Comedy legend Carl Reiner died last week at the age of 98, and it was fitting that the final project he left behind was Quibi’s charity remake of The Princess Bride, seeing as how the original was directed by his son and remote scene partner, Rob Reiner.
Coordinated and assembled by Jason Reitman, the project saw dozens of actors film themselves at home while in quarantine, and the film’s beloved characters played by a a variety of different actors. Rob Reiner took on the grandfather/narrator role originated by Peter Falk early on in the remake, with Josh Gad replacing Fred Savage as the grandson.
For the final sequence, Rob Reiner transitioned from the grandfather to the grandson, while Carl Reiner played the part of the grandfather, who in a touching bit of irony, says “so long” to the “young boy.” Though the two Reiners were quarantining apart, they were delighted to be able to work together again thanks to the magic of editing.
Carl passed away a few days after filming his final scene, with Rob calling him “my guiding light” on Twitter, and Reitman noting that the elder Reiner had “not only a perfect career, but a perfect life.” Reitman gave Reiner’s family some time to grieve before sending them the footage of Carl’s final performance and asking them if they’d like it included in the finished product. The Reiners were reportedly moved by the scene and gave their blessing to use the footage.
“At 98 years old, Carl Reiner understood every beat of that scene,” Reitman told Vanity Fair. “His understanding of the writing, the performance, the pauses, the gestures, the hat, the look to camera, how to make an exit, were as sharp as any actor at any age.”
“I’m a dad myself. I can only imagine how thrilling it is to bring to life a scene from your child’s movie, no matter what age you are,” added Reitman. And though the grandfather in The Princess Bride promises to come back and read his grandson another story — “as you wish,” he says — the scene in the remake is the perfect note for Carl Reiner to end his career on, as that iconic three-word phrase doubles as code for “I love you.”
Watch the touching final scene below, and click here for Vinnie Mancuso‘s take on why The Princess Bride is the perfect movie.
“As you wish.” ❤️ In his final performance, Carl Reiner shares a special goodbye with his son Rob as part of the fan-film version of The Princess Bride: https://t.co/ykEQy1KN5w pic.twitter.com/EgE4djHvRh
— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) July 10, 2020