People are Strange: Rodionoff Expands Lost Boys Universe

Wed, March 19th, 2008 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Jeffrey Renaud, Staff Writer

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"The Lost Boys: Reign of Frogs" #1 on sale in May

When "The Lost Boys" hit theatres in 1987, Hans Rodionoff paid the two Coreys the ultimate respect.

He saw it twice.

The writer of both the upcoming straight-to-DVD sequel "The Lost Boys: The Tribe" and the Wildstorm comic book miniseries "The Lost Boys: Reign of the Frogs" told CBR News, "That was kind of a big thing back then, seeing a movie not once but twice in the theater. It was an honor that I usually saved for 'Star Wars' or 'Indiana Jones' movies."

The co-writer of Vertigo's "Mnemovore," Rodinoff believes are there only three '80s vampire movies worth mentioning. "'The Lost Boys,' 'Near Dark' and 'Fright Night.' 'Vamp' gets an honorable mention."

Directed by Joel Schumacher, the original Echo & The Bunnymen-fuelled vampire flick made more than $30 million at the American box office, captured a Saturn Award and remains an iconic snapshot of the 1980s featuring breakout performances by Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patric, Jami Gertz, Corey Haim and the veteran actor of stage and screen (albeit only 16 years-old) Corey Feldman.

On May 14, DC imprint Wildstorm launches a four-issue miniseries that tells the tale of what the fabulous Frog Brothers (Feldman's Edgar and Jamison Newlander's Alan) have been up to since 1989, two years after the original film's setting, and spans all the way to 2007, a year before the happenings of the forthcoming sequel.

"Like all the other die hard fans, I've spent a lot of time wondering about what a sequel would be and what Star, Edgar and Alan Frog and Sam and Michael Emerson have been up to for the last 20 years," explained Rodionoff. "There are way too many stories to fit into a feature film, so I started pitching the studio on doing a miniseries as soon as I turned in the first draft of the screenplay."

For the non-believers, Michael (Patric) is the eldest brother of the Emerson clan, Star (Gertz) is his vamp girlfriend and Sam Emerson (Haim) is the new kid on the block – the fish out of water (read: blood) as it were.

Rodionoff said timing the two projects was easy, because he knew from the outset he was writing the miniseries as a "bridge" between the original film and the sequel.

"The Lost Boys: Reign of Frogs" #2 on sale in April

"All I had to do was make sure that I ended the miniseries where the sequel began. There were things that I kept out of the sequel that will be in the miniseries, but that's mostly due to the fact that with comics I have no budgetary constraints," explained Rodionoff. "If I want to have Edgar and Alan fighting two dozen Political Vampires, I can do it without worrying about the line producer saying, 'We can only afford three.' All of the things that I thought would be impossible for the sequel because of budget, I kept for the miniseries."

When asked to share what readers can expect for "The Lost Boys: Reign of the Frogs," the writer and ultimate fan of the mythos responded, "Anybody who's familiar with 'The Lost Boys,' and who has followed the various rumors about what the storyline of the sequel would be, will see a lot of familiar elements. In the 20 years since the first film was made, there has been a lot of talk and conjecture about what the story would be. Some of those ideas were very good, and if you are aware of the 'Lost Boys' legacy, you'll recognize them."

Some rumors indicate something terrible has happened to either Alan Frog and/or Sam Emerson and by the time the film comes along Edgar Frog is working alone.

Rodionoff wouldn't reveal who the big bad guy was in the continuing mythos as both main villains from the original appeared to have died. "It's not who you'd expect, but someone that makes a lot of sense when you think about it," teased Rodionoff.

When Rodionoff saw the original "Lost Boys," he says he related to the Frog Brothers because they were comic book geeks. "They were guys who sort of needed to believe in this rich fantasy world because their parents were basically AWOL and then their fantasy world became reality and they were horribly equipped for the change," said Rodionoff. "Most of their vampire slaying in the first movie is just a matter of luck and circumstance. What I love about the two characters now is what they become in the sequel. It's a profound transition for both of them."

Rodionoff says while both the comic series and the sequel are complete tales, the opportunity is certainly there to expand the Frog universe. And this is something he fully plans to explore. "The movie leaves itself open for a third film, and the comic book supports that," said Rodionoff. "But both are also meant to stand alone. They are really fun characters to work with, and four issues miniseries is not even close to enough time to tell the full saga. This first miniseries is really just a sampler. There is an entire Lost Boys universe, and the Frog Brothers are an integral part of that universe."

Rodionoff said the work of his creative collaborators, artists Joel Gomez and Don Ho, has raised vampire art depictions from the dead. "I think they're having a lot of fun with the book, and it definitely shows in the artwork," explained Rodionoff. "There are a lot of vampire comics out there, and I think what I like best is that Joel and Don aren't settling into well-worn, pre-existing tracks."

In closing, CBR News asked Rodionoff what everyone really wants to know: "What's Corey Feldman **really** like?" "He's bright, articulate and genuinely one of the nicest guys I know. He gave every ounce of himself to the movie, and he's been a great collaborator," said Rodionoff. "One of the main reasons that I'd love to see a third film get made is that it's a much darker movie, kind of like 'Empire Strikes Back,' and I think Corey's got the acting chops to pull it off. I haven't seen Corey play a truly dark, tortured character. I think that'd be really interesting."

As for the other Corey? Rodionoff was a little more secretive but confirmed Sam Emerson would appear the comic and would be played by Corey Haim in the sequel. "But that's all I'm going say," the writer teased.

Haim has long been rumored off and on the project and it was only recently announced that he would have some participation in "The Lost Boys: The Tribe."

Rodionoff is also adapting his Vertigo miniseries "Mnemovore" for the big screen. "I am currently rewriting the screenplay and plan to make my directorial debut with that film," said Rodionoff. "I've also got a really twisted little gem called 'Raise Kane' that I hope to turn into a film and a comic book."

Now discuss this story in CBR's Wildstorm forum.

 
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