Escape from Planet Earth is currently playing in theaters and I had the opportunity to talk to Cory Edwards (who also wrote and directed Hoodwinked), one of the writers behind the story.
As I understand it, you and Tony Leech
wrote the original script for Escape from Planet Earth but both left the production some years ago, due to creative differences. Are you happy with the final result, and how different is it from your original story?
CE It’s not a bad movie. It’s fun, my kids loved it, and I’ve heard good reactions to it. The animation is beautiful and the characters are basically the very same designs that Tony began with. Beat for beat, it’s still our story that we pitched and sold.
I will say it’s a much simpler plot and more typical than what we originally wrote. Not as many surprises or twists. The original story was much more about the escape plan and how Gary used every inmate’s unique abilities and inventions for the plan. It was like a heist movie, an “Ocean’s Eleven” with aliens. In the final version of the movie, something big blows up and everyone just runs out of the place for the last act. We also had a lot more alien inmates around Gary, so it was much bigger ensemble cast and each alien contributed to the plan. Now there are just three other inmates and they are more like sidekicks who don’t do much. There was also no brother story in the original. The movie was just about different things. And as with all movies, the story evolved a great deal.