Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
Friday 26th October 2018
Sony Pictures Animation presents Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation. Featuring the voices of Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, David Spade, Steve Buscemi, Keegan-Michael Key, Molly Shannon, Fran Drescher, Kathryn Hahn, Jim Gaffigan, Joe Jonas, Chrissy Teigen, Jaime Camil, and Mel Brooks. Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky. Produced by Michelle Murdocca. Written by Genndy Tartakovsky and Michael McCullers. Music by Mark Mothersbaugh. Imagery and Animation by Sony Pictures Imageworks Inc.
For Genndy Tartakovsky, co-writer and director of Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation., returning to the Hotel Transylvania characters was not a simple decision. Simply put, there had to be a reason for him to come back and make another one - a seaworthy sequel. "I love the characters, but if we were going to do a third film, we had to take them someplace they've never been before - both physically and emotionally," says Tartakovsky. "That's what we're doing here. Not only are Drac's Pack out of the hotel and visiting fun, exotic locations on a monster cruise, but we've turned Drac and Mavis's relationship on its head. Instead of Drac being the concerned parent as his daughter falls in love and has a child, now Mavis is overly concerned as her father 'zings' for a second time. Or maybe she's not overly concerned - maybe he's in real danger."
Tartakovsky says that the inspiration for the new film came directly from his real-life experience. "After I finished the second film, I needed a vacation - and my in-laws surprised us with a family cruise," he notes. "I'm sure everyone loves their in-laws as much as I do, but the cruise forced us all to be together in a small space for a week. That inspired me - what would happen if you put Drac's Pack in that situation?"
Producer Michelle Murdocca, who has teamed with Tartakovsky on all three films in the series, loved the idea. "It was a chance to get out of the hotel and go on a family adventure in a new way," she says. "I think the Hotel Transylvania films connect with families because they're about families," says Tartakovsky. "Sure, every family is different - but really, everybody's kind of the same. And that's what makes the movies connect all over the world."
Still, everyone knows that being on a family vacation can be a mixed bag. You love your family and want to be together...
But if you're a kid, your parents embarrass you. For the parents, your kids run you ragged until you need a vacation from your vacation. Your grandpa shows up in his swim briefs. And as we all know by now, monsters are just like us. "The fun is how relatable they are," says producer Michelle Murdocca, who like Tartakovsky returns for her third tour of duty in the Hotel Transylvania franchise. "We've known for some time that Dracula, Frank, Wayne and Wanda the wolfpeople, and Griffin, an invisible man, have all had their heroic moments and their foibles and are just trying to get along as best they can in a world that isn't always accepting. The moral of the story is we're all the same - human and monster, green skin or no skin at all - but our family has never faced a greater danger than Ericka."
After all, Ericka is not merely the beautiful, smart, adventurous captain of the ship who could steal Dracula's heart (if vampires have hearts) and alter the family dynamic forever. She also holds a secret that threatens to send this journey off course - it just so happens that she is a descendent of Abraham Van Helsing, the legendary monster hunter, and the whole idea of a cruise is a ploy to get Drac and his pack. It's a trap. A ruse. A cruise ruse.
"Ericka's whole plan is to get all the monsters on board and destroy them all, but she's impatient - she wants to kill Drac right away," Tartakovsky explains. Meanwhile, Drac unwittingly throws a monkey wrench into those schemes when he 'zings' for the captain. "'Zing' is the monster version of love at first sight. He gets on board, sees Ericka, and he's a goner. So he's trying to help her fall in love with him, and the whole time, she's trying to kill him."
The setting opens up a whole new world for the characters, Tartakovsky says. "There's even more visual humor, more fun than the first two films," he says. "It's not just a cruise - it's an adventure. They get to explore new and exotic locations - including the lost city of Atlantis. But there's also real danger involved as they start to wonder if Ericka, the ship's captain, is leading them right into a trap."
That visual humor is Tartakovsky's signature, perhaps best expressed through what he calls a "pushed" style of animation that marked the first two films. Where most CG animated films try to keep the character looking like a base model - treating the character rig like a puppet - Tartakovsky encourages his animators to bring an exaggerated vision, with sight gags and funny expressions. The characters are pliable, with a range of emotions from the cartoony to the subtle and humanistic. "The Hotel Transylvania films really are a chance for the animators and artists to collaborate with Genndy, giving them an opportunity to live inside Genndy's head for a little while," says Murdocca. "Our animators love the challenge of breaking the mold and showing the wide range of expressions and over the top physical animation that are possible in the name of bigger emotion and bigger laughs."
Bigger laughs - like Gremlin Air, where the little monsters that make your flight go wrong have been put in charge... like the Bermuda Triangle, which is a literal triangle that eats up planes and ships... relaxing times like moon bathing (can't be in the sun), an underwater volcano, scuba diving, dolphin surfing... let's face it: monsters may be just like us, but their vacations are way different (and way better).
And that doesn't even include the monsters' final destination: the lost city of Atlantis. "It's our version of Vegas," says Murdocca. "From the depths of the ocean arises a massive kraken - and just when you think this is it, he breaks into a charm-filled full-on Sinatraesque song, courtesy of Joe Jonas."
Behind the mic, the entire crew returns to bring life to Drac's Pack - Adam Sandler as Dracula, Andy Samberg as Johnny, Selena Gomez as Mavis, Kevin James as Frank,
David Spade as Griffin, Steve Buscemi as Wayne, Keegan-Michael Key as Murray the mummy, Molly Shannon as Wanda, Fran Drescher as Eunice, and Mel Brooks as Vlad, Drac's dad. "I think these guys all see playing these characters as a bit of a vacation itself," says Tartakovsky. "They get to inhabit these roles for a little while, kick back and enjoy themselves before returning to the real world. It's a blast to get to be with them in the booth."
Joining the fun are Kathryn Hahn as Ericka, the captain of the ship, and Jim Gaffigan as Abraham Van Helsing - Ericka's great-grandfather. "I think both Van Helsings really believe in monster hunting," says Murdocca. "Ericka sees her role as fulfilling her destiny. But that's the funny thing - we never know what destiny has in store for us." Also joining the cast are Chrissy Teigen as Crystal, an invisible
woman; Jaime Camil as El Chupacabra, Chris Parnell as Stan the Fish Man... and even director Genndy Tartakovsky got in the fun, voicing the roles of Blobby and Blobby Baby, and producer Michelle Murdocca took a few cameo roles, including as Drac's phone assistant.
Drac (Adam Sandler) - Drac's life seems perfect. He's surrounded by his family and the hotel is busier than ever. The only thing he needs is a vacation! He can't wait to spend some quality time with Mavis, Dennis and the rest of his family on the world's first ever cruise for monsters. But little does Drac know, this cruise is actually a well-designed trap to wipe out all monster-kind!! Will Drac be able to sniff out this plan or will he be distracted by his new found love of the high seas?
"Drac doesn't want to get out of his comfort zone," says Murdocca. "He's busy running the hotel, it's super successful, and his whole family works there. But he's missing something. All of his guests and friends are coupled up, and he's beginning to feel a little lonely."
So when Mavis surprises him with a family cruise, Drac is not feeling it. "The last thing he expects is to zing," says Tartakovsky. "And like all of us, when he zings, the blinders go on. He doesn't see that Ericka could be the end of them all."
Mavis (Selena Gomez) - Always cool and optimistic, Mavis can do it all. She handles all of her responsibilities - Hotel Transylvania assistant manager, wife, mom, daughter - with ease! The one thing she wished she had? More family time. This cruise is just what she needed! She can't wait to have a blast with Drac's entire Pack and get some quality time with Johnny, Dennis and of course her dad, Drac.
"I love making people laugh - it's the best feeling in the world," says Selena Gomez, who returns as Mavis. "It's so great to have a family to come back to, and you never know what to expect with these movies - imagine the monster versions of shuffleboard, scuba diving, underwater volcanoes, moon tans on the beach - and it wouldn't be a vacation without a little adventure."
"I feel such an emotional connection with Mavis," Gomez continues. "She's a mom who wants to bring everyone together and enjoy a relaxing time together with family. Of course all family vacations are a mixed bag - that's what makes them funny. But her heart is clearly in the right place."
Johnny (Andy Samberg) - Human Johnny always manages to stay mellow but he's stoked about the cruise's all-night monster music festival. What he doesn't realize is that the fate of all monsters will depend on his mid-90's DJ skills.
"Johnny may not have a lot of growth," admits Tartakovsky, "but he always has that deep insight. He's always fun and always keeping people on a really optimistic, positive side of life."
