San Diego Comic Con, even days old, keeps being the grift that keeps on giving. Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, Planet Terror, From Dusk Til Dawn, you know who he is) announced that he is adapting the artwork of deceased fantasy artist Frank Frazetta, the guy who pretty much defined the visual style of “sword and sorcery” for characters like Conan the Barbarian. The Entertainment Weekly exclusive does mention the 1983 animated film directed by Ralph Bakshi, but only describes Rodriguez’s take as being a “live-action film of Fire and Ice, based on the work of Frazetta,” similar to his Sin City, which utilized the Frank Miller comic book to an unprecedented degree. Rodriguez himself said he wants it to “look like you just stepped into one of [Frazetta’s] paintings, where you get to see his world, and how he saw people, anatomy, and composition and color.”
So, I’m not sure if that means it’s going to be a retelling of the original movie only made to resemble Frank Frazetta’s style, or a brand new adaptation… made to resemble Frank Frazetta’s style. Either way, if the director can recapture his Miller magic — regardless of the film’s overall quality, the cinematography is perfect — this Fire and Ice will at least look gorgeous, and probably be a nice ode to the legendary artist’s work. Whether it will be a good movie? Well, it can’t be any worse than Conan the Destroyer. See what Rodriguez has in mind below:
I’m suitably enthused. And, yes, this is “concept art” even if they go beyond mere sketches, as they are being conceived to help the filmmakers visualize their world and characters. Yes, it’s also “promotional art” because the filmmakers released them to begin promoting the upcoming movie. One does not cancel out the other. That said, it is kind of odd Rodriguez and crew even bothered, beyond the giving fans something to chew beyond the announcement, which is not a bad thing on the face of it. But as radass as they are (and they are radass), it doesn’t seem like they took many liberties from Frank Frazetta’s original conceptions.
But, then, that’s the point isn’t it?
Rob Payne also writes the indie comic The Unstoppable Force, co-hosts the internet radio show We’re Not Fanboys, and can be hacked and slashed to pieces on the Twitter @RobOfWar. He’s pretty sure Rodriguez will use this opportunity to finally cast Rose McGowan in a “Red Sonja” type role. No, her upcoming turn in the new Conan does not count. Too much scaly forehead.