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OK, being 100% honest, the panel for The Goon, based on Eric Powell‘s comics (he’s also scripting) and produced by David Fincher, may be the best panel I’ve ever seen at Comic Con. It was pure, ridiculous, hilarious performance art.

Sitting at the panel, where character creator Eric Powell called up the head of Blur Studios to show off some footage for the animated film, it was difficult to tell what, exactly, was going on. Because there was a little kid in a Mexican wrestler’s cape and mask pretending to huff glue into his mic. During the course of the panel the kid constantly whispered insanity and sound effects, stopping everything dead. He kinda killed. So did Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon, who were inexplicably ‘moderating’ in character as Powell’s brothers from Tennessee. The panel was beautiful anarchy, and we got some news about the movie, too. (And for the record, there’s no official or even unofficial word that Garant and Lennon are involved in the Goon film; their names weren’t even mentioned, as they were in character the whole time.)

We saw two clips from the film, and they look great. At the moment, Clancy Brown is interested in voicing the Goon, and Paul Giamatti is interested voicing Frankie. We heard their voices in the clips, and they worked beautifully. But since the film isn’t fully greenlit, they’re not signed. The first clip was a ‘public service announcement’ from the Goon, who explained how to deal with a zombie, or slackjaw. “Pick up a hammer or a large wrench, maybe a rusty mailbox and…bash the fucker’s head in!” Then we saw Frankie at a bar with a slackjaw, and got a little dialogue from Giamatti complaining about getting a drink. It’s fun, vulgar and just dark enough.

Powell said the film would be PG-13, despite the entreaties of the wrestler kid. (“Raaaaated Rrrrrrrr….” he whistered.) But he said there’s nothing in the comic that can’t be done in the film. And he says no new characters will be intriduced. Powell said Fincher has been hands-on in just the right way. Oh, and they tried to put producer David Fincher on speakerphone. “Was Sam Raimi too busy?” was the question put to him; we could hear Fincher laughing. Finally, after the panel, I asked Powell about the film’s director, but he said he’s not allowed to say right now. Feel free to speculate. I doubt it is Fincher (really doubt) but I love that Fincher has this and Heavy Metal, both of which are being animated at Blur.

I really hope this panel goes online in video form. Some of the jokes were too much fun to be lost. (“Huffing glue is like poor man’s meth. And meth is already for poor people.”) And if all this sounds like a good idea for a film, voice your approval in the comments; these guys need a green light!

Update: Looking around at old coverage, you’ll see that Garant and Lennon have been part of Goon panels at Comic Con for several years. The video below is of their 2005 Comic Con panel, where a bunch of fake casting announcements were made for the film.

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