'Snakes on a Plane': Phenomenon on the Net Starring Samuel L. Jackson, the film Snakes on a Plane has generated legions of fans on the Internet long before its scheduled release this summer. The fan base has grown so large that New Line Cinema has added new scenes based on suggestions from enthusiasts.
NPR logo

'Snakes on a Plane': Phenomenon on the Net

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5298003/5298070" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
'Snakes on a Plane': Phenomenon on the Net

'Snakes on a Plane': Phenomenon on the Net

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5298003/5298070" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


Robert, I got a question for you.



BLOCK: What do you think you call it in Hollywood when you come up with a great title for a movie, and then everything else follows from that?

SIEGEL: Godfather III? I think it's a high concept and no further.

BLOCK: Well, here's one for you, Snakes on a Plane, and it's coming out this August.

SIEGEL: Snakes on a Plane, sounds like a British menu item.

(Soundbite from Snakes on a Plane)

Mr. SAMUEL L. JACKSON (as Nelville Flynn): Enough is enough, I've had it with the snakes.

BLOCK: That's Samuel L. Jackson. He's FBI agent Nelville Flynn, and here's the story. He's accompanying a key mob trial witness on a flight from Hawaii to Los Angeles, and Snakes on a Plane. You can imagine what happens.

SIEGEL: I can imagine what happens.

(Soundbite from prior show)

Mr. SAMUEL JACKSON (Actor in Snakes on a Plane): And it's just one of those kind of, you know, popcorn kind of moments, where you know, you're going to a movie, you don't have to think about what's happening; you know what's going to happen. You know, there are going to be snakes loose on this plane. Some people are going to get bitten, and, you know, there are going to be some victims, and, you know, you just want to have that experience and excite people who are sitting there watching it. So people who have a fear of flying and people who have a fear of snakes, you know, are going to have, like, a double-whammy going with them. It's kind of going to be great.

SIEGEL: Snakes on a Plane, Samuel Jackson spoke with Michele Norris last month, and it turns out that he's not the only person who thinks this is going to be a great movie. Though they haven't seen it or even read the script, fans are going crazy about this movie.

BLOCK: That's right. They're creating their own trailers early on. They were making up their trailers and putting them up on the web.

(Soundbite from fan-made trailer)

Unidentified Male #1: First, I will put my army of snakes into a box, and then I will put that box on a plane, and then I will release the snakes, and there will be snakes on the plane, and then that will happen, and I will rule the world. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

SIEGEL: That mock trailer from Chris Rowan of Bethesda, Maryland, he tells us that he wrote it during his lunch hour. There are also some Snakes on a Plane songs. This one is by Dan Coin(ph).

Mr. DAN COIN (Musician): (Singing) There has got to be much more to it. This can't be a movie, no, it's too damned stupid. Snakes on a Plane.

BLOCK: Now these fans are also looking forward to the release of Snakes on a Plane all around the world.

Unidentified Man#2: (Speaking Foreign Language)

Unidentified Woman#1: (Speaking Foreign Language)

Unidentified Man#3: (Speaking Foreign Language)

Undentified Woman#2: (Speaking Foreign Language)

Unidentified Man#4: (Speaking a Foreign Language)

SIEGEL: Ake-snay on a lane-play, how about Pig Latin?

BLOCK: Not too bad. Robert, let's meet what might be the most enthusiastic Internet fan for Snakes on a Plane.

Mr. BRIAN FINKELSTEIN (Blog owner): My name is Brian Finkelstein. I run a web page called Snakes on a Blog, and my goal is to attend the Hollywood premiere of Snakes on a Plane.

SIEGEL: Well, New Line Cinema, evidently, has been checking out his blog, calling him up, and the company's even borrowed one of his ideas.

Mr. FINKELSTEIN: I think about two weeks ago, at this point, they did five days of additional footage of re-shooting, where they claimed that they both did it because they wanted to make the movie from a PG-13 rating to an R rating, but additionally, they wanted to make it kind of conform a little bit more with the fans' expectations of the movie. I mean, this is a kind of unique, I think, experience for them because this is the first time they've had a built-in audience without a story. There was no comic book that it was based on, no old TV show, there's none, it's on a sequel. And all of a sudden they have an audience for a movie before they have a finished product. And it's kind of a way for them to test market the movie before they have to actually make it.

SIEGEL: That's blogger and law student Brian Finkelstein. Did this take his entire lunch hour, too, Melissa?

BLOCK: No doubt.

SIEGEL: Well, you talked to the film's director, too, though.

BLOCK: That's right, David Ellis. And he confirmed this, he says they are listening to all this chatter on the web, and they did go back and shoot some new scenes.

Mr. DAVID ELLIS (Director of Snakes on a Plane): What we did was go back and improve the gore and the humor, too. But the nudity and the death scenes, just to deliver to the R-rated audience what they want, and also some more foul language from Sam Jackson.

BLOCK: You're not going after the 13-year-old crowd here.

Mr. ELLIS: Not really. I'm sure they'll sneak into it, but we're trying to go for a little bit older demographic.

BLOCK: So the idea is let Samuel be Samuel?

Mr. ELLIS: Yeah, totally, I mean, by making it PG-13, we were kind of putting handcuffs on him, and also on our ability to also deliver what I think the great Internet buzz that we have really wants, the fans of this movie. You either get it or you don't get it. You want to see it or you don't want to see it, but if you want to see it, then we have to deliver it, and I can assure you, we did.

BLOCK: That's director David Ellis. Robert, he said that 500 snakes were used to make this film, and he insists that none of those snakes were harmed or otherwise abused in making that movie.

SIEGEL: Now, according to the Internet, because of all of the buzz or the hiss about this yet-to-be-released movie, the phrase Snakes on a Plane is already entering the lexicon. There are many definitions. Here's one of them from urbandictionary.com: Snakes on a Plane is defined as a simple existential observation that has the same meaning as What are you going to do? or Stuff happens. As in, dude, you just ran into the back of my SUV.

BLOCK: Snakes on a Plane, man. Snakes on a Plane.

SIEGEL: You can check out the snakes at NPR.org. This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

Copyright © 2006 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.