Such a simple statement, and yet how very appropriate. As difficult as it is to believe, it was one year ago today, 19-September-2004, that "Secondhand Lions" was released for all to enjoy. What a time that was. One year anniversaries for a film are kind of special, they still have that aura of excitement about them, and yet the warmness of familiarity with the film wraps around you like a favourite blanket in front of a roaring fire. It is not just the flickering images from the film like the dancing flames of the fire that keeps you warm, it is when you realize the true source for that feeling is from the glow in your heart because of the film... and that is what (Secondhand Lions) this film, a Haley film, is all about.

In celebration and tribute for this special occasion, I thought it might be kind of nice if we took a look back at some of the more interesting stops along the way from when the film was first announced here on the Haley General message board. I hope this will be an interesting journey, as we can again experience some of the excitement as anticipation for the film grew over time. Please enjoy this first anniversary retrospective of the film, and thanks to just about everyone for their hard work in digging up whatever information they could find. As you will see, it was the team effort from this community that made the experience all the more enjoyable, and I am sure you will agree... what a time that was.

 

It was just after 8:00am California time on 27-June-2002, when the amazing administrator of KidActors.com was finally allowed to officially announce to the world, Haley set to star in "Lions". Reaction to the "big news" was almost immediate, as the praise and congratulatory messages for Haley came pouring in. It had been a year since the release of his last "live-action" film (A.I. Artificial Intelligence), and although he had a couple of projects waiting for release in which he had leant his voice, all were quite pleased there would again be a "real" Haley film on the horizon.

After the big announcement things were pretty quiet as information about the film was slow to be revealed. It would take one month for us to find out that Second Hand Lions finally up on IMDB, and another week for the Latest Secondhand Lion update of some of the production crew. It would be another week later for Haley finally got imdb mention for SHL in which we learned his character's name would be "Walter". It would then be almost another month later for More SHLions Info to be revealed. Finally at the end of September second-hand lions would begin production. Snippets of SHL news would announce some casting calls were occurring, and the opportunity to appear in a Haley film. The full cast was finally starting to be known in SHL newz! - Haley's Mom in the film would be Kyra Sedgwick.

 

With production already one week old, we would learn from Fresh SHLions info from today, 04-October-2002, some more of the background about the film and the struggle to keep the production in Texas. A nice article would be found with More on SHL - new cast member about Walter's cousin in the film, Martha. In time the rest of the cast would be revealed.

More than one month into the production, something happened that was most unexpected, and yet was very much appreciated. On 16-November-2002, the first secret SHL pictures from the set were posted to Haley's official message board at kidactors.com . They were gathered from some of the raw footage of the filming, as we were provided with just the briefest look at the production. More pictures from the set would allow us to catch some SHL-Frustration in a glimpse of Haley hard at work. More SHL pictures would give us our last "insider" look at the production, as some interesting thoughts about the scene were related from the set.

 

Later on as the production started to wind down some SHL news and a Tiny morsel of Lions info would help fill out some more of the story and give us a glimpse at the original ending. Even a picture of one of the SHL Props found a home here on this site. A Firsthand Look at SHL would have to carry us through until the end of production around mid-December, and then into 2003.

With "Secondhand Lions" now in post-production, some SHL Stills - 2 New Haley Pics turned up for all to enjoy. They were the first "clear" production pictures that were most likely released by New Line Cinema.

Some more info about LIONS would bring us an interesting script review, and an SHL snippet would let us know more about some of the locations used in the film. That would prove to be pretty much it for another few months as once again information about the film was difficult to find.

Finally at the end of March the original Secondhand Lion release day was discovered, (26-September-2003), and that seemed to get things rolling again. A Countdown to Secondhand Lions was started at 162 days until the release of the film, and some Old SHL pics were found, but with a new twist as they were of the "super-sized" variety. We were so thirsty for information about the film that even the type of pop bottle Haley was holding in one of the pictures had to be found For OZ, It's BARQ's!

Excitement for the release of the film first started to ramp up when SHL makes an appearance... at the official New Line Cinema website. That was soon followed by the first SECONDHAND LIONS POSTER! to be found as a leaflet in the newly released "About Schmidt" DVD case of all places. That made a nice backdrop for a New Chicago Sun-Times Haley Interview, which pretty much set the tone for the many other Haley interviews and articles that would soon follow.

It was around that time another significant event occured on these message boards on 11-June-2003, a new SHL fansite up....with clips! was first brought to our attention.

 

That site, www.secondhandlions.net , would grow and evolve to become what cannot be denied as the premiere site for "Secondhand Lions" information found anywhere on the Internet. It is with much thanks and appreciation to "danchia" for taking the time to archive and preserve just about all of the information that has been discovered about SHL to the point of perfection.

If you have any sort of love for this film, and have never visited his site, you owe it to yourself to spend the many hours it will take exploring just about everything you can think of related to this film.

