EXCLUSIVE: Director Jon Knautz on 'Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer 2'

We sat down with director Jon Knautz this weekend as he took a break from shooting his latest thriller The Shrine in Toronto. We'll have our full report on The Shrine soon, but for now, read on to see what Jon has to say about a possible sequel to his monster hit  Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer.

FEARnet: The film you’re shooting now is The Shrine, but I think a lot of genre fans would have expected Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer 2 to be your next film.

Jon Knautz: Jack Brooks 2 was something that was always sitting in development for us [but] it wasn’t necessarily the film we were going to make next.  We didn’t plan on that, we just figured because Jack Brooks seemed to get a pretty decent response, and there seemed to be a lot of encouragement for a sequel, we thought it would be fun so we went into development on it. The first one is really about how Jack becomes a monster slayer, and when it ends, it’s leading him into big epic adventures, and we don’t want to just rush into that.

We also want to make sure we have the right money to do that, because the sequel would certainly cost us a lot more, and we’re just not at a place to finance it properly right now. We have a really great story for the sequel we just don’t have a great script yet. 

So pie in the sky, where would you like to see Jack Brooks wind up if money wasn’t an issue?

Well, there’s sort of the comedic side to him, and the thing I like about the character Jack is that he’s flawed and he’s got problems, so he’s not your stereotypical hero.  He’s got anger management issues and he probably has drinking problems, and all sorts of stuff that he doesn’t have under control.

Monster Slayer sort of serves as an outlet for him, and with the second one, we’re toying around with some [different] ideas. He’s known throughout the world as the Monster Slayer, and he’s getting called to go do all these missions, and all of the sudden it sort of stops working for him, and he tries to get out of the game of Monster Slaying. [But] he ends up kind of getting sucked back into it again, throughout the second one, but again we’re still trying to hammer out details of the story, but it’s really funny.

I gotta say it’s a lot funnier than the first one, and it’s just got a lot more epic adventure, and he’s all over the world in this one, and there’s a lot more characters, and it really is the kind of epic sort of sequel to the first one, carrying on from where it ends in the first one.

Like what if there was this character that had these real life issues, but also had to deal with slaying monsters, and it brings it into this realm of reality, where you can really identify with him.

Well yeah, that’s why I like the X-Men movies, and the way that the X-Men in general are perceived because they are based in reality and they are these people born with these abilities. It’s fun, you can identify with some of them because they’re also trying to live in the real world that we really do live in, and as much as it’s based in reality, there’s still a little bit of non reality in there. There still is a lot of stuff people can identify with, and we’re trying to take the same approach with Jack Brooks 2 for sure.