It seems these days that Hollywood has no more original ideas. Every big-budget blockbuster inevitably gets its big-budget sequel, whether it needs one or not. And what’s worse is lots of films that do merit a sequel are never even considered for it. I’m happy to report that SLC punk (1998) is not one of these cases.
That could be due partially to the fact it isn’t a big budget film. The first film was successful thanks to the great performance of Matthew Lillard. The judges at Mar del Plata Film Festival must have agreed, because they gave the best actor award to Lillard for his performance back in 1999. The festival also recognized the brilliant work of writer-director James Merendino who won best film that year. A year later Merendino received a nomination for best screenplay at the Independent Spirit Awards.
So why has it taken so long for there to be a sequel? When we look at Merendino’s career over the past 20 years there’s no denying that SLC punk was his most successful film, At least as far as the critics are concerned. But maybe our answer lies within that fact. It’s more than understandable to not want to kick the dead horse, so to speak.
So 16 years later here we are, and as a fan and a filmmaker I can’t help but ask myself if this film is a good idea. I honestly thought a lot about it, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not only a good idea; it just plain has to happen! I’m not going to lie; it is possible that I am a bit biased. SLC punk is my favorite movie.
Now let’s talk “Punks Dead”! The sequel to SLC punk has been completely fan funded. An Indiegogo campaign was started a few months back with the goal to raise $60,000. They managed to raise an astounding $87,771! The filmmakers offered a lot of cool incentives for fan donations. For a donation of $15 you received buttons, a PDF of the script, and the ability to screen the film for free once finished. While on the other end of the spectrum, if you were to donate $5000 your name would be listed on the film’s IMDB. It was never specified what credit you would receive, but still that’s pretty cool. Other incentives vary according to the amount of the donation made. They included VIP guests passes at the film’s premier, VIP treatment at the big concert shoot, a chance to go to the cast and crew screening, T-shirts, etc.
(Possible spoilers ahead)
At the end of SLC punk one of the main characters, Bob, dies from a drug overdose. Afterwards his best friend Steve-O (Lillard) leaves Salt Lake City and his punk life forever to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a lawyer. But it was unclear as to what would happen to the ragtag cast of supporting characters still left in SLC. Well looks like we’re finally going to find out. It’s 18 years after the events of the first film and we get to see how Bob’s death affected everyone. The characters Trish, Sean the beggar, John Ahmad, crazy Mark, Stevo, and tree hugger Mike, are all rumored to return. The film centers around the aftermath of Bob’s death and how it affected everyone. It’s unclear whether or not tree hugger Mike, originally played by Jason Segal, will be recast. It’s the same story with Stevo, originally played by Matthew Lillard. But besides that it looks like all original cast members will be reprising their roles.
With so many returning characters it’s hard to imagine this film failing. I for one I’m extremely excited and can’t wait to see “Punks Dead: SLC Punk 2” below I’ve included a few of the Indiegogo pitch videos. Enjoy.