Canadian TV Classic 'Corner Gas' Plans Movie Sequel
TORONTO – The movie reboot of the Canadian cult comedy Corner Gas is finally happening.
Five years after going off-air, the homegrown sitcom about a host of oddball rubes at a gas station in fictional Dog River, Saskatchewan, is moving to the multiplex.
"I'm excited. The entire gang is back," Corner Gas creator, star and writer Brent Butt said Tuesday in a statement.
The 90-minute reboot, Corner Gas: The Movie, already has financing from Canadian broadcaster Bell Media and Telefilm Canada, the federal government's film financier.
The film spinoff will turn to Kickstarter to raise $100,000 over 30 days from diehard Corner Gas fans to help make, market and release the sequel.
The cult comedy has a big fan base to tap: It ran for six seasons, with 107 episodes, and ended as the top-rated Canadian sitcom -- a record-breaking 3.02 million viewers watching the series finale April 13, 2009.
Crowdfunding online to buttress traditional financing is a model that was followed by another Canadian cult comedy, Trailer Park Boys, which moved from TV to become a movie franchise, before recently signing a distribution deal with Netflix that includes two new seasons.
Production on the Corner Gas movie will start June 23, 2014, in Rouleau, Saskatchewan, where the original TV series was shot.
The producers are eyeing a Christmas 2014 release for the reboot, initially over two weekends on Cineplex Entertainment cinema screens.
Bell Media then plans an exclusive Monday to Saturday run on its pay TV network, The Movie Network.
"Corner Gas: The Movie pilots a new, ground-breaking model for fans of Canada's most cherished brand to experience the film on multiple platforms," Phil King, president of CTV sports and entertainment programming, said Tuesday in his own statement.
The TMN play will be followed by a Sunday night debut on CTV, Bell Media's main conventional TV network where Corner Gas originally bowed and aired.
After repeats on Bell Media's Comedy Network cable channel, Corner Gas: The Movie will be released as a DVD collector's edition.
Aside from being a hit sitcom at home, Corner Gas was sold into 26 markets, including to Superstation WGN stateside.
Along with Butt, Corner Gas was originally developed by Mark Farrell, David Storey, the key director on the sitcom, and Virginia Thompson.
Canadian Prime Ministers Paul Martin and Stephen Harper had star turns on the Corner Gas comedy, as did 24 star Kiefer Sutherland and singer Michael Buble.
The movie reboot, to be written by Butt, Andrew Carr and Andrew Wreggitt, picks up five years after the TV finale when residents of Dog River discover their town has been mismanaged, leaving them to pack up and move away.
As the townsfolk make one last rally to save Dog River as they know it, they discover a devious plan by a corporate chain that will change life for the town forever.
The returning ensemble cast for Corner Gas: The Movie includes Butt, veteran Canadian actors Eric Peterson, Janet Wright, Gabrielle Miller, Fred Ewanuick, Lorne Cardinal, Tara Spencer-Nairn and Nancy Robertson.
Storey will direct the movie sequel as well as executive produce with Butt and Thompson.