‘Elliot the Littlest Reindeer’ Film Review: Horse Dreams of Christmas Glory in Muddled Cartoon

If Jennifer Westcott’s animated kids’ movie “Elliot the Littlest Reindeer” was a Christmas gift, it’d be the toothbrush at the bottom of your stocking. It’s well-intentioned, and you might get some use out of it, but let’s just pray it’s not the highlight of your holiday season.

“Elliot” takes place in a world where everyone knows Santa Claus is real and the world has adjusted accordingly. “Reindeer trainer” is now a respectable occupation, more or less, and when Blitzen retires — to open his own juice bar — with only three days until Christmas, those trainers all scramble to the North Pole with their finest stock to compete in an emergency session of reindeer games.

Unfortunately for Elliot (voiced by Josh Hutcherson), a miniature horse with dreams of holiday glory, only reindeer are allowed to hoist Santa’s sleigh. So he steals away onto his trainer’s rocket sled (which people simply have, and which nobody questions) along with his goat friend Hazel (Samantha Bee). Together they dress him up like a reindeer and sneak their way into the competition.

Also Read: Screen Media Unwraps Animated Holiday Pic ‘Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer’ for November Release

On the surface, “Elliot the Littlest Reindeer” is a very straightforward kids’ flick, complete with familiar storytelling beats like ditching your old friends as soon as you become popular, poop jokes and outdated pop-culture references. One of the horses is painted up like William Wallace from “Braveheart,” an R-rated movie from over 20 years ago, so the little kids in this film’s target demo are obviously going to love that one.

But the world that “Elliot” builds is bizarre and confusing, and audiences might have more fun overanalyzing the mythology than by following the actual plot. If you ever wondered why Santa only employs reindeer to drive his sleigh, “Elliot” answers the question, and the answer is institutionalized prejudice. Literally anyone can fly if they eat Santa’s magic cookies, and the reason why they don’t isn’t completely addressed. It’s just mean to horses, goats and any other animal who might theoretically want to have a go at it.

Also Read: Ryan Reynolds Mounts a Reindeer – and Fred Savage – for ‘Once Upon a Deadpool’ (Photo)

So you’d think reindeer, being in a position of great authority and respect, upon whom the Christmas holiday depends, would be treated rather well. Instead, the elves actively hate them, call them stupid and resent the fact that they can’t segue to a more reliable form of transport at the North Pole. Head elf Lemondrop (Martin Short) berates the reindeer to their faces, yelling that “Reindeer are unreliable, self-absorbed, egomaniacal quitters with nary a hint of social responsibility nor personal honor!”

One reindeer shouts back, “Not all reindeer, man,” which gives you some idea of how delicately all this subtext is handled.

The concept of treating Santa’s workshop as an exclusionary workspace goes at least as far back as “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and it’s always made the most magical place on Earth look pretty gross. It’s tempting to give “Elliot” some credit for addressing these issues head-on, without losing all of the story’s obvious kid appeal, but the movie fails to come up with meaningful conclusions.

Also Read: Michelle Yeoh Joins Paul Feig’s Rom-Com ‘Last Christmas’

“Elliot” also tries, unsuccessfully, to create a meaningful parallel between performance-enhancing drugs (read: eating more magical cookies than you’re supposed to) and pretending to be something that you’re not. But of course, there’s a big difference between being judged on your ability alone, in a system specifically designed to exclude you, and cheating. (And come to think of it, if every reindeer has to eat those cookies in order to fly, then who cares if they eat more than one of them? The goal is to pull Santa’s sleigh from one place to another, not win the Super Bowl.)

Even the basic myths at the heart of “Elliot” lead to frustrating questions. In this world, literally everyone knows that animals can talk, ergo all of them are sentient beings, but only elves can understand them. And yet everyone eats them anyway, as we see in a subplot where a weird “Llama Jerky” entrepreneur wants to buy the petting zoo for the purpose of deliciousness. They even have translating software so humans can understand goats and reindeer. Why doesn’t everybody have that? I, for one, would love to talk to my cat and beg him to stop knocking glassware off the counter. Who wouldn’t?

Again, “Elliot the Littlest Reindeer” begs the big questions because there’s not much else to think about. It’s competently, albeit unremarkably, animated. The voice-acting is efficient. The jokes are present, but not altogether funny. The plot is pabulum, and falls apart under any scrutiny. If you’re stuck watching “Elliot” with your kids, you might fall down a snowy rabbit hole of confused social commentary and contradictory narrative logic.

But if all you want is to distract your children while you wrap some Christmas presents, “Elliot” might just save the day.



Related stories from TheWrap:

Ratings: ABC’s ‘The Great Christmas Light Fight’ Premieres Brighter Than Last Year

‘A Legendary Christmas’: Awkwafina, Derek Hough, Ben Schwartz Join NBC Special

‘A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding’: Amber Is a ‘Bridezilla in Reverse’ – Whatever That Means (Video)

‘Doctor Who’ Annual Christmas Special Moves From Christmas to New Year’s Day

If Jennifer Westcott’s animated kids’ movie “Elliot the Littlest Reindeer” was a Christmas gift, it’d be the toothbrush at the bottom of your stocking. It’s well-intentioned, and you might get some use out of it, but let’s just pray it’s not the highlight of your holiday season.

“Elliot” takes place in a world where everyone knows Santa Claus is real and the world has adjusted accordingly. “Reindeer trainer” is now a respectable occupation, more or less, and when Blitzen retires — to open his own juice bar — with only three days until Christmas, those trainers all scramble to the North Pole with their finest stock to compete in an emergency session of reindeer games.

Unfortunately for Elliot (voiced by Josh Hutcherson), a miniature horse with dreams of holiday glory, only reindeer are allowed to hoist Santa’s sleigh. So he steals away onto his trainer’s rocket sled (which people simply have, and which nobody questions) along with his goat friend Hazel (Samantha Bee). Together they dress him up like a reindeer and sneak their way into the competition.

On the surface, “Elliot the Littlest Reindeer” is a very straightforward kids’ flick, complete with familiar storytelling beats like ditching your old friends as soon as you become popular, poop jokes and outdated pop-culture references. One of the horses is painted up like William Wallace from “Braveheart,” an R-rated movie from over 20 years ago, so the little kids in this film’s target demo are obviously going to love that one.

