While Sony tries to recover from hacking attacks and the aftermath of its decision to pull Seth Rogan and James Franco‘s The Interview from theaters, the movie business still goes on. Sony has just closed a deal that might result in a new franchise for the embattled studio. Robert Rodriquez will direct a live action Fire and Ice movie based on the animated movie by Frank Frazetta and Ralph Bakshi.
It all sprang from the incredible artwork of Frank Frazetta pictured below.
In 1983, Frazetta and Bakshi made the animated film which quickly became a bootleg favorite at all the video duping booths you’d find at just about every comic book convention back in the day. You know the one with all those black and white photo copied VHS covers slipped into the bulky plastic black cases. Maybe you felt a little dirty buying it, but where else could you get it? There was no Internet back then!
Rodriquez has been trying to bring this project to the big screen for years. Back in 2011 he took the concept art below to Comic Con. in an attempt to stir up fan and studio interest in the project.
Here’s Rodriquez’s synopsis for the planned live action movie:
From his stronghold in Ice Peak, the evil Nekron sends forth a wave of deadly glaciers, forcing humanity to retreat to Fire Keep, a kingdom ruled by a generous king. When King Jarol’s daughter Teegra is kidnapped, young warrior Larn teams with the mysterious and legendary Dark Wolf, to rescue the princess and the realm from Nekron’s evil sorcery.
This isn’t just another movie for Rodriquez, he was a long time friend to Frank Frazetta.
I’m a lifelong Frazetta fan who was inspired by his work, like so many people. It was my dream to work with him, and the first thing I did when I got to Hollywood was call him. I got him to do a From Dusk Till Dawn poster for me, and I got to work with him and know him over the years. When I’d visit him at his museum and see his artwork, I tried to figure what would the ultimate Frazetta movie be.
I remembered the movie he did, Fire And Ice, back when I was a kid. I thought, ‘I wish they could have made it look more like the paintings, but I guess they’d have had to paint each frame.’ Now, you could do that. You could make it look like you were in his imagination. He didn’t use models, he didn’t use swipes. He painted purely from his imagination, and the characters and the colors made you feel like you were in a dream, and a fully realized and completely imagined world. It was so visual and arresting.
If we get the script in the next couple months, by the end of spring or start of summer, we start preproduction.
No word yet on who might take on the scripting chores, but it looks like this project is moving forward and gaining momentum. As things develop and casting begins, we’ll bring you the latest word.
If you haven’t seen the animated movie we’ve embeded it below so you can check it out. Remember that it was 1983 when this was made by Frazetta and Bakshi, so if you’re expecting a Pixar movie, you might just want to move along.
What’s truly interesting about this animated movie is its use of Rotoscoping which was created by the legendary animator Max Fleischer. It was first used to create Out of the Inkwell that debuted in 1915.
That’s where an animator traces over footage of live action scenes, frame by frame. That explains why you see a list of Performers and a list of voice actors for each part. So not only did they first have to shoot the scenes in costume, then they had to translate the footage and animate each frame of film.
- Randy Norton – Larn
- Cynthia Leake – Teegra
- Steve Sandor – Darkwolf
- Sean Hannon – Nekron
- Leo Gordon – Jarol
- William Ostrander – Taro
- Eileen O’Neill – Juliana
- Elizabeth Lloyd Shaw – Roleil
- Micky Morton – Otwa
- Tamarah Park – Tutor
- Big Yank – Monga
- Greg Wayne Elam – Pako
- Susan Tyrrell – Juliana
- Maggie Roswell – Teegra
- William Ostrander – Larn
- Stephen Mendel – Nekron
- Alan Koss – Envoy
- Clare Nono – Tutor
- Hans Howes – Defender Captain
- Ray Oliver – Subhuman
- Nathan Purdee – Subhuman
- Le Tari – Subhuman
You might notice a few of those names, you’ve heard Maggie Roswell‘s voice on The Simpsons as the voice of Maude Flanders.
I’ve loved Frazetta and Bakshi’s work for a long time. Of course my favorite Bakshi film is Wizards.