The list of great sports movies is long, but where are the great hockey movies? For the casual viewer, the list pretty much begins and ends with the 1977 Paul Newman classic “Slapshot.” Let’s throw in “Miracle,” starring Kurt Russell, the incredible story of the 1980 Olympic men’s hockey team. Even though I’m a child of the 80’s, I don’t think I could sit through Youngblood again, but you may want to consider watching a few scenes just to marvel at the level of acting going on here.
What a performance by Keanu Reeves, as always. When “Youngblood” is third on your list, you know there’s room at the top for a new classic. Well, GTOG Nation, we’ve got one on the near horizon. The movie “Goon,” inspired by the story of minor league enforcer Doug Smith, and based on a screenplay by Jay Baruchel and Evan Goldberg, is starting production in Winnipeg next week.
We’ve got the inside scoop on casting and other news about “Goon,” after the jump…
First of all, if you love reading about the culture of hockey and minor league war stories, we highly recommend the book, “Goon.” This is not one of those situations where you need to worry about what to do first, read the book or see the movie. Honest.
As for the highly anticipated feature film, a GTOG source tells us the script is hilarious. We follow Doug as he mashes his way through the AHL and tries to light a fire under an eclectic and talented but under-achieving cast of characters. Needless to say, he leads with his fists. Producers are reportedly close to an agreement with Seann William Scott to play the lead role of Doug. Rumor also has it that Stifler from American Pie is already skating and bulking up for the role. Why Sean William Scott? We know he’s funny, he’s athletic, and he has the bone structure of Jay Caufield. Not a bad choice at all, assuming he can pack on a little muscle. Jay Baruchel is in as Doug’s profane best buddy Pat.
|Seann William Scott|
But the key to this whole enterprise — and the factor that could make “Goon” resonate with actual hockey fans — may be the director. Michael Dowse, an Ontario native and rabid Habs fan, should bring a commitment to authenticity that you won’t find in other hockey movies.
The major open question is who will play the role of aging enforcer Ross “The Boss” Reardon, Doug’s antagonist and the most fearsome fighter in the league. Who could pull this off? Do we give Keanu Reeves another shot, or would that lead to too much unintentional comedy? What about an actor’s actor who plays hockey, like Tim Robbins?
I’ve played pick-up ice and roller hockey with Robbins, and though he isn’t anything special out there, at least he can skate. And he’s a big guy. Maybe an action star like Jason Statham? Or should producers really cater to their core audience and cast Tie Domi? Would you not be entertained?
Who would you like to see as Reardon? Sound off in the comments, and check back for more “Goon” developments later this week, as we’ll have the very latest on casting and other buzz coming out of the Toronto Film Festival.