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The Slayers
Genre Dramady
Action
Fantasy
Created by Hajime Kanzaka (light novels)
Emma Watson (television adaptation)
Directed by Emma Watson
Guillermo del Toro
Pedro Almodóvar
Starring Emma Watson
Rupert Grint
Unax Ugalde
Chisaki Hama
Rodrigo Murray
Penelope Cruz
Géraldine Bazán
Aracely Arambula
Gael García Bernal
Sergi López
Doug Jones
Country of origin Flag of Mexico Mexico
Language(s) Spanish
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 104 (List of episodes)
Production
Running time 24 min. (approx.)
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
Telemundo
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
480p (EDTV)
1080p (HDTV)
Original run January 3, 2005 – present

The Slayers is a Mexican fantasy television series produced by Warner Bros. Television, NBC Universal Television, and Miramax Television. It revolves around traveling sorceress Lina Inverse and her companions Gourry Gabriev, Zelgadis Greywords, and Amelia Wil Tesla Sailoon. The series premiered on Monday, January 3, 2005 on the U.S. English language television network NBC (with English subtitles) and the U.S. Spanish language television network Telemundo. The series premiere was the first taped program to be taped in 3-D using a new device invented by male lead Rupert Grint. The series is produced by star Emma Watson, who also directed many episodes.

ProductionEdit

DevelopmentEdit

On January 13, 2003, it was reported by Kerrang that Emma Watson was working on a new Spanish language television series based on the Slayers franchise with Telemundo. Production was greenlit several months later. The series was picked up by NBC for its 2004-2005 television season shortly afterwards.

CastingEdit

The casting took 16 weeks following the greenlighting of the series. Emma Watson selected herself for the part of Lina Inverse, a move criticized by Spin Magazine due to the fact that, though she was typecast as a maho shojo heronie with Disney's Sailor Moon motion picture, she was a complete stranger to the swords-and-sorcery type of magic. Emma announced during a 2004 Remington Steelers show at the Troubadour Club that she would solve that problem by having the actors portraying sorcery practitioners practice two hours a day with miniature flamethrowers for the fire spells and that the rest of the spells would be CGI. Emma reportedly closed the show by yelling, "Fuck you Bob Guccione Jr.!"

Rupert Grint was the next to be cast, accepting the part of Gourry Gabriev when Emma asked him about starring in the series during the shoot for Sailor Moon S. Unax Ugalde (Zelgadis Greywords), Blas García (the voice of Shabranigdo), Castulo Guerra (Prince Philoniel el di Sailoon), Gael García Bernal (Rezo the Red Priest), and Aracely Arambula (Eris) gradually joined the cast, and Spaghetti Western veteran Michael Forest was in talks to appear as various characters in the course of the first season.

The last principal cast member, Chisaki Hama, was announced in December 2003. Emma was watching Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon one day, and when she heard the song "Mi Amor", she was impressed. When she learned where Hama went to school, she paid a visit the next day and asked her to star in her new Mexican swords-and-sorcery series. Hama accepted, but on the condition that she play a main character. Emma assured her that she would, and in December it was announced that Hama got the part of Amelia Wil Tesla Sailoon.

TapingEdit

The shoot took place entirely on location in Mexico. Emma encouraged everyone to memorize their lines in Spanish before the shoot (and expected everyone who knew basic Spanish to speak it) and, during the long marches to the locations, to sing "Hitler Has Only Got One Ball" to the Colonel Bogey March (in English, since nobody bothered to make a correct Spanish translation). Due to Hama being in school, the cast and crew only had the entire summers of 2004 (season 1) and 2005 (season 2) to complete the shoot. However, since Hama had graduated by the time the season 3 shoot began in 2006, starting then and there Emma could relax her deadlines. Season 4 is expected to start shooting in November 2008, and once again, the shoot will take place on location in Mexico. All episodes have been taped in SlayerVision 3-D.

CastEdit

Main cast membersEdit

Other cast membersEdit

English dubEdit

ReleaseEdit

Pre-broadcast marketingEdit

The series made television history on Labor Day 2004 as the first television series to be advertised before a motion picture during the trailers. A teaser trailer mixed footage from the series with behind-the-scenes footage and featured narration by the late Don LaFontaine. The theatrical trailer for season one, featuring narration by Peter Cullen, premiered before Tokyo Babylon. Both trailers, as well as trailers for subsequent seasons, were subtitled in English, though the narration for the trailers was entirely in English, and they were green-band trailers, indicating that the series may receive a TV-14 rating (which is the rough equivelant of the MPAA PG-13 rating). This was confirmed by both Telemundo and NBC.