Frank (Kevin James) - Drac's best friend Frank has a good head on his shoulders-most of the time. He wishes he could give Drac better advice about dating but he's never even been on one. He and wife Eunice were made for each other- literally.
"Frank is the family's loving uncle," says Tartakovsky. "He's always happy to help out. He can sometimes be a voice of reason, but whatever crazy situation Drac finds himself in, Frank will be there."
Griffin (David Spade) - Griffin, an invisible man, does not hesitate to give Drac dating advice - all of it terrible. It's a complete mystery how he was able to land his invisible girlfriend! And she's real!
"Griffin is the invisible man with the quick quip," says Tartakovsky. "And when you're travelling incognito - as all monsters do from time to time - he's ready to go at a moment's notice."
Wayne (Steve Buscemi) - Wayne the Werewolf and his wife Wanda have just had yet another litter of new pups and they are up to their noses in little fur balls. When the couple realises there's a kids' club on board the cruise ship, Wayne weeps with joy and they decide to pack a decade full of 'me time' into one night.
"Wayne and Wanda have way more pups than they used to, which is hard to believe," says Murdocca. "He's loaded down with a baby carrier full of pups - and the last thing he wants is to be trapped on a cruise with pups all over him. But that's when Wayne and Wanda are introduced to the two most beautiful words in the English language: kids' club. It changes their world."
Murray (Keegan-Michael Key) - Murray the mummy can't wait to unwrap and pamper himself with an all-day seaweed re-wrap! But his spa appointment will have to wait when he learns of a much bigger problem threatening his friends.
"Working with Genndy Tartakovsky is amazing," says Key. "He's got a great sense of how to use each of the characters to get the funniest moments on the screen. He knows these films like a mummy knows his wrappings - probably better."
Wanda (Molly Shannon) - If there's anyone more exhausted than Wayne the Werewolf, it's his wife Wanda. The mother of 70, she's kind, maternal and sweet but, let's be honest, she could use a vacation!
Eunice (Fran Drescher) - Frank's beloved wife Eunice is critical, brash and can have an 'in your face' attitude, but underneath it all she loves her man Frank.
Fran Drescher returns for her third film as Eunice. "It was years ago that Adam came to me and said he was a huge fan of my TV series, 'The Nanny,' but what I think put it over the top was that he said I reminded him of his mother-in- law," Drescher recalls. "Who can resist that? I very happily accepted the invitation to be part of the movie."
"Eunice can be a bit critical and brash, and she can have an in-your-face attitude, but underneath it all, she loves her man," Drescher continues. "I just love her. It's fun to play a character who lets you know exactly what she's thinking. I love her strong, energetic, irreverent self. And she always looks so pretty and put-together - I really relate to that."
Ericka (Kathryn Hahn) - The human captain of the ship, Ericka, is smart, adventurous and holds a secret that threatens to send this journey off course. She runs this "hotel on the water" and has no problem butting heads with Drac.
"Ericka is very charming, very personable, and has an adorable haircut, but what we don't know right away is that Ericka is actually Ericka Van Helsing, part of the family that's been hunting Dracula for generations without ever managing to kill him," says Hahn. "Ambitious Ericka plans to be the Van Helsing that succeeds where all others have failed."
"I've always wanted to play a villainous character," Hahn continues. "I've loved the Hotel Transylvania movies - I've seen them multiple times with my kids - so I was very excited to jump on board. You really feel the love between this group of monsters."
"Kathryn Hahn is a ball of energy - she's so full of life," says Tartakovsky. "At the beginning of the process, we wondered who we could get who could hold their own with Adam - Dracula is a giant personality - and Kathryn hit it out of the park."
"It's kind of amazing what Genndy asked Kathryn to do - she's the villain, has put our family in peril, but she's also the love interest, and you want to see Drac find happiness," says Murdocca. "Kathryn does it all: she can be heartfelt, she can create chaos, and all of it is a riot. She's incredibly funny and makes a great complement to Drac."
Van Helsing (Jim Gaffigan) - Abraham Van Helsing- professor, inventor and monster-hunter- is Drac's self-proclaimed arch rival. Humiliated by Drac long ago, he swore he would get revenge even if it took a hundred years to achieve it. Luckily he's discovered the secret to immortality - kale!
"Van Helsing is an iconic character," says Gaffigan. "He's the most famous monster hunter of all time. I was excited to make him the ultimate match for Dracula - and when I saw the character and found out he's also a very good-looking guy, I figured it would make sense that I would play him," says Gaffigan.
"When you're recording with Genndy, he's is so open to different ideas - he wants to make it fun, I think because he feels that will make the movie fun," Gaffigan continues. Just one problem: "Van Helsing has so much energy, and I have no energy. It's exhausting to be an energetic person - that's no way to live."
"Jim is one of my favourite standup comedians," says Tartakovsky. "I've always wanted to put him in a movie, and when this role came up, it was a perfect fit. We see him young, when he's a virile monster hunter - and then later, when he's... not. He's older and hasn't let his anger go."
Vlad (Mel Brooks) - This oldest of the old-school vampires is turning in his cave and cape for a swimsuit and sunscreen! Drac's Dad may be ancient but he can still rock those swim shorts!
"Vlad is very comfortable with himself," says Murdocca. "He can rock the swim briefs, let it all hang out, and never get self-conscious."
Dennis (Asher Blinkoff) - Mavis and Johnny's 5-year-old son Dennis has a new pet that he is in love with - an elephant-sized puppy named Tinkles. Dennis can't bear to leave the mischievous puppy behind so he secretly sneaks Tinkles onto the cruise and disguises the massive dog as one of the passengers! How long will Dennis be able to keep this secret under wraps?
Blobby (Genndy Tartakovsky) - This blobby monster is always jiggling for a good time! He's also his own lost and found - you can sometimes discover an unexpected thing or two inside his gelatin body.
Crystal (Chrissy Teigen) - Crystal, an invisible woman, is the girl made for Griffin. (And when he says he's into more than just her looks, you know he's telling the truth.)
"I love the relationship between Crystal and Griffin," says Teigen. "You know that their love isn't based on looks - because they don't have looks."
Kraken (Joe Jonas) - Kraken is the ginormous beast who welcomes Drac and his friends to the lost city of Atlantis, the monster version of Las Vegas. He may look threatening, he is full of charm and a heck of a singer - he loves to carry a tune!
The kraken may look tough but underneath it all is the heart of a performer, so there's no one better to welcome the monster cruise to Atlantis that him. "He's got a crooner vibe," says Joe Jonas. "The song was a lot of fun to record - it's a big swing routine."
And when he needed a big band swing number, Jonas knew who to call. "I reached out to my friend David Foster, who happened to be working with Michael Bublé at the time," says Jonas. A short while later, he got a call back. Foster and Bublé had written the song in a burst of inspiration and with Jonas' voice in mind.
Hotel Transylvania 3 represents a huge step forward for the monsters - and the animators - with the biggest adventure by far. "This film is a lot bigger than the first two films - it eclipses them in scope and scale," says Tartakovsky.
"There are all kinds of new locations. We get to see the Bermuda Triangle, the lost city of Atlantis, an underwater volcano - these are the grand-scale places that monsters can go to take a break. It's comedic spectacle."
Of course, not everything is different. "It's exciting that we get to really see what's beyond the hotel - but because we're on a cruise, which is a hotel on the water, we still get to do all of our hotel jokes," laughs Tartakovsky.
Naturally, the third film in the franchise continues the "pushed," cartoony style of animation that is Tartakovsky's trademark and a characteristic of the first two films. "Genndy's animation style really breaks physics," says the film's VFX Supervisor Michael Ford. "So, the question is, how do we use our tools to unbreak it?"
It all starts with the storyboards. Where other films employ a storyboard artist to make a rough plan, Tartakovsky boards the entire film himself (roughly), with the artist drawing over his sketches. "I've worked for a lot of directors and they're nothing like Genndy," says production designer Scott Wills. "He sees the movie and knows the movie he wants to make. You can watch the animatic [a cut of the film created from storyboards] and it's very clear what he wants. It's because Genndy comes from TV, where the storyboards get sent overseas to be animated; everything has to be planned out. He does the same thing in features - the storyboards are really the template. Everything is very clear and he knows what he wants."
Tartakovsky also takes writing credit for the first time in the franchise with this film, sharing credit with Michael McCullers. "A lot of Genndy's sensibility is written into the bones of this movie," says Senior Animation Supervisor Alan Hawkins. "On the previous two films, we always had to look for ways to work Genndy's magic into the scenarios with a lot of dialogue. With this movie, there's a lot less dialogue and a lot more is dependent on the visuals. There are all kinds of crazy locations that help the visuals go that much further - like an underwater volcano or dancing your way through a bunch of booby traps."
