The ‘Lost Boys’ exploded onto the screen back in 1987 and became quickly became a pop culture phenomenon. From that epic film emerged one of the greatest duos of all time, immortalized on screen by Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander — The Frog Brothers! It was after all The Frog Brothers who (almost) single handedly managed to save the small town of Santa Carla from the clutches of the undead. Over two decades have passed but the ever-resilient Frogs have refused to fade quietly into the night. In 2008, the powers that be scared up a sequel to the classic film, as well as a comic book series, ‘Lost Boys: Reign of The Frogs,’ that breathed life into the beloved franchise, leaving fans thirsty for more. It was fan demand that brought Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander back for the return of The Frog Brothers in “The Lost Boys: The Thirst” — that and also that they’re almost certain ghouls and werewolves occupy high positions at city hall! Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Corey Feldman to discuss his history with the series, his thoughts on returning to his iconic role, as well as the real-life struggles that he experienced during the film and how they fueled his character. The excitement doesn’t stop there, as Feldman fills us in on what fans can expect from ‘The Lost Boys Ball’ and what could possibly be in store for the beloved franchise!
As a fan of the ‘Lost Boys’ franchise, it is exciting to see the Frog Brothers finally reunited. Before we get to that, I was curious to know how did you get involved with the original ‘Lost Boys’ project?
Basically, it all started with Richard Donner. He and I became very good friends while working on ‘The Goonies’ together, he was the director on that film. We formed a very close bond and he became a father figure to me very quickly, as he knew that I was a very lost and troubled child. I was a “Lost Boy,” so I guess it was very apropos. [laughs] In any event, he called me up and said, “look, I have the next movie that I am trying to do and it is going to be something totally different. It is a vampire rock ‘n’ roll comedy. What do you think?” I said, “That sounds great!” He said, “When I get up and running, I will let you know. I would love to bring you in and have you be a part of it.” I said, “That would be awesome! Anything you do, I would love to be a part of.” At that point, I didn’t hear from him for several months. A couple of months later, I got a call that he was no longer going to be directing it but he was going to take the position of executive producer. There was this new guy named Joel Schumacher that had just directed ‘St. Elmos Fire’ and he was going to be the director and Richard Donner wanted me to go in and meet with him. So, I went in and met with him and it was just after the time that I had finished ‘Stand By Me’, so I still had that look. I remember meeting with him and he said, “I know that you are a great actor and I appreciate your work but I am not sure that you have the right look or the balls that it is going to take to play this character. Edgar Frog is going to have to be a tough dude and I have to see that before I can say for sure that you are the guy for this part. So, basically what I want you to do is grow your hair out so I can see you with long hair and I want you to create a character that is basically a combination of all the different action heroes that are out there right now. Go rent yourself the Sylvester Stallone movies, the Chuck Norris movies, ‘First Blood’ and ‘Missing In Action’. At the end of the day find a character that is a combination of all those different elements.” So I did! I ended up growing my hair out, I went home and did all of my research and came back three months later and read for the role of Edgar as the character that I created. Immediately, he was like ,“That’s it! You got it! Done!” At that point they mixed and matched me with a couple of different actors, one of which was Jamison Newlander. Right away, when Jamison and I read together, everyone in the room knew that this would be the chemistry that worked best.
As one of the driving forces behind the Frog Brothers and the continuation of the ‘Lost Boys’ franchise, what do you think it is that captures the imagination of the fans?
I think that it is a lot of fun. Honestly, I think what it is today, might be a little different than when the original film came out in 1987. I think in those days, the fun of it was that you had these two kids that were obviously bumbling idiots [chuckles] for the most part. They obviously had a lot of knowledge about vampires and their knowledge was legit, but they didn’t have the experience. They didn’t have the balls to deal with everything that they had to deal with. They had the balls to go into the confrontation in the first place and they were strong enough and tough enough to face their fear but at the same time, when confronted with the fear, they absolutely fell apart. Where as now, you find the Frog Brothers 20 years later and this is their life. They have become consumed with everything vampire, it is what they live and breathe. I think the fun of it now is that these guys that were Keystone Cops, for all intents and purposes, now have really grown and upgraded to the point of being real soldiers. They have lived and breathed it, they have become these figureheads of the vampire killing world and I think that they are pretty much known all over the world. They have become legendary in their own way because they are this mystery in the vampire world. All vampires know of their existence because they have obviously become quite a problem to the vampire race. However, as far as common man, they have no idea about them. So, I think there is a lot of mystery that goes behind their character. At the same time, it is a lot of fun to watch these kids, who were at one time kind of a joke in the crime fighting world if it were, to become the end all be all or the final stop when it comes to where to turn.