Broadcast informationEdit

The series was simulcast on NBC (with English subtitles) and Telemundo at 9:00 P.M. on Mondays starting on January 3, 2005. The second season was broadcast at 8:00 P.M., also on Mondays, starting on January 2, 2006. The third season, the last season originally scheduled for this series before the 2008 two-season extension, was also broadcast at 8:00 P.M. on Mondays, and the first episode of the season premiered on January 1, 2007.

Home video releaseEdit

Season 1Edit

The first season was released on Betamax, VHS, and DVD on April 4, 2006 by Universal Studios Home Entertainment and came with 4 pairs of 3-D glasses.

The eight-tape Betamax and VHS box sets contain all 26 episodes from the first season, a making-of featurette, and the teaser and theatrical trailers for the series. Each tape contained a theatrical trailer for Superman Returns before the FBI Anti-Piracy Warning.

The five-disc DVD set contained all 26 episodes from the first season, commentary on select episodes, video of Emma, Ugalde, and Hama testing the miniature flamethrowers, test video of Rupert's 3-D videotape camera system, teaser and theatrical trailers, making-of features, and deleted scenes for certain episodes. Unlike with the Betamax and VHS box sets, all 26 episodes are in languages other than Spanish; English and Japanese dubs are on the DVD, as well as English subtitles.

The English dubbing took place at Screenmusic Studios in Studio City, California, and featured Hama and Doug Jones reprising their roles from the series as well as the talents of Heath Ledger as Zelgadis, Glenn Danzig as Rezo the Red Priest, and Hugo Weaving as Shabranigdo. Trish Ledoux, who translated the series along with Toshifumi Yoshida, was the voice of Lina, while Steven Jay Blum was the voice of Gourry. Emma herself directed the dub.

Season 2Edit

The second season was released on Betamax, VHS, and DVD on April 3, 2007 by Universal. It too came with 4 pairs of 3-D glasses.

The eight-tape Betamax and VHS box sets contain all 26 episodes from the second season, a making-of featurette, and the teaser and theatrical trailers for the second season. Each tape contained a theatrical trailer for Ocean's Thirteen before the FBI Anti-Piracy Warning.

The five-disc DVD set contained all 26 episodes from the second season, commentary on select episodes, teaser and theatrical trailers, making-of features, and deleted scenes for certain episodes. Again, all 26 episodes are in languages other than Spanish; English and Japanese dubs are on the DVD, as well as English subtitles.

Like with the first season, the English dubbing took place at Screenmusic Studios in Studio City, California, and featured Hama reprising her role from the series. Ledger reprised his role from the English dub of the first season, and Ledoux and Blum also returned. Of note is W. Axl Rose joining as Xellos. Again, Emma herself directed the dub.

Season 3Edit

The third season was released on Betamax, VHS, and DVD on April 1, 2008 by Universal. Like its two prequels, it came with 4 pairs of 3-D glasses.

The eight-tape Betamax and VHS box sets contain all 26 episodes from the third season, a making-of featurette, and the teaser and theatrical trailers for the third season. Each tape contained a theatrical trailer for The Dark Knight before the FBI Anti-Piracy Warning. The exception is the first tape, which replaces the trailer(s) with a 3-D converted version of the prologue to The Dark Knight.

The five-disc DVD set contained all 26 episodes from the third season, commentary on select episodes, teaser and theatrical trailers, making-of features, and deleted scenes for certain episodes. Once again, all 26 episodes are in languages other than Spanish; English and Japanese dubs are on the DVD, as well as English subtitles.

Like with the first and second seasons, the English dubbing took place at Screenmusic Studios in Studio City, California, and featured Hama reprising her role from the series. Ledoux and Blum also returned. Yet again, Emma herself directed the dub. This season is notable as its English dub is the last to include Ledger, who had died of an accidental prescription drug overdose a couple of months earlier, as the voice of Zelgadis. Emma was deeply saddened by his death and attended his funeral in Australia, using the "F" word in her eulogy. Since then, Emma has been auditioning potential new voices for Zelgadis.

Motion picturesEdit

Five motion pictures were contracted by NBC at the time the series was greenlit. The first, Slayers Perfect, premiered in July 2005. The second, Slayers Return, premiered in August 2006. The third, Slayers Great, premiered in September 2007. The fourth, Slayers Gorgeous, was released in October 2008. The fifth, Slayers Premium, started shooting around that time with a projected November 2009 release. Emma confirmed in June 2004 during the shoot for the first season that when shown in wide release in English-speaking countries, the films will be subtitled in English.

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