Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Reel Facts & Opinions: The Curious Case of THE GOON

FACT: David Fincher, who has directed successful films such as SE7EN (1995), FIGHT CLUB (1999), THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON (2008), THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (2011), and THE SOCIAL NETWORK (2010), is turning to the crowd-funding website Kickstarter for funding to develop an animated feature based on Eric Powell’s comic THE GOON.
Kickstarter has funded a diverse group of projects ranging from film, music, stage shows, comics, video games and tech. People can “invest” in projects of their choosing. Fincher, who is serving as an executive producer for THE GOON adaptation, is seeking $400,000 to help fund a story (demo) reel for the project.

OPINION: It is a curious case when the name of David Fincher cannot secure funding to even get a project off the ground. Fincher’s last three (directed) films have pulled in oodles of Oscar nominations, and usually his name alone is enough to draw people to the gate. So what’s the problem?
Studios are afraid of risky projects. There is a mindset in the studios that animated films are just for kiddies. THE GOON is a quirky, paranormal-themed comic series which would likely be rated PG-13. As a general rule, studios tend to only make animated features which appeal to the whole family. It’s a fair concern, but the point the studios are missing is that thanks to the mature storytelling of Pixar over the last decade, adults are likely to seek out entertainment in an animated feature as much as a live-action flick.

THE GOON isn’t that well known. Raise your hand if you’ve even heard of THE GOON prior to this blog. Although it was first published in 1999, the comic does not have widespread notoriety amongst the general public in the vein of a HULK or SPIDER-MAN. The studios these days tend to veer away from unfamiliar territory (hence all the goddamn remakes and reboots), and they are also likely looking at the lukewarm returns and reception from last year’s Steven Spielberg-directed TINTIN film; an adaptation of a comic which has more popularity across the pond then in the States.
Fincher isn’t directing. Fincher is currently directing TV episodes of HOUSE OF CARDS, and is in the development stages of a DRAGON TATTOO followup, along with an adaptation of 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA. Such a docket could keep Fincher tied to the director’s chair for at least five years. The plan right now is for THE GOON to be directed by Tim Miller and Jeff Fowler; two dudes who have virtually nothing to their directing credits thus far.

If THE GOON winds up seeing the big screen thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, then it would be a major triumph for the little guys who have been languishing over their independent films for decades with no way to fund them to fruition. You really have to root for something like this to work; to show the cowardly bastards at the studios that audiences can and will respond to the right project.


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