Goon 2 Trailer

I’d like to see that happen. As you said, you have a big world you’re proud of. What new parts of the world did you want to explore with Last of the Enforcers?

We knew that the first movie is very much the beginning of a love story of boy meets girl, boy meets hockey, and boy finds his calling. And at the start of anything, it’s puppy love, and it’s all sweetness and light, and it’s very shiny. When you’re years into something – boy sort of married to girl and married to hockey – it’s not worse, it’s not better, but it’s different. It’s more of a gray area, and the answers are a bit more complicated and two people can be right on either side of our philosophical divide. We also thought that combined with this particular job – it’s lovely to find your calling. Most people don’t. What if your calling is a finite thing, but it’s not always a finite thing because it’s also fucking you up? What do you do?

That seemed to dovetail with the enforcer kind of being retired in hockey, period. Like last year in the NHL, fights were down 50% from the season prior. That’s a 50% in one season. So the era is drawn to a close; it’s not really a debate anymore. That seemed time pretty well with Doug having to walk away from his job. There’s a kind of romanticism of like last gunslinger-type thing that we saw that was very appealing. It created a melancholy that informs the whole story.

Speaking of the last gunslinger, I love Ross Rhea. There are so many Rhea lines I think only Liev Schreiber could deliver. What’s it like writing for him and that character?

It’s the best. It’s the easiest, most colorful, and fun bit. We all love Rhea because Rhea is from a different era. He’s the type hero in the movies that our dad loves [Laughs]. There’s something fun about writing that guy. He’s very, very funny, especially when it gets kind of a bit more contradictory. You are writing a guy that is, at the same time, a hero and a tragic cautionary tale as well.

And that’s when you feel that you’re doing something kind of good because it’s one thing to just make someone the crowd-pleaser. That’s a cool thing to do, but to write a crowd-pleaser that also makes people second-guess whether or not they should be pleased, it’s a much more interesting thing to do. The story needed to show what it looks like if you don’t evolve and stay stuck in the past. You grow extinct and pay the price for not being able to evolve into the next part of your life. So it seemed the right fit, and also because he was never a bad guy. He’s the antagonist to Doug in the first one, but we purposely from the very first draft, we didn’t want a villain, and we had to fight for that.

A lot of people wanted us to make him a bad guy, and we were like, “No, it’s a much more interesting place to put the audience if they like and respect both of them. Obviously, they’re going to root for Doug more because it’s Doug’s story, but I want them to like Ray as well. And that’s going to put them in an interesting position.” I knew that if we ever got to continue the story, Doug and Ray on the other side of that fight would like each other and are able to be friends.

Am I wrong or did it take four years to finish the script for the sequel?

I mean, we weren’t typing four years straight [Laughs]. From the first draft to shooting the movie, it was about four or five years. And that’s down to different things, that’s evolving in different incarnations of the script and also just improving. Also, small movies – this is still a relatively small movie – take a long fucking time. A lot of time. Every single one of them is a miracle, and most die. By the way, this one died like twice before we got to shoot it, and the same with the first one. We all loved it and wanted it and fought for it. So yeah, it takes some time. But yeah, all told from the first movie to this one coming out, for me, is close to 10 years.

How did the sequel evolve or change after the first draft?

We sort of think…  Last of the Enforcers is a sweeping movie anyway, with a lot of moving parts, a lot of story, and a lot of characters to cover. This is the narrowed version [Laughs]. We narrowed in scope down to the story we were able to tell. There were way more moving parts. We gave everyone their version of Anders Kane (Wyatt Russell), so there was sort of a devil on Xavier LaFlamme’s back, a sort of younger version of him making him look bad. We were a bit more literal with all that stuff.

I get confused, too, because like I said, we couldn’t help but come up with so many stories. There’s a whole other movie that we wrote, but more than anything, it was about finding the voice of this one specifically, and not biting off more than we can chew and zeroing in, zeroing in again. It’s a process that continues pretty much until the week before the movie comes out [Laughs].

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Goon: Last of the Enforcers is now in theaters and available to rent on iTunes.

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