(UPDATED: Steve Holland over on Bear Alley has discovered the mentioned Cinemas-Online item about a possible Dan Dare film is not a new item about the project – it was first posted in 2005. The story below has been updated to reflect this. My apologies, but there was no obvious date on the page).
Development on a Dan Dare movie is now at script stage – and actor Sam Worthington, star of films such as the new Clash of the Titans and Avatar – is being considered for what is probably a key role.
It has been a month since we first reported on rumours of new attempt to get a Dan Dare movie off the ground, but the Dan Dare Corporation has made little comment on stories across the web, which began when reviews site Pajaba reported that British-born actor Sam Worthington has been cast as the lead in a Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future film.
Since then, Worthington, who is on board for another comics-to-film project, The Last Days of American Crime, based on the Radical Publishing series by Rick Remender, has confirmed his interest. In a video interview for MTV he confirmed he was involved, but stopped short of explaining his role.
Interestingly, he referenced Grant Morrison as writer – which could either be a mistake on the actor’s part, as he might also be referring to the most recent Dare reboot by Garth Ennis – or a deliberate reference to Dare, Morrison’s re-telling of the Dan Dare mythos for Revolver in the 1980s, drawn by Rian Hughes. (Hughes was reportedly attached to an earlier attempt to make a Dan Dare film, directed by Ridley Scott).
“We’re seeing how they’re going to develop it and where they want it to go,” Worthington said. “I’m at that stage now where I want to do movies where I get my $16 worth … Something like Dan Dare, there was something in the reboot by Grant Morrison that was amazing.”
Since Worthington seems well versed in comics and characters, it seems possible the mention of Grant Morrison may not be the mistake MTV thinks it is in its reporting.
A new Dan Dare film has been “in development” for some time. Back in 2005, website CinemasOnline reported on a possible Dan Dare film project, which the Dan Dare Corporation, producers of the Dan Dare animated series back in 2001, said was at script stage.
The aim was to feature live actors superimposed over computer generated backgrounds. Coincidentally perhaps, this is the technique that ATV planned for their aborted 1980 Dan Dare television series, electronically keying actors over a drawn comic strip background, and which has perhaps been used most successfully on the big screen for films such as the 2004 SF feature Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow‘, which was shot digitally in just one studio against a blue screen.
CinemasOnline reported the movie is being represented by of Hollywood’s biggest agents, which DDC chairman Colin Frewin counts as a ‘real success’. But it would appear development stalled, so perhaps the new project will be entirely different.
With the 60th anniversary of Eagle this week, let’s hope some official announcement about a Dan Dare film is not too far off.