It’s Toronto, it’s ComiCon, so naturally, we were going to talk about Captain Canuck! Members of the team that successfully relaunched Captain Canuck a few years ago in a multimedia charm offensive gathered for a panel that offered updates on all things Canuck. From the Captain’s comic book adventures, to the recently launched second season of his webseries, to new Crimestoppers PSAs, to even whispers of a feature film, executive producer Fadi Hakim, head writer Kalman Andrasofszky, Captain Canuck creator Richard Comely, and Captain Canuck’s voice Kris Holden-Ried had a lot to discuss.
The timing was fortuitous as the second season of the Captain Canuck webseries had just begun, and so did the second arc of the Captain Canuck comic, but don’t expect a lot of overlap between the two. “They are, and always have been, pretty separate,” said Andrasofszky, comparing it to the separation of G.I. Joe the comic book and the cartoon in the 80s. “[However] there is a lot of overlap between the two but because of the complexity of the back story.”
The first episode of the second season, which is called The Prometheus Protocol, debuted a few weeks ago, and it featured an animated cameo by Comely. “It’s interesting, it’s kind of neat, it was a new experience,” Comely said of getting animated and appearing alongside his own creation as a gas station proprietor robbed by a pair of super-powered thugs. “[But] they didn’t use a quarter of the noises I made,” he said of his recording session.
The real story of season two though is the emergence of a new villain (to the show), Captain Canuck’s own brother. “We’re going to meet animated Michael Evans next episode, and Captain Canuck is going to have to deal with the fact that his worst enemy is in bed with his teammates,” said Andrasofszky. “There are some questions and some mysteries about what’s going on and you have to watch the next five episodes to know how big this gets.”
Michael will be voiced by Jason Priestly, but Holden-Ried didn’t get much of a chance to hang out with this TV brother. “We crossed like ships in the night,” the actor said. “We had more time to talk about Canuck on the set of Dark Matter than we did in the sound booth.
For Holden-Ried, his challenge in coming back to Canuck was getting back into character. “It took me a while to remember the character, and instead of being a well-meaning Canadian he was all dark and growly,” he said, Holden-Ried had been doing voice work Assassin’s Creed between seasons. “He’s got the hero vibe going on with a Canadian humility and dry sense of humor.”
The impressive voice cast put together for the Captain Canuck webseries so far, including Holden-Ried’s Lost Girl co-star Paul Amos as Mr. Gold, will continue in season two with Tatiana Maslany and Laura Vandervoort as Redcoat and Bluefox respectively. French-Canadian pop star Mitsou will also be appearing, giving voice to the Canuck character Quebec. Hakim also revealed that they’re talking to Jay Baruchel to give voice to another Chapterhouse Studios character, the Pitiful Human Lizard. “It’s such a stacked project that however we move forward from here, we’re blessed with the best voice cast in Canada,” said Hakim.
Speaking of moving forward, Chapterhouse will be looking to take Captain Canuck to the big screen with help from the fans. A crowdfunding effort will be launched in June with a goal of around $20,000 to get the ball rolling on development. Hakim said they’re already in talks with Entertainment One about distribution, and with various animation studios about production, the question before Chapterhouse now is how big can the movie be?
“The sky’s the limit,” said Hakim on the movie’s potential and storyline, adding that Mike Myers and Jim Carrey were potential actors they’d like to approach for a roled in the film. “There would be a writing team, we would chose very carefully as to who we would have writing the script,” added Andrasofszky. “I think the first arc of the comic book series would make a great movie. I maybe bias because I wrote it, but I don’t think it would not be crazy to start there.”
The eventual film will feature “entirely different animation and an entirely different story,” added Hakim, while explaining that the webseries will feed in to the feature as well. Chapterhouse has its eye on a Christmas 2017 or Canada Day 2018 release date for the film, with perhaps even squeezing in a third season of the webseries between the end of season two and the release of the movie.
In the meantime, fans will be able to see the first Captain Canuck PSA done in the style of the old G.I. Joe “Knowing is half the battle” spots sometime this week. “There’s going to be a series of these we’re working with Drug Free Canada and we’re doing a series of maybe four with Crimestoppers,” Hakim explained adding that a rotating cast of Canadian media personalities will play Captain Canuck in those PSAs.
The next episode of the webseries will bow around Canada Day (July 1), if not before, with the entire series being available by the end of the year. In the meantime, Chapterhouse will continue to publish new Captain Canuck comics and introduce, or re-introduce, Canadian comic book characters to a modern audience, and they’re making new (and old) fans all the time. “People seem elated and surprised” by the return of Captain Canuck, said Andrasofszky. “They either love it or they don’t know that we brought it back, which is a great problem to have.”