But the world that “Elliot” builds is bizarre and confusing, and audiences might have more fun overanalyzing the mythology than by following the actual plot. If you ever wondered why Santa only employs reindeer to drive his sleigh, “Elliot” answers the question, and the answer is institutionalized prejudice. Literally anyone can fly if they eat Santa’s magic cookies, and the reason why they don’t isn’t completely addressed. It’s just mean to horses, goats and any other animal who might theoretically want to have a go at it.

So you’d think reindeer, being in a position of great authority and respect, upon whom the Christmas holiday depends, would be treated rather well. Instead, the elves actively hate them, call them stupid and resent the fact that they can’t segue to a more reliable form of transport at the North Pole. Head elf Lemondrop (Martin Short) berates the reindeer to their faces, yelling that “Reindeer are unreliable, self-absorbed, egomaniacal quitters with nary a hint of social responsibility nor personal honor!”

One reindeer shouts back, “Not all reindeer, man,” which gives you some idea of how delicately all this subtext is handled.

The concept of treating Santa’s workshop as an exclusionary workspace goes at least as far back as “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and it’s always made the most magical place on Earth look pretty gross. It’s tempting to give “Elliot” some credit for addressing these issues head-on, without losing all of the story’s obvious kid appeal, but the movie fails to come up with meaningful conclusions.

“Elliot” also tries, unsuccessfully, to create a meaningful parallel between performance-enhancing drugs (read: eating more magical cookies than you’re supposed to) and pretending to be something that you’re not. But of course, there’s a big difference between being judged on your ability alone, in a system specifically designed to exclude you, and cheating. (And come to think of it, if every reindeer has to eat those cookies in order to fly, then who cares if they eat more than one of them? The goal is to pull Santa’s sleigh from one place to another, not win the Super Bowl.)

Even the basic myths at the heart of “Elliot” lead to frustrating questions. In this world, literally everyone knows that animals can talk, ergo all of them are sentient beings, but only elves can understand them. And yet everyone eats them anyway, as we see in a subplot where a weird “Llama Jerky” entrepreneur wants to buy the petting zoo for the purpose of deliciousness. They even have translating software so humans can understand goats and reindeer. Why doesn’t everybody have that? I, for one, would love to talk to my cat and beg him to stop knocking glassware off the counter. Who wouldn’t?

Again, “Elliot the Littlest Reindeer” begs the big questions because there’s not much else to think about. It’s competently, albeit unremarkably, animated. The voice-acting is efficient. The jokes are present, but not altogether funny. The plot is pabulum, and falls apart under any scrutiny. If you’re stuck watching “Elliot” with your kids, you might fall down a snowy rabbit hole of confused social commentary and contradictory narrative logic.

But if all you want is to distract your children while you wrap some Christmas presents, “Elliot” might just save the day.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Ratings: ABC's 'The Great Christmas Light Fight' Premieres Brighter Than Last Year

'A Legendary Christmas': Awkwafina, Derek Hough, Ben Schwartz Join NBC Special

'A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding': Amber Is a 'Bridezilla in Reverse' – Whatever That Means (Video)

'Doctor Who' Annual Christmas Special Moves From Christmas to New Year's Day

Screen Media Unwraps Animated Holiday Pic ‘Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer’ for November Release

Screen Media has acquired North American rights to the animated holiday film “Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer,” which will hit U.S. theaters Nov. 30.
Written and directed by Jennifer Westcott, the film follows Elliot (voiced by Josh Hutcherso…

Screen Media has acquired North American rights to the animated holiday film “Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer,” which will hit U.S. theaters Nov. 30.

Written and directed by Jennifer Westcott, the film follows Elliot (voiced by Josh Hutcherson), a miniature horse whose lifelong dream is to pull Santa’s sleigh. He gets his chance after Blitzen retires, and travels to the north pole with his friend Hazel the goat to compete for the open spot.

Along with Hutcherson (“The Hunger Games”), the film features Samantha Bee as Hazel, with John Cleese, Martin Short, Jeff Dunham, and Morena Baccarin.

It’s produced by Lucas Lynette-Krech, Awesometown Entertainment in association with Elgin Road Productions Ltd. The deal was negotiated by Seth Needle SVP, Worldwide Acquisitions for Screen Media, Jason Moring, CEO of Double Dutch International, and Mark Padilla, Double Dutch International’s SVP of Sales & Acquisitions.

“Elliot is an awesome inspirational tale of overcoming the odds and dreaming big to achieve your goals — all of which is what we strive for at Screen Media. Elliot is the perfect family holiday movie and we know audiences nationwide are going to love it.” said Needle in a statement.

“We are very proud to have Screen Media as our partner on this wonderful film that the whole family can enjoy together” said Padilla.

The film will be released by Elevation Pictures in Canada.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Timeless' Lands 2-Part Series Finale to Air During Holidays

Chad Michael Murray to Star in Hallmark Channel Holiday Film 'The Wise Men'

'Jumanji' to Take on 'Star Wars' Again, Sequel Set for Holiday 2019 Release

Michael Showalter to Direct Universal's Jessica Chastain-Octavia Spencer Holiday Comedy

Josh Hutcherson’s ‘Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer’ Sold to Screen Media

Screen Media has bought U.S. distribution rights to Josh Hutcherson’s animated movie “Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer” and set a holiday-season release for Nov. 30, Variety has learned exclusively. The voice cast includes Josh Hutcherso…

Screen Media has bought U.S. distribution rights to Josh Hutcherson’s animated movie “Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer” and set a holiday-season release for Nov. 30, Variety has learned exclusively. The voice cast includes Josh Hutcherson as Elliot, Samantha Bee as Hazel the goat, John Cleese, Martin Short, Jeff Dunham, and Morena Baccarin. The animated film is […]

18 Stars Who Went to Comic-Con in Disguise, From Ben Affleck to Lupita Nyong’o (Photos)

Celebrities like Justin Timberlake and Peter Jackson have avoided the mad crush by going incognito at the San Diego Comic-Con fan event

In 2011, Esquire magazine writer Chris Jones accompanied Justin Timberlake at Comic-Con dressed as beloved “Sesame Street” duo Bert and Ernie.

While attending 2011’s Comic-Con to promote “The Amazing Spider-Man,” Andrew Garfield pulled a double-fake by dressing as… Spider-Man

Former “Doctor Who” star Matt Smith put on a Bart Simpson mask to walk the floor at the 2013 event.

“Batman” star Ben Affleck avoided all the Batman rumors by waling around the convention floor in a Sesame Street shirt and a hideous green mask.

Bryan Cranston surprised his co-stars at a “Breaking Bad” panel in 2013 with a creepily realistic Walter White mask.

