Over the past week, I witnessed two cast reunions I never thought I would experience in my lifetime. The Democrats of Wisconsin gathered the entire cast of “The Princess Bride” for a cold read of the movie over Zoom. The event aimed to gain proceeds for the Democratic party in the state, while also encouraging viewers to vote.
In a similar event, the three witches from the spooky Halloween movie, “Hocus Pocus,” reunited on Oct. 26 for a Zoom call to collectively cast a spell: “Feed them gum and castor rolls, itch-it-a-cop-it-a-mel-a-ka-mys-tic-a, get these voters to the polls, itch-it-a-cop-it-a-mel-a-ka-mys-tic-a, make them vote.”
The presidential election was the driving force behind these reunions, but it was not the only reason. The other, I’d like to think, was because everyone, even millionaire actors, feel the effects of this isolating pandemic.
When the cast of “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” reunited for a similar reading, director Edgar Wright said, “the love that you, the fans [addressing the viewers via Zoom], have continued to show this movie has not only kept this movie alive and kicking, but it has sustained us and our friendships as well. It’s such a joy to reconnect with these people you see on the screen and revel in the madness that is Scott Pilgrim once again.”
This feeling of reconnection was found not only among fans of the movie, but also among the cast and production team. Even in this quarantine, Wright demonstrated there are new ways to sustain relationships and escape to the realities found in the movies.
Some of the cast members of the “X-Men” movies also met on Zoom this summer. During the humorous reunion, they took on their roles with an emphasis on Ryan Reynolds playing his vexatious character, Deadpool. Despite the banter among cast members in this reunion, the closing statement on the Zoom event read: “thanks to all the true superheroes fighting for a safer, healthier, more equitable world.”
It feels like these events are not always just a ploy for money, but an unexpected opportunity for well-known, popular movies to remind viewers how closely we are connected even in a world experienced at a six-foot distance. These movies present themselves in new ways that allow us to experience them all over again.
More importantly, they remind us even in this isolating world, creativity is still possible if we look down different avenues of collaboration. As cheesy as the “High School Musical” reunion was, “We’re All In This Together” was a perfect song to sing in these trying times. Whether on Zoom or via other virtual platforms, reunions remind us we’re not so far apart. We can collectively join these reunions and experience a sense of nostalgia as beloved casts reconnect on a new platform.
Written By: Elaine Alfaro