Tributes to the late, great Alan Rickman continue to appear from those that knew and worked with him. A most gracious one has just been given by Tim Allen to The Hollywood Reporter about their time together making Galaxy Quest together. As well as Allen painting Rickman once again as one of the nicest people in the business, he also seemed to let a particularly large cat out of a not so tight bag.
Describing Rickman as, “just an amazing person and an amazing actor”, Allen details how he didn’t think he’d made quite the right impression on the English actor to begin with:
“I don’t think he liked me all that much when we first started shooting Galaxy Quest. I was a stage performer, a concert comic, and I was coming into this group of very polished thespians — Sigourney Weaver and Sam Rockwell and Tony Shalhoub and then Alan adding his English roots.
All of them had this process and method — voice stretching and all that kind of prep — and it was so different from mine. I was doing penis jokes right up to action.”
Whilst that may come across as somewhat damning with faint praise, nothing could be further from the truth. Allen continues:
“But then, one day on the set, Alan came to me and apologized. He said he mistook my behavior for lack of commitment. And we became very fast friends…On the day we turned into friends he came to my house with a bottle of wine and chocolate Haagen-Dazs as a peace offering and said, “This is for you because whoever taught you taught you very well.”… He was that kind of guy — he had class and style and manners. But he was also gentle and funny and wonderful.”
And then Allen casually remarks on progress of a Galaxy Quest continuation:
“I’m not supposed to say anything — I’m speaking way out of turn here — but Galaxy Quest is really close to being resurrected in a very creative way. It’s closer than I can tell you but I can’t say more than that. The real kicker is that Alan now has to be left out. It’s been a big shock on many levels.”
So what does this mean? Is Allen referring to the television series that was reported last summer to be in development at Amazon? If so it’s doubtful that Rickman would have, or Sigourney Weaver will likely, reprise their roles for a run, except perhaps as cameos. A movie sequel has always been long-rumoured but there now seems even less of a chance of that with Rickman now gone.
Television would seem the natural home for any continuation of Galaxy Quest anyway, which of course so expertly spoofed on the original Star Trek and it’s cast. Whilst Tim Allen was a wonderful Shatner/Kirk homage, it was Alan Rickman’s Alexander Dane who brought a certain gravitas and seriousness to his role and the comedy in the film. It was genius casting. Rickman’s portrayal of a serious actor feeling completely demeaned by his cartoon’ish role before first accepting, then utterly embracing his character and what it meant to people perfectly mirrored the journey Leonard Nimoy took with Spock.
Galaxy Quest was well received on release in 1999 but the love and respect it now receives has taken years to build. If there is to be a tv show – and Allen as star would be perfect – then, by Grabthar’s hammer, by the suns of Warvan, let’s have it sooner rather than later.