A good example is the Gremlin Air sequence. As the family flies together to their surprise location, they are on a plane for monsters - one populated and flown by Gremlins. An ancient bomber that has been rebuilt over and over again, the sequence was a chance to throw in as many of Tartakovsky's sight gags as possible. "There was a real attention to detail throughout the film," says Ford. "If you look closely on the "Gremlin Air" plane and how the seats are constructed, there's duct tape that's been slapped on, there's wear and tear, each seat is a different color and a different kind of material. The plane is all cobbled together - there's plywood on the floor with wires above and below and each one of those wires was simulated so they move around adding to the chaotic nature of the sequence. We wanted it to feel real, tactile, in a cartoony way - there's a lot of detail that goes into making it feel real. Not entirely photo real, but our version of reality - real in the world of Hotel Transylvania."
For the Imageworks team, the underwater volcano represented an exciting challenge - and, at first, an intimidating one. "When Genndy first told us about the underwater Volcano, you could hear a pin drop in the room," laughs Ford. We worked hard to create a fun underwater world that our characters could explore.
Part of the challenge was how to design a location that fit neatly into the world of Hotel Transylvania. "The movie has a bright and colorful look, so the volcano couldn't be dark and scary. But you look at what underwater volcanoes really look like, and it's dark and scary," says Wills. "I just had to start painting it without a real idea in my head of how it was going to look. When I did that, I had the idea that it would be red underlit, and it's very pretty and bright." Ford and his team were then able to dress the location with coral and kelp to add the details that make a location seem real.
Similarly, the location of the Bermuda Triangle represented a challenge for the filmmakers. Despite a relatively limited screen time, the location represented a challenge in every aspect, from the huge waterfalls to the ridiculously tall tower of ships that have met their ends there.
"It's a joke in and of itself: the Bermuda Triangle is a literal triangle in the middle of the ocean, with thousand-foot waterfalls falling into an abyss," says Ford. "How do you create a thousand-foot-tall waterfall that's cascading into a big hole in the middle of the ocean? How's that going to look There's no real reference for that."
And then there are the ships. "We had to build all of the ships that we were eventually going to destroy and decay" Ford continues. "We needed a believable structure that we could shoot from all angles, but make it feel big and make it look like it had been there for a long time. It pushed our team to use all of the tricks in the book to make the massive pile of boats look impressive, but ultimately not take itself too seriously to stay within the comic style of the movie."
The climax of the film takes place at Tartakovsky's vision for the lost city of Atlantis - a cartoonishly large monolith that rises from the sea, protected by its crooning kraken.
Once again, we wanted to give the location complexity and detail that would make it feel like a real place in the world of Hotel Transylvania. "The city of Atlantis rises thousands of feet from the sea, so logically there's a ocean theme for the casino," says Ford. "The casino itself is a giant aquarium - it's all glass, with fish and whales swimming above and below us. And of course we also added in all of the casino elements that you'd expect to see: bright lights, gaming tables, slot machines. For each of the slot machines, we created motion graphics - so that when a character pulls a slot machine, the screen actually animates. And there are dozens of different machines so there was a lot of artwork generated for each machine and it really adds to the feeling that the audience is in a real place."
Adding complexity to an already complex world was the fact that all of these sets - the cruise ship, the volcano, Atlantis, to name a few - were on water. "Genndy's cartoony style doesn't necessarily lend itself to the physics of real water that our software likes to emulate," says Ford, "and every single location has some sort of effects or simulation component to it. For example, not only is the cruise ship moving on the water, but it has an Olympic size swimming pool on it that we have a volleyball game in. Along with this we also needed to solve for really big impacts of large characters like the Kraken moving and dancing through the water."
The kraken's effect on the water also offered a challenge that was equal in size to the monster itself. "It sounds weird to say, but if things are too big in the computer world, it starts to break and fall apart," says Hawkins. The simulation software just isn't made to work at the extremes.
The solution, says Ford, was first to look a reference footage of large scale water events to see how it behaves. "Our effects team looked at crashing waves, we looked at boats getting launched to sea or other large objects hitting the water, like giant ice structures falling into the ocean. In all of the reference, there's a lot of water vapor that gets generated and the water tends to get very aerated and white. We really paid attention to emulating that vapor layer and that helped push the look into something that felt right," he says.
From there, Ford continues, the "effects team needed to find new ways of simulating water with Genndy's unique animation style. We can play with time in our simulations - so we slowed down the speed at which a giant tentacle hits the water so that the splash wasn't as explosive. We did multiple simulations -one simulation when the tentacle hits the water, another when it's under the water and blended them, mixing multiple elements together, to create the look that Genndy wanted."
With the sets and locations designed, Hawkins and his team could bring the characters to life. In Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, two new main characters led the way: the ship's captain, Ericka, and her great-great-grandfather, the legendary monster hunter Abraham Van Helsing.
"Genndy came with a strong idea on Ericka from the very beginning," says Hawkins. "When she's in deception mode - when we don't know that she's evil - she is very sweet and all of her dialogue sounds very pleasant, so we animated her as soft and warmly as possible. We kept her very calm and slow and smooth, in a way that characters don't usually move in the Hotel Transylvania world. When you're first introduced to her on the boat, you see her move in a way that's a little outside of the style of these films. But when she gets into her evil reveal, she starts moving a lot more sharply and quickly, her lines are less soft and rounded, and she gets a lot more straights in her posing. It was important to Genndy to create a character that's a match for Dracula, not just emotionally but physically. Dracula is our most pushed character - he can do almost anything - and so with Ericka, we had to find a way to do that as well. When she's being really evil, she's doing some pretty extreme stuff that is on par with what Dracula can do."
If Dracula and Ericka are the most pushed characters in the way they are animated, then Van Helsing is likely the most pushed in the way he is designed. "That's Craig Kellman," says Wills. "He's one of the best character designers in the business. Every version he gives you is a homerun. He gives you designs that are so over the top and outrageous - and Genndy became his champion and didn't water them down, especially with Van Helsing. It's nice to see what Craig drew get up there on screen."
"His body is a machine, so it's rigid and that saved us a lot of time," says Hawkins. "All the emphasis on animating him went into his face and hands. He's got a lot of jowly bits, so it was a bit of extra work animating his jiggle and overlap. We tried to keep him funny and silly and just a little gross - he's still the bad guy, but someone you can laugh at."
There are changes to the main characters, too, as all of the characters get a costume change for their vacation. "Some of the wardrobe changes made the animation easier, and some of them made it harder," says Hawkins. "Dracula, for instance, has his little short-shorts and Hawaiian shirt, which made it easier for us, because one of the biggest challenges in animating him is the cape - the cape is almost a whole character in and of itself. Mavis was a little harder because she has a sundress that is less form-fitting than her other outfit. We had to work closely with the simulation department and make sure that her structure underneath made sense so that the clothing relaxed into shapes that were appealing."
Some Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation fun facts:-
- Director Genndy Tartakovsky voices Blobby and Blobby Baby
- Producer Michelle Murdocca is the voice of Drac's phone assistant as well as Kelsey, the tentacle monster who says "Look, it's a giant Kraken!"
- All the Gremlins from the monster airline are voiced by actor Aaron LaPlante
- The birthday party sign in front of the cruise ship's Kids Club lists names from the actual production crew
- Artists from 43 different countries worked on this film
- After completing Hotel Transylvania 2, director Genndy Tartakovsky's parents-in-law treated his family to a cruise vacation; as he saw other families interact on what felt like a hotel on the water, he was inspired to write a script for a third film that would explore the comedic and cinematic possibilities of having Drac and his pack vacationing on a ship
- Genndy didn't want the Fish-men to bend forward because fish can only bend sideways so he asked animators to have the least amount of movement for them as possible; sometimes in scenes only their mouths or eyes move
- In order to figure out how to animate a scene in which champagne is thrown at Drac's face, the head of model rigging had a champagne bottle opened towards his face a dozen times to see how it works (apparently it stings)
- If you look closely during the Bermuda Triangle sequence, you may spot several actual famous boats that allegedly disappeared in the mysterious location
- Over 5,700 portholes were created for the ship
- The movie was storyboarded over a period of 15 months and artists created a total of 90,000 story panels; of thoe only 10,000 panels actually made it in the movie
- Dennis' giant dog Tinkles was first introduced in the short film Puppy! which was released in theaters in July 2017. He was initially supposed to only have a brief cameo in Hotel Transylvania 3 but audiences responded so strongly to his character that his part became a key roll in this film
- In the short film Puppy! released a year before this feature film, Mavis can be seen reading the travel brochure for the actual cruise ship from Hotel Transylvania 3, months before it was officially revealed to the public
- Abraham Van Helsing was a ghost in an early version of the script
- La Llorana (Weeping Bride) can be spotted in the crowds in several sequences
- One of the ships in the Bermuda Triangle was named after director Genndy Tartakovsky's wife, Dawn
- Pay close attention to the snack packs handed out by the Gremlins crew to passengers in the airline; many jokes were slipped in on the packages.
