Jeffrey Katzenberg: True villain of 'Monsters vs. Aliens'?
It's the kind of question every snarkster in Hollywood was destined to ask sooner or later: Is the vicious alien who wants to obliterate all of Earth in "Monsters vs. Aliens" based on a slimy, tentacled B-movie alien? Or is it really tub-thumping 3-D evangelist Jeffrey Katzenberg, the head of Dreamworks Animation, who made the 3-D movie that's invaded the multiplexes of America today?
According to a new post from the New York Times' Brooks Barnes, people who've seen "Monsters vs. Aliens" have noticed a distinct resemblance between the shaved head and the shape of the mouth of the dastardly monster -- who goes by the moniker Gallaxhar in the film -- and Katzenberg. Barnes quotes Conrad Vernon, the movie's co-director, as saying that the likeness was "obviously nothing intentional," though the filmmaker acknowledged that there had been considerable chatter about the resemblance among Dreamworks staffers. "People seem to notice a likeness," Vernon said. "It has been discussed in the halls, let's put it this way."
In an ill-advised effort to steer the reporter away from the story, Vernon claimed the character was actually based on various bug-eyed B movie monsters -- "the kind with big, throbbing brains and slimy tentacles." That only seems to have given more credence to the rumor, especially since the movie's villain is apparently not filled with enough hot air to resemble Rush Limbaugh and not tall or abrasive enough to be mistaken for Michael Eisner, Katzenberg's longtime nemesis.
Katzenberg laughed off the story, telling Barnes that "I can see why people think Gallaxhar was modeled after me given my well-known obsession with plotting the obliteration of the world," which is kind of funny, coming from someone who is clearly obsessed with converting every theater in the world for 3-D movies, even if it's probably not a clever enough joke to make the final cut of a Pixar film.
Photos: Jeffrey Katzenberg. Credit: Associated Press. "Monster's vs. Aliens." Credit: Dreamworks