CON: Robert Rodriguez's State of the Union - Heavy Metal, Sin City 2 and more!
“Check your watches because in 30 minutes you’re not going to believe all the stuff I told you.”
When Robert Rodriguez took to the stage at Hall H with that promise, he clearly wasn’t joking. What followed was a self-proclaimed “State of the Union,” where the excited filmmaker unloaded about pretty much every project he's had up his sleeve for the past year.
First, Rodriquez updated everyone on his upcoming slate of studio efforts:
-MACHETE KILLS and MACHETE KILLS AGAIN: Apparently, MACHETE “went crazy” on DVD and Blu-Ray and the studio has already greenlit the first sequel and are almost 100% on the third film. Rodriguez giggled as he told the audience that MACHETE KILLS AGAIN is a “space opera” with Danny Trejo kicking ass in zero gravity…with a machete-shaped lightsaber. I kept waiting for him to say he was joking but he never did. In fact, he said the trailer for the third movie might be released before the second even comes out just because he likes it so much.
SIN CITY 2: Could be shot as early as this year. The film will have the same structure as the first—three stories and a wrap around. One will be the long-anticipated “A Dame to Kill” while the other two will be new tales Frank Miller has written just for the film, one of which holds the promising title “The Long Bad Night.” Rodriguez says it’ll be shot in 3D and that he has a killer idea on to use the story’s unique visual format to do something that’s never been done before in the third dimension.
SPY KIDS 4D: Coming out next month, Rodriguez’s latest kids movie is being released in “Aromascope,” where audience members can scratch and sniff during selected scenes of the film. He said some smells are good (like bacon) while others are “pretty wrong.” The director would also like to remind you that when he released SPY KIDS 3D eight years ago, he didn’t charge you any extra for the extra dimension.
Next came the real reason for the panel—the announcement of Rodriguez’s new Quick Draw production company, which will develop, produce, finance and greenlight its own movies. That’s right; Robert Rodriguez now has his own full-fledged self-operating studio partnered with tech company AMD, who will provide cutting edge technology, funding and even distribution for the movies. Other filmmakers (established or aspiring) can bring him an idea and the company will take care of “the boring stuff” to get it made while the director can just concentrate on the story. It’s a freedom that didn’t exist before, according to Rodriguez, and reflects his idea that today’s filmmakers have to be part entrepreneur, part director.
The director than announced some of Quick Draw’s upcoming features:
-HEAVY METAL: While David Fincher was looking to make this, Rodriguez recently bought the rights himself and plans on exploring this whole world in film, comics and games. The man is clearly a longtime fan of Heavy Metal Magazine, even saying the only reason he was interested in making BARBARELLA a few years back was because he thought it might be his only chance to do something similar to HEAVY METAL. Then Rodriguez brought out owner (and Ninja Turtles creator) Kevin Eastman to show his support and enthusiasm for the future project(s) and gave the audience a sneak peek at the film’s title sequence (featuring music by the director’s own death metal band). The two are still discussing ways to do the movie, potentially going the route of SIN CITY with three stories and a wraparound, but Eastman made it clear that lots of filmmakers love the property and want to work on the movie—some even for free! (Zack Snyder’s name was mentioned.)
If that group of fans includes you, Rodriguez said he wants you to help make HEAVY METAL too. Similar to the GRINDHOUSE fan contest that resulted in HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN, the director’s set up a website where you can submit your own story ideas, art reel, or short films and he’s leaving a segment of the movie open for one lucky winner. Visit http://www.amd.com/heavymetal for more info.
-FRANK FRAZETTA’S FIRE AND ICE: Rodriguez has been inspired by the cult artist’s work since age 11, even working with him on FROM DUSK TIL DAWN (remember Salma Hayek’s headdress?). Though the man passed away last year, Rodriguez is partnering with his son Billy and Frazetta Properties to help keep his legacy alive with film and television projects and the licensing of his iconic imagery to generate income so they never have to sell his paintings to private owners.
The first step of that is a remake of FIRE AND ICE, Frazetta’s 1983 film directed by Ralph Bakshi. Rodriguez plans to do for Frazetta what he did for Miller with SIN CITY, crafting a film that’s like stepping in to a painting and use new technology to make it look like Frazetta had directed it himself. He showed some gorgeous pre-production artwork that looked really promising.
Rodriguez will also help reopen Frazetta’s personal gallery in Austin, Texas as a museum, where all his masterworks can be seen by the public for the first time. He even brought 10 of his most famous paintings to Comic Con this year (including Conan, Death Dealer and John Carter from Mars). If you’d like to see them for yourself, send an email to Frazetta@amd.com and they’ll send you the secret location at the Con.
|Extra Tidbit:||This guy must never sleep. Seriously.|