Adam Sandler (Dracula) needs no introduction. Over the past thirty years he has enjoyed phenomenal success as a comedian, actor, writer, producer and musician.
Sandler's films have grossed over $3 billion worldwide and include box office hits such as Grown Ups, Big Daddy, The Longest Yard, and The Waterboy. His last four films for Netflix, The Ridiculous 6, The Do-Over, Sandy Wexler, and The Week Of have been the most-watched films on Netflix to-date. The Meyerowitz Stories directed by Noah Buambach, was loved by audiences and critics alike. Sandler will also begin filming this summer for his newest Netflix comedy Murder Mystery, alongside an all-star international cast including Jennifer Aniston and Luke Evans.
After a long twenty-year absence from the comedy stage, Sandler has also found time between films to perform in front of live audiences in a sold-out tour over the last couple of years in the U.S. and Canada. He is now in the process of capturing his live comedy for an upcoming Netflix special.
In 2014, Sandler signed a deal with Netflix to produce and star in four original movies to premiere on the streaming channel making him one of the first actor/producers to do so. The pairing has been so successful Netflix recently re-upped Sandler's deal with four more films added to the mix.
As one of the world's most iconic comedians, Sandler has accumulated a plethora of accolades including eight People's Choice Awards, five MTV Movie Awards, six Kids Choice Awards, two Grammy nominations for Comedy Album of the Year, a Golden Globe nomination for Punch-Drunk Love, a 2018 Critics Choice nomination for The Meyerowitz Stories, CinemaCon's 2014 Male Star of the Year, and most recently, the 2018 Webby Award for Overall Achievement for his Netflix films.
Sandler's prolific film career includes starring roles in the Sony films Pixels for director Chris Columbus and the successful Hotel Transylvania franchise, where he lent his voice to 'Dracula.' Sandler also re-united for the third time with Drew Barrymore in Blended and starred in both Grown Ups and Grown Ups 2. His other roles include, That's My Boy, Jack and Jill, Just Go With It, director Mike Binder's Reign Over Me opposite Don Cheadle, and in the box-office hits Click, The Longest Yard, James L. Brooks' Spanglish, the romantic comedy 50 First Dates, Anger Management, and Sony's comedy, Zookeeper.
His other film credits include the Jason Reitman film Men, Women and Children, Tom McCarthy's The Cobbler, Universal's Funny People, written and directed by Judd Apatow and Paul Thomas Anderson's Punch-Drunk Love, for which he received a Golden Globe nomination.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire, Sandler's first brush with comedy came at age 17, with a performance at a Boston comedy club. From then on he was hooked, performing regularly in comedy clubs throughout the state, while earning a degree in Fine Arts from New York University. While performing stand up, he was spotted by Dennis Miller and recruited to join the "Saturday Night Live" team where he was a regular for five seasons. He also appeared on MTV's "Remote Control," "The Cosby Show," and various other television shows and films including Airheads, Coneheads, and Mixed Nuts.
Sandler's production company Happy Madison Productions has gone on to become an almost self-contained mini studio being involved in all aspects of film production. Amongst its many films, Happy Madison has produced Blended, That's My Boy, Jack and Jill, Just Go With It, Click, The Benchwarmers, Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, The House Bunny, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 1 and 2, Grown Ups 1 and 2, The Zookeeper, and Pixels among others. Happy Madison's latest production Graduates starring David Spade and Nat Faxon will be released on Netflix this year.
On television, Happy Madison Productions has produced, "Rules of Engagement" which aired for 6 years, the hit ABC series "The Goldbergs," and "Imaginary Mary."
Sandler has also collaborated as a writer on the screenplays for The Ridiculous 6, Hotel Transylvania 1 and 2, Grown Ups 1 and 2, Jack and Jill, You Don't Mess with the Zohan, Little Nicky, Big Daddy, The Waterboy, Happy Gilmore, and Billy Madison, and executive produced Hotel Transylvania 1 and 2, The Longest Yard, Grandma's Boy, Anger Management, Mr. Deeds, Joe Dirt, Little Nicky, Big Daddy, and The Waterboy, among others.
Sandler's comedy albums on Warner Bros Records have gone multi-platinum. Collectively, they have sold more than six million copies to date.
Selena Gomez (Mavis) made her mark in entertainment by conquering film, music and television at an early age. On the big screen, she began making the transition from young actress to adulthood with such films as the much talked about Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival to critical acclaim while Gomez's performance was singled out as a "breakout." She appeared in the Academy Award(r) nominated film The Big Short opposite Brad Pitt and Ryan Gosling as well as Fundamentals of Caring alongside Paul Rudd. The later film premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and Gomez was named by Vulture.com as one of the 20 Best Performances of Sundance 2016. Other credits include: Rudderless, Neighbors 2 and the James Franco directed In Dubious Battle. She most recently filmed the untitled Woody Allan feature opposite Timothé Chalamet, Elle Fanning and Jude Law.
As a recording artist Gomez has sold over 50 million tracks worldwide. Last year she released four singles "It Ain't Me" with Kygo, "Bad Liar," "Fetish" and "Wolves" which garnered enthusiastic reviews. Entertainment Weekly wrote Gomez is making "the most unexpected pop music of the year" while Rolling Stone proclaimed the first single as "smart and streamlined." At the end of 2017 Gomez was named Billboard Magazine's "Women of the Year." In 2015, Gomez released her critically acclaimed album "Revival." The first three singles off the album "Good For You," "Same Old Love," and "Hands to Myself" went to number one on the US Top 40 chart. Gomez joins an elite group and becomes only the sixth female artist to have at least three songs from one album reach the #1 position since the chart launched in 1992.
Gomez has added executive producer to her impressive list of credits serving as an executive producer of the hit Netflix original series "13 Reasons Why." The show's second season was recently released on Netflix. In addition, Gomez included her new hit single "Back to You" on the "!3 Reasons Why" soundtrack.
Giving back has always been an important element in her life. She was named the youngest goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF at 18 years old and has worked tirelessly to support this organization ever since. Selena was honored for her continued support at Variety's first ever Unite4: Humanity event with the Young Humanitarian Award alongside Bill Clinton. Gomez has traveled to Ghana, Chile and Nepal as an advocate for some of the world's most vulnerable children. She has hosted "We Day" in Vancouver, Chicago and Los Angeles for Free the Children, an organization that empowers young people to achieve their fullest potential as agents of change by being active local and global citizens.
Kevin James (Frankenstein) began his career as a stand-up on the Long Island comedy scene. After being discovered at the 1996 Montreal Comedy Festival, he signed a network development deal to create his own sitcom.
"The King of Queens," which premiered in 1998, ran for nine seasons on CBS with James starring and executive producing, and garnering him an Emmy nomination in 2006 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. The show concluded its run in 2007 but continues to air daily in syndication across the country and around the world. James also starred in and executive produced the sitcom "Kevin Can Wait" for Sony Pictures Television and CBS.
In 2001, James brought his stand-up act to TV with "Sweat the Small Stuff," a one-hour special for Comedy Central. In 2005, Kevin James and Ray Romano executive produced and starred in the HBO Sports Special "Making the Cut: The Road to Pebble Beach;" a documentary about the Pebble Beach Pro Am Golf Tournament that was nominated for a Sports Emmy. His second comedy special "Never Don't Give Up," premiered on Netflix in April 2018.
James was the producer, co-writer, and star of the hit comedies Paul Blart: Mall Cop 1 & 2, Zookeeper, and Here Comes the Boom. James made his feature film debut in 2005 in Columbia Pictures' Hitch starring opposite Will Smith, and starred alongside Adam Sandler in Pixels, Grown Ups, Grown Ups 2, and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. He starred in the feature True Memoirs of an International Assassin for Netflix in 2016. In addition to his on-camera work, James's voice has been featured in the animated films Barnyard for Nick Movies, as well as Monster House and the Hotel Transylvania franchise.
