Universal Options "The Wicked + The Divine" for TV Adaptation
Fans attending FX’s Wilfred panel at Comic-Con International were treated to a series climax, although perhaps not the kind they were expecting.
Instead, the network screened the Season 2 finale of the comedy, which follows a young man named Ryan (played by The Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood), a suicidal introvert struggling to make his way in the world until he meets his neighbor’s pet Wilfred (co-creator Jason Gann), whom only he sees as a man dressed in a dog suit.
In the episode, “Avoidance,” Ryan tries to help an injured Wilfred by rubbing his pulled groin muscle, only to be shot in the face by a stream of dog semen. Wilfred later asks if Ryan is angry because he “jizz-blasted” him.
“One (take) got in my mouth,” Wood confessed to the Comic-Con crowd. “It was like, ‘OK, we’re done here.’”
But don’t worry, the episode does have a happy ending, as Ryan and Wilfred finish the show with a three-minute dance routine.
“It’s maybe the last time we play these roles — you live with ratings, week to week,” Gann said. “It’s a celebratory scene.”
“It was so intimidating, doing that one whole long scene,” Wood said. “It was fun to go out with such an explosive scene.” The “explosive” comment drew a chuckle from the crowd. Wood smiled and told fans they had dirty minds.
Gann admitted there wasn’t much magic in the dance scene for him, as the dog suit is often unbearably hot.
Asked what it’s like to go from a project like The Lord of the Rings to something like Wilfred, Wood replied, “I actually do look forward to this. I’ll be 50, in some other movie, and I’ll get asked, ‘What was it like to go from Lord of the Rings
Executive Producer David Zuckerman reluctantly addressed the logic of a talking dog, saying, “This story is told from Ryan’s point of view. Ryan is trying to figure it out. We want the audience to be in Ryan’s shoes. People want us to resolve this mystery, but … really? Then why would you watch it? When everything is revealed, there is a 50 percent chance you’ll love it, and a 50 percent chance you’ll think it’s terrible. It’s like Battlestar Galactica.”
Gann also discussed the difference between the original Australian series and the American Wilfred.
“[Wilfred] was very dark in the Australian version,” he said. “Even though he has those dark elements, he has a lot more fun [in the American version]. I have so much fun that I forget that I went to acting school 20 years ago. I think of the Australian version as the high-school version, in preparation for this.”
The cast poked fun at Executive Producer Randall Einhorn for his eagerness to be the one who flicked the prop semen at Wood.
“Randall’s a hand’s-on director,” the actor said. “When they asked, ‘Who wants to get in there?’ he was the first one to volunteer to get in there.”
“There was a camera on me,” Gann said. “There was no point for that camera, because I could have shot it 100 times, and I would have laughed 100 times.”
But surely there are limits to the crude humor of Wilfred, right? “I don’t think there,” Wood said. “The jizz – when I first read that, I thought, ‘Oh, really?’ I’m pretty much up for anything. We know what we’re doing at this point.”
Finally, Zuckerman told the crowd it was witness to another Comic-Con exclusive: the money shot.
“That is one thing we are not allowed to do,” he said. So they instead went with what they characterized as a “dry shot” of the television version. The crowd gave a collective, “Ahhhh.”
Sadness at the cutting of a “jizz-blast”? Only at Comic-Con.