It was eight years ago when Kane went from striking fear into the hearts of WWE fans and opponents to drawing scares on the big screen in the movie “See No Evil.”
Now his character Jacob Goodnight returns for another round in “See No Evil 2.”
After its predecessor’s theatrical release grossed $15 million at the box office, the movie’s DVD sales more than tripled that number in a matter of weeks. With multiple airings on television, “See No Evil” has the makings of a cult classic. Kane, real name Glenn Jacobs, was happy with the project’s success.
“You never know what to expect,” he said. “Of course, that was WWE Films first movie so we certainly didn’t know what to expect. The thing about WWE that is so awesome is the global reach. That is one of the things, where it did so well in so many geographical territories. I would attribute that again to WWE being a global brand. I don’t necessarily think I was hugely surprised it did well, but it certainly was a lot better than being surprised the other way.”
In “See No Evil 2,” a film from Lions Gate and WWE Studios, a group of friends pay a late-night visit to the city morgue to surprise Amy (Danielle Harris) on her birthday. But the surprise is on them when the one-eyed corpse of brutal psychopath Goodnight unexpectedly rises from a cold sub-basement slab. Their wild party quickly turns into a terrifying slay-fest as the mass-murderer resumes his savage rampage complete with hooks, surgical knives and power saws. Kane says there was a little trepidation reprising the lead role.
“You don’t want to get typecast, but I think this maybe does have a chance of becoming a series of movies and a franchise,” he said. “The thing about it too is when I was on set and working with the people I was working with, I was just thrilled to be there. They’re all such great people. I saw the finished product and thought it was well done. Some of the worries that I had were mitigated when I saw the final movie.”
Kane feels Goodnight is different from horror icons Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers.
“He is not just a killing machine,” he said. “He operates on a different level than those guys. Those guys are just going on instinct. With Jacob, there is definitely motivation and emotion involved and relationships like with his mother and that sort of thing. So in that respect, I don’t know if there is anyone you can point to as movie monsters because he is just different than the stereotypical movie monsters.”
The legendary grappler enjoyed working with directors Jen and Sylvia Soska. The Canadian twins are no strangers to horror with projects like “American Mary” on their resume. It didn’t hurt the duo are also big WWE fans.
“The Soska’s are awesome,” Kane said. “They shot the movie so well. There is a contrast between the subject matter of the killing, which is frankly a little disturbing, and the fact that the movie is so pretty. It is art house horror is what it is. It is beautifully shot. They tried to have some characters with depth and emotion and that you care about.
“So when the characters met their demise you had an emotional reaction as opposed to the, ‘Wow, that was really cool,” which is what happens often. I think all those things make the movie a little different and will probably be something that surprises people when they watch it for the first time.”
He also liked the cast. Among them was Harris, whose career includes multiple “Halloween” and “Hatchet” installments
“Danielle was great,” Kane said. “What is funny about Danielle is she normally plays the tough girl in some of these movies, and she is only like 5-feet-tall. Then all of a sudden here I am with my size and weight with little Danielle. She still had that attitude of trying to stand up to me. Katie Isabelle was hilarious. She added some levity to the movie. Kaj-Erik Eriksen was great as well. Michael Eklund, who is a favorite of WWE Films at this point, was great. He was the main antagonist in ‘The Call.’ So I was really fortunate to be able to work with the people I did.”
Despite being a movie under the WWE banner, Kane says there was no talk of bringing Goodnight to the squared circle. It may be less likely considering WWE shows are PG and Jacob Goodnight is really a solid R character.
“We did some crossover back when the first movie was released, which was great marketing,” he said. “I don’t know if Jacob belongs in WWE. I think he may he belongs on the big screen more.”
Currently Kane is less “Big Red Machine” and more business corporate on WWE programming. It’s a far cry from the sadistic side of the persona the 7-footer has played for 17 years. However, those who have interacted with the athlete outside the ring know how articulate he is. You could say this current turn allows Kane to show more of what he’s like when the cameras are off.
“I have a lot of fun because it is a different side of my character and a different aspect that I haven’t been able to do before,” he said. “So it gives me some freedom to do some things I haven’t been able to do before. I have a lot of fun doing it. Of course, it’s a tremendous contrast to masked Kane that people are so used to. For a lot of fans, they are just waiting for Kane to put the mask back on. There is always that anticipation as well.”
Along with the question of if Kane will don the mask once more is if we will see his onscreen brother The Undertaker again. Kane isn’t sure about the Phenom resurfacing after losing to Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XXX.
“That’s a question you’d have to ask him,” he said. “I was shocked as much as everyone else was at him ending the streak. I’m going to leave it at that because it was such a shocking thing. I’m still digesting to tell you the truth.”
Kane is one of WWE’s longest tenured superstars on the roster. This has given him the opportunity to work with countless veterans and emerging talent. As a member of The Authority, he has fun mixing it up with guys like Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns.
“They were where I was 15 years or so ago,” he said. “That’s great. They are hungry and have a lot of great ideas and energy. What is interesting about those specific three guys is it’s almost like they’ve determined in their own minds that they are going to be successful no matter what it takes. They do that. I’ve had a lot of fun working with them.”
Looking at the product today compared to when he was starting out, Kane doesn’t see a lack of defined characters.
“It’s really different than it was,” Kane said. “I think we still have some well defined characters. You mention a guy like Bray Wyatt and the things dealing with him lately have been great. It’s different, but I think they are there.”
He can see pluses in up-and-comers going through WWE’s developmental process at NXT in Orlando. Kane can also find benefits in the path he took honing his skills in promotions like the USWA and Smokey Mountain Wrestling in Tennessee.
“The advantage the guys have coming up through NXT is that they are exposed to our system early one,” Kane said. “There are no surprises compared to when I was coming up, and everything was different. By the same token, they do miss out on a lot of things because every territory was different, and you had to learn how to do so many different things.
“Nevertheless [Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns] in particular are big wrestling fans quite frankly. What they do, they would have been successful no matter what. There is certainly a difference. I can’t tell you which is better. I can say myself and some of the other veterans joke about what those guys missed because you never knew what was going to happen during the territory days.
“You were dealing with so many wild characters and things like that. I think the guys missed that, but nevertheless as a learning opportunity and environment, I don’t think the Performance Center and NXT could be beat. WWE and Triple have done a great job with their program.”
The former WWE and world champion has enjoyed an impressive career. That in mind, he doesn’t have any plans to hang up the boots any time soon.
“I’m very much a one day at a time kind of guy,” Kane said. “I really don’t know. I just want to remain relevant and remain performing at a high level, which I think I do night in and night out. As long as I can do that and I enjoy doing what I’m doing, I’m going to keep on doing it…I don’t have an idea [of how I want to end my career]. Hopefully, that is a little ways off in the future. Maybe in a couple of years I start thinking about that.
“I know the Soska sisters did a press screening at a Comic Con for ‘See No Evil 2,’ and people were asking when is ‘See No Evil 3” was coming out. So maybe that will be on the horizon at some point.”
- See Kane reprise his role as Jacob Goodnight in the movie “See No Evil 2.” Check it out in Digital HD and Video On Demand on Oct. 17 and Blu-ray and DVD on Oct. 21.
- Follow @KaneWWE, @Twisted_Twins and @SeeNoEvil2Movie on Twitter.
- Follow me on Twitter @smFISHMAN.
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