David Fincher Turns to Kickstarter to Fund Comic Book Adaptation The Goon

Slate's Culture Blog
Oct. 12 2012 1:59 PM

David Fincher Turns to Kickstarter

TheGoon_Kickstarter_still
The Goon (voiced by Clancy Brown) and Franky (voiced by Paul Giamatti) want your donations.

Still from the pitch video for The Goon.

Two-time Oscar-nominated director David Fincher (The Social Network, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) has turned to Kickstarter to help get his next film off the ground. Fincher has been working with visual effects house Blur Studio, who also created the title sequence for Fincher’s Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, to develop comic book adaption The Goon. But after becoming frustrated with their search for backing, Fincher and team have decided to take to the crowd funding website to ask for money to develop their animated take on the film. They’re not asking for the millions it would take to fund the whole project, but they are asking for $400,000 to develop what animators call a “story reel” to help sell the feature film. (A story reel is essentially a storyboard in motion: here’s a story reel for Toy Story.)

On their Kickstarter page, the Goon team joke that they want to make an adaptation that’s “LOUD, VIOLENT, and OFFENSIVE TO YOUR GRANDMA,” in the spirit of the paranormal comics—but that’s also the problem they face in funding the film. Sure, they have an Oscar-nominated actor on board in Paul Giamatti, but they say that the biggest problem they face is selling an animated film with a PG-13 rating. Hollywood decision-makers will inevitably look at past projects that have attempted the same and disappointed at the box office—say Bebe’s Kids, Cool World, or Titan A.E.and worry that any new mature animated film will do the same.

Advertisement

But to me the idea of a PG-13 animated hit doesn’t seem so far-fetched in the days when Pixar has made millions of adults into fans of animation as passionate as any child. In fact, recent entries like 9 and The Simpsons Movie have made back their budget and more. On the other hand, from the project’s proof-of-concept trailer—which in under three minutes manages to cram in drinking games, profanity, bouncy CGI cleavage, a character insulting another as a “retard,” and an exploding head—it’s clear that Goon isn’t quite the same as those movies either.

You can watch their Kickstarter pitch above. It’s not exactly Fincher’s best work, but he and Blur’s Jeff Fowler and Tim Miller have some fun making fun of Hollywood’s way of pandering to key demographics. (It’s clear that Fincher knows Brow Beat’s “fans of movie trailers” and “fans of popular music” demographics particularly well.) As usual, Kickstarters who pledge their hard-earned dollars will also get their own goodie-bag-style souvenirs, which in this case includes items spanning from original art to t-shirts to access to the film’s production blog.

Fincher isn’t the first high-profile filmmaker to turn to Kickstarter. Back in July, writer-director Charlie Kaufman turned to Kickstarter to fund his animated debut Anomalisa, raising a record-breaking $400,000 toward an original $200,000 goal. And it’s not surprising to see Fincher, who has long kept himself on the cutting edge when it comes to filmmaking technology and innovations, being among the first major filmmakers to use the website. Fincher is also launching pioneering Netflix series House of Cards with star Kevin Spacey on Feb. 1.

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Frame Game

Hard Knocks

I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.

Yes, Black Families Tend to Spank More. That Doesn’t Mean It’s Good for Black Kids.

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

The Best Way to Organize Your Fridge

Politics

The GOP’s Focus on Fake Problems

Why candidates like Scott Walker are building campaigns on drug tests for the poor and voter ID laws.

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

Iran and the U.S. Are Allies Against ISIS but Aren’t Ready to Admit It Yet

Farewell! Emily Bazelon on What She Will Miss About Slate.

  News & Politics
Foreigners
Sept. 16 2014 4:08 PM More Than Scottish Pride Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 5:07 PM One Comedy Group Has the Perfect Idea for Ken Burns’ Next Project
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 1:48 PM Why We Need a Federal Robotics Commission
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 16 2014 4:09 PM It’s All Connected What links creativity, conspiracy theories, and delusions? A phenomenon called apophenia.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.