How important was it for you to keep the integrity of your characters intact as we move forward?
That is what it is all about. I think that if you lose the tenor of these characters, that suddenly there will be this giant disconnect between the fans and their relation to the film and the characters. For many, many years, people talked about doing a sequel to ‘Lost Boys’. People talked about what that sequel might be and raised the question, “How do we get the Frog Brothers back in action?” There were so many different ideas for scripts and things like that over the years but there was one recurring theme, which was the Frog Brothers coming back and leading the movie and following their further adventures. This was something that I was obviously always very excited about. As you can imagine, I was quite disappointed when I saw the script for ‘Lost Boys: The Tribe’ and realized that this wasn’t what it was going to be about. I, at that time, began my fight by saying, “Look, I think this is what fans really want to see. It is everything that has been speculated and circulated through the internet through the years. The number one thing that keeps coming to the forefront is the Frog Brothers being the heroes! I think that is what the fans really want and I think that if you put them in the film as second or third rate characters in the film, you’re gonna miss. I think that it isn’t about Edgar Frog doing a cameo here and there, but it is really about the Frog Brothers together and both of them being on screen.” I thought it was equally important for Corey Haim to be a part of it and why I fought so hard to get his character back. I think that it was the three of us, all along, that everyone wanted to see. We got a little taste of it in ‘The Tribe’ through the fact that I kinda put my foot down and said, “Look, I can’t do this movie without Corey and Jamison. That is just the way it is.” Eventually, they brought them back but unfortunately as ‘The Two Coreys’ well illustrated, through the reality television world, Corey just wasn’t up to par. He wasn’t in the shape to be able to pull it off at that time, which is how things disintegrated back to the way they were in the original script with Edgar having an in and out type of cameo, Jamison’s very brief nod at the end of the movie and Corey’s few scenes. Unfortunately, it didn’t really flesh out the way that it needed to. When the third film came around, we started right way, Hans Rodionoff, Jamison Newlander and myself, fleshing out ideas for what the third movie would be like. Of course, from the beginning, I always wanted Corey there. But due to the political problems that ensued due to the many problems that occurred when he tried to shoot the second one, the studio wasn’t really keen on bringing him back. I think that the philosophy between everyone politically was that, “We all love Corey and we want to see him back on screen but he has got to, on some level, prove that he is ready to work again and can handle this type of pressure.” Everyone kind of agreed to put it on marinate for the third film and come up with something that we can do with his character and really think intelligently on how we can bring him back for the fourth film. Of course, unfortunately, now that can’t happen.
You filmed ‘Lost Boys: The Thirst’ in South Africa. What can you tell us about that experience?
Well, as you know, I experienced quite a bit of loss in my personal life in the months leading up to the film and I had just engaged into a divorce. Literally, a week before I left for Africa, I was informed there were problems within my marriage and I had to make the decision to walk away from it. My child was lying there in the midst of it all and there was a big hardship, a loss in my life. Suddenly, as a guy who has been a family man for eight years, I was on my own and not traveling with my family. I actually had to go to other side of the world, half a world away, literally, for the next two months and be completely isolated from everything that I have ever known or loved, so that I could dive right into this work. My whole presence and being was thrown off track only days before we started production. Coming in as executive producer and starring in the film, that meant that I had a full-time job that consisted of six days a week at 14 hours a day from the moment I got off of the plane in South Africa. So, there wasn’t a lot of vacation time there! Even more importantly, my mental state at the time was really disconnected, really isolated, really introverted and depressed … I felt like I was this lone soldier. There I was in suited up in the Edgar Frog costume with my katana on my back, guns on my side, stakes strapped to me and all of this gear for going to battle, when I found myself sitting on a rock at the tip of South Africa. It was the furthest tip of Africa, which is the furthest point that you can be away from America and Los Angeles certainly! [laughs] I was somehow still standing, still surviving and still resilient. At that point, it all came together so easily in my mind that this is the culmination of all things in my life right now. I am supposed to use all of my personal life experience as what this character should be feeling and should be going through emotionally. It made it so much more real and on point that I think everything that you see going through Edgar’s mind in this film, at some level, has some resonance to it.
