‘Buckley University’ will be ‘Bucknell University’ after all
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The Bucknellian published an article on Feb. 23 titled “New Ferrell, Poehler comedy features parody ‘Buckley University’” that reported on the thinly veiled similarities of an upcoming blockbuster film to the University. Recently, however, rumors have spread among students and staff that producers of the new comedy “The House” will be changing the name of the school back to “Bucknell University” for the film rather than “Buckley University” as it first appeared in the trailer.
Chief Communications Officer Andy Hirsch offered a statement of validity to this update.
“The media attention found its way back to Warner Bros, who then contacted us to let us know they still intend to use ‘Bucknell’ in the film itself,” Hirsch said. He believes that the studio changed the name to “Buckley” in the trailer to reduce the amount of time the University might have to manage the attention that comes with being mentioned in a major motion picture.
New Line Cinema and Warner Bros released the trailer of the film on Feb. 16, scheduled to reach theaters June 30, 2017. The trailer displays Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler’s daughter and her acceptance to “Buckley University.”
After losing her college fund, the film observes the eventful and comical storyline of Ferrell and Poehler’s scheme to make enough money to pay for their daughter’s expensive college tuition. Eager to give their daughter the opportunity to attend her dream school, the parents ultimately resort to running an illegal casino in their basement.
The trailer displays many eye-catching similarities to the University. These include a blue and orange logo almost identical to that of the University, an address and phone number that coincides exactly with that of the University’s Office of Admissions, Ferrell’s T-shirt worn in support of his daughter’s dream school that is strikingly similar to one that could be found at the University’s Barnes & Noble bookstore, and a celebratory banner that references the bison, the University’s mascot. And now, the film will use the University’s name as the college depicted in the movie.
Students have reacted about this new movie over social media in a curious and positive light.
“Most of my friends find the premise of the movie to be very amusing, since it is very true that some parents have to go through great lengths and make sacrifices in order to pay for their child’s college,” Kayla Holman ’18 said.
Hirsch said that the University is not concerned about the film.
“Our general counsel did look into the matter and consulted with a trademark attorney, but the law is such that movie producers are generally able to depict real places in a way that’s incidental to a movie plot,” Hirsch said. Even if the University wanted to reject the use of “Bucknell” in the movie, there would be no legal ability to do so.
“I’m hopeful the movie prompts a few people who otherwise might not have heard of Bucknell to look us up; I’m sure they’ll be impressed with what they find,” Hirsch said.