If no less an authority than Daily Variety’s Army Archerd says Wednesday’s “Anna and the King” launch was “the biggest premiere I’ve ever seen in Hollywood,” who’s to argue?
It certainly had the most lavish props: seven elephants, seven horses, a dozen children strewing rose petals in the path of 100 Thai dancers wearing golden brocade costumes; silken banners crossing a black-carpeted Hollywood Boulevard — if the king of Thailand ever decides to have a coronation on Hollywood Boulevard, it would look a lot like this.
And though the stars of the film got the most applause, the elephants got the most attention. As the pachyderms marched regally by, Fox’s Tom Sherak said: “You know, I think I just got an idea for breaking into show business.”
Among those marching into the Chinese Theater were 20th Century Fox’s Bill Mechanic; director Andy Tennant; producers Lawrence Bender, Ed Elbert and Jon Jashni; stars Jodie Foster, Chow Yun-Fat and Bai Ling with Chris Isaak; screenwriters Steve Meerson and Peter Krikes; plus guests David Colden, Zooey Deschanel, Barbara Eden, Richard Green, Salma Hayek, Robert Loggia, Keifer Sutherland and Quentin Tarantino.