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WHAT PLANET ARE YOU FROM?

About The Production

"John Calley (chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment) and Amy Pascal (chairman of Columbia Pictures) brought me Garry's script when we were having lunch in New York late in November 1998," recalls Mike Nichols. "I read it in the next few days and liked it very much. I thought it was really funny, and that it had two rare things for a comedy: it was really about something, and it had a very strong, pleasing ending."

WHAT PLANET ARE YOU FROM? represents the most recent project in which Nichols examines human behavior and contemporary sexual mores. Although the film marks the director's first foray into a world of the future, signature Nichols elements-a small ensemble of complex characters and poignantly funny scenes that capture some truth about life-remain intact.

"This film is, in a weird way, what I was looking for," Nichols continues, "because it is about an immigrant. It is about worlds further and further into space and more and more of the imagination. But most of all, it's about ordinary people's lives-that's the surprise of it. In the same way that The Birdcage wasn't about gay life-it was about family- WHAT PLANET ARE YOU FROM? is about men and women on Earth. That's the nice surprise within the movie about an alien."

Several years ago, Shandling, who was involved with "The Larry Sanders Show," decided that he wanted to write a screenplay that was unlike any of his previous work. "I thought that what would be entirely different would be playing an alien from another planet," Shandling explains. "It was that simple when it started. The next thought was, well, he comes to earth to impregnate a woman. I thought that this situation would be a great way to explore humanity from a different perspective. Then it became about relationships and capitalism and nudity and how much I was willing to do."

"I think WHAT PLANET ARE YOU FROM? is really about the different things that men and women want," Nichols says. "Women want a partner and a friend and somebody to hold them and do things with them, and men want sex. It makes for some difficulties."

"It's a wonderful microcosm of the whole struggle," Ben Kingsley comments. "It's this frenetic, extraordinary mating game."

"John Calley (chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment) and Amy Pascal (chairman of Columbia Pictures) brought me Garry's script when we were having lunch in New York late in November 1998," recalls Mike Nichols. "I read it in the next few days and liked it very much. I thought it was really funny, and that it had two rare things for a comedy: it was really about something, and it had a very strong, pleasing ending."

In casting WHAT PLANET ARE YOU FROM?, Nichols worked with casting director Ellen Lewis to secure a wide-ranging, eclectic ensemble.

"I wanted the man-woman thing to extend over as wide a spectrum as possible," Nichols says. "Then I just went for the best, most attractive and sexiest actors-the ones that would just make me eager to go to work everyday. That is what I ended up with."

 "I think Mike is profoundly unlazy in that he casts meticulously," Ben Kingsley says. "Given the week's rehearsal or so that we had, each character's predicament and dilemma is so wonderfully mapped out. Everyone in the film has their particula

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