HOLLYWOOD — As Gloria Gaynor sang her ever-enduring disco anthem “I Will Survive” from the back of a pickup truck at Monday’s “The Replacements” premiere “tailgate” after-party, one guest joked, “when the party’s over, you could turn this into a gay bar.”
Certainly a very macho gay bar considering the film’s football theme, which a couple industryites described as: ” ‘North Dallas Forty’ meets ‘Jerry Springer'” and “a grown-up ‘Bad News Bears.’ ”
Though the raunchy, losers-get-a-second-chance movie would never be mistaken for a Vince Lombardi biopic, producer Dylan Sellers said he focused on the genre’s key element: “getting the audience to care about the guys.”
“You want to get as much comedy as possible, but if you didn’t like those guys, you wouldn’t have laughed,” Sellers said. “That’s why I wanted Keanu Reeves and Gene Hackman. Having Hackman gives it a bass note, gravity, some reality. And Keanu plays it very real.”
Among those on the bench for the Village Theater preem (which quietly screened while outside in Westwood Village the LAPD prepared for the Democratic convention by practicing riot control response formations) were Warner Bros. execs Alan Horn, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Brad Ball, Dan Fellman and Maria O’Neil; director Howard Deutch, stars Reeves, Jon Favreau and Orlando Jones; plus 1,000 guests including Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy, Kevin Huvane, Sid Ganis, Mark Johnson, Steve Stabler, Karen Croner and Alicia Witt.