With just seven episodes left until the series finale, it is officially the beginning of the end of Entourage. But if the cast and crew of the HBO Hollywood comedy has their say, it's not time yet to run the closing credits on movie star Vincent Chase and his posse.
"We're going to do a movie," creator and executive producer Doug Ellin told reporters at the Television Critics Association conference Thursday. "It's a question of when and how quick."
Luckily, Ellin has one very enthusiastic participant, and possible investor, in executive producer Mark Wahlberg. "If I had to finance it myself, I would do it," Wahlberg said. "I certainly hope that this has a chance to become a feature film. People have always complained that the episodes are too short and they want to go on a journey with these guys."
Entourage boss on Vince in final season: "We'll see him back on top"
Wahlberg said he thinks an Entourage movie would fit in very well in the current movie landscape, especially in the wake of R-rated comedy success stories like Bridesmaids, Horrible Bosses, Bad Teacher and The Hangover II. "The Hangover, to me, is very much like Entourage," he said.
The cast also sounded open, if not eager, to bring the boys from Queens to the big screen. "I think [the final season] is a gratifying way to finish, yet I also feel we could transition into a movie," Jeremy Piven said. "We've left ourselves in a position where we could organically transition into a movie."
No matter whether the movie actually makes it to the big screen, or suffers the same fate as the ill-fated Ramones biopic, Ellin sounded confident about how the TV series' end (spoiler alert! — the final scene was shot at the Van Nuys airport). "We really wanted to leave viewers with an element of, 'We loved hanging with these guys and we'll miss them,'" he said. "I feel like there was probably more to tell, but it's been a great run. It went much longer than any of us anticipated."
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Kevin Connolly admitted to taking home Eric's paperweight as a souvenir from the set, while Piven got to keep Ari Gold's longtime watch. "The last day was like the last day of high school," Adrian Grenier said. "We all had senioritis. It was hard to get anyone focused."
Despite the distinct possibility of an Entourage movie, the cast was still very emotional about closing the books on Vince, E, Turtle, Drama and Ari after eight seasons of deal-making, movie set meltdowns and crazy celebrity cameos. "We're all choked up, truthfully. We've been together for eight years," Grenier said. "It's not only sad to say goodbye to each other but to what we created. ... We're very proud of it and we know we're going to have a lasting impact."
Connolly tried his best to keep his emotions in control, despite the realization that their appearance Thursday would also be the cast's last event together for the series. "Even as we sit here, it's still bittersweet. It's been a hell of a run," he said, before he stopped himself. "I don't want to start to crying."
Looking ahead to their next projects, Connolly said he hoped to land on another long-running TV show, while Grenier's professional aspirations sounded strikingly familiar to that of his onscreen alter-ego, Vincent Chase.
"I'm trying to package Head On," he said in reference to Vincent's first blockbuster film on the series, "and work my way up to Aquaman."
Entourage airs Sundays at 10:30/9:30c on HBO.