“Mark and I sat down at the beginning of the year, before I started writing, just to talk about what kind of vibe we wanted for the show. And what was important to me, more than any kind of story things, was to leave it with an element of hopefully that the audience goes ‘We loved hanging out with these guys, and we’ll miss them’,” Entourage executive producer Doug Ellin told critics during HBO’s TCA day in Los Angeles this week.
Though TCA is usually reserved for introducing journalists to the new programming the network(s) will be premiering in the coming months, HBO brought out the men behind Entourage for one last look. After eight seasons, the Hollywood insider comedy is coming to an end…or is it? Ever since the new episodes began airing on July 24th, there has been speculation about taking the series to the big screen. And Ellin would be the first one to admit he had such a “great run” with these guys, he would love to see that happen.
“We’re going to do a movie separately, especially if E signs Mark, too,” Ellin only half-joked. “It’s a question of how when and how quick. Hopefully we’ll sit down and come up with an idea and make it happen.”
But hasn’t HBO’s motto always been that their programming is “not TV, it’s HBO?” So if Entourage has been film quality this whole time, putting it on a physically bigger screen could actually detract from what made it so strong. Consider the reaction to the Sex and the City films, after all. Adding a film element makes the story much more of a franchise, but then it is a product, and often the art– the actual story– suffers because of it.
Mark Wahlberg, the inspiration for, and in many ways leading champion force behind, the show eagerly stated that he would fund a film himself if he had to.
“I think people have always complained that the episodes are too short, and they want to go on a journey with these guys,” Wahlberg shared. “So I’ve been telling Doug and I’ve been telling everybody for a long time. I mean The Hangover to me is very much like Entourage. And you know, you look at the success of rated-R comedies this year!”
The business model is certainly solid, but where’s the story? For eight years we have seen the “ups and downs” of Hollywood– something that is not uncommon to those who actually live and work within its machine, but something that is gratingly repetitve nonetheless. Vince (Adrien Grenier) and his merry band of misfit pals have came to Hollywood, conquered at times, had their share of pitfalls, rinse, repeat. In the beginning the novelty of getting the “behind the curtain” look at a movie star’s life hooked viewers in. What kept them around were the colorfully expletive-ridden characters, but a feature film lives and dies by its plot, and where can Entourage go from here?
Though of course no one wanted to spoil how the television series ends, Kevin Dillon admitted it was filmed at Van Nuys Airport (hey, that’s right by us!). Since they’re setting up a possible movie, don’t expect them all to die in a fiery crash or anything, as some snarky websites have considered.
“I’ve always found a lot of wisdom in the show and particularly through my character, who is able to, you know, sort of be the guiding force for the guys,” Grenier offered. “The idea is what’s important is not the fame, the money, the glitz, the glam, the girls. What’s important is right here at home with the guys.”
Entourage at its best was a slice of Hollywood life. The characters weren’t always worthy of respect or praise, but they were always colorful and therefore entertaining. Assuming they don’t have a falling out, on-screen or off, there are always more parties to be had, more girls to chase, and more antics to get up to, in other words. But the real question is, would you pay to “finally” see Vincent Chase on the big screen? Sound off in the comments below!
Entourage airs on Sunday nights at 10:30pm, only on HBO.
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