Shadyac shows off two minutes of Evan

1981 UVA grad Director Tom Shadyac admitted to a Newcomb Hall audience Saturday night that he: a) didn't choose Crozet out of love for his alma mater, b) can "almost promise" a Paramount premiere, and c) will indeed probably be director of the most expensive comedy ever made.

In an early October story, the L.A.Times reported that the film, Evan Almighty– sequel to the blockbuster Bruce Almighty– could end up costing $175 million. At Newcomb Hall, Shadyac first joked that he blames the film's Central Virginia extras but then noted that the actual cost of the location shooting in Crozet was just $8 million.

"This movie will have the most animals shot in the history of show business," said Shadyac, noting that animal filming and special effects work are still under way in California– and that keeping animals separate is expensive.

"The male bear will eat the raccoon, and the raccoon will eat the squirrels," said Shadyac. "And this will eat our budget."

The 10pm October 27 event was the world premiere of the trailer that was filmed earlier this year in locations including Crozet's Old Trail Village development. Shadyac said Old Trail was chosen simply because it's a controversial housing development abutting scenic parkland.

In a crowd heavily populated by the extras who participated in the Crozet shootings, Shadyac– who donated 400 bikes to his Virginia production crew– almost pulled another Oprah-style donation: "All you tonight... free bikes!"

After answering questions for about 30 minutes, Shadyac signed pieces of the giant ark that stood for several months at the foot of the Blue Ridge near Western Albemarle High School.

The picture is slated for release June 22, 2007.

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6 comments

Let's calculate: 400 bikes at-- what-- $400 per bike? Well, that's $160,000 that the director spent on two-wheeled travel while enjoying the Blue Ridge. What local bike shop got that sweet piece of the filming pie?

Did he say anything about "One Nation Under Bob"?

He mentioned "One Nation Under Bob" as a project that he is considering as a "maybe".

Bikes came from cycle recycle in Waynesboro VA

Tom and I lived in the same dorm at UVa first year, I was social chairman, and I marketed some of his 'preppy" posters in Richmond at Uof R. Anyway, I saw the premier of
Evan Almighty and really enjoyed it, laughed, and was proud of my dorm friend, Tom!! I would like to write him and tell him personally. How can I contact him? I have been living in Europe for 13 years, and was in Charlottesville for a reunion this June, and my friend there pointed out the mountains where Tom filmed, and another friend told me about how she and her kids were extras.

Thanks, Melissa Montalbine

Hi, my husband is good friends with Tom (they went to high school together). Right now Tom is just renting a home on Malibu Beach and has sold any living quarters he actually owned. The best way to reach him is through his production company, "ShadyAcres" at Universal Studio. Don't count on hearing from him soon, sometimes it takes quite a while. Even his best of friends must have the patience of JOB!!!! Good Luck!