Long before Jon Favreau figured out how to effectively exploit the comic-reading crowd in San Diego, Robert Rodriguez was one of the kings of Comic-Con. The genre filmmaker was responsible for the Mexi-western “Desperado,” robbers and vampires genre mashup “From Dusk ‘Till Dawn” and most importantly “Sin City,” his panel-for-panel adaptation of the Frank Miller comic series. That 2005 film led the way for more slavish and stylized comic adaptations like “300” and “Watchmen” and showed audiences that you could make a comic book film look just like the comic book. But after his 2007 double-feature experiment with Quentin Tarantino “Grindhouse” sunk like a stone at the box office, he’s been relatively quiet. Between “Sin City” and “Grindhouse” he made the kids flick “The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D” which seemed to be a natural extension of his “Spy Kids” franchise, followed this up with another kids film “Shorts,” about a magical wish-granting rock and he had a co-director credit on “Machete“, one of his “Grindhouse” leftovers. The film he has planned for his big comeback is a fourth installment (and partial reboot) of his “Spy Kids” franchise. So, what happened to Robert Rodriguez?
Though he’s done nearly as many films aimed at his own kids as films aimed at his core fanbase, at some point he may have overloaded himself on sequels and family films because it’s been about half a decade since he held the geek crowd in the palm of his hand. Well he may be trying to change that because at Comic-Con Rodriguez announced plans for a live-action adaptation of Frank Fazetta‘s “Fire And Ice.” The original 1983 film was a collaboration between iconic fantasy artist Frazetta and animation legend Ralph Bakshi (“The Lord of the Rings” animated films). Rodriguez spoke to EW about his planned adaptation, “I want it to look like you just stepped into one of his paintings, where you get to see his world, and how he saw people, anatomy, and composition and color. It will feel like it’s real, but not real. It’ll be his reality. He saw things differently. He painted from his imagination. He didn’t take a photograph and just paint it.”
The filmmaker multi-hyphenate plans to start shooting in early 2012 with concept art having gotten underway by his own Quick Draw Studios. If he sticks closely to Frazetta’s artwork he’ll be making something to get him back in geek’s good graces in no time. Interesting to note that Rodriguez also has the rights to remake “Heavy Metal,” another animated film which was previously being developed by David Fincher and James Cameron. You can check out the synopsis for “Fire And Ice” below along with the other pieces of concept art.
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.