Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s Amazon series Truth Seekers may have recently been canceled after one season and just eight episodes, but it was far from the first time the duo had teamed up for a sci-fi project. Pegg and Frost’s first major Hollywood collaboration without Edgar Wright at the helm happened a decade ago, and road trip comedy Paul has since gone on to secure a reputation as a bit of a cult favorite.
The writers and stars wear their inspirations and influences on their sleeves throughout the movie, which is heavily indebted to Amblin-era Steven Spielberg and any number of 1980s B-level alien films. It follows the titular extraterrestrial who’s spent 60 years living in a top secret military base, before he decides to escape from the compound and hitch a ride with two unwitting nerds traveling the country in an RV to visit prominent UFO sites.
The two leads play to their strengths, but their typically British brand of comedy is lent a slick Hollywood sheen, not least due to Seth Rogen performing the motion capture and voicing Paul. Superbad‘s Greg Mottola directs, while the supporting cast is filled out by a number of recognizable names including Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Jane Lynch, Jesse Plemons, Jason Bateman and a cameo from Sigourney Weaver.
Paul wasn’t a runaway success at the box office, but it hardly flopped after earning close to $100 million on a $40 million budget, and it’s proving to be hugely popular with Netflix subscribers today. The often forgotten about and overlooked love letter to the sci-fi genre has slowly been rising up the most-watched chart over the last few days, and if it continues its upward trajectory, then it’ll crack the Top 10 in no time.