DID YOU READ

Matthew Lillard laments the lost “SLC Punk!” sequel, and how “Fat Kid Rules the World” is an unofficial homage

Matthew Lillard and Michael Goorjian in SLC Punk!

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UPDATED: October 8, 2012 – See below*

In his new movie “Fat Kid Rules the World,” director Matthew Lillard plays a high school guidance counselor to a chubby, suicidal student, a bullied, prototypical loser trying to find his own lot in life. The boy, Troy (Jacob Wysocki), is unexpectedly recruited to play drums in an upstart punk rock band, allowing the high schooler to break from his shell and advance towards a more popular, music-aided existence.

But this isn’t the first time Lillard has played champion to the voice of the oppressed. Back in 1998, the actor starred in the small-budget indie “SLC Punk!,” playing Stevo, a spikey-haired rocker fighting the system amongst Salt Lake City’s burgeoning underground scene. The role was a seminal one for both the actor and the underrepresented pool who found the film. Towards the end of the picture, it was assumed Stevo would head to law school to advance his cause from within. But will we ever know for sure which way the character went? If Lillard has his way, we’d be returning to Utah to find out.

“You know it’s funny,” Lillard told IFC of a potential sequel. “I pitched it and nobody bit. [Writer/director] James [Merendino] didn’t bite, and I don’t really know where James is right now. The last time anyone saw him he was in Colombia. But I pitched it to producers. Linkletter does that for ‘Before Sunrise,’ like every ten years he goes back and makes that movie again. I just think there’s such a great story to tell there.”

We may never know for sure where Stevo’s road took him, but if we look at “Fat Kid Rules the World,” we at least have an idea.

“The redband trailer [of ‘Fat Kid’] ends on me,” said Lillard. “I’m in the movie, and I put myself in the movie dressed up as Stevo at the end of ‘SLC Punk!’ And my name in the movie is Stevo Going. It was a little homage to ‘SLC Punk.’ In [‘SLC Punk!’] it says I’m going to law school to continue the fight and do more damage from inside the system than outside. So I have him as a high school counselor.”

According to the filmmaker, “Fat Kid,” based on KL Going’s novel, isn’t so much an unofficial sequel to “Punk!” as it is an homage. And, for a variety of reasons, Lillard sees a lot of his earlier role in his new film. At the end of the day, both characters exist to give voice to those who struggle to find their own.

“I think that they are related,” Lillard says of Stevo and Stevo Going. “And I know how much ‘SLC Punk!’ means to those kids who found that movie. I walk down the street and I have the benefit of running into kids all the time saying ‘I love that movie, we found that movie and we watched it a hundred times, it meant the world to me.’ So I know that you make a movie with respect about a demographic that nobody cares about, that they’ll support it and it’s a powerful thing. And hopefully we treat that scene with respect, and those people in that world find it and like that movie. The movie isn’t about a fat kid, it’s about people on the outside looking in.”

“Fat Kid Rules the World” opens in NY today, LA on October 12, with additional cities to follow, and will be available on VOD and iTunes beginning October 25.

*[UPDATE] “SLC Punk!” writer/director James Merendino tells IFC he is in New York City working on a sequel to his 1998 cult favorite. Stay tuned to IFC for more on this story.

Would you like to see an “SLC Punk!” sequel? Let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Inauguration Alternative

Bill Murray On Repeat

It's a movie "Murray-thon" all-day Friday on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs courtesy of GIPHY

Democrats, Republicans and Millennials agree: 2017 is shaping up to be a spectacle — a spectacle that really kicks into high gear this Friday with the presidential inauguration. Not only will the new POTUS swear in, but all the Country’s highest offices will be filled. It’s a daunting prospect, and to feel a little anxious about it is only normal. But if your anxiety is snowballing into panic, we have a solution:
Bill Murray.

He’s the human embodiment of a mental “Happy Place”, and there’s really no problem he can’t solve. So, with that in mind, how about we all set aside reality for a moment and let Bill take the pain away by imagining a top-shelf White House cabinet filled exclusively by his signature characters. Here are a few hypothetical appointments for your consideration…

Secretary of Defense:
Bill Murray from Stripes

His incompetence is balanced by charm, and dumb luck is inexplicably on his side. America could do worse.

Secretary of State:
Bill Murray from Lost In Translation

A seasoned globetrotter steeped in regional traditions who has the respect of the whole wide world. And he kills Costello in karaoke, which is very important.

Press Secretary:
Bill Murray from Ghostbusters

“Cats and dogs, living together. Mass hysteria.” Dude knows how to brief a room.

Secretary of Health and Human Services:
Bill Murray from What About Bob.

A doctor-approved people person who knows that progress is measured in baby steps.

Secretary of Energy:
Bill Murray from Groundhog Day

Let’s be honest, this world is going to need a lot of do-overs.

Feeling better? Hold on to that bliss. And enjoy a healthy alternative to the inauguration brouhaha with multiple Murrays all Friday long in an IFC movie marathon including Kingpin, Zombieland, Ghostbusters, and Ghostbusters II.

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Home Run

Hank Azaria Gets Thrown A Curve Ball

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Unless you’ve somehow missed every episode of the Simpsons since 1989, then surely you know that Hank Azaria is one of the most important character actors of our time. He’s so prolific and his voice is so dynamic that he’s responsible for more iconic personalities than most folks realize. Basically, he’s the great and powerful Oz — except that when you pull back the curtain the truth is actually more impressive. And now Hank is coming to IFC to bring yet another character to the TV pop culture hive mind in the new series Brockmire. Check out the trailer below.

Based on the following Funny or Die short and co-starring Amanda Peet, Brockmire follows the story of imploded major league sportscaster Jim Brockmire as he tries to resurrect his career by calling plays for a floundering minor league team in a podunk town.

The series is written by Joel Church-Cooper (Undateable) and produced by Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, meaning that there’s funny in front of the camera, funny behind the camera–funny all around. Sounds like a ball to us.

Brockmire premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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