As a fan, I appreciate all the hard work you put in both behind-the-scenes and in your performance. We played the film the other night at our Season of The Witch Film Fest, just a gathering of friends celebrating the season with some horror flicks, for a bunch of other fans. We all loved it! There were so many great homages, laughs, tie-ins to the original film – everyone loved it! We were all in agreement that you guys really hit the nail firmly on the head with this one. Kudos to you on a job well done and thank you for all you went through.
Thank you so much! I really appreciate that! Yeah, it is unfortunate that things had to be so turbulent and traumatic to get there but at least I was about taking the sorrow and the pain to push it forward into a positive energy that is kinda expanding itself upon the masses! It is really nice, I have to say. We took so much shit for ‘The Tribe’, which I wasn’t really even that involved in. I wrote a few lines here and there, like, “Who ordered the stake?” and that kind of stuff but I wasn’t that very involved. I kinda made an oath to the fans. I decided that if I was going to do another one, the only reason to do it is to make up for what people seemed to be missing in ‘The Tribe’. My oath and promise to the fans was that if I am doing this, then I am going to do it right and I guarantee you that it will be better than the last film. Every day that I was on that set, every day that I was working on the script doing rewrites, every minute that I was working with the other producers and being creative, down to the costumes, weapons and every detail involved with the director and producers, all of it was done with the giant bird on my back that was the fans voice. It kept chirping, “Stop, this isn’t what they want!” or “Yes! This is it!” Of course, you never get everything that you want. I wasn’t the only creative force behind this film. It certainly was a bit of a melting pot and a lot of Indians in there. I was one of the creative voices with my own side of input but there were also other creative voices that I had to acknowledge too. Because of that, I felt that by the end of it, I felt that, “Man, I didn’t get everything I want! There is so much more that I had in mind and wanted to bring to the table.” I felt that it still fell short. However, I think as an artist and a creative entity, you always second guess yourself and you never feel that you have completely fulfilled every application that is required. You are never completely satisfied with your work. I was very, very nervous after I saw the first cut of the film. I thought, “Oh man! Nobody is going to like this. It is going to be a disaster. Here we go, I have let them down again!” I had heard that the test screenings were favorable and people were reacting well but when the studio tells you that, it is kind of like smoke and mirrors. You are like, “Yeah, yeah! You are just telling me what I want to hear so I will go out and promote it for you, regardless if it is good or a piece of crap.” It really wasn’t until the premiere at Comic Con and I saw the reaction of the fans and it got me really excited. At that point, I kinda gave myself a pat on the back and said, “You did OK! You didn’t let them down.”
I know there has been talk of the possibility of another trilogy or a television series and I don’t want to pin you down on that, as I am sure it is a bit of a moving target. As one of the creative forces behind the scenes and one of the Frog Brothers, where would you like to take these characters?
Well, I see a lot of potential. Obviously, I haven’t had a lot of time to sit down with the writer yet to think it through and start writing it all out, as far as to where we want to take the plot points, but we have sat down prior to this and really come up with an idea, a big picture idea, for another trilogy. It’s an idea for where that trilogy would lead and how to keep it reverent and exciting so it keeps people on their toes wanting to come back for more because these things could obviously get played out pretty quickly if it is not done the right way. Should we continue, signs are very positive in that direction at this point because ‘The Thirst’ has been selling incredibly well, one of the main factors for me is continuing the trend of bringing back old characters. When I say that, I don’t mean just from the first film but characters from throughout the franchise. That way, you never know who you are going to see pop up in ‘Lost Boys 4’ or 5 or 6. I think that is a very intelligent way of doing it because nothing makes a sequel more fitting than reconnecting with characters you know and love from the past. I think that there are certainly key characters in each of the films that can add a little something to a future storyline and ya never know, that future storyline may be going back in time and could even mean doing a prequel.