Former Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe left his invisibility cloak at home and donned a Spider-Man costume to attend the 2014 Comic-Con.

Jack Black walked the floor of the 2014 event wearing a Stormtrooper mask but admitted that he didn’t fool many people. “Everybody’s just like, ‘Jack Black, you in there?’” he told MTV News. “And I’m like ‘No, it’s not me. I don’t know what you’re talking about.’”

In 2014, “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson posted pics of himself on Facebook strolling through San Diego as an evil jester.

Samuel L. Jackson mysteriously tweeted this bemasked shot of himself with his castmates from “Kingsman: The Secret Service” in 2014.

Simon Pegg put a Star Wars mask on top of his “Shaun of the Dead” outfit for the 2014 Comic-Con.

“Game of Thrones” actress Maisie Williams went all out for the 2014 convention, putting on both a Spider-Man mask as well as a Guy Fawkes disguise.

According to science blogger Phil Plait, “Mythbusters” host Adam Savage built this elaborate costume for the 2014 event.

Former “Hills” star Audrina Patridge went blue as the X-Men character Mystique at the 2014 event.

Marvel star Mark Ruffalo pulled on this creepy mask to wander Comic-Con in 2015.

Josh Hutcherson even surprised his “Hunger Games” co-star Jennifer Lawrence with this old-man mask at the 2015 Comic-Con.

While there were plenty of fans who dressed as Jared Leto‘s green-haired Joker at the 2015 Comic-Con, the “Suicide Squad” star himself went undercover in a baboon mask. “He had no idea. :)” the star wrote in his Instagram caption.

Big-screen Superman Henry Cavill put on a Guy Fawkes mask and walked the convention floor in 2016 — and even fooled Will Smith and other stars of DC Comics’ “Suicide Squad.”

Also Read: Comic-Con 2016: Henry Cavill Fools Will Smith and ‘Superman’ Fans (Video)

Celebrities like Justin Timberlake and Peter Jackson have avoided the mad crush by going incognito at the San Diego Comic-Con fan event

In 2011, Esquire magazine writer Chris Jones accompanied Justin Timberlake at Comic-Con dressed as beloved “Sesame Street” duo Bert and Ernie.

While attending 2011’s Comic-Con to promote “The Amazing Spider-Man,” Andrew Garfield pulled a double-fake by dressing as… Spider-Man

Former “Doctor Who” star Matt Smith put on a Bart Simpson mask to walk the floor at the 2013 event.

“Batman” star Ben Affleck avoided all the Batman rumors by waling around the convention floor in a Sesame Street shirt and a hideous green mask.

Bryan Cranston surprised his co-stars at a “Breaking Bad” panel in 2013 with a creepily realistic Walter White mask.

Former Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe left his invisibility cloak at home and donned a Spider-Man costume to attend the 2014 Comic-Con.

Jack Black walked the floor of the 2014 event wearing a Stormtrooper mask but admitted that he didn’t fool many people. “Everybody’s just like, ‘Jack Black, you in there?'” he told MTV News. “And I’m like ‘No, it’s not me. I don’t know what you’re talking about.'”

In 2014, “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson posted pics of himself on Facebook strolling through San Diego as an evil jester.

Samuel L. Jackson mysteriously tweeted this bemasked shot of himself with his castmates from “Kingsman: The Secret Service” in 2014.

Simon Pegg put a Star Wars mask on top of his “Shaun of the Dead” outfit for the 2014 Comic-Con.

“Game of Thrones” actress Maisie Williams went all out for the 2014 convention, putting on both a Spider-Man mask as well as a Guy Fawkes disguise.

According to science blogger Phil Plait, “Mythbusters” host Adam Savage built this elaborate costume for the 2014 event.

Former “Hills” star Audrina Patridge went blue as the X-Men character Mystique at the 2014 event.

Marvel star Mark Ruffalo pulled on this creepy mask to wander Comic-Con in 2015.

Josh Hutcherson even surprised his “Hunger Games” co-star Jennifer Lawrence with this old-man mask at the 2015 Comic-Con.

While there were plenty of fans who dressed as Jared Leto‘s green-haired Joker at the 2015 Comic-Con, the “Suicide Squad” star himself went undercover in a baboon mask. “He had no idea. :)” the star wrote in his Instagram caption.

Big-screen Superman Henry Cavill put on a Guy Fawkes mask and walked the convention floor in 2016 — and even fooled Will Smith and other stars of DC Comics’ “Suicide Squad.”

Mammoth Film Festival Announces First Round Of Inaugural Lineup

EXCLUSIVE: The Mammoth Film Festival has unveiled the first round of films hitting the slopes for the inaugural fest, which will take place February 8-11. The lineup features the previously announced opening-night world premiere of the indie thriller Josie toplined by Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner, Dylan McDermott and Jack Kilmer.
The fest will also feature the world premiere of  Tim Newfang’s Sons of St. Clair, a documentary highlighting hip-hop group Bone…

EXCLUSIVE: The Mammoth Film Festival has unveiled the first round of films hitting the slopes for the inaugural fest, which will take place February 8-11. The lineup features the previously announced opening-night world premiere of the indie thriller Josie toplined by Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner, Dylan McDermott and Jack Kilmer. The fest will also feature the world premiere of  Tim Newfang's Sons of St. Clair, a documentary highlighting hip-hop group Bone…

Do You Need to See ‘The Room’ Before Watching ‘The Disaster Artist?’ James Franco, Ari Graynor Weigh In

Do you need to see 2003’s “The Room” before watching “The Disaster Artist” when it goes wide this weekend? Stars James Franco and Ari Graynor say, not necessarily.

“No, they don’t have to see ‘The Room,’” Franco, who plays Tommy Wiseau in the film, told TheWrap. “This is a movie about friendship so everyone can understand it.”

Graynor — who in “The Disaster Artist” plays Lisa, the actress playing Wiseau’s fiancee in “The Room” — agreed: “I don’t think you need to. ‘The Disaster Artist’ operates on two levels: if you’ve seen ‘The Room,’ it’s a love letter to the film and a scavenger hunt for fans. If you haven’t, it’s a movie about big dreamers and making your art no matter what people think.

“It’s a win-win either way. But if you haven’t seen it before, you will definitely want to see it after,” she added.

Also Read: ‘The Disaster Artist’ Film Review: James Franco Celebrates Bad Movies in a Good One

“The Disaster Artist” chronicles the making of “The Room,” which has been described in pop culture as the worst movie ever made. Wiseau and his friend Greg Sestero form a friendship and move to Hollywood to make their dreams come true.