Nominated in 1999 for an Emmy Award for his memorable role as Dennis Finch, the wise-cracking, power-hungry assistant on "Just Shoot Me," David Spade (Griffin) became a household favourite during his five-year stint as a cast member on NBC's "Saturday Night Live." He was also nominated for a Golden Globe in 2000 and an American Comedy Award in 1999 for his work on NBC's "Just Shoot Me." Spade continues to be a box office draw and continues to do stand-up tours nationwide.
Spade was recently seen on the ABC sitcom, "The Mayor," alongside Lea Michele and Brandon Michael Hall. His latest national standup tour, "Netflix Presents: Sandy Wexler's Here Comes the Funny," alongside Adam Sandler, Nick Swardson, and Rob Schneider premiered on Netflix last April. Spade recently starred in the Netflix original comedy The Do-Over, opposite Adam Sandler and Paula Patton which is one of Netflix's biggest film releases. Earlier this year, Spade appeared as a guest star in the Cameron Crowe created, J.J. Abrams produced "Roadies" for Showtime, and the film Warning Shot, directed by Dustin Fairbanks, with the screenplay by Breanne Mattson. Spade starred in the drama alongside Bruce Dern, James Earl Jones, Tammy Blanchard, and Guillermo Diaz. He stars in the upcoming Netflix Original Comedy Father of the Year alongside Nat Faxon. The film, produced by Adam Sandler's Happy Madison and directed by Tyler Spindel, will be released on Netflix on July 20th of this year.
In 2015, Spade reprised his role as the hilarious and endearing "white trash" misfit, Joe Dirt, in the sequel to the cult classic, Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser, directed by Fred Wolf, with whom he also co- wrote the script. The film has been streamed more than two million times, making it Crackle's most watched original movie to date. Later that same year, Spade also released his memoir, Almost Interesting, through Dey Street Books, which went on to become a New York Times Bestseller. His upcoming audiobook A Polaroid Guy in a Snapchat World will be released on July 19th exclusively on Audible.
Spade was also seen in Sony Pictures' Grown Ups 2 alongside Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, and Kevin James. The film was a follow up to the 2010 hit comedy about a group of childhood friends who reunite years later. Both movies were a financial success, each earning over $200 million dollars worldwide at the box office. In 2012, Spade was heard as the voice of Griffin, an invisible man, in the animated feature, Hotel Transylvania alongside Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Steve Buscemi, Kevin James, and Andy Samberg, among others. He reprised his role in the film's sequel, Hotel Transylvania 2, which was released on September 25, 2015.
Other popular film credits include Sony Pictures' Benchwarmers and Paramount Pictures' Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, the latter which he co-wrote with Fred Wolf. Both opened number one at the box office and enjoyed critical and commercial success. Spade also co-starred with "SNL" alumnus Chris Farley in the films Tommy Boy and Blacksheep, the former for which the pair won a 1996 MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Duo. He has also appeared in Reality Bites, Light Sleeper, Coneheads, and Lost & Found (which he also co-wrote the screenplay).
On the small screen, Spade starred in the CBS comedy Rules of Engagement. The show was produced by Sony's Happy Madison Productions and centered around three men in different stages of their relationships: married, engaged, and single. The series enjoyed excellent ratings and critical success throughout all of its seven seasons. He also appeared in The Showbiz Show for Comedy Central, which aired from 2005-2007. Spade created, executive produced, hosted and wrote the show along with pal and former SNL writer Hugh Fink. He also had a memorable guest starring role on the critically acclaimed The Larry Sanders Show and appeared in HBO's 13th Annual Young Comedians Special. Spade has also had several well-received standup comedy specials, most recently the Comedy Central special David Spade: My Fake Problems, which was filmed at Hollywood's Fonda Theater and aired on May 4, 2014.
Born in Birmingham, Michigan, and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona, Spade began his career by performing stand-up comedy in clubs, theaters and colleges across the country. He made his television debut on SNL and was soon after named the Hot Stand-Up Comedian of the Year by Rolling Stone Magazine. As a writer and a performer on SNL for five years, he is best known for his memorable characters including the sarcastic "Hollywood Minute" reporter on "Weekend Update" and catch phrases like "And you are...?" and "Buh-Bye!"
Emmy and Peabody award winning actor, writer, and creator Keegan-Michael Key (Murray) has made a name for himself as one of?the most creative and in-demand faces in Hollywood. With his extraordinarily diverse skill set and wide-ranging talent in both comedy and drama, Key redefines what it means to be a chameleon and multi-hyphenate in the worlds of film, television, and theater.
Up next, Key will star in Shane Black's The Predator, which will hit theaters September 14, 2018. A sequel to the 1987 sci-fi hit Predator, the film also stars Sterling K. Brown, Trevante Rhodes, and Jacob Tremblay. It was also recently announced that Key has joined the cast of Jon Favreau's The Lion King as the hyena Kamari. The Disney film is slated for a Summer of 2019 release. Also just announced is the re-teaming of Key and Jordan Peele in the Netflix stop-motion animated feature Wendell & Wild.
Most recently, Key made his Broadway debut in Steve Martin's play "Meteor Shower," which opened November 2017 at the Booth Theatre. The production followed his New York stage debut as Horatio in Sam Gold's production of "Hamlet" at The Public Theater in the Summer of 2017. He can also be seen starring in Nick Stoller's comedy series "Friends from College," currently streaming on Netflix, which
follows a group of Harvard alumni and their adult successes - or lack thereof. The role garnered a 2018 NAACP award nomination for Key, and the show will return for a second season sometime this year.
Key is the co-creator and co-star of Comedy Central's "Key & Peele" with Jordan Peele. The show won the 2016 Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series, with Key being individually nominated for acting and co-writing with Peele. Key was previously nominated for five Emmy Awards for his work on the show, as well as a 2016 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. "Key & Peele" won a 2014 Peabody Award and an American Comedy Award for Best Alternative Comedy Series. The show has become a TV and viral sensation, with 15 total Emmy(r) nominations and approaching a billion cumulative online hits. The series concluded its five-season run in September 2015.
On the big screen, Key was last seen in Joe Swanberg's film Win It All, which premiered at the 2017 South by Southwest Film Festival, in advance of its April launch on Netflix. Before that, he starred in John Hamburg's comedy Why Him?, in which he stars alongside James Franco, Bryan Cranston, and Megan Mullally. He also starred in Mike Birbiglia's critically acclaimed indie Don't Think Twice, which premiered at 2016's South by Southwest and Tribeca Film Festivals and was widely regarded as one of the best films of the year. Additional past film work includes Keanu, which he co-starred and produced alongside Jordan Peele, Pitch Perfect 2, Horrible Bosses 2, Let's Be Cops, Wanderlust, Just Go with It, Role Models, Hell Baby, Afternoon Delight, and Due Date. He has also done vocal work for Storks, The Star, Angry Birds, Hotel Transylvania 2, and The Wild Bunch.
On television, Key has recurred on the Emmy-winning FX series "Fargo," USA's "Playing House," Adult Swim's "Children's Hospital," and NBC's "Parks & Rec." He was also a series regular on FOX's "MADtv" for six seasons and CBS's "Gary Unmarried." Additional TV credits include "The League," "The Middle," "How I Met Your Mother," "Bob's Burgers," "Reno 911!" and "ER." Key also received a 2016 Emmy nomination for his voiceover work in Crackle's animated comedy "SuperMansion."
Key was named among Time Magazine's Most Influential People of 2014 and Entertainment Weekly's Entertainers of the Year of 2012. He is a veteran of Detroit and Chicago's The Second City, and received his bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Detroit Mercy, and his Master of Fine Arts in Theater from Pennsylvania State University.
Steve Buscemi (Wayne) has built a career out of portraying some of the most unique and unforgettable characters in recent cinema.
Buscemi has won an Independent Spirit Award and the New York Film Critics Award and was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role in MGM's Ghost World directed by Terry Zwigoff, co-starring Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson. He was also nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Emmy for his role as Tony Blundetto in season five of "The Sopranos," and received Guest Actor Emmy nominations for his appearances on NBC's "30 Rock" and IFC's "Portlandia." He was nominated for a Lola, from the German Film Academy Awards, for his work in John Rabe, which was directed by Academy Award(r)- winning director Florian Gallenberger and stars an International cast.
