The short film Black Angel screened with Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in 1980, but then the original negatives were lost so it was never included on any VHS or DVD release. However, not only were those negatives found and put on iTunes, but now Black Angel is also getting the feature treatment.
According to THR, Roger Christian is returning to write and direct Black Angel: The Feature Film. Here’s what he had to say about the long wait to turn his short into a feature:
“It’s my passion project, has been for 35-36 years. I guess ‘patience is a virtue’ is a true saying.”
George Lucas commissioned the 25-minute short about a warrior who must face an evil force called the Black Angel in order to save a young maiden. I can’t say the film is a particularly riveting piece of cinema, but it’s an impressive achievement considering Christian and his team had just $38,000 to make it. This time around, however, he’s getting “around $15 million:”
“I can make a huge epic film with that. I’m going down and dirty, I want the audience to smell the blood and the sweat and the tears. I’ll be doing fights in mud and rain.”
Christian already has Rutger Hauer and John Rhys-Davies attached to star as High Priest Sirdar and King Aeolus respectively, but he plans to announce younger cast members shortly. The project is currently in the midst of a 45-day crowdfunding campaign to raise $100,000 and the Indiegogo page includes a video with a few additional story details. Apparently the main warrior, Sir Maddox, will be joined by a renegade princess during his attempt to take down the Black Angel and his army of the undead. She’ll be played by Laura Weissbecker.
Even though Lucas isn’t involved in Black Angel the feature, Christian did get the opportunity to share the plan with him:
“But I sat with George for about an hour and went through the film, and he said you’re doing the right thing keeping it smaller, he said that was a very important lesson.”
If you’ve got any interest in snagging the two cells of the Star Wars: A New Hope film negative that Lucas gave to Christian, Christian is going to hand it over to the person who donates $20,000 to the Black Angel Indiegogo campaign. You can also give $6,000 to get an all expenses paid one-week mentorship on set. Click here to check those out and you can also watch Black Angel the short in full below. According to the official press release, the feature is scheduled to go into production in September and will shoot in Hungary, Belgium, Morocco and Scotland.
Here’s the official synopsis for Black Angel: The Feature Film:
Black Angel: The Feature Film is an epic fantasy based on a Knight who undertakes a classic hero’s journey to fight the Black Angel, the Demon Kings commander in the lands of Serandal. Guided by the sorcerer Myrddin and aided by Princess Kyna, the daughter of a rival King, they take on an epic adventure to stop the darkness from taking over the lands and allowing the demon king to reign supreme.