Franco’s brother, Dave Franco, stars as Sestero, while “The Disaster Artist” also stars Seth Rogen, Alison Brie, Zac Efron, Paul Sheer, Josh Hutcherson and Jacki Weaver.

Franco added that he watched “The Room” a “thousand times,” but the cast and crew made “The Disaster Artist” in such a way “that you understand what ‘The Room’ is about without watching it.”

The movie, while it has its funny moments, also conveys a deeper message: that everyone should follow their dreams no matter who or what stands in the way.

Also Read: ‘The Disaster Artist’ Billboard Channels Tommy Wiseau’s Original ‘The Room’ Poster

The one thing Franco learned from directing and starring in “The Disaster Artist,” he told TheWrap, was that “everyone has dreams, and it’s the people that follow those dreams fearlessly, no matter how crazy they are, that get something done.”

Graynor learned something from Wiseau himself: “Tommy never let any of the actors read the script so when he would give direction that made no sense, for lines that made even less sense, and people would ask for clarification he would just say ‘that’s the twist.’ Seeing what’s happening with ‘The Disaster Artist’ now, I wonder if Tommy was right all along — because this is a hell of a twist.”

“The Disaster Artist” opened in limited theaters last week and is expanding to 800 theaters this weekend.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Disaster Artist,’ ‘Shape of Water’ Enter Very Busy Indie Box Office

Does James Franco’s ‘The Disaster Artist’ Have a Post-Credits Scene?

James Franco on Re-Creating a Bad Movie in ‘The Disaster Artist’: ‘The Upside Down of ‘La La Land” (Video)

Do you need to see 2003’s “The Room” before watching “The Disaster Artist” when it goes wide this weekend? Stars James Franco and Ari Graynor say, not necessarily.

“No, they don’t have to see ‘The Room,'” Franco, who plays Tommy Wiseau in the film, told TheWrap. “This is a movie about friendship so everyone can understand it.”

Graynor — who in “The Disaster Artist” plays Lisa, the actress playing Wiseau’s fiancee in “The Room” — agreed: “I don’t think you need to. ‘The Disaster Artist’ operates on two levels: if you’ve seen ‘The Room,’ it’s a love letter to the film and a scavenger hunt for fans. If you haven’t, it’s a movie about big dreamers and making your art no matter what people think.

“It’s a win-win either way. But if you haven’t seen it before, you will definitely want to see it after,” she added.

“The Disaster Artist” chronicles the making of “The Room,” which has been described in pop culture as the worst movie ever made. Wiseau and his friend Greg Sestero form a friendship and move to Hollywood to make their dreams come true.

Franco’s brother, Dave Franco, stars as Sestero, while “The Disaster Artist” also stars Seth Rogen, Alison Brie, Zac Efron, Paul Sheer, Josh Hutcherson and Jacki Weaver.

Franco added that he watched “The Room” a “thousand times,” but the cast and crew made “The Disaster Artist” in such a way “that you understand what ‘The Room’ is about without watching it.”

The movie, while it has its funny moments, also conveys a deeper message: that everyone should follow their dreams no matter who or what stands in the way.

The one thing Franco learned from directing and starring in “The Disaster Artist,” he told TheWrap, was that “everyone has dreams, and it’s the people that follow those dreams fearlessly, no matter how crazy they are, that get something done.”

Graynor learned something from Wiseau himself: “Tommy never let any of the actors read the script so when he would give direction that made no sense, for lines that made even less sense, and people would ask for clarification he would just say ‘that’s the twist.’ Seeing what’s happening with ‘The Disaster Artist’ now, I wonder if Tommy was right all along — because this is a hell of a twist.”

“The Disaster Artist” opened in limited theaters last week and is expanding to 800 theaters this weekend.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Disaster Artist,' 'Shape of Water' Enter Very Busy Indie Box Office

Does James Franco's 'The Disaster Artist' Have a Post-Credits Scene?

James Franco on Re-Creating a Bad Movie in 'The Disaster Artist': 'The Upside Down of 'La La Land" (Video)

‘The Disaster Artist’ Film Review: James Franco Celebrates Bad Movies in a Good One

Walking a tightrope between deference and disrespect, James Franco has made his most ambitious work to date with “The Disaster Artist”, a seriocomic exploration inside the mind of writer-director-cultural sensation Tommy Wiseau.

For the uninitiated, Wiseau is the auteur behind “The Room,” a ghastly melodrama about love, betrayal and tearing people apart. Since its 2003 release (it played for two weeks in L.A., so as to qualify for the Oscars), the movie has ascended into cult status. Dubbed the “Citizen Kane of bad movies,” Wiseau’s iconic creation continues to screen around the world to eager fans ready to revel in its distinct brand of badness.

The origin story of Wiseau has always been a mystery. With the help of screenwriters Michael H. Weber and Scott Neustadter (adapting from the book by “Room” co-star Greg Sestero with Tom Bissell), Franco attempts to turn the myth into a man. And he’s mostly successful.

See Photo: New ‘Alien: Covenant’ Photo: Meet Captain James Franco

Casting himself as Wiseau, Franco fully commits to the part. This is his “Ed Wood,” a behind-the-scenes look at the making of a movie no one — not even Wiseau — anticipated would be seen by so many people.

Dodging the biopic trappings, Franco wisely casts the ancillary elements of Wiseau’s story. This starts with Sestero (Dave Franco), Wiseau’s longtime collaborator and best friend. The Franco brothers have yet to spend a significant amount of time on screen together during their careers. Having watched “The Disaster Artist,” it almost seems they’ve been waiting for a project like this to fall in their laps. The chemistry is present from scene one. Greg befriends Tommy after acting class one afternoon. Lacking in passion, Greg is in search of a dedicated scene partner.

“You want to do a scene with me?” Tommy asks, incredulous. They become fast friends, two people who want nothing more in life than to spend their days doing make-believe.

See Video: ‘The Lego Ninjago Movie’ Trailer Reveals Dave Franco’s ‘Bad Blood’ With Evil Dad

Aside from the undercurrent of pathos, it’s James Franco’s impeccable comedic timing that is the film’s ace in the hole. Obsessively preparing for the part, Franco mastered Wiseau’s vaguely European accent (his birthplace remains unknown) and staggered speech. No one speaks like Tommy Wiseau. Well, except James Franco. Without reducing or simplifying, Franco captures Wiseau’s genuine earnestness, his unbridled enthusiasm for moviemaking.

