The final installment of the Hobbit trilogy, Battle of the Five Armies (2014), has closed a door on the fantasy movie genre, but also certainly opened new ones that are waiting to get explored. Sergey Bodrov’s Seventh Son (2014) was supposed to be the first step for this new direction, but it wasn’t even close to the epicness of the Lord of the Rings franchise.
Now it seems that a new hope has indeed risen from the ashes of the past. Black Angel, a 1980 short movie that accompanied the screening of the second movie of the original Star Wars trilogy, Empire Strikes Back, in several countries, is going to get a feature-length version in the near future. What’s even bigger news is that John Rhys-Davies, everyone’s favourite Gimli, who also played in the Indiana Jones franchise and the Sliders TV-series, and Rutger Hauer, who’s most famous for his role as Roy Batty in Blade Runner (1982), will star in the movie.
The original short #Film was thought to be lost to the audience, but in 2011 Universal Studios found a negative of the movie, and three years later, after digital restoration, it got rereleased through iTunes. Currently, Black Angel has been viewed by more than 385,000 people on YouTube. There’s nothing new on Earth about the story: a knight goes on a journey to fight the Black Angel, the Demon Kings commander in the magical lands of
Although the story is quite simple, even Steven Spielberg praised the movie, as „one of the most enigmatic films he’d ever seen”. It also inspired subsequent fantasy movies, like Excalibur (1981).
The feature-length version of the movie will be directed and written by Roger Christian, who was also responsible for the making of the original short movie. Mr. Christian has already many movies under his belt, including Nostradamus (1994), Masterminds (1997), Battlefield Earth (2000) or Prisoners of the Sun (2013). He will once again join forces with producer Harald Reichebner, whom with he worked on Nostradamus. Co-producers include Sean O’Kelly, Alex Tate, Andrew Loveday, Jozsef Cirko and John Engel, and the film will be shot in Belgium, Hungary, Morocco and Scotland.
Apart from its $15,000,000 budget Black Angel is also being crowdfunded, the current target sits on £66,000. Mr. Christian feels this is the only way to satisfy the fans’ needs and ensure creative freedom, that is an essential must-have when making a fantasy movie. With Rhys-Davies and Hauer on board, Black Angel has the necessary tools to be a successful movie among the genre’s audience, and maybe it will be able to lure casual moviegoers as well.
It really seems that the movies of the 70s and 80s are having their second renaissance these days. After Mad Max's reboot's success in the box office and among the critics, the remake of Big Trouble in Little China has also been announced with Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson.