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SDCC ’17: This Time, We Know, James Roday’s Telling the Truth about Psych: The Movie

Photos: Alan Zenuk/USA Network

It has been three years and change since casual television viewers and Psych-Os had watched the last case Shawn Spencer and Burton Guster (Dulé Hill) solved on the USA Network. Everything appeared to be happily resolved in the series finale: Shawn and Juliet were engaged to be married, Chief Vick became the top cop in San Francisco (with Jules at her side), Lassiter kept Shawn’s “psychic power” a secret, Gus may have finally gotten his groove, and Spencer appeared to have matured (just a smidgen)!

Of course, things couldn’t stay rainbows and lollipops forever for Shawn and company, as a new threat has arrived – in the form of Zachary Levi – that calls upon all of them to reunite and solve one more case. At San Diego Comic-Con, the cast and executive producers of Psych presented the first look of their reunion movie to a packed ballroom, which is set to premiere December 2017!

Project Fandom was on hand to discuss all things Psych with James Roday, who had plenty to say about Shawn’s latest misadventure, the ease of getting back into the role, and how Psych continues to create new fans across the generations due to its universal appeal.

First things first: Is Shawn any wiser or still up to his old antics?

“I think for the show to work, Shawn will have to have further to go. But we do our best to have him keep taking baby steps. I think knowing is certainly half the battle and I feel like he knows more than he ever has. It’s just about executing it I think is always going to be his weak point. It’s a guy that never wants to grow up, for better or worse!”

Although the final episode of Psych’s original eight-year run aired 41 months ago (not that anyone is counting), Roday remarked how appreciative he is that the show continues to have a dedicated fan base, and developed a bigger audience among younger, social media savvy viewers.

“Nothing short of remarkable. It never truly ceases to amaze me. Not only that our fans have stayed so true to a product that was never any guarantee they were never going to get more of… you would think at some point they would get tired, like when you’re yelling for a band to come out and do another encore and the lights come on and you’re like “Aw, shit. I guess we should go home now”. You keep thinking that’s going to happen and it never does, and it blows my mind. And on top of that… I don’t know if it’s because fans had kid brothers or kid sisters, or because you can discover shows that are no longer on the air on all these different outlets now… we have nine and ten year old kids coming up to us saying that Psych is their favorite show! It just doesn’t make any sense to me because they weren’t even alive [laughs] …when we shot the pilot! So that is what technology and social media and all these different ways to watch television have done for us. We’re still just a silly group of people that made a tiny, little cable show! So it always kind of blows me away.”

According to Roday, shooting the film was just like old times, but instead of Vancouver pretending to be Santa Barbara it was “Vancouver for San Francisco”. Nevertheless, it was a bittersweet production due to the absence of the recovering Timothy Omundson.

“It was beautiful! Obviously we were short one [Timothy Omundson]… he was incredibly important to our family and his absence was felt. I guarantee you will feel it as well when you see the movie. Psych just not quite the same without Lassiter. But! There was something about the commonality that he was so omnipresent in our minds and in our hearts the whole time. It kind of united us and elevated things in a way and it gave us an extra cause. Not only were we back together doing this but we were also doing it for Tim and the fans, and let’s just make it awesome, let’s make it beautiful for all of those reasons! He was certainly with us in spirit, and we were communicating with him the whole time which was great. We have so much love for each other, we’re lucky for so many reasons, but that we all got along? All of us the entire time? It’s such a rarity, sadly. Anytime we can all get back together is like no time has passed. The same jokes, the same tired-ass jokes we’ve making with each other for a decade, we just fall right back into it.”

After getting the band back together, Roday states it was a real blessing Psych touched so many, and the movie is dedicated entirely to their Psych-Os.

“I guess what I’m mostly excited about is the opportunity to give the fans this gift. I think it’s kind of poetic that it’s happening around the holidays. I just hope that we delivered on the promise of all the things they love about the show, because for us it really was sort of a love letter to them. If they dig it, that’s the best Christmas present I could hope for! Yeeeuh!

Psych: The Movie – Directed by Steve Franks and written by Franks and James Roday – will premiere on the USA Network in December 2017.

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About Rexlor Graymond (405 Articles)
Rex Graymond is 24.6kg tripolymer composite, 11.8kg beryllium-nickel-titanium alloy. Constructed in Northern California. Loves comics and films almost as much as pancakes. ALMOST.
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