The 'Your Highness' panel at New York Comic-Con started abnormally early for a movie targeted towards stoners (the yawn-inducing time of 10:30 am). Although bleary-eyed and ravenous with the munchies, the NYCC audience was psyched to see James Franco, Danny McBride, Justin Theroux and director David Gordon Green promote this medieval comedy meets 'High Times.' McBride (aka "Kenny F*cking Powers" as seen in 'Eastbound and Down') also wrote 'Your Highness,' and is working on a comic book prequel to the movie, as MTV Splashpage reported yesterday.

The panel was greeted by lots of screaming even before we saw the clip, which was chock full of filthy jokes about sucking one's own venom, chain mail, Natalie Portman kicking ass (and showing her ass in a thong), and much more. It was moderated by Tom McCarthy, who directed 'The Station Agent' and 'The Visitor.'

"One thing I have to say is we had a lot of fun combining some of our favorite things of Ye Olden Times and really bringing a fantasy element to a period piece," said McBride. "We do kind of pride ourselves on the historical inaccuracies." True enough, at one point McBride sports a powdered wig and a beauty mark that's several centuries away from Medieval Times. Needless to say, the props people also had fun creating special smoking apparatus for the Wizard's Weed that everyone partakes of.
McBride and Gordon Green realized when they met in film school that they both "really passionate about those early '80s sort of fantasy films like 'Krull' and 'Deathstalker' and 'Conan the Barbarian,'" admitted McBride. "Those are films that we grew up on and loved, and we just really wanted to make a film like that. Not a spoof of one of those movies, but really just make one of those films, so that's what this was." McBride and Franco also admitted that they were kinda nerdy growing up. "I wasn't really made fun of for liking fantasy so much as for other reasons, that I couldn't, you know, throw a baseball or kick a soccer ball," said McBride. Meanwhile, Franco revealed, "I played a little Dungeons and Dragons and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and stuff." His favorite? Donatello, natch.

At one point, Franco and McBride sit down to smoke Wizard's Weed with a creepy creature that looks not unlike a Skeksis from 'The Dark Crystal.' "We wanted to be hands-on, we wanted to be tangible," said Gordon Green. "We have puppets in the movie. There's guys in creature suits. We had the amazing help of this special effects company, Spectral Motion, who works with Guillermo Del Toro a lot... There's stop-motion elements to it; there's CG elements, so we just kind of took the best of the technology that we love and really pride ourselves on trying to find beautiful locations and construct sets that were massive yet elegant and really construct it as if we're making a serious period piece and really approach it dramatically knowing that the more serious we took this movie, the funnier it would get."

David Gordon Green is known for his arty flicks like 'All the Real Girls' and 'Snow Angels,' but both 'Pineapple Express' and 'Your Highness' are most decidedly not going to be shown in a little art house theater. On the other hand, McBride and Green came up with the idea for 'Your Highness' while making 'All the Real Girls' almost ten years ago. Literally, it was called 'Your Highness,' and they came up with everything from the story to an ad featuring McBride "in a chainmail leotard smoking a joint, and it will say, 'Put this in your pipe and smoke it,' which later became the 'Pineapple' tagline, so we thieved from ourselves."

"On top of our leads, we had a great supporting cast of British thespians that bring gravity and substance to this movie," noted Gordon Green, "in a way that becomes -- I don't think they know how funny that can become. I'm very excited for [them] to see the results of the absurdity that I think sometimes they were shaking their heads at." McBride added, "I'm very used to David's direction; you'll say a line and he's like, 'All right, now do it like a robot.' That's a typical redirection. And so it was very nice to be in a scene where Charles Dance [is acting] and have David say, 'Now do it like you're taking a sh*t.'"