As “Disaster Artist” proceeds, Wiseau’s lifelong desire to direct a feature film is granted. It’s here Franco calls in the cavalry to help re-create the inner workings of a dysfunctional set. Everyone from Seth Rogen (also executive-producing) and Josh Hutcherson to Hannibal Buress and Zac Efron make appearances as actors and crew members on “The Room.” Miraculously, “Disaster Artist” avoids getting too busy with all these moving parts. The supporting players end up illuminating Wiseau’s eccentricity instead of undercutting it.

This is a good movie about a bad movie that should be bad. But after attending the film’s anticipated SXSW premiere, one publication began speculating: “Is James Franco’s ‘The Disaster Artist’ Already an Oscar Contender?” Aside from being an absurd inquiry to pose in March — and a colossal misreading of the film and its intentions — the answer is, unequivocally, no.

“The Disaster Artist” is not already an Oscar contender; it won’t ever be an Oscar contender. Franco’s film is not seeking attention from the Academy. In fact, the film’s demographic (youngish cinephiles, mostly male) is essentially the antithesis of the Academy’s voting body. What Franco & Co. have ultimately created is an endearing, if sometimes uneven, love letter to a man who has put his entire body and soul into the art.

Also Read: James Franco Hires ‘Fault In Our Stars’ Writers for Tommy Wiseau Movie

As Rogen and the Franco brothers were wrapping up their Q&A, the real life Chris-R from “The Room” (actor Dan Janjigian) came to the microphone. He wanted to take a selfie with the team, Wiseau included. Reluctantly, the “Disaster Artist” himself obliged. Even the most ardent detractors of selfies would have a hard time disparaging this interaction. It was, quite literally, a once-in-a-lifetime moment; the strangeness of the situation could not possibly be replicated.

But both the film and its aftermath were confounding. Some of what unfolded that night doesn’t emotionally sit right. Were we laughing at Wiseau (who sat dead center for the entire screening) or with him? How does he feel about his real pain being transmuted into real (albeit really funny) comedy? Having seen the finished product, is he OK with a movie star’s depiction of him? For now, these are questions that will be left unanswered. Perhaps they are, without comment from Wiseau, unanswerable.

In the coming months, time will tell whether “The Disaster Artist” has legs outside of festival fever. But regardless of its theatrical fate, what happened that night in Austin will go down as a singular cinematic experiences. It defied logic, trampled expectations, and redefined what it means to have a truly meta experience in 2017.

And people say moviegoing is dead.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘The Room’ Star Greg Sestero on the Role He Never Wanted in the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made

Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen to Star in Romantic Comedy ‘Flarsky’

‘Worst Idea of All Time’: Two Comics Watch Same Bad Adam Sandler Movie Every Week for a Year (Video)

‘Most Beautiful Island,’ ‘The Work’ Take Top Film Prizes at SXSW

Walking a tightrope between deference and disrespect, James Franco has made his most ambitious work to date with “The Disaster Artist”, a seriocomic exploration inside the mind of writer-director-cultural sensation Tommy Wiseau.

For the uninitiated, Wiseau is the auteur behind “The Room,” a ghastly melodrama about love, betrayal and tearing people apart. Since its 2003 release (it played for two weeks in L.A., so as to qualify for the Oscars), the movie has ascended into cult status. Dubbed the “Citizen Kane of bad movies,” Wiseau’s iconic creation continues to screen around the world to eager fans ready to revel in its distinct brand of badness.

The origin story of Wiseau has always been a mystery. With the help of screenwriters Michael H. Weber and Scott Neustadter (adapting from the book by “Room” co-star Greg Sestero with Tom Bissell), Franco attempts to turn the myth into a man. And he’s mostly successful.

Casting himself as Wiseau, Franco fully commits to the part. This is his “Ed Wood,” a behind-the-scenes look at the making of a movie no one — not even Wiseau — anticipated would be seen by so many people.

Dodging the biopic trappings, Franco wisely casts the ancillary elements of Wiseau’s story. This starts with Sestero (Dave Franco), Wiseau’s longtime collaborator and best friend. The Franco brothers have yet to spend a significant amount of time on screen together during their careers. Having watched “The Disaster Artist,” it almost seems they’ve been waiting for a project like this to fall in their laps. The chemistry is present from scene one. Greg befriends Tommy after acting class one afternoon. Lacking in passion, Greg is in search of a dedicated scene partner.

“You want to do a scene with me?” Tommy asks, incredulous. They become fast friends, two people who want nothing more in life than to spend their days doing make-believe.

Aside from the undercurrent of pathos, it’s James Franco’s impeccable comedic timing that is the film’s ace in the hole. Obsessively preparing for the part, Franco mastered Wiseau’s vaguely European accent (his birthplace remains unknown) and staggered speech. No one speaks like Tommy Wiseau. Well, except James Franco. Without reducing or simplifying, Franco captures Wiseau’s genuine earnestness, his unbridled enthusiasm for moviemaking.

As “Disaster Artist” proceeds, Wiseau’s lifelong desire to direct a feature film is granted. It’s here Franco calls in the cavalry to help re-create the inner workings of a dysfunctional set. Everyone from Seth Rogen (also executive-producing) and Josh Hutcherson to Hannibal Buress and Zac Efron make appearances as actors and crew members on “The Room.” Miraculously, “Disaster Artist” avoids getting too busy with all these moving parts. The supporting players end up illuminating Wiseau’s eccentricity instead of undercutting it.

This is a good movie about a bad movie that should be bad. But after attending the film’s anticipated SXSW premiere, one publication began speculating: “Is James Franco’s ‘The Disaster Artist’ Already an Oscar Contender?” Aside from being an absurd inquiry to pose in March — and a colossal misreading of the film and its intentions — the answer is, unequivocally, no.

“The Disaster Artist” is not already an Oscar contender; it won’t ever be an Oscar contender. Franco’s film is not seeking attention from the Academy. In fact, the film’s demographic (youngish cinephiles, mostly male) is essentially the antithesis of the Academy’s voting body. What Franco & Co. have ultimately created is an endearing, if sometimes uneven, love letter to a man who has put his entire body and soul into the art.

As Rogen and the Franco brothers were wrapping up their Q&A, the real life Chris-R from “The Room” (actor Dan Janjigian) came to the microphone. He wanted to take a selfie with the team, Wiseau included. Reluctantly, the “Disaster Artist” himself obliged. Even the most ardent detractors of selfies would have a hard time disparaging this interaction. It was, quite literally, a once-in-a-lifetime moment; the strangeness of the situation could not possibly be replicated.

