LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The pool parties, glamorous girls and fast cars of “Entourage” are back in a movie spinoff of the hit HBO show.
Entourage, due in U.S. theaters on Wednesday, revisits the bromance between a group of friends from Queens, New York, who become high-flying Hollywood power players.
“The theme of friendship is universal and really doesn’t change,” said Entourage creator and director Doug Ellin. “But Hollywood, the players, where the money moves, obviously shifted.”
Four years after the HBO show concluded with eight seasons, Entourage returns with movie star Vince Chase (Adrian Grenier), whose ambitions have now turned to directing.
This allows the film to explore the behind-the-scenes world of movie-making, especially the challenges of financing, as Vince’s posse struggles to produce a $100 million remake of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”
It was off-screen camaraderie of the show’s core cast and team that brought them together again for the reboot. Producer Mark Wahlberg acts in the film, and Jeremy Piven reprises his Emmy-winning role as fast-talking industry mogul Ari Gold.
The film is meant to act as a standalone to the series, with the hopes of drawing new fans, Ellin said.
“There is a whole world doesn’t know the show. We have to teach them,” he said.
As befitting a movie about movies, the Time Warner Inc-owned Warner Bros film features dozens of celebrity cameos, from rapper Pharrell Williams to financier Warren Buffet.
For Grenier, the appeal of “Entourage” lies in its insight into the glamorous but flawed world of Hollywood.
“It’s really about this fun ride that most people don’t have the opportunity to see,” he said.
Mixed martial artist Ronda Rousey, who plays herself, added “Hollywood in general is thought of as this faraway, fictional place. The ways these guys play it, it makes you really relate to them.”
Despite building a devoted fan base on television, the Entourage film failed to win critics in early reviews, who said it plays as a longer, but not better, version of the HBO show.
Reporting by Alicia Avila for Reuters TV; Writing by Daina Beth Solomon, Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy