There was a time when the announcement of a new John Carpenter would have me running around in circles screaming until I passed out. That was before Escape From LA. And Ghosts Of Mars. And… sigh.
Moving on. Carpenter’s getting his hand back in the game after a hiatus — he hasn’t made a movie since 2001’s goofy Ghosts Of Mars. He did direct two episodes of Showtime’s “Masters Of Horror” series (and damn fine ones, to boot), but otherwise he’s been quiet. Now he’s got The Ward coming out soon, and now it’s been announced that he’ll be directing an adaptation of the horror/fantasy comic DarkChylde. The story:
(It’s) about an amiable southern teen cursed to become the creatures from her many recurring nightmares. Every time Ariel Chylde transforms, she sheds her skin and a new nightmare emerges from her Id to act out her deepest, darkest impulses.
Huh. Not a bad concept. The comic, which I haven’t read (though a cursory Google Image search turned up some artwork that’s rather… blue), was apparently extremely popular in the late 90’s/early 2000’s. Written by Randy Queen and published by Image Comics and Maximum Press, and for a while outsold some of the most popular titles, including Marvel’s Spider-Man.
Carpenter had the following to say about the project:
“Randy Queen’s hijacked angel, Ariel Chylde, is the best young female character since Laurie Strode in Halloween. Bringing Ariel and her dark mysteries to life should be quite an adventure for us all.”
The tricky part is, of course, that a story like that is gonna require some pretty boffo effects, and Carpenter frequently does his effects on the cheap (though usually effectively).
So this time, he’s got New Zealand-based WETA in his corner. Yeah, Lord Of The Rings WETA. District 9 WETA. So, what say we? Can Carpenter regain his former glory? Can a powerhouse effects shop like WETA help show the world once more why he is one of the grand masters of horror?
I fucking well hope so.
Bonus: Here’s a video of WETA’s test footage:
Aaand a poster: