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Fans generate massive interest in upcoming movie "Snakes on a Plane"

from seattletimes.com:

JULY 3, 2006

HOLLYWOOD — Long before the summer thriller "Snakes on a Plane" slithers into theaters this month, potentially venomous fans started rattling.

The film's title says everything you need to know about the plot: On a trans-Pacific flight, a Hawaiian mobster trying to eliminate a protected witness opens a carton of poisonous serpents.

But as Web sites posted details during preproduction and shooting last summer, B-movie fans began to react. They wanted more creative snake attacks, more gore, more nudity and more of star Samuel L. Jackson's signature four-syllable f-bombs.

How much of the chorus was sincere and how much was a desire to propel a quirky plot over the top is unclear.

Nevertheless, based in part on the Internet comments, director David R. Ellis re-shot scenes to make the attacks more violent, the sex more explicit and the language more profane — including adding an expletive-laden line of dialogue from Jackson.

"I had the luxury to go back and tailor the film exactly like the fans demand and they expect," said Ellis, whose experience with "Snakes on a Plane" reflects the increasing influence Internet fan communities have over what's playing on multiplex screens.

It's as if thousands of people worldwide are sitting in on daily rushes, in which the crew and studio executives offer advice and commentary on movies in production. Although common with films based on superheroes ("Superman") and fantasy worlds ("The Lord of the Rings") — properties with established rabid fan bases — the Internet's reach is gradually turning the already collaborative process of movie production into a global endeavor.

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