SDCC 2017: PSYCH comes back with a love letter to fans

By: Esther Kim

Three years after their series finale, USA Network’s Psych has officially returned with a holiday movie! The beloved cast reunited at San Diego Comic-Con on Friday to welcome fans back into the world of Shawn Spencer, Burton Guster, and their friends and family. Come on, son!

Executive producers Chris Henze and Kelly Kulchak revealed in the press room that Psych: The Movie did not start out as a holiday movie. It was a regular reunion movie until the studio suggested that the movie should take place on a holiday – “any holiday.” Right before production started, however, they were told that it was really important that the movie would be a “Christmas movie”! How did they pull that off without completely rewriting the script? They added a lot of Christmas music, decorations, and trees… including one that gets tackled by Shawn!

When asked why the movie is finally happening now, three years after the series ended, star James Roday (Shawn Spencer) said that “climate-wise, I feel like we could use something lighter” at this time. Steve Franks continued this thought, stating that Psych is a “nice little beacon of light when the world gets dark.” Plus, “Netflix happened for us.” Thanks to services such as Netflix, the audience for Psych grew dramatically and clamored for a movie on social media. But, Steve doesn’t want to stop with just one movie! He has previously stated that he would like there to be a total of six Psych movies, although Kirsten Nelson (Chief Karen Vick) quickly suggested that there should really be eight total since Psych was on for eight seasons. While the exact number of sequels has yet to be determined, the entire cast and crew all agree on one thing: more Timothy Omundson!

Tim (Detective Carlton Lassiter) was unable to attend SDCC or have a large role in the movie as he was still recovering at the time of filming from suffering a stroke earlier this year. The entire cast has confirmed that Tim does have a scene in the movie, but, unfortunately, it sounds like none of the other cast members were able to share that scene with him. They are all adamant that a second movie must happen, if only so that they can truly reunite with Tim on set. Steve already has the opening sequence of the second movie all planned out, as he was originally going to use it for this movie… until the film budget came in. The tight budget also means no psych-outs, as they “[couldn’t] afford to license the song,” but Steve seemed optimistic that they would be able to include tons of bloopers at the end.

Why was the budget so tight? Steve said that crew members were trying to include pineapples “in every scene in every shot” of the movie! He tried his best to ensure that there was only one pineapple in the end but admitted that he might have missed some. The planned pineapple, however, “is actually a reference to another pineapple that was in the run of the show” and he challenges fans to figure out the reference.

While the series took place in Santa Barbara, the movie will feature new sets showcasing the city of San Francisco. As the majority of the cast moved to San Francisco in the final episode, it only made sense to place the movie there. Dulé Hill (Burton Guster) was quick to note, however, that Santa Barbara is not being left behind. Shawn’s father Henry (played by Corbin Bernsen) still lives there, as well as Detective Lassiter, and the addition of San Francisco just shows that “the world [of Psych] is expanding.”

Sets are not the only new things in the Psych movie! Maggie Lawson’s character, Detective Juliet O’Hara, has a new partner! Sam Huntington has joined the cast and Maggie says there is a “joy and there [is] an ease to the partnership.” It will be interesting to see how both Lassiter and Shawn react to her new partner. Sam is not the only new member of the cast; Robert LaSardo joins as the “big baddie,” according to Kirsten, and despite having not seen the series he fit right in. Dulé’s real life fiance Jazmyn Simon plays Gus’ love interest, while Ralph Macchio and Jimmi Simpson both reprise their roles as Nick Conforth and Mary Lightly respectively. But the one everyone was talking about was Zachary Levi, who plays the Thin White Duke. James said that once they “discovered [Zach] could sing like a bird,” they were determined to have him sing on the show in their musical episode. While that did not pan out, they did manage to include him in the movie, and Steve promised that there will be singing.

The entire cast and crew are so excited for fans to watch this movie. James calls it “a love letter to the fans” while Maggie repeatedly stated how this is a dream come true and she is full of so much gratitude. Kirsten says that “Steve and James took these characters and made them even more well-rounded, even more three-dimensional,” and that wackiness ensued along with lots of laughter on set. Steve calls it “spectacular” and says “it is so funny and intense and dark and silly at the same time.”

Get ready Psych-O’s, Psych: The Movie premieres December 2017 on USA Network.

Psych: The Movie Official Synopsis:

In the movie, the ambitious friends — along with some returning fan-favorite characters — come together during the holidays after a mystery assailant targets one of their own. A comedic thrill ride follows, as the wild and unpredictable PSYCH team pursues the bad guys, justice …and food! Previously announced guest stars include Zachary Levi (as Thin White Duke), Jazmyn Simon (as Selene), Ralph Macchio (as Nick Conforth) and WWE Superstar Charlotte Flair (as Heather Rockrear). PSYCH: THE MOVIE is executive produced by Franks, Roday and Hill, along with Chris Henze and Kelly Kulchak via Tagline Pictures. The special is from Universal Cable Productions in association with Tagline.

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