|The Onion Movie|
|Directed by||James Kleiner|
|Produced by||David Zucker|
|Written by||Todd Hanson
Robert D. Siegel
|Music by||Asche & Spencer|
|Edited by||Frederick Wardell|
|Distributed by||Fox Searchlight Pictures|
The Onion Movie is a comedy film written by The Onion writers Robert D. Siegel and Todd Hanson along with the Madison, WI-based writing staff of the paper. It was filmed in 2003 and released on June 3, 2008 direct-to-video.
The plot revolves around a fictitious Onion television news anchorman, Norm Archer (Len Cariou), who is forced to face the inevitability of a corporate takeover by the Onion's perennial fictitious multinational, Global Tetrahedron. Onion news is described as "fair and balanced" in the context of the film. The plot serves as a springboard for various comedy sketches featuring The Onion's satirical humor. Vignettes include parodies of music videos reminiscent of Britney Spears' work, and Steven Seagal appearing as a parody of the type of action hero he normally portrays. The film is interrupted (fictitiously) by film reviewers and commentators weighing in on the progress of the film, with one commentator preparing to stage an immediate walkout of all African American audience members unless a positive portrayal of an African American is inserted into the film.
In 2003, New Regency Productions and Fox Searchlight Pictures were on board to produce and release a movie written by The Onion staff. Tentatively titled The Untitled Onion Movie, it was to be directed by music video director Tom Kuntz and Mike Maguire and written by then Onion editor Robert Siegel and writer Todd Hanson with the rest of the Onion staff. After delays and previews to test audiences, the film was shelved and eventually dropped by Fox. New Regency Productions continued on with the project.
In a March 15, 2007 interview, Scott Aukerman said that the Onion movie was at a "dead standstill". Within two weeks, the listing for The Untitled Onion Movie had disappeared. Additionally, Onion, Inc. President at the time, Sean Mills, indicated The Onion was no longer associated with the film project. In August 2007, the IMDb listing was restored.
In November 2007, then-President Sean Mills told Wikinews that the movie was a dead project. Although Fox Searchlight had an option to release it on DVD, there was no immediate announcement of plans to do so. Eventually, the trailer appeared on the DVD for The Darjeeling Limited. The trailer also appeared on the Hitman, Charlie Bartlett and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem DVDs.
The Onion's own non-satirical entertainment website The A.V. Club did not review the film. The site's film critic Nathan Rabin explicitly declined to review the film for his "Dispatches from Direct to DVD Purgatory" feature on poor-quality direct-to-DVD films because he wished to avoid a conflict of interest.