Franklin-Husser Entertainment LLC has a Kickstarter up. What’s it for? To make a film adaptation of Ron Fortier’s Brother Bones The Undead Avenger. Erik Franklin was able to take some time and answer some questions for me about the project. Check it out below.
If you are not familiar with Brother Bones, he is the ‘New Pulp’ creation of author Ron Fortier. The story follows hitman Tommy Bonello who becomes the masked undead avenger of Cape Noire. The character is Fortier’s homage to pulp characters like The Shadow and The Spider. So far there has been two short story novels, a graphic novel and a full length novel not written by Fortier. There is a 4th book which is also a short story collection coming from Fortier.
Brother Bones: The Undead Avenger will be the first movie based on a New Pulp character. The film will have an ‘R’ rating and have grisly imagery, frightening sequences, and grim scenarios. Sounds awesome, right?
Erik Franklin – Many reasons, but if I had to chose one, it would be that I thought it was a great story. I am personally attracted to stories of redemption, but I liked this one because the character was not fully redeemed before he became an avenger. It’s that state of being that I think makes the character interesting. Also, when I was reading, I kept seeing images from the story leaping out at me. You can tell that Ron Fortier is a visual writer (he did write some great comic books as well), and the story naturally lent itself to the screen.
Ronnie – Will the film be an original story or an adaptation of a previous story?
Erik Franklin – The film covers the first two stories in the anthology. Naturally I read the entire book, and though I had some favorites, Ron, Daniel J. Husser (the other half of Franklin-Husser Entertainment LLC) and I had to pick what would work the best. Naturally we had to go with the origin story, but that would not be enough for a feature. I suggested combining Shield & Claw (the second story), and Ron instantly weaved the two tales seamlessly together. We added and elaborated on a few scenes, so fans can almost think of them as extended scenes from the books.
Ronnie – How much of the supernatural will the film involve?
Erik Franklin – A great deal, actually, but like the books, it will be well integrated into the film. I love monster movies (which is why my first film was about a dinosaur apocalypse), so that was another factor that attracted me. Obviously, Brother Bones is a zombie of sorts, and we will see ghosts, the spirit world, a werewolf, and we hint at another fan-favorite monster at the end of the film.
Ronnie – What will we see in terms of special effects? Are you planning on a lot of CGI or trying to keep it as practical as as possible?
Erik Franklin – As practical as possible! Now, I am visual effects artist by nature, and though there will be a great deal done with CGI, that is mostly going to be with environmental touchups and things like that. We have a werewolf suit, that when it is finished will look thoroughly frightening, and Josh Tavena of Beardless Props just gave us a killer looking Brother Bones mask! In an effort to keep the film practical, we have enlisted the talented Remy Leigh Blaustein to work on plenty of character makeups, prosthetics and wounds. I feel that we will have a happy medium between digital and real.
Ronnie – Ron Fortier created a rich tapestry with the city of Cape Noire, how much of it do you plan to explore?
Erik Franklin – Cape Noire is a character unto itself, and it is one of the reasons why Seattle is perfect for it! We have so much great art deco architecture up here that we only have to do limited amounts of digital touch up to get the right feeling. We will be exploring locations like Sadie’s Bordello, the Gridiron Saloon, Topper Wyld’s mansion, Bugosi’s laboratory, the docks, and the crime filled streets of Cape Noire itself. Just outside of the city we will see the beautiful Mt. Serenity monastery… and that’s all that takes place on earth! There is a poignant sequence which unfolds in purgatory that is also critical to the story.
Ronnie – According to Kickstarter, the film will have a hard ‘R’ rating. For those who may not be familiar with Brother Bones, how ‘R’ is it in terms of violence and/or gore.
Erik Franklin – Count on there being a great deal of bloodshed in Brother Bones: The Undead Avenger. However, in making the film, we are not aiming for it to be an exploitation, shock value movie. We are aiming for something more along the lines of The Godfather, where there is brutal violence, but it supports the narrative. The reason we are going for a hard “R” is out of respect for the source material. There is a vicious scene from the second story that will appear in the film, and I want the viewers to feel the same level of intensity that I did when I read the book.
Ronnie – Will Ron Fortier be working closely on the film also?
Erik Franklin – Ron Fortier and his partner Rob Davis have been with us every step of the way. Daniel and I initially suggested that Ron write the script himself, but he had enough faith in me to adapt the story. What we did was have a Skype conference, where we agreed on what stories we would adapt, and then Ron wrote a detailed outline, and after some back and forth, everyone involved felt it was perfect. I then took the outline and wrote the script, which Ron then gave his approval. He was also involved in the casting of the film, and now we hope to get him to come out and do a Stan Lee-style cameo in the movie!
Ronnie – After the Kickstarter, filming and post-production…when do you hope to release the film?
Erik Franklin – We are hoping to release the film in the spring/summer of 2018! Our big goal is to have it premiere at Pulpfest for all the New Pulp fans who have been eagerly awaiting to see the first New Pulp movie ever made.
Thanks again to Erik Franklin for taking the time to answer my questions. Make sure you check out the Brother Bones Kickstarter and maybe show your support in some way. Also make sure to keep up with Franklin-Husser Entertainment LLC on Twitter and stay up-to-date with what else they have going on. We here at SFM wish great luck to the team and hope they meet their goal!