Robert Rodriguez has revealed he has personally acquired the rights to Ralph Bakshi and Frank Frazetta’s 1983 animated feature “Fire And Ice” with hopes of adapting it into a live-action film through his Troublemaker Studios.
“The awesome Ralph Bakshi and I have been working it out for a while,” Rodriguez told AICN. “And it’s now a Troublemaker Studio picture. What’s cool is, unlike 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.”
“Fire And Ice” follows a young warrior, the sole survivor of a surging glacier, as he seeks to avenge the act of destruction by evil Ice Lord, Nekron, who himself has his eye on the palace of good King Jarol and his beautiful daughter Teegra. The original feature was helmed by Bakshi with art from Frazetta and featured the vocal talents of Randy Norton, Cynthia Leake, Steve Sandor, Sean Hannon, Leo Gordon and William Ostrander.
The project isn’t just a willy-nilly acquisition either with the Frazetta’s art evidently a strong influence on Rodriguez in his own work, namely his upcoming grindhouse picture, “Machete.” “I always thought of ‘Machete’ as my version of Frazetta’s ‘Conan,'” the director said. “In fact, I have a bronze of Machete on my desk which you’ve seen where ‘Machete’s standing in a classic Frazetta’s ‘Conan’ pose. I also have Frazetta reproduction paintings hanging all over my house, I don’t think I’ve gone a day without seeing Frank’s work somewhere in my living space. He’s been so influential to artists and filmmakers, and yet we still haven’t seen a Frazetta world truly come to life in a live action film, so that’s what I’d want to do with the “Fire And Ice” project.”
Rodriguez was also, of course, a producer on the similarly-themed adaptation of “Red Sonja” with his former (or current, we’re not sure) squeeze Rose McGowan in the lead before that fell apart, possibly a project referenced by the director when noting the troubles with rights in the past. “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,” the director advised.
Finally, when asked by AICN’s Harry Knowles about the lead’s casting, Rodriguez joked “that’s the same question you’ve been asking for 12 years. At least now you know you’ll finally get an answer. Stay tuned.” Here’s a trailer for the original film.