But both the film and its aftermath were confounding. Some of what unfolded that night doesn’t emotionally sit right. Were we laughing at Wiseau (who sat dead center for the entire screening) or with him? How does he feel about his real pain being transmuted into real (albeit really funny) comedy? Having seen the finished product, is he OK with a movie star’s depiction of him? For now, these are questions that will be left unanswered. Perhaps they are, without comment from Wiseau, unanswerable.

In the coming months, time will tell whether “The Disaster Artist” has legs outside of festival fever. But regardless of its theatrical fate, what happened that night in Austin will go down as a singular cinematic experiences. It defied logic, trampled expectations, and redefined what it means to have a truly meta experience in 2017.

And people say moviegoing is dead.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'The Room' Star Greg Sestero on the Role He Never Wanted in the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made

Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen to Star in Romantic Comedy 'Flarsky'

'Worst Idea of All Time': Two Comics Watch Same Bad Adam Sandler Movie Every Week for a Year (Video)

'Most Beautiful Island,' 'The Work' Take Top Film Prizes at SXSW

Future Man takes one final jump in a melancholy-tinged, action-packed finale

This season of Future Man has been a bit meandering, letting its characters oscillate between being super psyched for their murder mission and having them run off to alternately parent a baby, do coke and run a restaurant, and play video games in a house with a cool bathroom. Thankfully, “A Date With Destiny” pulls…

Read more…

This season of Future Man has been a bit meandering, letting its characters oscillate between being super psyched for their murder mission and having them run off to alternately parent a baby, do coke and run a restaurant, and play video games in a house with a cool bathroom. Thankfully, “A Date With Destiny” pulls…

Read more...

Future Man splits its best episode between two insane period pieces

“Beyond The Truffledome” scatters Future Man’s heroes to different time periods, meaning the main cast shares few scenes together. It’s chunkily paced, with an extended sequence depicting Tiger’s time in the 1940s and ’50s before diving into Wolf recounting his glorious time as an ’80s guy. Josh Hutcherson is barely…

Read more…

“Beyond The Truffledome” scatters Future Man’s heroes to different time periods, meaning the main cast shares few scenes together. It’s chunkily paced, with an extended sequence depicting Tiger’s time in the 1940s and ’50s before diving into Wolf recounting his glorious time as an ’80s guy. Josh Hutcherson is barely…

Read more...

Future Man finally goes full Back To The Future, and it really is that new sound we’ve been looking for

Finally, an episode of Future Man full of cool stuff happening. “Operation: Natal Attraction” takes place entirely over the course of one night, evenly divided between Josh’s efforts to ensure that Kronish is on the boat with Leslie and Tiger’s attempt to get Wolf back on board with the mission. Only one of them is…

Read more…

Finally, an episode of Future Man full of cool stuff happening. “Operation: Natal Attraction” takes place entirely over the course of one night, evenly divided between Josh’s efforts to ensure that Kronish is on the boat with Leslie and Tiger’s attempt to get Wolf back on board with the mission. Only one of them is…

Read more...

Future Man’s riff on Fatal Attraction is decidedly non-lethal

Just to get this out of the way: I have not seen the film Fatal Attraction. It is entirely possible that the bulk of this episode, a farcical series of misunderstandings in Dr. Kronish’s house involving Josh wearing fishnets and chaps, a gay reverend, a dead cat, and a prostitute with excellent ’80s hair is much…

Read more…

Just to get this out of the way: I have not seen the film Fatal Attraction. It is entirely possible that the bulk of this episode, a farcical series of misunderstandings in Dr. Kronish’s house involving Josh wearing fishnets and chaps, a gay reverend, a dead cat, and a prostitute with excellent ’80s hair is much…

Read more...

Future Man settles in for a madcap holiday dinner party-slash-torture session

Even though Future Man could send its characters anywhere in time and space, one of the show’s best episodes so far is also the closest thing it’s had to a bottle episode, taking place almost entirely in the Futturman house. With just 28 minutes until Jeri’s head blows up (or, roughly the length of an episode of…

Read more…

Even though Future Man could send its characters anywhere in time and space, one of the show’s best episodes so far is also the closest thing it’s had to a bottle episode, taking place almost entirely in the Futturman house. With just 28 minutes until Jeri’s head blows up (or, roughly the length of an episode of…

Read more...

There have been quite a few time travel shows over the past several years, ranging from the funny (T

There have been quite a few time travel shows over the past several years, ranging from the funny (Time Traveling Bong) to the unfortunately, deadly serious (Time After Time). Future Man has positioned itself to potentially bridge that gap, playing the seriousness of its stakes and the intensity of its cast off the…

Read more…

There have been quite a few time travel shows over the past several years, ranging from the funny (Time Traveling Bong) to the unfortunately, deadly serious (Time After Time). Future Man has positioned itself to potentially bridge that gap, playing the seriousness of its stakes and the intensity of its cast off the…

Read more...

TV Review: ‘Future Man’ Starring Josh Hutcherson on Hulu

“Future Man” pays tribute to countless pop culture properties, from “Back to the Future,” which it references in dialogue, to “Breaking Bad,” which it apes visually and from which it borrows some plot elements. But the main problem with “Future Man” is not that it echoes any number of films and TV series, especially the […]

“Future Man” pays tribute to countless pop culture properties, from “Back to the Future,” which it references in dialogue, to “Breaking Bad,” which it apes visually and from which it borrows some plot elements. But the main problem with “Future Man” is not that it echoes any number of films and TV series, especially the […]

Future Man begins with a straightforward, goofy message: Welcome to The Resistance

Josh Futturman isn’t exactly reinventing the wheel. Played by Josh Hutcherson, the protagonist of Hulu’s Future Man, created by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, is beyond archetypal: a janitor at a science lab who lives in his childhood home with his parents, Josh doesn’t do much of anything besides obsessively playing a…

Read more…

Josh Futturman isn’t exactly reinventing the wheel. Played by Josh Hutcherson, the protagonist of Hulu’s Future Man, created by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, is beyond archetypal: a janitor at a science lab who lives in his childhood home with his parents, Josh doesn’t do much of anything besides obsessively playing a…

Read more...

Hulu comedy Future Man would be right at home on Adult Swim, semen jokes and all

When the plot of a sci-fi comedy kicks into gear when a couple of time-traveling warriors from the future land in a twentysomething’s bedroom at the exact instant he orgasms during masturbation, you know nobody’s shooting for highbrow laughs.

