Superhero Movie Casting and Production

Assembling the cast of Superhero Movie was an exciting process for the producers and director, who blended new, up-and-coming talent with some seasoned spoof movie veterans.

Actor and musician Drake Bell plays “Rick Ricker” and “The Dragonfly.” Bell starred for four seasons on Nickelodeon's hit series “Drake and Josh” and as a regular alongside Amanda Bynes on Nickelodeon's “The Amanda Show.”

Joining the production of a superhero movie spoof came with the responsibility of lots of pratfalls: “Just wearing the suit alone is a little bit of a difficulty,” Mazin says. “Getting the suit on was enough, but we hung him upside down in the rain. I think he had to fall about a thousand times.”

Nevertheless, Bell was eager to be a part of the Superhero Movie team. “I grew up on Airplane and Naked Gun,” Bell says. “Once I heard who was making this movie, I was immediately interested in joining up.”

In fact, Bell was on the road with his band when he was first approached by Zucker. “We tracked him down and he was on tour with his band in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania,” Zucker remembers. “I was in Milwaukee at the time visiting my family. I had to take a plane from Milwaukee to Harrisburg, of all places, and we read him and he was great. We came back and got the studio to sign him up. I think he's just a natural at this kind of comedy.”

“I'm pretty much `Peter Parker': the nerdy kid at school,” Bell says of Rick Ricker. “He's a photographer who can't get the girl and is very insecure until he is bitten by a dragonfly. I try to save people, but I'm a bumbling idiot.”

Mazin agrees with the actor's character description: “He tries to help people he ends up causing more trouble then he was trying to prevent. In the end, he's going to have to figure out what it really means to be a hero and that's how he's going to save the day and get that girl.”

“That girl” is Sara Paxton, a fellow child actor who has developed into a sought-after ingénue. Paxton recently starred in `tween' favorites Sydney White and Aquamarine. “Sara Paxton was a wonderful surprise,” Weiss says. “She was really wonderful. We were looking for someone that could be vulnerable and could be a strong character next to Rick Ricker. Sara really brings some interesting traits to the role of Jill.”

“Sara is twenty-one, but her maturity level is far beyond her years,” Weiss says. “Like Drake, she's been acting since she was a kid. I cast her because I was looking for someone who is naturally funny, but who brought sexiness and purity at the same time. I wanted her to be the girl next door who didn't understand how crazy she made guys around her and Sara just was the perfect casting choice for that.”

“Jill is caught in between her feelings for the Dragonfly, Rick and for her boyfriend Lance,” Paxton says of her character's romantic quandary. “Lance is kind of a jerk, but unfortunately Jill isn't very bright, so she feels like she has to be loyal to Lance, but she really is taken aback by the Dragonfly, when he pops in and rescues her and she sees him on the cover of the newspaper, she instantly falls for him hard.”

Paxton was happy to work with producer David Zucker: “David Zucker, is here every day and he gives us all advice daily. It's cool to be able to get advice and help from somebody who is the master of these types of movies. When I found out he was producing this, I thought, `Wow, Airplane, Naked Gun. That's really cool.'”

“Veronica Mars” alumnus Ryan Hansen rounds out the love triangle as Lance. “Superhero movies are so big because they're great underdog stories,” Hansen says. “Ours is a true underdog story. You're rooting for Dragonfly the whole time.”

“We all grew up with superhero movies and comic books,” Hansen adds. “So finally being able to spoof it on the big screen is pretty rewarding.”

Christopher McDonald plays Lou Landers and Hourglass, Superhero''s resident villain. McDonald joined the production largely because of the dedication of Mazin. “He has got one of the quickest minds,” McDonald says of the writer-director. “He's funny and just has an undying energy. David Zucker is also a genius in the, in this area and a great guy. To have them both behind the camera gives you a lot of confidence because you know they are never going to move on until they know they have just what they want.”

