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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Documentary Now! Robert Evans Mansion

The Reel Deal

Everything You Need To Know About “Mr. Runner Up” Inspiration Robert Evans

Watch the two-part finale of Documentary Now! this Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

In its upcoming two-part finale, Documentary Now! spoofs the crown jewel of docs: The Kid Stays In The Picture. It’s the autobiographical documentary about Robert Evans, the unlikely Hollywood mogul whose mix of self-aggrandizing bravado, classic good looks and extremely circumstantial good luck took him from being a salesman to an actor to the head of Paramount Pictures.

If you’ve never seen the film, it’s totally worth it. Rotten Tomatoes agrees, with a staggeringly-high approval rating. Watch it before, or watch it after — doesn’t matter. You’ll appreciate it whenever.

In the meantime, here’s a bit of background that will come in handy…

Robert Loves Robert

Robert Evans desk

USA Films/Everett Collection

Robert Evans is the ultimate Robert Evans fan. The movie was narrated by Robert Evans and based on his memoir of the same name. It is totally unbiased.

He’s Kind Of A Big Deal

Robert Evans, Chinatown
Paramount Pictures

Evans produced some of Hollywood’s true classics: Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby, The Godfather, Love Story…the list goes on. Totally legit and amazing movies.

He’s Also Kind Of A Joke

Wag The Dog
New Line Cinema

Evans has been parodied in TV shows and movies like Entourage and Wag The Dog. He is the quintessential “producer” you already have in your head.

So Wrong He’s Right

Robert Evans Slap
20th Century Film Corp

Robert Evans is a notorious narcissist whose love of self is so blind and sincere that it’s actually adorable.

There’s Something Missing

via Giphy

Entire sections of Robert Evans’ life are left out of the documentary. Maybe it’s because of timing. Maybe it’s because real life isn’t a tidy narrative. Who knows.

He Blew It

Spider coke

Evans had a pretty spectacular fall from grace. He was convicted of cocaine trafficking in the early 80’s, and was connected to a contract killing during the production of The Cotton Club. Oops.

Losing Is For Losers

Everett Collection
Everett Collection

In the Robert Evans mythology, all tragedies are just triumphs in disguise, and every story has a happy ending…for Robert Evans.

Bill Hader Jerry Wallach

With these simple facts in hand you are now prepared to thoroughly enjoy the two-part finale of Documentary Now! starting this Wednesday at 10/9c on IFC.

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Weird Roles

Anthony Michael Hall’s Most Rotten Movies

Catch Anthony Michael Hall in Weird Science on Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal/Everett Collection

Anthony Michael Hall was the quintessential ’80s nerd. We love him in classics like The Breakfast Club and National Lampoon’s Vacation. But even the brainiest among us has his weak spots. In honor of Weird Science airing this Rotten Friday, we analyze Hall’s worst movies.

Weird Science (1985) 56%

A low point for John Hughes, Weird Science is way too wacky for its own good. Anthony Michael Hall’s Gary and his pal Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) create the “perfect woman.” Supernatural chaos ensues. The film costars a young Bill Paxton, floppy disks, and a general disconnect from all reality.

The Caveman’s Valentine (2001) 46%

This ambitious drama starring Samuel L. Jackson couldn’t live up to its rich premise. Jackson plays Romulus, a Juilliard-educated, paranoid schizophrenic who lives in a cave. Hall co-stars as Bob, a rich man, who wants to see Romulus play the piano. The plot centers around Romulus investigating a murder, but with so much going on, the movie never quite finds its rhythm.

All About the Benjamins (2002) 30%

Ice Cube plays a bounty hunter who teams up with Mike Epps’ con man to catch diamond thieves. Hall plays Lil J, a small-time drug dealer. It’s definitely a role we’ve never seen Hall in, but overall the movie isn’t funny or original enough to justify its violence.

Freddy Got Fingered (2001) 11%

This showcase for Tom Green’s goofy gross-out comedy is often hailed as one of the worst films of all time. Green plays Gord, a 20-something slacker, who dreams of having his own animated series. Hall is Dave Davidson, a CEO of an animation studio who eventually helps Gord find success. Too bad Tom Green wasn’t so lucky.

Johnny Be Good (1988) 0%

Hall plays against type as Johnny Walker, a star quarterback. Robert Downey Jr. is his best friend and Uma Thurman plays his devoted girlfriend. Despite the support of a future A-list cast, the movie lacks central conflict and charm. Or, as TV Guide put it, “Johnny be worthless.” Ouch.

Catch the “Too Rotten to Miss” Weird Science this Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Season 6: Episode 1: Pickathon

Binge Fest

Portlandia Season 6 Now Available On DVD

The perfect addition to your locally-sourced, artisanal DVD collection.

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End of summer got you feeling like:

Portlandia Toni Screaming GIF

Ease into fall with Portlandia‘s sixth season. Relive the latest exploits of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s cast of characters, including Doug and Claire’s poignant breakup, Lance’s foray into intellectual society, and the terrifying rampage of a tsukemen Noodle Monster! Plus, guest stars The Flaming Lips, Glenn Danzig, Louis C.K., Kevin Corrigan, Zoë Kravitz, and more stop by to experience what Portlandia is all about.

Pick up a copy of the DVD today, or watch full episodes and series extras now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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