Read more…

When the plot of a sci-fi comedy kicks into gear when a couple of time-traveling warriors from the future land in a twentysomething’s bedroom at the exact instant he orgasms during masturbation, you know nobody’s shooting for highbrow laughs.

Read more...

‘Future Man’: How ‘Back to the Future’ and ‘Terminator 2’ Inspired Seth Rogen’s Hulu Comedy

Rogen and his producing partner Evan Goldberg, along with the star and producer Josh Hutcherson, preview the time travel action-comedy series ahead of its Tuesday premiere.read more


Rogen and his producing partner Evan Goldberg, along with the star and producer Josh Hutcherson, preview the time travel action-comedy series ahead of its Tuesday premiere.

read more

Hulu Screens ‘Future Man’ Episode At NY Comic-Con; Eliza Coupe Dodges “Marry Or Kill” Question About Co-Stars

A day after unveiling the first trailer for the Seth Rogen-exec produced Future Man, Hulu screened the first episode for a New York Comic-Con audience, displaying the sci-fi comedy’s tone- and time-shifting mix of raucous and raunchy laughs and video game violence brought to live-action.
But don’t expect any improv, cast members Josh Hutcherson and Haley Joel Osment advised fans. With its Quantum Leap-style jumps through time, even a few words added to a scene might throw…

A day after unveiling the first trailer for the Seth Rogen-exec produced Future Man, Hulu screened the first episode for a New York Comic-Con audience, displaying the sci-fi comedy’s tone- and time-shifting mix of raucous and raunchy laughs and video game violence brought to live-action. But don’t expect any improv, cast members Josh Hutcherson and Haley Joel Osment advised fans. With its Quantum Leap-style jumps through time, even a few words added to a scene might throw…

James Franco Is Terribly Perfect as Tommy Wiseau in Full ‘Disaster Artist’ Trailer (Video)

Following its screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, A24 dropped its first full trailer for James Franco’s “The Disaster Artist” Tuesday.

The movie is based on the book of the same name, written by Greg Sesteroand, that chronicles the saga of making what is generally considered the best worst movie of all time: 2003’s cult favorite, “The Room.”

In the film, Franco plays Tommy Wiseau, who wrote, directed and was the male lead in “The Room.” Franco’s brother Dave Franco portrays co-star and friend Sestero.

Also Read: James Franco’s ‘The Disaster Artist’ Gets Awards-Season Release From A24

Seth Rogen’s character is put in the unfortunate situation of keeping this whole thing on track, which proves impossible given Wiseau’s eccentricities. Paul Schur, Ari Graynor, Alison Brie, Jacki Weaver and Josh Hutcherson all co-star.

Franco also directed, while Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber wrote the comedic look-back.

Prior to its TIFF debut, “The Disaster Artist” premiered to rave reviews at SXSW, where Franco was labelled early as a probable Best Actor contender. Based on its positive reception, A24 gave the film an awards-friendly release date of December 1.

Watch the trailer above.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘The Disaster Artist,’ ‘Super-Size Me 2’ Added to Toronto Film Festival Lineup

James Franco Is Terribly Perfect as Tommy Wiseau in ‘Disaster Artist’ Teaser (Video)

James Franco’s ‘The Disaster Artist’ Gets Awards-Season Release From A24

‘The Disaster Artist’ Review: James Franco Celebrates Bad Movies in a Good One

James Franco’s ‘The Disaster Artist’ Heads to SXSW, Midnight Lineup Announced

Following its screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, A24 dropped its first full trailer for James Franco’s “The Disaster Artist” Tuesday.

The movie is based on the book of the same name, written by Greg Sesteroand, that chronicles the saga of making what is generally considered the best worst movie of all time: 2003’s cult favorite, “The Room.”

In the film, Franco plays Tommy Wiseau, who wrote, directed and was the male lead in “The Room.” Franco’s brother Dave Franco portrays co-star and friend Sestero.

Seth Rogen’s character is put in the unfortunate situation of keeping this whole thing on track, which proves impossible given Wiseau’s eccentricities. Paul Schur, Ari Graynor, Alison Brie, Jacki Weaver and Josh Hutcherson all co-star.

Franco also directed, while Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber wrote the comedic look-back.

Prior to its TIFF debut, “The Disaster Artist” premiered to rave reviews at SXSW, where Franco was labelled early as a probable Best Actor contender. Based on its positive reception, A24 gave the film an awards-friendly release date of December 1.

Watch the trailer above.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'The Disaster Artist,' 'Super-Size Me 2' Added to Toronto Film Festival Lineup

James Franco Is Terribly Perfect as Tommy Wiseau in 'Disaster Artist' Teaser (Video)

James Franco's 'The Disaster Artist' Gets Awards-Season Release From A24

'The Disaster Artist' Review: James Franco Celebrates Bad Movies in a Good One

James Franco's 'The Disaster Artist' Heads to SXSW, Midnight Lineup Announced

‘Future Man’ Cast, EPs Remember Late Co-Star Glenne Headly: ‘She’s Like a Ball of Light’

The executive producers and stars of Hulu’s upcoming comedy “Future Man” fondly remembered their late co-star Glenne Headly at the show’s panel at the Television Critics Association press tour on Thursday.

“It was obviously devastating to us, she was a big part of the show,” showrunner Ben Karlin said. “This is a very close-knit cast. That was tough. It’s tough in any environment, but when you’re making a comedy, it throws a wrench into things.”

“She was amazing to work with,” added star Josh Hutcherson, who plays Headly’s son on the show. He also pointed out that Eliza Coupe had also had Headly play her mother in a recent movie project.

Also Read: ‘TGIF’ Lives! Hulu Acquires Exclusive SVOD Rights to All 800 Episodes of Iconic ’90s Lineup

“She’s like a ball of light,” Coupe said. “Any room she walked in, she just lit it up.”

Headly passed away last month in the middle of production on the show’s first season, but Karlin and executive producer Seth Rogen said her absence didn’t require much retooling of the season.

“It wasn’t a production challenge, it was more of an emotional challenge,” Karlin said.

“The way the parents came in and out of the storytelling, it didn’t really require that that much re-breaking, to tell you the truth,” he continued. “It was much more of a bummer to have to get up two days later and just keep making the show.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Haley Joel Osment on Death of ‘Future Man’ Co-Star Glenne Headly: ‘Terrible Shock’

Josh Hutcherson’s ‘Future Man’ Ordered to Series at Hulu

Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg Comedy ‘Future Man’ Gets Pilot Order at Hulu

The executive producers and stars of Hulu’s upcoming comedy “Future Man” fondly remembered their late co-star Glenne Headly at the show’s panel at the Television Critics Association press tour on Thursday.