Not to get too far off track, but it simply has to be mentioned he also maintains two other "companion" sites... the original and parent site, www.comeawayohumanchild.net , which is an amazing tribute site to "A.I. Artificial Intelligence".... and the newest site, www.haleyjoelosment.info , which has quickly evolved into a very unique presence on the Internet for all things related to the unique and amazing Haley Joel Osment.

 

 

The next big event to occur would have to be when someone declared, I found the Trailer!!! as the excitement level pretty much went off the scale. Some stills from the trailer would soon be posted, and would be followed up with the official SHL site, as www.secondhandlions.com goes LIVE! for the first time on 20-June-2003. The official site would offer up many Secondhand Lions new pics, followed by New pictures of the trailer of SHL. Even "Lord of the Rings" would find a way to become attached to the film as some Major SHL news(Particularly for LOTR fans) would reveal that the trailer for the latest LotR installment, RotK, would be shown as a preview leading into the film. As it turned out the SHL trailer would be the lead preview for "Pirates of the Caribbean" when it was mentioned that, I saw the "Secondhand Lions" trailer.

Some Crumbs of SHL production info. would allow us to explore the Austin Studios where much of "Secondhand Lions" was filmed. Some new set stills from SHL would provide us with more terrific images from the film, and the official screensaver of the film would offer some SHL screensaver Haley pics as well. Yet another update to the official SHL website provided some SHL news that the site had been changed again and now provided even more pictures from the film. Some new Haley pics appearing at wireimage.com from a major press event and screening of the film, would prove to be the source for many of the interviews and articles that would eventually be found on this message board. It would be silly of me to try and link all of those subject lines from every article into some sort of readable form, so this is where I will direct you back to www.secondhandlions.net so you can read all of the articles at your leisure. However, I will add that I did try to keep track of All the recent Haley articles... and other items that I had posted on this site in one convenient message, which I updated every now and again.

The discovery of the SHL production notes would provide some much sought after information. KidActors would kick up the hype for the film another notch or two with a very nice addition to this site when the Secondhand Lions Section was made available for the first time on 31-August-2004. KidActors would keep the heat turned up as some appearances of Haley on Talk Shows this week! would later be hosted in the Media section, as The Best Darn Clips are here! and the Entertainers clip available now! for all to enjoy. Of course appropriate screen captures For Sara and all the other pple who missed the vids... were soon made available.

 

Finally on 06-September-2003, the very first review of "Secondhand Lions" from a fan who had the great fortune to see the film early was posted to Haley's official message board at kidactors.com in, I saw SHL at Boston Film Festival and Loved it. We would soon find out that "Secondhand Lions" was not going to be just another film, it would be much more than that. How about an SHL smile :) would give us our first glimpse at the influence of the true heart of the film. Many special screenings of the film would be setup to help benefit "reading programs" across the United States including free screenings for inner-city students in various cities. How wonderful and appropriate that so many charitable programs continue to be touched by the projects that Haley has been involved.

A special sneak screening of the film was made available for most locations across North America, and so on 14-September-2003 the glowing reviews from the fans started to pour in. I'll lead this off with my very own impressions and experience of seeing the film in, SHL... a celebration of life.

 

Followed by Just saw SHL!!! and I saw SHL! and SHL Sneak Preview would conclude the early reviews for the film. Despite some negative rumblings from the cynical critics, I always found it interesting that for the most part, for those fans who went and actually saw the film, they all seemed to have an enjoyable time. Some More Haley SHL production pic's, and some Hot News - SHL Premiere images including even More Premiere pictures direct from Los Angeles, and another Excellent film review by another fan was all that was left to be said for the release of the film on 19-September-2003.

That was until late the very next day, 20-September-2003, when Haley's amazing agent, Meredith Fine, was kind enough to take the time and post her very first message on these message boards with the First Day Box Office Figures for "Secondhand Lions".

This was soon followed up a couple of days later by her second message and the BOX OFFICE numbers for "Secondhand Lions" after the first weekend of release. Much thanks and appreciation to her for providing us with the accurate information, (initial estimates listed SHL finishing third), that SHL had indeed finished in second place for the weekend.

From that point forward there would be a few more articles, a few more images, and a few more reviews as the film slowly made the journey around the globe and was released in many different countries.

On the horizon was a new year, and new life for the film on DVD that was released 03-February-2004. There would be One review to rule them all... for the DVD, which simply must be read again, as the DVD would prove to be a very worthy companion to the film that will allow it to live on in the hearts of many for every generation... a perfect ending for a wonderful film.

Sigh... what a time that was. Thanks Haley, and everyone involved.

 

Fair ends the First Anniversary celebration of Secondhand Lions with a look back at one of Haley's early works and offers a surprise at the end of it , in ....

Echoes From The Jeff Foxworthy Show

 

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