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Author Topic: Warner: No ElfQuest movie.  (Read 8510 times)

Mirror

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Warner: No ElfQuest movie.
« on: January 22, 2012, 09:32:38 AM »

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Treefox

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Re: Warner: No ElfQuest movie.
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2012, 11:02:07 AM »

I read it like yesterday... While the news didn't surprise me, the explanation from Warner seems rather cheap... After all the successful fantasy movies that came out these last years simultaneously.
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nilla

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Re: Warner: No ElfQuest movie.
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2012, 07:06:14 AM »

I think the excuse is the weakest I've ever heard.
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Eregyrn

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Re: Warner: No ElfQuest movie.
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2012, 12:39:04 PM »

Is there anyone who believes WB's excuse?  Really?  It doesn't make any sense.  Or, the only way it would have made sense is if they'd made an economic argument -- that it's really expensive right now to pay for the 2-part Hobbit, and the EQ movie they wanted to make would also be very expensive, so they didn't want to spend the money on EQ until after they're done spending it on The Hobbit. 

I'm not sure how much sense that would have made, either.  But it wouldn't have sounded so counter-intuitive.  I'm sure The Hobbit *is* really expensive, although it seems very highly likely that The Hobbit movies will make LOTR-like numbers at the box office, so a studio shouldn't be nervous about making that investment.
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Mirror

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Re: Warner: No ElfQuest movie.
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2012, 12:37:07 AM »

I agree with all of you. The fantasy genere has been so successfull the last decade+, it does seem like a really cheap excuse. "Sorry, we're already busy making one movie containing short people and pointed ears". Right.

I'd be more inclined to believe that WB sees the EQ-fanbase as too limited, which jeopardizes box office results. Also, I can understand that there are some doubts as to how to transfer the story to the big screen; which format, which characters to include, and so forth.
Whatever the reasons, I'm sorry for Elfmom and Elfpop, and all the fans that've been waiting for this move.


Personally, I've always had my doubts that it's possible to transfer a universe as rich as Elfquest into one feature film,  but that might be blasphemy to say outloud.
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Eregyrn

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Re: Warner: No ElfQuest movie.
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2012, 08:11:16 AM »

If it's blasphemy, Mirror, then I'm right there with you.  :lol

Here's what I have been thinking for several years: many devoted fans of EQ have said, even recently, that their dream of an EQ adaptation on film would be for 2D animation first.  I personally was EXTREMELY doubtful about the notion of any live-action being involved.  I think that all-CGI could probably work, if necessary.  IMO, all-CGI works best when the character designs do not aim to produce "realistic" humans, but rather, when they are stylized; and the elves are already stylized. 

However, I've also always been dubious about doing a 2-hour (if you are lucky) EQ movie.  And while getting to see those 90s storyboards was interesting, it kind of only reinforced my opinion that that's a less than ideal format.

Meanwhile: I have the highest of opinions for the recent Nickelodeon series "Avatar: The Last Airbender" (and am looking forward to its sequel series, "Korra", hugely).  I thought the animation was attractive, the action very well done, the storytelling excellent and ambitious, and most importantly -- while 2D animated films have not done well at the box office, 2D television series can be quite profitable (if the channel airing them doesn't muck things up).  I've also really been enjoying things like "Young Justice", and the new "Thundercats" wasn't terrible-looking either.  "Avatar" proved that long-format storytelling can be very well-received, both critically and popularly, even in a fantasy world.  (IMO Nickelodeon didn't even capitalize on it as much as they could have and should have.)

I don't even begin to know how one would "shop" ElfQuest to studios with the intention that they should make a long-format animated tv series out of it... but I strongly believe that would be the best way to present EQ as it deserves, and would stand the most chance of it being as successful as I think we all would like.

I think you could find animators who could develop designs for the characters that might not look precisely like Wendy's drawings brought to life, but, which would be quite attractive.  And I think that for animated series, and tv series in general these days, the important thing to remember is that a lot of their profitability lies not just in broadcast, but in the ability of a series to live on in a well-produced DVD set (or in distribution methods like Hulu and iTunes, allowing fans to obtain a series directly without having to be dependent on broadcast).  Series given intelligent marketing treatment can really become cult hits. 

Now all we need to do is get someone to watch "Avatar" and then realize the potential a similar-format ElfQuest series would have.
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Jeedai

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Re: Warner: No ElfQuest movie.
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2012, 12:57:17 PM »

Quote from: Eregyrn
Is there anyone who believes WB's excuse?  Really?  It doesn't make any sense.
Yeah, I do. "Transformers Animated" was killed in order to get it (and it's toy line) out of the way of the Transformer movie sequels.  There was also the Bat-Embargo on "Justice League Unlimited": Bruce Timm and co were disallowed from using Batman's major villains in the later seasons of the show because "Batman Begins".

Both were Cartoon Network proprieties, and both are examples of Warner Brothers doing stupid crap to keep from competing with itself.

Quote from: Eregyrn
And I think that for animated series, and tv series in general these days, the important thing to remember is that a lot of their profitability lies not just in broadcast, but in the ability of a series to live on in a well-produced DVD set

Also, toys. The SciFi and Fantasy genres exist in a world where big-ticket properties MUST include the merch. "Merchandizing, Merchandizing! Where the real money from the movie is made!" More than one animated TV show or concept has been axed because merchandising it was unfeasible. IE: Cartoon Network cancelled "Symbionic Titan"- a great show IMO, not as 'epic storytelling' as Avatar but with a Buffy/ Angel mix of episodic a story arcs- largely because they couldnt find anyone to start cranking out an action figure line. Because the companies approached considered the prospect unfeasible.

