With the increasing number of comic book properties being rushed into film production these days, it’s a real surprise when rare gems in the medium are passed by. I guess it’s mainly due to a lack of public familiarity, or maybe even a smaller studios reluctance to go up against the big guns of Disney/Marvel Studios and Warner Brothers but it’s really a tragedy when a book as good as ‘The Goon‘ has trouble finding a home for it’s planned animated feature, especially when David Fincher is attached to produce, and it has secured two fantastic voice actors in Clancy Brown playing the title role, and Paul Giamatti as his insane side kick Frankie.
But that’s the reality right now and boy does it suck.
First published by Avatar press in 1998, Eric Powell would leave the company after being unimpressed with the quality of their comics, and after 3 issues, submitted no new material as he waited for his contract to expire. He then published The Goon independently in 2002 before it was picked up by Dark Horse Comics in 2003. It was billed as a crime comic, though with a paranormal slant.
An average story features zombies (referred to as slackjaws), ghosts, vampires and a mad scientist with an army of robots, all inexplicibaly named Bruno. The Goon and Frankie eke out a living in an unnamed city under the pretense of being enforcers for a gangster called Labrazio, unbeknownst to everybody else, The Goon runs the entire operation having killed Labrazio years earlier, persisting the rumour that Labrzio still lives.
The unique visuals and irrevent humour have helped the comic enjoy a very long run and an unusually loyal fan base and it is constantly one of Dark Horse’s best sellers. In 2008, it was announced that Blur Studios, whose previous work includes cinematic for the video games Batman: Arkham City, Dantes Inferno and Mass Effect 2, were making a film version, produced by Fincher, from a script written by Powell. The announcement of Giamatti and Brown’s attachment soon followed, and a trailer debuted in July 2010. Then nothing.
Almost a year later, after most people forgot about it, Blur have released a new animation test, with a title card explaining that the film is still looking for funding. Instead of letting the property stagnate, they are actively trying to get it out there and noticed. I don’t know what the studio’s have against this property. Is the the humor too dark? Are the makers looking for too much money? Will we ever know? I see a lot of potential in these short animations.
Here’s the early animation test;
I would love to see the feature length adventure of The Goon and Frankie.
What about you?