I had the idea years ago: a movie about the personal lives of a group of superheroes, a film that focused on their dramatic interactions as opposed to action sequences. I had considered the idea too esoteric, until I mentioned it to my brother Brian, who loved the idea. He inspired me, so I wrote it. Though at first I pictured the movie as a drama, I went ahead and wrote it as a straight-out comedy. Little did I know I’d be defining myself as essentially a comedy writer from that moment on.
THE SPECIALS script launched my career. Jamie Kennedy got a hold of the script through my brother Sean, and loved it. Jamie gave the script to Peter Safran over at Brillstein-Grey, who became my manager. I moved to LA and lived in Jamie’s guesthouse. After Fox and the WB read the script, I was hired to create a pilot for each. Jay Roach, who was hot on the heels of AUSTIN POWERS, read it and got me hired to write SPY VS. SPY. This all occurred in a two month span, before the movie was ever made.
The movie itself, that was the hard part. I heard the late Madeleine Kahn once say, “Sure, Twinkies are delicious. But that doesn’t mean the Twinkie factory is a fun place to work.” And the set of THE SPECIALS was one fucked-up Twinkie factory. Jamie, Craig, Sean and I were constantly fighting. Unlike TROMEO & JULIET, where I made a lot of new friendships, on THE SPECIALS I lost more friends than I gained. I take the largest share of responsibility for this – I wasn’t the easiest person to work with. You don’t learn tact at Troma. By the time we were finished with the film, I was glad to see it go.
The movie opened in a few theaters, and essentially bombed. This was in no small part due to the distributors, Regent Films. They broke their contract with me on numerous levels, so I have no problem bad-mouthing them here.
The movie got a new life on DVD, and for that I’m glad. Because, although making it wasn’t pleasant, there are a lot of nice things about it. It’s very funny at times, and quite sweet, which is surprising considering how sour it was along the way.
Below is material I wrote for the now-defunct Specials web site, including the Specials origin stories and villains. Although the graphics are pretty much gone for good, this is all of the written material. In addition, this material is completely unedited, and has some sections cut from the original site (including Amok’s letter and Minute Man’s review of the movie X-men.) Enjoy.
Welcome to Our Webb Site! by the Strobe | Specials Roll Call by Minute Man
Specials Current Events by Nightbird | Mr. Smart’s Specials Rogues’ Gallery, from A to Z
The Truth about the Specials by Amok | X-MEN Movie Review by Minute Man
The Specials DVD
DVD – Click here to buy now from Amazon.com.