“It was obviously devastating to us, she was a big part of the show,” showrunner Ben Karlin said. “This is a very close-knit cast. That was tough. It’s tough in any environment, but when you’re making a comedy, it throws a wrench into things.”

“She was amazing to work with,” added star Josh Hutcherson, who plays Headly’s son on the show. He also pointed out that Eliza Coupe had also had Headly play her mother in a recent movie project.

“She’s like a ball of light,” Coupe said. “Any room she walked in, she just lit it up.”

Headly passed away last month in the middle of production on the show’s first season, but Karlin and executive producer Seth Rogen said her absence didn’t require much retooling of the season.

“It wasn’t a production challenge, it was more of an emotional challenge,” Karlin said.

“The way the parents came in and out of the storytelling, it didn’t really require that that much re-breaking, to tell you the truth,” he continued. “It was much more of a bummer to have to get up two days later and just keep making the show.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Haley Joel Osment on Death of 'Future Man' Co-Star Glenne Headly: 'Terrible Shock'

Josh Hutcherson's 'Future Man' Ordered to Series at Hulu

Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg Comedy 'Future Man' Gets Pilot Order at Hulu

16 Stars Who Went to Comic-Con in Disguise, From Justin Timberlake to Henry Cavill (Photos)

Celebrities like Justin Timberlake and Peter Jackson have avoided the mad crush by going incognito at the San Diego Comic-Con fan event

In 2011, Esquire magazine writer Chris Jones accompanied Justin Timberlake at Comic-Con dressed as beloved “Sesame Street” duo Bert and Ernie.

While attending 2011’s Comic-Con to promote “The Amazing Spider-Man,” Andrew Garfield pulled a double-fake by dressing as… Spider-Man

Former “Doctor Who” star Matt Smith put on a Bart Simpson mask to walk the floor at the 2013 event.

Bryan Cranston surprised his co-stars at a “Breaking Bad” panel in 2013 with a creepily realistic Walter White mask.

Former Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe left his invisibility cloak at home and donned a Spider-Man costume to attend the 2014 Comic-Con.

Jack Black walked the floor of the 2014 event wearing a Stormtrooper mask but admitted that he didn’t fool many people. “Everybody’s just like, ‘Jack Black, you in there?’” he told MTV News. “And I’m like ‘No, it’s not me. I don’t know what you’re talking about.’”

In 2014, “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson posted pics of himself on Facebook strolling through San Diego as an evil jester.

Samuel L. Jackson mysteriously tweeted this bemasked shot of himself with his castmates from “Kingsman: The Secret Service” in 2014.

Simon Pegg put a Star Wars mask on top of his “Shaun of the Dead” outfit for the 2014 Comic-Con.

“Game of Thrones” actress Maisie Williams went all out for the 2014 convention, putting on both a Spider-Man mask as well as a Guy Fawkes disguise.

According to science blogger Phil Plait, “Mythbusters” host Adam Savage built this elaborate costume for the 2014 event.

Former “Hills” star Audrina Patridge went blue as the X-Men character Mystique at the 2014 event.

Marvel star Mark Ruffalo pulled on this creepy mask to wander Comic-Con in 2015.

Josh Hutcherson even surprised his “Hunger Games” co-star Jennifer Lawrence with this old-man mask at the 2015 Comic-Con.

While there were plenty of fans who dressed as Jared Leto‘s green-haired Joker at the 2015 Comic-Con, the “Suicide Squad” star himself went undercover in a baboon mask. “He had no idea. :)” the star wrote in his Instagram caption.

Big-screen Superman Henry Cavill put on a Guy Fawkes mask and walked the convention floor in 2016 — and even fooled Will Smith and other stars of DC Comics’ “Suicide Squad.”

Also Read: Comic-Con 2016: Henry Cavill Fools Will Smith and ‘Superman’ Fans (Video)

Celebrities like Justin Timberlake and Peter Jackson have avoided the mad crush by going incognito at the San Diego Comic-Con fan event

In 2011, Esquire magazine writer Chris Jones accompanied Justin Timberlake at Comic-Con dressed as beloved “Sesame Street” duo Bert and Ernie.

While attending 2011’s Comic-Con to promote “The Amazing Spider-Man,” Andrew Garfield pulled a double-fake by dressing as… Spider-Man

Former “Doctor Who” star Matt Smith put on a Bart Simpson mask to walk the floor at the 2013 event.

Bryan Cranston surprised his co-stars at a “Breaking Bad” panel in 2013 with a creepily realistic Walter White mask.

Former Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe left his invisibility cloak at home and donned a Spider-Man costume to attend the 2014 Comic-Con.

Jack Black walked the floor of the 2014 event wearing a Stormtrooper mask but admitted that he didn’t fool many people. “Everybody’s just like, ‘Jack Black, you in there?'” he told MTV News. “And I’m like ‘No, it’s not me. I don’t know what you’re talking about.'”

In 2014, “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson posted pics of himself on Facebook strolling through San Diego as an evil jester.

Samuel L. Jackson mysteriously tweeted this bemasked shot of himself with his castmates from “Kingsman: The Secret Service” in 2014.

Simon Pegg put a Star Wars mask on top of his “Shaun of the Dead” outfit for the 2014 Comic-Con.

“Game of Thrones” actress Maisie Williams went all out for the 2014 convention, putting on both a Spider-Man mask as well as a Guy Fawkes disguise.

According to science blogger Phil Plait, “Mythbusters” host Adam Savage built this elaborate costume for the 2014 event.

Former “Hills” star Audrina Patridge went blue as the X-Men character Mystique at the 2014 event.

Marvel star Mark Ruffalo pulled on this creepy mask to wander Comic-Con in 2015.

Josh Hutcherson even surprised his “Hunger Games” co-star Jennifer Lawrence with this old-man mask at the 2015 Comic-Con.

While there were plenty of fans who dressed as Jared Leto‘s green-haired Joker at the 2015 Comic-Con, the “Suicide Squad” star himself went undercover in a baboon mask. “He had no idea. :)” the star wrote in his Instagram caption.

Big-screen Superman Henry Cavill put on a Guy Fawkes mask and walked the convention floor in 2016 — and even fooled Will Smith and other stars of DC Comics’ “Suicide Squad.”