Feature Story
The following is from here. (Via Czeltic Girl.)

Saturday, January 24, 2004
By Rob Thomas The Capital Times

If Onion entertainment writer Jackie Harvey was delivering the news, he might enthuse: "The Onion blossoms in Tinseltown!"

A feature film written by the writers of the Madison-born satirical weekly newspaper should hit movie screens this summer. Shooting began on the film, tentatively and imaginatively titled "The Onion Movie," in November in Los Angeles and is close to being completed.

Onion Editor-in-chief Carol Kolb said the newspaper staff has confidence that first-time directors Tom Kuntz and Mike Maguire, who have filmed commercials and sketches for MTV, can bring that unique Onion flavor to film.

"We got these directors that we think completely and totally understand what the Onion is all about," Kolb said from the Onion's editorial offices in New York City. "It's kind of a subtle thing, our voice, and we totally trust these guys. A couple of us have gone out there, because they were nice enough to give us little tiny parts. And seeing what they're doing, we can totally see that they get the Onion."

A feature film seems like the next logical step for the Onion, which also runs a popular Internet site and has had several books on the New York Times' best-seller lists. The newspaper had its humble beginnings in Madison in 1988, and is now available on newsstands in Milwaukee, Chicago, Denver and New York City.

The screenplay, which is credited to longtime Onion writer-editors Robert Siegel and Todd Hanson, is entirely original material, with a couple of references that longtime Onion fans will recognize.

"We tried to be topical, as much as we could," Kolb says. "It was two years ago when we started thinking of the sketches that we would put in the movie. So it's not extremely topical, but most definitely we did try to comment on the world today."

Much like how every issue of the Onion contains several stories, the film will feature a number of sketches tied together by a news theme. The movie information site Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com) lists "Ivy Leaguer" and "Texas Chainsaw Killer" among the characters in the film.

Kolb said that writing a screenplay wasn't a totally alien experience for writers who have spent years writing fake news stories like "Gen. Tommy Franks to Leave Army to Pursue Solo Bombing Projects" and "Area Man Confounded by Buffet Procedure."

"We'll see how we do," Kolb says. "We won't know that we've succeeded until people like it. Writing the Onion, it's not such a huge leap. OK, it is. But luckily we're sort of used to writing dialogue."