One thing that is very unique surrounding this film is ‘The Lost Boys Ball’. Now that you have taken us on this incredible journey on the film, what can we expect from this live event?
I have to tell ya, I am so thrilled! I am so excited! We have been rehearsing a lot over the past couple of weeks, really honing in on all of it. It is going to be quite a unique experience. That is the number one thing for everyone to know going into the room. Once you enter the doors at the House of Blues that you are going to, you are about to enter a world that you have really never experienced before because we are doing something very unique. It is something that has never been done, which is showing a movie with a concert. Obviously, there have been all sorts of concerts with some sort of theme connected to them and there have been “dinner and a movie” sorts of things but what this is is sort of a tri-fold effect. You have got a film that everyone knows, loves and that they haven’t had a chance to see on the big screen in a group setting in many, many years. That alone I think is very exciting but to be able to do it knowing that there are cast members from the movie in the building watching it alongside you, I think is very appealing to fans. Secondly, the fans are getting to see a full concert for the same ticket price as going to see a movie, but now they are getting a movie and a concert. When I say concert, it is not just any concert. If you have come to see Truth Movement play before, it is a spectacle! We truly put on a very theatrical show that is very interactive and a multi-media experience. There are video projections, a laser light show, which is extraordinary, dancers, we really have covered the gambit as far as putting on an over the top show and the music is great too. The musicianship up there, you will see, is just very dynamic. It is mind-blowing! Because you really have some of the world’s greatest musicians up there. For example, Scotty Page, who spent some time with Pink Floyd during the “Momentary Lapse of Reason Tour” and that album. He will once again be joining us. He appears on the Truth Movement album, ‘Technology Analogy’ with us. For this tour, he will also be playing rhythm guitar and saxophone. Daisy De La Hoya, who is a talented young singer, will be joining us. She is best known for her reality TV work. She joined us for the tour over the summer and now she is coming back for ‘The Lost Boys Ball’, so that adds some nice color to it. Not only is she a very talented singer but she is also a fabulous dancer and has a great little body, so she is a lot of fun to watch up there moving around! [laughs] It is just another aspect of the circus that we create! All that said, the entire show gives you a very upbeat, spiritual and positive effect. I think people will really walk out of there saying, “Wow! I just experienced something like I have never seen before!” Every show, every Truth Movement show that we do is a little bit different. We have a different gimmick, affect or element happening so you are never going to see the same show twice! Even if you come to all four shows, everything will be a little bit different in between the time you see it. There will be different cast members at each show and different people doing a Q&A. That is the other part of it! There will be a Q&A, meet-and-greet and signings depending on what ticket level you have purchased. That makes it more of a Con because we have a film premiere with ‘Lost Boys: The Thirst’, we will be doing the concert and it is almost like a convention wrapped into it with the Q&A, meet some of your favorite celebrities, get some autographs and there will be merchandise there to buy. All in all, I think that it is going to be a very 360º interactive experience, the likes of which the entertainment industry has never seen!
What can fans do to help support the Frog Brothers cause and hopefully get them some more screen time in the future?
