Filmmaker Robert Rodriguez first announced his intention to direct a film based on the art of Frank Frazetta over three years ago at Comic-Con. The director said he would develop a fantasy tale called Fire and Ice (based on the 1983 animated film from Frazetta and Ralph Bakshi) that would revolve around a sword-wielding warrior who must save a princess kidnapped by evil sorcerers. Shortly thereafter, Rodriguez announced his intent to helm Fire and Ice after Sin City 2, and with the latter sequel having hit theaters (barely) this past August, it appears that Rodriguez will indeed be moving on to Fire and Ice with the backing of Sony Pictures. More after the jump.
Per Deadline, Sony Pictures has acquired a package for Fire and Ice with Rodriguez attached to direct the live-action fantasy adaptation. The aim is to jumpstart a new fantasy adventure franchise inspired by the work of Franzetta, set in a “brutal and primitive world.” Rodriguez and the studio are interviewing writers to do another pass on the existing screenplay as they hope to get the project going in earnest sometime next year, with pre-production possibly getting underway towards the end of spring or early summer 2015.
I’ll be interested to see how this potential franchise develops going forward. Rodriguez hasn’t had a hit in years, with his last two films Machete Kills and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For topping out at $15 million and $39 million worldwide, respectively. The filmmaker has a knack for keeping budgets low by working heavily with green screen from his studio in Austin, but can he tackle a large-scale fantasy film like Fire and Ice and turn it into a successful franchise? Sony is on the hunt for lucrative, multi-film series (and they’re certainly in a precarious position when it comes to their slate period), so it appears that they’re willing to give it a shot.