Tim Allen, Ben Foster, ...
Credit: Big Trouble: Robert Zuckerman

You may remember that Sonnenfeld’s ensemble comedy based on the Dave Barry novel — about a high school game of ”Killer” that ends up involving Mafia hitmen, the FBI, petty thieves, and a nuclear bomb on an airplane — was set for a Sept. 21 premiere. But after the events of Sept. 11, a kooky, nukey romp suddenly wasn’t megaplex material. Turns out, though, that the words bomb and airplane were ”Big Trouble”’s only tie to terrorism, and seven months’ time has moved the film from the front pages back onto the funny pages. ”Humor is contextual,” says producer Tom Jacobson, who says nothing has been cut from the pre?Sept. 11 version. ”It was just about the wrong time to release the movie.” (The new date inaugurates a Sonnenfeld season: His ”Men in Black II” opens just three months later.) The large cast probably didn’t mind the delay: The multithreaded plot meant that, during the Miami shoot, the actors had much tropical downtime while waiting to be called for their scenes. ”I had my kid and my family down there, and I’d get a phone call, ‘We need you at 6:30 tomorrow,”’ remembers Allen. ”There was a long pause, and then I’d say, ‘For what? Who is this? Oh, the movie, that’s right!”’

Big Trouble
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