Robert Rodriquez has secured the rights to film a live action version of the ’80s cult classic animated feature Fire And Ice. In a sad irony, one of the original film’s two producers, fantasy artist Frank Frazetta, had passed away earlier this month on May 10.
Rodriquez broke the news exclusively to AintItCool, though that should come as no surprise as the director is a fellow Austin-ite and long time friend of site founder Harry Knowles.
Now granted, Rodriquez has announced many projects before that haven’t always become actual completed films. But the director states that Fire And Ice will get made, simply because this isn’t a potential project owned by a studio.
[U]nlike past projects that I’d get involved with that would get stalled for various reasons, I control the rights to this one. So it’s actually in my power to set it up and get it made, which wasn’t the case on other projects. And for you filmmakers out there, that’s really the best way to get things done. If you can manage to get the rights yourself to a property by dealing directly with the artists and creators like I did with Frank Miller on Sin City, and now with Ralph Bakshi on Fire And Ice, it makes a world of difference and you can get started sooner rather than never.
A collaboration between director Ralph Bakshi and Frazetti, Fire & Ice was elevated above its script rather straight forward sword-and-sorcery pulp roots – courtesy of comic book writers Gerry Conway and Roy Thomas who had both worked on four-color adaptations of Conan The Barbarian – through Frazetta’s unique fantasy work.
Released in 1983, Fire And Ice used the same rotoscoping process that Bakshi employed in his previous films Wizards, Lord Of The Rings and American Pop. And I would say that despite the good job of world building that Frazetta and Bakshi did, a good portion of the film’s charm is the use of rotoscoping to visualize the action. This, of course, leads me to question whether a straight-up live action version would be as interesting. With any other director, I would say “Probably not.” But this is Robert Rodriquez, who created a nearly perfect literal visual translation of Frank Miller’s Sin City graphic novels for the silver screen, so there is hope that he will find a way to retain the original’s unique look.