There is nothing better than a great classic novel. Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Three Musketeers and Gulliver’s Travels – all great pieces of classic literature that have been adapted into feature length films, some more than once.  To some extent, all have enjoyed various degrees of success and critical acclaim.

Coming later this year is Gulliver’s Travels, the latest attempt to bring the nearly 250 year-old adventure novel by Irish writer Jonathan Swift. The Jack Black vehicle brings the titular character of Lemuel Gulliver into the 21st century by making him a mail worker at a news publication. When the new guy he hires becomes his boss, Gulliver quickly lies about being an inspiring travel writer to both keep his job and impress the publication’s editor, Amanda Peet.

Gulliver’s adventures get underway when he accepts an assignment to interview a guy about the Bermuda Triangle, but things get out of his control on the rough open seas and he is tossed overboard. When he awakes, he finds himself tied up by dozens of tiny people (who hasn’t had that happen – I’m never going to Mardi Gras again) , stranded in the remote country of Lilliputia. Enjoy the trailer below:

We also have a few pictures for you to look at thanks to Teaser Trailer, and I can only imagine how hard it was for the Lilliputian actors to constantly be looking up at someone who wasn’t there. It couldn’t have been any easier for Jack Black, who had to film the majority of the movie by himself. I guess now he has a better appreciation for the solo acting work of Tom Hanks in Cast Away and Bruce Campbell in Evil Dead II.


I like the fact that the writers Joe Stillman (Shrek) and Nicholas Stoller (Get Him to the Greek) kept the main character’s name Lemuel Gulliver and didn’t make it modern by changing to Lemmy or something lame like that. There is a reason this story has been a classic for so long – people like it the way it is. Bringing it into the modern age is not a bad touch, because it allows Black to be slightly zanier than if the film were a period piece.

The original novel followed Gulliver on 4 separate adventures to Lilliputia, Brobdingnag, Laputa, Balnibarbi, Luggnagg, Glubbdubdrib, Japan, and Houyhnhnms. If this film does well, as I suspect it will, then we could see at least 2 more sequels in the coming years. Despite being a novel of scathing social satire and allegory, Gulliver’s Travels is just as often regarded as a great family-friendly adventure, and should make a great family-friendly adventure movie.

Gulliver’s Travels is directed by Rob Letterman (Monsters vs Aliens) and stars Jack Black, Emily Blunt, Jason Segel, Amanda Peet, Billy Connolly and Catherine Tate.

Have you read the Gulliver’s Travels novel before and how do you think it will translate using the comedy antics of Jack Black?

Gulliver’s Travels take him to theaters everywhere this holiday season December 22nd, 2010.

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Source: Teaser Trailer