I know what people are saying, “What about the Avengers? You’re not looking forward to the Avengers?” I suppose I am, a little. With respect to Joss Whedon’s upcoming superhero ensemble, I’m more anxious than I am excited. The truth is that the trailers for Avengers combined with Marvel’s recent track record in movies such as Thor and Iron Man 2 fill me with less “Shut up and take my money.” and more “Wow, that looks cool, but I hope it doesn’t suck.” So what’s a nerd to look forward to if they’re not giddy at the prospect of Avengers or Battleship?
Submitted for your approval: The Knights of Badassdom.
What is it?
The Knights of Badassdom is the latest from actor/writer/director Joe Lynch. Fans of the television series Holliston are no doubt familiar with Lynch’s acting. Lynch also directed 2007’s direct to DVD slasher flick Wrong Turn 2: Dead End.
The story of this movie centers on a group of LARPers (Live Action Role Players). In an attempt to raise the spirits of their recently dumped friend Joe (Ryan Kwanten), Hung (Peter Dinklage) and Eric (Steve Zahn) arrange to have their friend shanghaied from his life, and brought to a weekend filled with heroism, questing, and leveling up on life.
Of course things go a bit wrong when staying in character results in a blood sucking succubus being summoned from beyond the veil.
Why do I want to see it?
As if you even need to ask? It’s an independently produced comedy about live action role play. Do I have to draw you a picture?
Not good enough, we want more.
Okay. It stars Peter Dinklage, who as Tyrion Lannister is the best part of Game of Thrones, Danny Pudi, who as Community’s Abed Nadir made ‘going meta’ a common expression within the world of television criticism, and Summer Glau, everybody’s favourite fugitive from the Alliance/terminator.
We’re still not convinced.
Fine then, consider the potential for going meta within this movie. Each of the actors is going to be playing a character, who, either willingly or begrudgingly, is going to be playing another character within the confines of the role play weekend. How often does that happen on the big screen without descending into the tired cliché of a movie within a movie?
Then there’s the immediate nerd cred that this movie earns for setting its story within a LARPing weekend. Without knowing anything about the plot, save for what I saw in the trailer, I know that this movie is being made by people who are sufficiently invested in nerd culture that they feel confident bringing LARPing into the mainstream. At the same time, the supernatural element of the story suggests that there is more at hand than a vanity project indented to edify a specific niche of fandom.
And if we assume the trailer to be an honest portrayal of the movie, Knights seems to “get it” with respect to nerd culture and inclusivity. Female LARPers don’t look to be flagrant objects of fetishism. People with physical and mobility disabilities are still included as prominent players within the ensemble. In trailer form, Knights embodies the egalitarian world that nerds would build if they were in charge of the planet.
Shut up and take my money; when does it come out?
There’s no hard and fast date yet on this movie. The movie’s website states a very general release of “2012”. IMDB lists the movie’s current status as in post-production. The best guess from the internet seems to be a release between today and August. Sufficed to say, I will be keeping a close eye on this one.
Head over to The Knights of Badassdom’s website for future updates. Now for your viewing pleasure, here is the movie’s trailer.