models?

Both. In his DVD Answers interview, Doug says:

"...well, unless you've got tons and tons of money it's very very dangerous going down the computer-generated room because it just costs so much to get that stuff right, but it doesn't mean to say that you can't have miniatures within CGI, you know, I mean George Lucas used a lot of miniatures in the last two Star Wars films and he also used a lot of CG ... so miniatures are still great, they still work providing they're shot right ... and then for the kind of budget that we've got we'll use CG to enhance a lot of the miniature shots."

More recently, in his DJ statement, he has expanded on this:

"We will be using both miniatures and CGI as most feature films do these days. Models for close-up and CG for backgrounds and less detailed stuff."

Will the movie be shot on film or Digital Video?

A combination of both. In his Mr Flibble interview, Doug says:

"It will be [shot on] a combination of film and 24P HD [High-Definition digital, as used on Attack of the Clones]. 24P HD allows us to do more - because we don't get crippled by the huge compositing costs you do on 35mm [film]. But we need to shoot the miniatures, and any sequences with variable frame rate, like slo-mo or fast-mo, on 35mm. We don't have ILM's ability to create all the extra frames required to alter the frame rate, so we're shooting the miniatures on film. So it will be 24P HD and 35 mm. But to everyone who sees it, it will just look like a movie - which is all that matters."

Does the movie mean there won't be a Red Dwarf IX?

Not neccesarily. The official line, straight from Doug Naylor: "We're going to do the film, and then see how we feel about whether we do more movies, or Series IX, or specials." He elaborates on this in his DVD Answers interview:

"There could well be a Series 9. What we're doing right now is taking quite a long time to get the movie together, so we want to make the movie then see how we feel, you know, and it may well be that we want to do more movies or it may well be that we wanna do a TV series, I don't know yet. But there are no plans to say "no, we're not going to do any more TV series" which is good so then we can see how we feel...Yeah, all of the cast would be happy to do another TV series."

However, in his Film Force interview, he is slightly more negative:

"Well, I don't know. I don't know. It depends how the movies do. If we could make a series of movies, I'd be very happy. [Interviewer: That'd be your preference...] Yeah. Because we would have a bigger budget and be able to do the kind of things that we all want to do.... there might be a Season 9 to wrap up everything."

Interestingly, Robert Llewellyn has said in an interview with The White Hole that "There won't be a 9th series". Andrew Ellard has refuted this on TOS's webboard:

Despite anything Robert has said - and bear in mind that this has only been stated in one interview for a fan site - the decision over a ninth series has not been made, and won't be until after the film.
Doug has often expressed interest in following up on the Series VIII cliffhanger. We'll just have to wait and see.

"Wait and see" is a sensible mantra. The answer on the TOS FAQ is as follows:

Doug Naylor was quoted in a recent interview as saying that the future of the TV show relates to Red Dwarf's cinematic release. A series will not happen until the movie is complete, and should the film prove a success, more are possible.
There is always the possibility of a ninth series, however; or TV specials. The Rimmer/Death cliffhanger could also be resolved in other media - but until the film is complete, no specific plans can be made.

Chris Barrie has gone on record in "excellent" TV listings magazine TV Times (3 - 9 April 2004) to say:

I can see a special happening," says Chris, who played Red Dwarf's irritating hologram, Arnold J Rimmer. "Red Dwarf is so in need of an update that the Beeb would be foolish not to put out a special. The last show went out in 1999, so it's long overdue."

As to why a special or TV series hasn't happened before now, it's back to the DJ statement:

I'd love to go back to the TV series, but the movie wouldn't have got to the stage it has without my fulltime, or nearly-fulltime, commitment. Also, we can't accept a commission to do a TV series if we're on the brink of getting the movie off the ground any moment and that's how it's appeared for some time now.

Would anyone like any toast?

I said, fuck off!