Will Sasso, Kevin McDonald and Paul Spence are set to star in an action comedy called Deaner ’89, directed by Sam McGlynn and currently in production in Winnipeg. Sasso is best known for his role in the late-night sketch-comedy series MADtv. He also starred in TV shows such as $#*! My Dad Says and Less Than Perfect, as well as featuring in The Three Stooges as Curly. Star Slade, Maddy Foley and Mary Walsh are part of the ensemble cast for the film that has Spence reprising his original character, Dean “Deaner” Murdoch, from two movies and a TV series as part of the Fubar mockumentary franchise.
Michael Dowse’s 2002 headbanger movie, Fubar, debuted at Sundance and was followed by a TV series and a movie sequel, Fubar 2. Deaner ’89 is being produced by Indigenous film and TV producers Eagle Vision, who co-produced Capote, and PSA Productions. The film sees partier Deaner Murdoch in a flashback to high school in 1989, when he was a hockey star in a blue-collar steel town in Manitoba. His life is turned upside down when he learns of his recently deceased birth father’s Métis heritage, or mixed indigenous and European ancestry. Murdoch starts listening to his father’s heavy metal albums, dressing in his clothes, rebelling against hockey stardom and running with a down-and-out biker gang. Deaner ’89 is inspired by Spence’s own family past, which allowed the filmmaker to explore the comedy behind a fictional character from the Fubar franchise.
“My father’s Métis Heritage was hidden from him until after his parents passed away, and once this became the cornerstone of the plot, everything else fell into place,” Spence, who is also producing the film, said in a statement. Director McGlynn is a creative director at visual effects house Method Studios.
Deaner ’89 is produced by Kyle Irving and executive produced by Anishinaabe filmmaker Lisa Meeches and Rebecca Gibson, all of whom are part of Eagle Vision. The indie has financing from Telefilm Canada, Eagle Vision, Mongrel Media, the Indigenous Screen Office and Manitoba Film and Music.
Eagle Vision takes pride in producing and developing work that is both culturally sensitive and commercially viable. They are one of Canada’s leading Indigenous-owned production companies, with offices in Winnipeg and Vancouver. They have an extensive slate of projects spanning feature films, documentaries and television programs.
Eagle Vision co-producer Lisa Meeches is a member of the Long Plain First Nation and is an award-winning producer, filmmaker and entrepreneur. She is an experienced producer with over 20 years of experience in the industry and has worked on numerous award-winning productions, including Canada’s Got Talent and the Indigenous Music Awards.
Another co-producer, Rebecca Gibson, has a background in film, education and outreach. She has worked on a wide range of North American productions and has been instrumental in bringing Indigenous stories to a global audience. She is passionate about bridging cultural divides and telling stories that showcase the diversity of Indigenous cultures.
Telefilm Canada, one of the film’s financiers, is a Crown corporation that provides funding and support for the Canadian film industry. They provide funding for the development, production and promotion of Canadian audiovisual content for international audiences. Telefilm also provides financial assistance to Canadian producers, filmmakers and distributors through various programs, including the Canada Feature Film Fund.
The Indigenous Screen Office is another financier of the film, dedicated to supporting Indigenous stories and storytellers. They provide funding, development support and funding revision assistance to Indigenous filmmakers, producers and creators across all media platforms.
Deaner ‘89 is an example of the continued growth of Indigenous representation in film and television. It features a diverse cast and creative team, and explores themes and stories that are culturally significant to Indigenous communities. As well as providing entertainment, the film is an opportunity to educate audiences about Métis heritage and the importance of including Indigenous voices in the film industry.