He starred in the HBO drama, "Boardwalk Empire," which garnered him a Golden Globe Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and two Emmy nominations.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Buscemi began to show an interest in drama while in his last year of high school. Soon after, he moved to Manhattan to study acting with John Strasberg. There he and a fellow actor/writer Mark Boone Junior began writing and performing their own theatre pieces in performance spaces and downtown theatres. This soon led to Steve being cast in his first lead role in Bill Sherwood's Parting Glances as a musician with AIDS.
Since this impressive breakout performance, Buscemi has become the actor of choice for some of the most respected directors in the business. His resume includes Martin Scorsese's New York Stories, Jim Jarmusch's Coffee and Cigarettes, and Mystery Train for which he received an IFP Spirit Award Nomination, Alexandre Rockwell's Somebody to Love and the 1992 Sundance Film Festival Jury Award- winner In The Soup, Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, for which he received an IFP Spirit Award for his standout performance as Mr. Pink, the Coen Brothers' Miller's Crossing, Barton Fink, the Academy Award(r)-winning Fargo, and The Big Lebowski, Twenty Bucks, Tom DiCillo's Double Whammy, and his Sundance Film Festival Award-winning Living in Oblivion with Dermot Mulroney and Catherine Keener, Desperado, Things To Do in Denver When You're Dead, Robert Altman's Kansas City, John Carpenter's Escape from L.A. with Kurt Russell, Jerry Bruckheimer Productions' Con Air and Armageddon, Stanley Tucci's The Imposters the HBO telefilm The Laramie Project, Love in the Time of Money, Tim Burton's Big Fish, Michael Bay's The Island, Terry Zwigoff's Art School Confidential, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry with Adam Sandler, I Think I Love My Wife with Chris Rock and numerous cameo appearances in films such as Rising Sun, The Hudsucker Proxy, Big Daddy, Pulp Fiction, and The Wedding Singer. Buscemi's recent screen credits include Miguel Arteta's Youth in Revolt, Oren Moverman's directorial debut, The Messenger, Rampart, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone opposite Steve Carell and Jim Carrey, Grown Ups 2 opposite Adam Sandler, Time Out of Mind, and Norman from director Joseph Cedar.
Buscemi has provided the voices for characters in many animated features including Pixar's Monsters, Inc. and Columbia Pictures' Final Fantasy, and can be heard in the feature version of the children's classic Charlotte's Web as the voice of Templeton the rat. He was the voice of Nebbercracker in Sony Pictures' Oscar(r) nominated animated film Monster House, executive produced by Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis, and the voice of Scamper in MGM's Igor opposite John Cusack. His other voice credits include G-Force, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer for Disney, and Columbia Pictures' Hotel Transylvania and Hotel Transylvania 2 as the voice of "Wayne." Buscemi reprised his role as the voice of Randall Boggs in Pixar's Monsters University, the sequel to Monsters Inc. He was most recently heard opposite Alec Baldwin in the Dreamworks Animation film The Boss Baby which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2018.
In addition to his talents as an accomplished actor, Buscemi has proven to be a respected writer and director. His first project was a short film entitled What Happened to Pete, which was featured at several film festivals including Rotterdam and LoCarno, and which aired on the Bravo Network.
He marked his full-length feature film directorial debut with Trees Lounge, which he also wrote and starred in. The film, which co-starred Chloé Sevigny, Sam Jackson, and Anthony LaPaglia, made its debut in the Directors' Fortnight at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival, and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. Buscemi's second feature film as a director, Animal Factory, told the story about a young man sent to prison for an unjustly harsh sentence, who eventually becomes a product of his environment. The film, based on a book by Edward Bunker, starred Willem Dafoe and Edward Furlong, and premiered at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival.
IFC released his third directorial feature, Lonesome Jim, a comedy-drama about a dysfunctional family, starring Casey Affleck and Liv Tyler. It was named one of the year's top ten independent films by the National Board of Review, and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
In 2007, Sony Pictures Classics released Interview which Buscemi also co-wrote, directed, and starred in with Sienna Miller. This Theo Van Gogh remake premiered the Sundance Film Festival that same year.
In A Good Job: Stories of the FDNY, a film by Oscar nominated director Liz Garbus and Buscemi (a former New York City firefighter) for HBO, Buscemi explores what it's like to work in one of the most demanding fire departments in the world, where going to work means risking it all. From old New York to the post-9/11 landscape, the film reveals the immense mental and physical toll that fire-fighting takes on individuals, and on the community borne out of sharing an incredible responsibility.
Buscemi's directing work also includes numerous television credits, including HBO's "Homicide: Life on the Street," for which he was nominated for a DGA Award, and HBO's "The Sopranos," for which he was nominated for an Emmy and DGA Award for directing the "Pine Barrens" episode during the third season. He has directed episodes of the Emmy Award winning show "30 Rock," Showtime's critically acclaimed drama "Nurse Jackie" starring Edie Falco, IFC's "Portlandia" as well as the Netflix series "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" and "Love."
Buscemi started a New York based independent film and television production company in 2008, called Olive Productions, with actor/director Stanley Tucci and producer Wren Arthur. The company produces an eclectic array of TV projects as well as narrative and documentary films. Using its combined and extensive experience, the company's mandate is to tell stories with great characters, humor, and compassion. Olive recently signed a multi-year overall television first-look deal with global indie Entertainment One.
"Park Bench with Steve Buscemi" is a critically acclaimed and award-winning web-series for AOL, produced by Olive Productions and Radical Media. The show features Buscemi and his titular bench in a variety of locations throughout his hometown, talking to everyday New Yorkers as well as celebrity friends. The show earned an Emmy for Outstanding Short Form Variety Series in 2016.
In the fall of 2015, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Buscemi as a member of the Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission. The Commission, comprised of appointees from a diverse array of cultural and artistic organizations and practices, advises Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner of Cultural Affairs Tom Finkelpearl on issues impacting NYC's cultural community.
In 2016, Buscemi co-starred in the critically acclaimed web series "Horace and Pete" as well as in Joseph Cedar's film Norman. He can currently be seen in Armando Iannucci's political satire The Death of Stalin, and in the feature film Lean on Pete from director Andrew Haigh. He'll appear opposite Andrea Riseborough in the feature film Nancy written and directed by Christina Choe. He also appears in Channel 4 (UK) and Amazon Prime's anthology series "Phillip K. Dick's Electric Dreams." He will co-star opposite Daniel Radcliffe in the upcoming TBS' anthology comedy series "Miracle Workers," executive produced by Lorne Michaels.
Molly Shannon (Wanda) has become one of Hollywood's most sought-after talents on television and the silver screen.
Shannon spent six seasons as a member of the repertory company on "Saturday Night Live," primarily known for the eclectic characters she created, such as Mary Katherine Gallagher and Sally O'Malley. She is also praised for her parodies of Courtney Love, Liza Minnelli, Helen Madden and Terry Rialto. In 2000, she received an Emmy nomination for "Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program." Prior to joining "SNL," Shannon appeared at The Up Front Comedy Theater in Los Angeles in "The Rob and Molly Show," an improvisational show she co-wrote with Rob Muir. Last year, Shannon was awarded the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the highly acclaimed drama Other People, written and directed by SNL writer Chris Kelly. Shannon received rave reviews for her portrayal of Joanne, a mother who is struggling with terminal cancer whose son moves home to take care of her.
Shannon was most recently seen starring as the title role in the independent comedy, Wild Nights with Emily, which premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in March. The film focuses on an unknown side to Emily Dickinson, specifically her romantic relationship with her childhood friend and later sister-in-law, Susan Gilbert. Later this year, she will be seen in Tamara Jenkins' Netflix original film, Private Life alongside Paul Giamatti and Kathryn Hahn. The film debuted at this year's Sundance Film Festival to a standing ovation.
On television, Shannon can currently be seen in the popular HBO comedy "Divorce" opposite Sarah Jessica Parker and Thomas Haden Church, which just wrapped its second season. "Divorce" tells the story of a woman who suddenly begins to reassess her life and marriage and finds that making a fresh start is harder than she thought. Shannon recently reprised her role of Val Bassett on NBC's revival of
"Will & Grace" and also voiced the character of Murna in the Netflix animated series "Spy Kids: Mission Critical."
