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Saturday’s preem at the Grove for New Line/Walden’s “Hoot,” which opens in early May against “Mission: Impossible III,” reflected its simpler origins.

Jimmy Buffett’s daughter told him about Carl Hiaasen‘s book two years ago, so the three of us got together at a fish sandwich shop in Fort Lauderdale (Fla.),” recalled writer-director Wil Shriner at an owl-themed post-preem party on the Town Square Lawn. “We all grew up there, so shooting it was a big homecoming for all of us.”

For his part, Hiaasen marveled at how hassle-free his first go as a Hollywood producer had been, adding, “Jimmy asked me if I’d be a co-producer and I told him, ‘I’ll be a sub-producer if you want, but just make sure you spell my name right — two A’s and one S.'”

The party featured an Easter bunny and a large live owl named Periwinkle. Event also drew exec producer Buffett, topliners Luke Wilson and Logan Lerman, producer Frank Marshall, Walden prez Cary Granat; and New Line execs Toby Emmerich, Rolf Mittweg, Russell Schwartz and David Tuckerman.