Q: But don't you have friends who say, "Oh, but if you lived in this part of town or if you…"

Oh, a ton. Constantly. Since I'm 18. And I tried and I listen to them and I've given them the fucking chance. 'Cause honestly…

Q: But the Kings, the Kings are doing, I mean there's hockey…

Honest to God, when the nicest thing people say to me is, "You find something you like." I'm like "Yeah, OK, fine." I imagine that same truth would apply to Kandahar. I'm sure if I was there long enough I'd find something I like. Like that's, you know, fuck sakes that's…

Q: Pittsburgh. I'm sure I'd find something I love too.

By the way, Pittsburgh, if the film industry was based in Pittsburgh, "This Is the End" would be a completely different movie because I adore that town.

Q: All right, so it's your cup of tea.

That's all it is man. It's just taste, yeah.

Q: Now I totally get it. Speaking of hockey, let's talk "Goon." Is there a sequel coming?

We're literally writing it right now. We hand it in in about a week, week-and-a-half, sometime in the next week.

Q: And the idea is to shoot in the Winter or next?

Hopefully. Not this year.

Q: You have to do it off-season, right?

It would be next year. Ideally we would shoot it like around now-ish so we would be able to get some NHLers before they go back to work and to do some cool parts, little cameos. But we also, it can't be in the middle of summer because…

Q: It's too hot.

Yeah and we have exteriors. But ideally we would get it going for next year, yeah

Q: You're probably like, "I hate to hear this," but I heard it was good, but I'm a basketball guy, I'm not a hockey guy. And I finally saw it on a plane and I was like, "It's great." I thought it was awesome.


Q: I know that there's a lot of people who are fans of it. Do you find when you come to the States or go outside Canada that people are discovering it in different ways?

Well, up here, when we opened up here, we were number one. We beat the American pictures, which never happens. A Canadian-English movie never beats an American movie. And so we were number one, so that was massive. Up here it's just like it's Canada's movie and they've taken ownership of it. I won't say it's an institution but it's a fucking movie people give a shit about. Down in the States it's either hockey fans, who are already the black sheep of American sports, the fourth-tier fans. So they feel sort of like their own kind of – they wear that as a badge of honor that they don't watch sports.

Q: Oh, no. Soccer fans are worse now.

Oh, without a doubt.

Q: In the U.S. they're much worse.

Oh no, I know, the Seattle Sounders and the Houston guys. Without a doubt, but, you know, when the movie came -- and it wasn't well-publicized in the States and so that added to the sort of, like, "Fuck." And so hockey fans in America love it as much as Canadians do. The average American reaction is akin to yours of people being like, "It was actually good." People thinking that it was going to be two hours of us filming a pile of dog shit and people being surprised that it had a merit. [Laughs]

Q: It's more like you see so many sports movie and you're like…

Well, yeah. I would go one further. Most movies are terrible. Period. Most of anything is terrible. Most music is terrible. Most food is terrible. There is a slim minority of anything that's really good in anything, I think.

Q: That's true.

And I didn't make our trailer. But that's none of my goddamn business. They pick how they want to sell it and they sell the sizzle not the steak, whatever. The problem with that is, like, so many people walk out of it being like, "I didn't expect to give a shit. I didn't expect to cry." And I have people crying for different reasons. Like, I have people equal parts telling me that they cried. I have really fucking hard men telling me that they cried when Doug stands up at the end after he breaks his fucking ankle and he keeps fighting. And then I have girls, you know, crying for some of the more lovey stuff. And so I just think more than anything we ninja'd in some sort of substance and merit and I think, like, it's been a -- I did not expect to like that movie. There was a friend of mine at our L.A. screening who said, "I have no notes."

Q: What a friend! "I have no notes." I think a lot of it is "Goon" is a term most Americans don't know, but when they watched it they went, "Oh, it's Bill Laimbeer. It's that guy."

Yeah, because sports are universal and those characters are universal.

Q: Now that you've talked about this massive fanbase for the original how much pressure is there for you to deliver for the sequel?

Oh, so much more. So much more. The first one we had a pressure on ourselves because we gave ourselves a pretty lofty goal of what we wanted this movie to be, what we wanted it to be in terms of, like, cultural ramifications. We wanted [it to be a hockey] "Hoosiers." We wanted to give Canadians the movie that we thought they'd been wanting for a while. And it was proof positive and we can still, at 85 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and we won the Golden Box Office Award here for the highest grossing comedy film last year. All that shit, so – and it's becoming referenced. People are quoting it; hockey players are quoting it in locker rooms and wearing gear and shit. So it's, like, becoming a thing. And it means a lot to a lot of people. So that means that one misstep and we all button the gate and undo all that goodwill. So, like, there's a degree of importance to it.

"The Art of the Steal" should be released in the U.S. sometime in 2014.

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With over a decade of experience in the movie industry, Ellwood survived working for two major studios and has written for Variety, MSN and the LA Times. A co-founder of HitFix, Ellwood spends his time relaxing hitting 3’s on the basketball court and following his beloved Clippers.