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Around the World in 80 Days in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Around the World in 80 Days

Jackie Chan • Steve Coogan • Cecile de France
DIRECTOR: Frank Coraci

Steve Coogan and Jackie Chan THE CONCEPT:
Eccentric London inventor Phileas Fogg (Coogan) and his valet Passepartout (Chan), take on an outlandish bet that they can travel around the world in just 80 days.

U.S. RELEASE: June 16 2004, Nationwide • Rated: PG


“I was going to take the original book and put it on the screen. I looked at the lead character of Phileas Fogg, and he was a confident man, and there was not a lot of trajectory to his character. I thought it would be interesting if I made Phileas Fogg more in the spirit of Jules Verne. He’s an inventor with dreams, but with a lot of insecurities and that gave us a story to tell. You want to see this guy overcome his insecurities through his friends and be able to achieve his dreams.”

“Honestly, I hadn’t heard of Steve Coogan before the movie. When we first thought of Around the World in 80 Days, I thought, ‘Yes, I’m going to do this film. Am I Phileas Fogg?’ They said, ‘No, you’re not.’ They said there were a few choices for that role; one was Mr Bean [Rowan Atkinson]. I said, ‘Mr Bean? He doesn’t look like Phileas Fogg.’ Then they showed me the video of Steve Coogan, and I said, ‘Oh, he looks like a gentleman.’ They said he was big in England. I said I didn’t know him, but it didn’t matter, he’s right for the character. Then one day we were filming in Berlin, where there’s a large amount of British tourists, and they were like, ‘Ah, Steve Coogan!’ Now that’s big!”

“I think what I learned from Jackie is to concentrate more. Jackie is very focused. Jackie is very good at lots of things. People always say that men can do one task and women can do a lot of things all at one time. Jackie is the only guy that I’ve met that can do lots of different things in his head all at one time.”

CORACI on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s cameo as Prince Hapi:
“We needed a cameo, somebody intimidating, somebody big, and the last person you’d want to abduct your girl. Arnold wanted to do something comedic. I think he was very excited about being involved in a family movie, and what’s great about Arnold, and why he’s had such a successful career, is because he can make fun of himself. And in this movie he really gets to make fun of himself.”

“Arnold’s not that tough. In the movie, he always says [imitates him] ‘ I’ll be back,’ But he’s very lovable, and he makes a lot of jokes.”

“It was weird for me doing the scene in the hot tub, when I sat between Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger. I remember at the time thinking, ‘I’ve got to sit between them. I’m not a big guy. I’ll just do a few press ups to maybe get a little bit more going on, because in between those two I’ll look like a stick!’ That’s when I phoned home because I figured that’d be worth telling people about.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Images above © Walt Disney Pictures
Feature © 2004 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #645, Summer 2004 cover

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