Number one, come to ‘The Lost Boys Ball’. You have to understand that because we are breaking such new ground and nothing like this has ever been done before, it is a very trepidatous endeavor. If it works well, it could be the launch of a completely massive tour for ‘The Lost Boys Ball’. This is something that I’d like to see in four cities but I would like to extend it throughout the nation and not only throughout the nation but throughout something beyond that. We have tons of fans in England, Australia and all over the world that we get e-mails, blogs and Twitter and Facebook messages from saying, “Please bring it to our country! We want to see Truth Movement and we want to see ‘Lost Boys’ back on the big screen!“ I mean, I get these constantly from people, especially in the UK. People are literally begging and salivating to get us over there. My biggest goal at this point is to sell out every one of these shows that we can, show Live Nation and Warner Brothers that it is a winning ticket and we can get their support on continuing this for a global tour. In turn, this will really help to reinvigorate the ‘Lost Boys’ franchise. Not only that but it could also serve as a blueprint for a new standard in touring for both the concert arena and the film release arena. You never know, if this works well, this may be the opportunity to get a limited theatrical release for the next ‘Lost Boys’ film, should there be one.
My master plan is really about turning this into a new idea, a new platform, a new medium for straight to DVD movies where you can make it a live interactive experience and have the fans come and be a part of the experience with us as if it were a big movie release! Now it is like we have movies that go to theaters and movies that go straight to DVD, what if we were able to find a limited exhibition market where people who know they are all fans of the same product can come together and rejoice when that movie is released, before they go buy and watch it on DVD. I think it is a very interesting concept and that it could work very well. The most important part of this, once again, is the fans showing up. If they are not there and it is not a sell out every time, I guarantee you that we won’t get another shot at it. I think it is really going to help the life blood of the franchise as a whole. Because we are doing it during the month of Halloween, what better excuse to have a costume contest? People will be able to come dressed up and be part of the experience entirely! So, it is not like you are just coming to watch this experience but you are coming to be a part of it. You may end up on stage! We are also doing this thing through my website, www.coreyfeldman.net, where we are offering two free tickets and passes to anyone that wants to send in a picture of themselves in a bathing suit. This is something that we did for the summer tour as well. We are accumulating these pictures of people in bathing suits so they can come and join us on stage for a particular part of the concert, which I am not going to tell you what it is, but there is a part of the show where we have audience participation and it’s a lot of fun. I am hoping that people sign up for the contest, I hope that people come down and support it!
As far as the DVD itself, I know that it is selling like hotcakes! The more reviews and positive messages that go out from people like you, the more the message is going to be loud and clear. Go pick up a copy of the film and please whatever you do, don’t watch a pirated free download. I know they are out there and I know that there are people doing it. If you are really a fan of the franchise, watching the film that way will guarantee that you aren’t getting the next sequel that you are looking for. We need to see sales. Let’s face it, it is dollars and sense, it is supply and demand. At the end of the day, spend the 20 bucks and go to the event or spend the 20 or 30 bucks for the DVD or Blu-Ray and show your support that way. I know that times are tough and that finances are hard but we all have to work together if we want to see this go on.
We really thank you for talking to us again Corey. You have been more than gracious with your time. We thank you for all that you are doing to grow these projects. You are one of the few people out there that you really see put their heart and soul into something and that is really refreshing.
I really appreciate you acknowledging that and thank you for the support. It means the world to us! Thank you!
I just have one more quick question for you. Last time we spoke (read that interview here), we were discussing Truth Movement when the topic of misconceptions about yourself came up. I was wondering if you had ever considered working on an autobiography at some point to dispel some of those misconceptions as well as talking about your journey through the years?
It is funny that you should say that! That is something that I have quietly in the works. [laughs] Nothing set in stone yet but there is certainly a lot of talk about it and we are definitely entertaining the idea!
Awesome! Is there anything that you would like to say to your fans before I let you go?
I want to say that I love them and that I really appreciate all of their love, support and strength. At the end of the day, after 35 years in this business, as you know very well, most people just fall by the wayside because they just can’t take it. I would have certainly been one of those statistics if it wasn’t for the love and support of the fans that have kept me thriving for all of these years! I am here for them and I am not going anywhere, anytime soon!
Thank you my friend, I am sure we will be talking again very soon! In the meantime, we will be out spreading the word!
Thank you, my friend! Spread the word of truth! [laughs] I hope to see you out at one of the shows! Thank you and take care!
Be sure to keep up on the latest from Corey Feldman by visiting his official website located at www.coreyfeldman.net. Visit the official site for ‘Lost Boys: The Thirst’ at this location and check out the trailer below!