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Funny or Die produces 'Field of Dreams' sequel

 

 

NEW YORK — Voices are still being heard in Iowa cornfields, only this time, they want Taylor Lautner to build a football field.

The website Funny Or Die debuted a three-minute ‘‘Field of Dreams’’ sequel Wednesday. The ‘‘Twilight’’ star plays the equivalent of Kevin Costner in a mock movie trailer that quickly drew more than 150,000 views.

The video, ‘‘Field of Dreams 2: Lockout,’’ a riff on the NFL labor negotiations, is one of Funny Or Die’s most ambitious undertakings yet. It pulled together a number of famous actors, gathered some dozen out-of-work NFL stars and used filmmaking techniques seldom employed for Internet videos.

In the clip, Lautner builds a football field that attracts locked-out NFL players eager to play. League owners locked out players in March, and negotiations are ongoing. Whereas Costner in ‘‘Field of Dreams’’ was mysteriously moved to build a baseball diamond, Lautner is pushed to erect a pigskin paradise.

When the voice whispers, ‘‘Are you ready?’’ Lautner answers, ‘‘For what?’’ The voice replies: ‘‘Some football.’’

NFL stars who make appearances include Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens, Tony Gonzalez of the Atlanta Falcons and Shawne Merriman of the Buffalo Bills. NFL Network’s Rich Eisen shows up to broadcast the action.

Ray Liotta, who played ‘‘Shoeless’’ Joe Jackson in the original ‘‘Field of Dreams,’’ returns to play NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Dennis Haysbert (“24’’) takes the James Earl Jones role. Even Costner makes a cameo.

‘‘It is safe to say that this is definitely the biggest Funny Or Die video,’’ said director Eric Appel. Appel previously worked for the website and was asked to return from TV work to make the video.

As is typical with Funny Or Die videos, the cast worked for free on the appeal of doing something fun for a few hours. The video was shot over two days last week in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Southern California, naturally, is far from Iowa. While you do see a few mountains in the background, the cornfield had to added digitally — an unusually large effect for a Funny Or Die video.

The other major effect involved Costner. He wasn’t able to make the shoot but offered to have his few lines shot at his Aspen, Colo., home. A small crew flew there to shoot him in front of a green screen.

Costner was flattered the crew came to Colorado, Appel said.

Just about the only thing that didn’t make it into the video was what many ‘‘Twilight’’ fans may have been on the lookout for: Lautner’s famously hard stomach. But even a high-production-value Internet video has its limitations.

Said Appel: ‘‘You’re going to have to buy a movie ticket if you want to see those abs.’’