I did an interview for the COMIC BOOK CINEMA site, a blog that spotlights films based on comics and graphic novels.
It's been awhile since I've done an interview about the EL MUERTO film, as it came out in 2007, but occasionally someone will ask about it. It's always nice to go back, with several years perspective on it, and relive some of the memories.
When I was first contacted about the possibility of making a movie out of the comic, in August 2001, believe it or not, I figured it was interesting to have gotten the attention of a filmmaker. At the time, the X-MEN film had been released, the BLADE series was in full swing, and SPIDER-MAN was just around the corner. Over the next couple of years comic book movies became the hottest thing for Hollywood studios, and it was with the rising tide of these large blockbusters coming out that somehow, to me, seemed like a movie based on my black & white, self-published comic was going to get made.
I was probably more optimistic about the chances of the EL MUERTO film actually happening because of our circumstances. Screenwriter/director Brian Cox, the person who initially contacted me, wanted to make the film. Larry Rattner, the producer that Brian partnered with, wanted to make the film. A group of businessmen, the Leones, Bruno and his two sons Dan and Rich, had previously approached Larry with a desire to finance their first film production. Larry brought up the idea of an EL MUERTO movie to them, and, like producers do, convinced them to put their money into the adaptation.
By 2005, we were in the midst of filming the movie. It was about a four week shoot, and every day was filled with surreal moments. For me, it was like years of film school compressed into 30 days of non-stop work, action and drama, with my comic being chosen as the class project!
At the Laemmle Grand Theatre in downtown Los Angeles in 2007, with mini-Muerto.
In the years following it's completion, film festival run, DVD release and cable TV circulation, the movie continues to find it's life beyond it's celluloid confines. I'll meet fans, via the internet or at conventions, who've seen the film in one form or another. A couple of years ago on this blog I wrote about what I called 'the Muerto movie boomerang effect', sharing some examples of how the film continues to find fans.
That's the power and reach of film, even a relatively small production like our independent comic book movie.
Check out the interview at the COMIC BOOK CINEMA site. And thanks to Ron Evans for contacting me for the chance to talk about a little film called EL MUERTO!