“The next movie I’m doing is totally differet- the next movie I’m doing is a true-life sports film called the Broad Street Bullies about the Philadelphia Flyers. I don’t know what anyone’s going to think about that. And that, in a sense, is almost a thing being setup as if it will appeal to everybody, but then again they hired me because they don’t want it to be that way. They’re like, “Oh this is a really rough story and we want it to stay rough, and we’re afraid that someone else will Hollywood-ize it into a lovely sports story, when it’s about thugs beating people up on the ice.” So yeah…”
That’s Mr. Robert Wolfgang Zombie in a roundtable interview I was a part of at SXSW. I’ll put out the complete interview closer to the release of Lords Of Salem, but the director’s next film, which will take him outside of his horror wheelhouse for the first time, is starting to take shape, and we have some new details on its progression.
The film will tell the story of the Philadelphia Flyers, which in the late 70s found great success by becoming the biggest, meanest team in hockey. Demonized for their aggression and celebrated for their major victories (two Stanley Cups in a row), the team became legendary almost overnight. This mix of inspirational sports story and exploration of a rough team of bullies is an interesting fit for Zombie, as he admits above. Writing the script –which is now finished and in pre-production– apparently provided him some new challenge, according to his talks with ComingSoon.
“I just finished it. That was an epic battle because that was the first time I had to really research something. There’s no fiction in it, it’s all true. It was a year of research, my God, I read every fucking book and, obviously, the game ends with game 6 against the Bruins when they win the cup. I must have watched game 6 a thousand fucking times until I had it memorized. It’s a pretty epic script. I was just in Philadelphia a couple of weeks ago and all of those guys still go to every game. I was sitting in the box with Joe Watson and Bernie Parent. The Broadstreet Bullies still reign there. I got to get that movie right or they’ll take me out and hang me.”
Zombie then goes on to say that in terms of both actors and distributors, the story is attracting serious talent, which he says is a new experience after working so long in horror, which tends to send people running.
I’m really excited by this new direction from the filmmaker. I definitely want him to circle back around to horror again, but after his latest influence-and-inspiration dump that is Lords Of Salem (which I’ll be reviewing between now and release), I think the time is right for him to bear down on something accessible without erasing his voice. This could well be where his talents come all the way into focus.