Holding court in Hall H this evening, director Robert Rodriguez unveiled and rattled off project after project during his panel at Comic-Con 2011.
He's already talked about sequels to "Machete" starring Danny Trejo and while it seemed far-fetched at the time, the prolific filmmaker was not joking and says both films have been greenlit (by Fox or his own Troublemaker Studios remains unclear). "You guys were great about supporting 'Machete'," he said. "The second one we’re going right into [now] – 'Machete Kills.' He also called, the follow-up film, "Machete Kills Again" a "space opera, a machete-shaped lightsaber. Machete kills in space." Umm, ok, that sounds crazy.
During a livechat last year, Rodriguez revealed that after "Spy Kids 4," his next directorial project would be "Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For." While that wasn't officially announced, it remains his plan and it's looking good. "If Sin City 2 happens, it'll happen this year," he said. "I'd also love to do that in 3D – an idea that would translate really well to that format."
The filmmaker said that he has written a script for "Sin City 2" which will follow the structure of the first movie with a wraparound including two new stories: one named "The Long, Bad Night," written by "Sin City" author Frank Miller, plus incorporating elements from the story "A Dame to Kill For." Interestingly enough, "Sin City" 2" will be a QuickDraw production, Rodriguez's next venture, and it's unclear if Dimension Films owns rights.
Earlier this year, Rodriguez announced his own Quick Draw Productions, a “next generation” media company that will develop and fund media projects across film, TV, gaming and more. The first project announced at Comic-Con alongside one Kevin Eastman was "Heavy Metal" (Eastman owns it). Yes, the same project that David Fincher, Eastman, Zack Snyder and other filmmakers were trying to bring to the screen as an anthology film with Paramount. When Fincher ran into problems with the studio over 'Benjamin Button' they basically held the project ransom over his head.
That was in 2008 and somewhere in that time, Paramount's option on the project -- which Rodriguez calls "something that has inspired me for many years" -- must have lapsed which lead Quick Draw to swoop in on the property. "I was surprised rights were available," he said. "I love 'Heavy Metal.' It was one of the years I was interested in 'Barbarella' – thought it was my only chance to do a 'Heavy Metal'– type movie."
Already the owner of Troublemaker Studios, QuickDraw is just another avenue that buys Rodriguez his independence outside of the Hollywood system. "How to break into industry?," he asked? "Rethink traditions. Having your own financing, you avoid the pain in the ass factor. Go right into how to get that idea out. It's very important for a filmmaker to be part entrepreneur." Like "Grindhouse" which spawned the career of "Hobo With A Shotgun" director Jason Eisener, Rodriguez said with "Heavy Metal" they'd also be holding a trailer contest -- aspiring filmmakers take note.
Eastman and Rodriguez said the collaboration was fateful. "Right around November I saw the 'Heavy Metal' logo," Rodriguez said. "A few weeks later my niece called me and said she ran into a person involved with a possible TV show. Next morning I talked to Carlos Gallardo and Kevin Eastman. I called him directly and we started talking about this."
Not only that, Rodriguez is also striking up a partnership with Frazetta Properties and like he said last year when he optioned the rights, he's eventually going to get a film adaptation of Frank Frazetta's "Fire and Ice" off the ground. -- Reporting by Todd Gilchrist