Additional television credits include the "Wet Hot American Summer" miniseries for Netflix, an eight- episode series which served as a prequel to the cult comedy classic film of the same name (that Shannon also starred in); a guest arc on the HBO series, "Enlightened" for which she received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series. She also made several guest appearances on "Raising Hope," CBS's "Life in Pieces," HBO's comedy "Getting On," the ABC Rebel Wilson comedy, "Super Fun Night," the IFC mini-series "The Spoils of Babylon" alongside Tobey Maguire and Kristen Wiig, "Up All Night," "The Middle," Lisa Kudrow's "Web Therapy," a recurring guest starring role on the Fox hit "Glee," the TBS animated series "Neighbors from Hell," the U.S. version of the popular Australian sitcom "Kath and Kim," as well as "Cracking Up," "Will & Grace," "Sex and the City," "Seinfeld," "Pushing Daisies," and "30 Rock," among many others. Her television movies include "More of Me," "12 Days of Christmas Eve" and "The Music Man."
Film credits include the comedy Half Magic directed by Heather Graham; The Little Hours, an ensemble comedy about a young servant who takes refuge at a convent full of emotionally unstable nuns which also stars Alison Brie, Dave Franco, Aubrey Plaza, John C. Reilly and Fred Armisen; Fun Mom Dinner, a comedy that follows four moms (played by Shannon, Toni Collette, Katie Aselton and Bridget Everett) who get together for a harmless 'fun mom dinner' despite having nothing in common except their kids' preschool class; William H. Macy's comedy The Layover; the independent feature film Miles from director Nathan Adloff; We Don't Belong Here, a drama about a crumbling family that also stars Catherine Keener and Anton Yelchin; Me, Earl and the Dying Girl, an independent drama which won the Grand Jury Prize as well as the Audience Award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival; the American zombie comedy, Life After Beth; the 5th installment of the popular Scary Movie franchise; the animated comedy, Hotel Transylvania and the sequel Hotel Transylvania 2; Bad Teacher alongside Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel and Justin Timberlake, Superstar, portraying everybody's favourite Catholic schoolgirl Mary Katherine Gallagher; Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette; Year of the Dog; Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby; Evan Almighty; Igor; Keenen Ivory Wayans' Little Man; Scary Movie 4; Ron Howard's How the Grinch Stole Christmas; A Night at the Roxbury; Analyze This; Happiness; Never Been Kissed; The Good Boy!; Serendipity; Osmosis Jones; The Santa Clause 2 and Wet Hot American Summer.
In 2011, Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS, released Molly's first children's picture book, "Tilly the Trickster." The book tells the tale of Tilly, "a mischief maker of the best kind- one who learns her lesson but never lets the reader stop having fun." In 2010, Shannon made her Broadway debut replacing Tony Award winner Katie Finneran in the hit musical "Promises, Promises" alongside Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth.
Early this year, Shannon teamed up with Will Ferrell to provide commentary on the 2018 Rose Parade in character as eccentric broadcasters, Cord Hosenbeck and Tish Cattigan. Presented by Funny or Die, the parody, The 2018 Rose Parade Hosted by Cord & Tish was live streamed on Amazon Prime Video. The duo recently returned to cover Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's nuptials with The Royal Wedding Live with Cord and Tish! which aired on HBO.
Born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, Molly earned a BFA in drama from New York University's prestigious Tisch School of the Arts. She currently lives in California with her husband and two children.
Fran Drescher has a reputation for passion and commitment. She received two Emmy and two Golden Globe nominations for her portrayal as the lovable Miss Fine on CBS's hit series "The Nanny," which she both created & executive produced. TV Land aired the ground-breaking sitcom "Happily Divorced," which she also created, executive produced and starred in. The series was inspired by her own life; Drescher played a woman sharing a loving friendship with her gay ex-husband. Most recently, she has enjoyed guest appearances on the popular millennial shows "Broad City" on Comedy Central and "Alone Together" on FreeForm, as well as an animated pilot with Jack Black, produced by Scooter Braun.
An accomplished author, Drescher received the prestigious NCCS writer's award for "Cancer Schmancer," which along with "Enter Whining," were New York Times best sellers. Most recently she penned the celebrated children's book Being Wendy. Fran recently made her Broadway debut as Madame in Rodgers + Hammerstein's Tony-award winning "Cinderella." In the past, Fran has co- starred and starred in many iconic films, such as This is Spinal Tap, directed by Rob Reiner, Ragtime, directed by Milos Forman, Jack, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and Beautician and the Beast, in which she starred opposite Timothy Dalton. Drescher will return to the big screen in two indie films currently in post-production: The Creatress and Safe Spaces.
An 18-year uterine cancer survivor, Drescher turns lemons into lemonade and pain into purpose through her leadership as a cancer advocate. Her mission is to shift America's focus toward proactive health care and healthy, toxin-free living. She believes that that the best cure for cancer is not getting it in the first place. As Founder, President and Visionary of the non-profit Cancer Schmancer Movement, she focuses on three prongs to fight the disease: Early Detection, Prevention, and Advocacy.
Annually, Drescher hosts a master class Health Summit at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, where she gathers together the most renowned and cutting-edge doctors as part of an all-day seminar, where Cancer Schmancer supporters are transformed from patient into medical consumer and leave with a game plan. This program is also live-streamed around the world.
Some of the health organization's accomplishments include early detection Fran Vans provide free mammograms to women without access to health care. Its Detox Your Home prevention campaign educates people of all ages to reduce risk through healthy living, and Fran uses her unique voice on Capitol Hill to advocate for a range of health issues.
Drescher was instrumental in passing the bi-partisan Gynecologic Cancer Education and Awareness Act" by unanimous consent, earning her two commendations in the Congressional Record. She is a U.S. State Department Public Diplomacy Envoy for Women's Health, traveling globally to meet with heads of state, cancer patients, local NGOs, as well as military bases and hospitals. The Washingtonian named her one of the most effective celebrity lobbyists in D.C.
Drescher has won countless awards for her leadership in the health space, including the John Wayne Institute Woman of Achievement Award, the Gilda Award, City of Hope Woman of the Year Award, The Albert Einstein Medical School Lifetime Achievement Award, Queens College Lifetime Achievement Award (2017), and the 2014 Citizen Artist Award. The Knesset in Israel honored Drescher as the first Jewish actress who played an openly Jewish character embraced by not only Israel, but by many Arab nations.
Drescher was also honored with the Human Rights Campaign's Ally for Equality Award for her efforts to defend civil liberties and, most recently, the Stonewall and Liberty Bell Awards for her advocacy of Gay Civil Liberties.
Drescher's other passions are protecting the environment, arts in education, and raising awareness about detoxing the home, organically grown foods and a healthy, preventative lifestyle.
Kathryn Hahn's (Ericka) versatility in both comedy and drama has made her one of Hollywood's most sought after actresses and has shaped a career full of memorable roles.
This fall, Hahn stars in Tamara Jenkins' Private Life, which follows an author (Hahn) who is undergoing multiple fertility therapies to get pregnant, putting her relationship with her husband, played by Paul Giamatti, on edge. The film made its world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and Hahn received critical acclaim for her portrayal as 'Rachel.'
Recently, Hahn was seen in Max Winkler's indie coming-of-age film, Flower, co-starring opposite Zoey Deutch, Adam Scott and Tim Heidecker. The film follows 17-year-old rebellious, quick-witted Erica who is living with her single mom, Laurie, and her mom's new boyfriend, Bob, in L.A.'s San Fernando Valley. When Bob's mentally unbalanced son, Luke, arrives from rehab to live with the family, Erica finds her domestic and personal life overwhelmed.
On television, Hahn was recently seen in Jill Soloway's Amazon comedy "I Love Dick" starring opposite Kevin Bacon. Adapted from the lauded feminist novel, "I Love Dick" is set in a colorful academic community in Marfa, Texas. It tells the story of a struggling married couple, Chris (Hahn) and Sylvere, and their obsession with a charismatic professor named Dick, while charting the unraveling of a marriage and the awakening of an artist. Additionally, she co-starred in season three of the Emmy Nominated Amazon original series "Transparent" created by Jill Soloway. For her portrayal of Raquel Fein, she received a 2017 Emmy Award nomination in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.
Film credits include Jon Lucas and Scott Moore A Bad Moms Christmas and Bad Moms; Matt Ross' Captain Fantastic opposite Viggo Mortensen; Steven Brill's The Do-Over alongside Adam Sandler and David Spade; Peter Bogdanovich's She's Funny That Way, alongside Imogen Poots, Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston; M. Night Shyamalan's The Visit; Jarrad Paul and Andrew Mogel's The D Train; Brad Bird's Tomorrowland opposite George Clooney; as well as Shawn Levy's This is Where I Leave You. Additional credits include Jason Bateman's, Bad Words, Ben Stiller's The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, starring and directed by Ben Stiller and Rawson Marshall Thurber's We're the Millers, with Jennifer
Aniston and Jason Sudeikis. Hahn also starred in Jill Soloway's Afternoon Delight, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and garnered her a 2013 Breakthrough Actor Gotham Award nomination.
Other feature film credits include David Wain's Wanderlust; Jesse Peretz's Our Idiot Brother; James Brooks' How Do You Know; Neal Brennan's The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard; Sam Mendes' Revolutionary Road; Adam McKay's Step Brothers; Robert Shaye's The Last Mimzy; Nancy Meyers' The Holiday; as well as Adam McKay's Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.
Television credits include Showtime's dark comedy "Happyish" opposite Steve Coogan. Hahn played the wife to Coogan's character, a man facing his own obsolescence after his advertising agency is taken over. Hahn also had a guest-starring arc on the NBC hit show "Parks & Recreation," as well as HBO's "Newsroom" and "Girls." Her previous roles include NBC's "Crossing Jordan," "Four Kings," "Hung" and "Free Agents." She also has lent her voice to the FX animated series "Chozen," and Fox's "Bob's Burgers" and "American Dad!"
Hahn made her Broadway debut in the Tony-winning play "Boeing-Boeing," alongside Bradley Whitford, Gina Gershon, Mary McCormack, Christine Baranski and Mark Rylance. "Boeing-Boeing" won the 2008 Tony in the category of Best Revival of a Play.
No stranger to the stage, her theatre credits also include "Dead End," at the Ahmanson Theater and Huntington Theater Company; "Ten Unknowns," at Huntington Theater Company; "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "Chaucer in Rome" and "Camino Real," at Williamstown Mainstage; and "Hedda Gabler," at Williamstown/Baystreet.
Hahn received her Bachelor's degree from Northwestern University and her Masters in Fine Arts from the Yale School of Drama, where she appeared on stage in "Othello" and "The Birds."
Jim Gaffigan (Van Helsing) is a Grammy nominated comedian, actor, writer, producer, two-time New York Times best-selling author, top touring performer, and multi-platinum-selling father of five. He is known around the world for his unique brand of humor which largely revolves around fatherhood and his observations on life.
Gaffigan was most recently seen in Entertainment Studios' drama, Chappaquiddick, opposite Jason Clarke, Ed Helms, Bruce Dern and Kate Mara. The film follows the story revolving around Senator Ted Kennedy (Clarke) and the tragic car accident that took the life of Mary Jo Kopechne (Mara) in 1968. Gaffigan plays District Attorney Paul Markham, who was on the island of Chappaquiddick during the accident and helped Kennedy with the coverup. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) this year and was immediately acquired by Entertainment Studios for $20 million.
Gaffigan, who is one of the world's highest grossing stand-up comedians, is currently on his "Noble Ape" international arena and theater comedy tour, with dates in China, Japan, England, Canada, France, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland, among other countries. This past January, he premiered his fifth one hour stand up special "Cinco" on Netflix, who also purchased the exclusive rights to Gaffigan's four other standup specials in an unprecedented deal. The album version of "Cinco," Gaffigan's fifth album, became available on June 13th and during that week, Gaffigan had 6 albums in the top 10 comedy albums list on iTunes. "Cinco" garnered impressive reviews, with A.V. Club calling Gaffigan "one of our most intelligent observational humorists."
Gaffigan was recently seen in IFC Films/Showtime's, Chuck, opposite Liev Schreiber, Naomi Watts, Ron Perlman and Elisabeth Moss. The sports drama follows the true story of boxing champ Chuck Wepner (Schreiber), who in 1975 went 15 rounds in the heavyweight world championship against Muhammad Ali. Gaffigan portrays John Stoehr, the ever-loyal best friend of Wepner.
Additionally, he recently wrapped production as the leading man in Cold Iron Pictures' and Imagine Entertainment's comedy You Can Choose Your Family. In the film he plays a seemingly normal father of a loving family whose home life is hilariously turned upside down when his 17-year-old son discovers that his dad has a second family. The film is directed by Miranda Bailey and produced by Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Karen Kehela Sherwood, and Amanda Marshall.
Gaffigan's other upcoming films include the Bron Studios comedy, Drunk Parents (Alec Baldwin, Salma Hayek) and the leading role as the voice of Peng in Original Force Animation's Duck Duck Goose (Carl Reiner, Stephen Fry).
Last year Gaffigan and his wife, Jeannie, ended their critically acclaimed semi-fictitious television show, "The Jim Gaffigan Show," after two seasons on TV Land. The series, lauded by The Los Angeles Times as "fun and funny," and People Magazine as "one of summer TV's bright spots," was written by both Gaffigans who both also served as executive producers and showrunners. The single-camera comedy co-starred Ashley Williams, Michael Ian Black, and Adam Goldberg and revolved around one man's struggle to balance fatherhood, stand-up comedy and an insatiable appetite.
In December of 2014, Gaffigan became one of only ten comics in history to sell out Madison Square Garden and a few months prior, Gaffigan had the honor of performing for Pope Francis and over 1 million festival attendees at the Festival of Families in Philadelphia. In 2016, Forbes named Gaffigan as one of the world's highest grossing comedians. Additionally, streaming site Pandora recently announced that Gaffigan is the most popular comic among its users with over 647 million spins to date.
Along with "Cinco" Gaffigan's first four specials include "Beyond the Pale" - 2006, "King Baby" - 2009, "Mr. Universe" - 2012 and "Obsessed." "Obsessed" premiered at #1 on iTunes which marked the fifth time Gaffigan reached the Top 25 Comedy category on iTunes. The album also earned a nomination for Best Comedy Album of the Year at the 2015 Grammy Awards.
In 2013, Gaffigan's first book, "Dad Is Fat," was released by Crown Publishing and debuted at #5 on The New York Times Bestseller's List and remained on the list for 17 weeks. His second book, "Food: A Love Story," was released in the fall of 2014 and debuted at #3 on The New York Times Bestseller's List.
In addition to his own television show, widely popular stand-up comedy and best-selling books, Gaffigan has guest starred on many television comedies and dramas, ranging from "Portlandia" and "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" to HBO's cult hits "Flight of the Concords" and "Bored to Death" to dramatic roles in all three versions of "Law & Order." On the silver screen, his credits include Three Kings, Hot Pursuit, Super Troopers, and 17 Again amongst many others. Gaffigan costarred Peter Sarsgaard and Winona Ryder in Magnolia Picture's 2015 drama, Experimenter.
Gaffigan currently lives in Manhattan with his wife Jeannie, and their five children.
Mel Brooks (Vlad), director, producer, writer and actor, is in an elite group as one of the few entertainers to earn all four major entertainment prizes - the Tony, the Emmy, Grammy, and Oscar(r). His career began in television writing for "Your Show of Shows" and together with Buck Henry creating the long running TV series "Get Smart." He then teamed up with Carl Reiner to write and perform the Grammy-winning "2000-Year-Old Man" comedy albums & books.
Brooks won his first Oscar(r) in 1964 for writing and narrating the animated short The Critic and his second for the screenplay of his first feature film, The Producers, in 1968. Many hit comedy films followed, including The Twelve Chairs, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Silent Movie, High Anxiety, History of the World Part I, To Be or Not to Be, Spaceballs, Life Stinks, Robin Hood: Men in Tights and Dracula: Dead and Loving It. His film company, Brooksfilms Limited, also produced critically acclaimed films such as The Elephant Man, The Fly, Frances, My favourite Year, and 84 Charring Cross Road. For three successive seasons, 1997-1999, Mel Brooks won Emmy Awards for his role as Uncle Phil on the hit sitcom "Mad About You." Brooks received three 2001 Tony Awards and two Grammy Awards for "The Producers: The New Mel Brooks Musical," which ran on Broadway from 2001 to 2006. "The Producers" still holds the record for the most Tony Awards ever won by a Broadway musical. He followed that success with "The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein," which ran on Broadway from 2007 to 2009 and opened in London's West End in the Fall of 2017 to rave reviews.
In 2009 Mel Brooks received the Kennedy Center Honors, recognizing a lifetime of extraordinary contributions to American culture. In 2013, he was the subject of an Emmy winning "American Masters" documentary on PBS called "Mel Brooks: Make A Noise" and was the 41st recipient of the AFI's Life Achievement Award. His recent projects include three Emmy nominated HBO comedy specials "Mel Brooks and Dick Cavett Together Again," "Mel Brooks Strikes Back!," and "Mel Brooks Live at the Geffen." In 2016 Mr. Brooks was invited to the White House, where President Obama presented him with the National Medal of Arts - the highest award given to artists by the United States government.