Regina Hall, a veteran of every Scary Movie film, plays Mrs. Xavier, wife to Tracy Morgan's Xavier. “This is the second time Tracy and I have worked together. Tracy is a really smart, talented funny guy. I've been watching him since `Saturday Night Live' and I watch him now on `30 Rock.' He's just so talented.”

Admittedly, Hall had different expectations of what her cameo would entail: “Originally I thought I was going to have a `Storm' suit on, so I thought, `Oh, I have to try and get sexy for that.' I came in and they said `No, you're wearing a three piece suit and being fitted for a bald cap.'”

Hall also had the distinct honor of sparring with Pamela Anderson. Hall comments: “I get to have a cat fight with Pamela Anderson. There are a lot of men who are probably very jealous of me right now. She's so sweet and so lovely. I found her to be a joy.”

If she could choose to be a superhero, Hall would have an enviable power: “I'd be the one that can eat everything and not gain a pound. I'd be `Food Girl' and I'd have an `F' on my chest.” Her tagline? “No Food Is Safe.”

Tracy Morgan plays Xavier, a character that bears an uncanny resemblance to Patrick Stewart's character in X-Men. Morgan was happy to team up with Hall for a second time and to work with a new creative team: “I worked with Regina Hall before but this is my first time working with this group people. It's beautiful. We get to play around and I get to be in a bald cap, so it's fun.”

Pamela Anderson, who had a memorable pillow fight a la The Grudge in Scary Movie 3, happily agreed to up the ante with Hall and the creative team behind Scary Movie 3 and Scary Movie 4: “These guys are so much fun and I'm just having a good time being here and I'm happy they asked me to come back.”

“They are all hysterical and I'm a big fan of Regina and Tracy,” Anderson adds. “And Drake Bell is popular with my kids so they'll be thrilled.”

Marion Ross, who many know as `Mrs. C' from “Happy Days” was also pleased to be a part of Superhero Movie. Interestingly, it was not her first time sharing the screen with Drake Bell. Bell explains: “Marion's so sweet. I worked with Marion on an `ABC After School Special' called `Me and My Hormones.' I was ten years old. She's so friendly. It's as if she's at a family reunion instead of a movie set.”

Paxton agrees, noting that her on-screen persona might be a little misleading: “I think she's everybody's second mother, but she's feisty too and you don't expect that. She's a little ball of fire.”

“Marion Ross is America's mom and in this role she is wonderfully nurturing,” Mazin says. “She gives Rick some great advice, although she is a little off in her own special way. If you can see the scene where she's stuffing the thanksgiving turkey, you'll know what I mean.”

Ross remembers how Mazin wooed her for the part: “Would you believe that the Craig Mazin came to my house? Usually you have to go to the office or they look at some film for an audition. He said, `I would like to come out and see you.' He spent an hour with me and I felt very flattered by that. I liked him immensely. He's a wonderful, smart young man.”

Leslie Nielsen, who is by now a master of deadpan humor, joined frequent collaborators Zucker, Weiss and Mazin.

“It was great to be able to work with Leslie again in the Scary Movie series,” Bob Weiss says. “In the last picture he played the President of the United States. In this picture he's the uncle of our lead actor and it's wonderful because Leslie has a great sense of humor, he knows this style of comedy, we're personal friends. It really makes it great to work together.”

“Leslie Nielsen teaches Rick about what it means to be a hero,” Mazin says. “We had him on Scary Movie 3 and Scary Movie 4 and it's always a pleasure and an honor. He's a spoof institution and of course before he ever played any of those characters he had thirty years of work behind him.”

Kevin Hart, who had roles in Scary Movie 3 and Scary Movie 4 returns for Superhero Movie as Trey. “We met Kevin Hart back on Scary Movie 3 when he came to a script reading with a friend to help out,” Zucker recalls. “He was very funny. We wrote a part for him and Anthony Anderson in Scary Movie 3. We always have Kevin along. This is a much bigger part for him.”

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