Potentially a similar issue here. Toy companies want easily defined 'boys toys' and 'girls toys' to put on the respective aisles, and EQ cant be pinned into one. I can see the pitch meeting now: "Beautiful fashion-plate elves who hunt and go to war? A man with the power to make flowers grow? Are you kidding me?" "You do know figure lines are supposed to be divided into ones with mostly males and one or two females, or mostly female with one or two males, right? What's with all this equal representation? Parents WONT KNOW who to buy them for!"

EDIT: Add to that uncertainty the economic gamble of EQ merch competing with Hobbit merch.  No sale.

And, 'blasphemous' it may be, I doubt an ElfQuest movie could have made its investment back on ticket/DVD revenues alone. It'd likely be another "Treasure Planet," a good maybe even great film that couldn't break through to a large audience. With "Iron Giant" sized marketing confusion to help drive people away. In other words, a very pretty bomb. And that's not just sour grapes, I've felt that way for a long time. Being up against The Hobbit on multiple front wouldnt have helped either.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2012, 01:34:06 PM by Jeedai »
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Faerydae

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Re: Warner: No ElfQuest movie.
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2012, 08:33:52 AM »

Awwwww! Drat them!
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~Faerydae

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Re: Warner: No ElfQuest movie.
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2012, 12:27:06 AM »

Sorry to both jump on my soap box or throw a little conspiracy theory in here, there is no proof of this idea nor do I particularly want to jab at WB if they are really just putting EQ on the back burner and will pick it up later.

It seems really convinient timing.  I heard rumor of a live action Hobbit as soon or just before the third LotR came out.  Its been rolling around for  long time. Why they waited so long on it is a puzzle to me, unless they were trying to maximize returns on the LotR movies, initial DVD releases, initial Blue Ray releases, Special Edition releases in bith formats, Extended editions of both formats, Special Extended versions in both formats, and twelve hour special extended directors cut of all three movies in both formats (i habe a fo-worker that helped this along, buying each version in each format...). But whatever the reason, they knew about it for a long, long time.  The Hobbit is schedualed to come out THIS year, and I had seen a teaser out days before the EQ NO announcment. Even though EQ was penciled in for next year, I dont k.ow how it would have been able to come out even close to the second movie, seeings as they already have enough done on Hobbit to know that its going to take two movies to run, specific dates set for their release, and teasers/trailers already in circulation, while EQ hadnt even had the format nailed down.

It seems to me more likely that they *might* have been just holding onto the movie rights so that no one else could beat them to the punch, and reduce Hobbit's performance to second fiddle.  Hobbit is a garanteed cash cow, even if it sucks, but would stand to lose more if people felt like it was thrown out to ride the wake of another fanasy series.

Well, like I said, crazy consiracy theory, but its been eating at me.

Im hoping another studio will pick it up and run in a new direction (format wise) to seperate it from the mire of other films. Dont get me wrong, LotR was great, I liked Eragon until I read the books and found how they butchered the story in the movie, but while movies in the last five years have kicked things up to a whole new level, a live action fantasy is still feeling the same, regardless of the story. Some CG is getting pretty good, mold breaking, actually getting some more styles that 'digital putty' formats, and claymation has soared, or rather stop motion in general, with works like Flushed away (that I swore was CG, it was so smooth). There was a recent CG movie that looked more like a sketch drawing, and totallu different ( eome children's classic, but I cant recall the name). Anyway, just like they took Star Trek into a whole new and wonderful direction, throwing out the "givens" on how to tell ST SciFi, it seems like there is plenty out there for EQ to survive on its own.

Just as long as care is given to the choice of who makes it.

The worst thing that could be done to EQ is let Disney get their grubby hands on it. That would ruin it completely. The movie would be made, for sure, but not in the way the Pinis (or some of the rest of us) would want.

Fox woild probably be able to get it done, and perhaps done well, but I dont know if I can bear watching a star wars/family guy/elfquest/etc spoof thrown in indefinately. Fox maintains partial control of every theme they produce, and I dont see the Pinis going for that either.

There are plenty of others, though, that arent affiliated with WB, Disney, Fox, or their partners that habe done great movies. I looked up wikipedia for a.list of them, plenty.

In the end, though, I dont think anyone is going to touch it with a ten foot pole until Hobbit winds down in a few years, unless they figure out a style that tears 'Hollywood' a new... Er, way of looking at things.

Of course, that isnt to say that the fans cant work on another shot... Either another live action snippet, a sieries of short animations, stop motion, or whatever.

Sorry, didnt realize how long winded I got. Its been a big, big disappointment for.me, and I guess I needed to vent.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2012, 12:33:03 AM by TrollHammer »
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Eregyrn

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Re: Warner: No ElfQuest movie.
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2012, 09:56:12 AM »

First a few thoughts on this one, and then on what TrollHammer posted...

Yeah, I do. "Transformers Animated" was killed in order to get it (and it's toy line) out of the way of the Transformer movie sequels.  There was also the Bat-Embargo on "Justice League Unlimited": Bruce Timm and co were disallowed from using Batman's major villains in the later seasons of the show because "Batman Begins".

Both were Cartoon Network proprieties, and both are examples of Warner Brothers doing stupid crap to keep from competing with itself.

Right, agreed -- STUPID CRAP.  Those decisions make little sense to me either.  Well... the Transformers decision might make sense, because that's apples and apples, even if the mediums are different.  The Bat-embargo never made sense to me, as I have little patience with the idea that audiences are unable to distinguish between an animated series' version of the Joke, and a live-action film's version.  Not that Nolan's films are aimed at the same young-age demographic that an animated series is thought to be aimed at.  (And the adult fans of both are perfectly capable of enjoying multiple versions of familiar characters.)

I know, I know.  Hollywood doesn't run on logic, and seemingly, Warner Bros. ESPECIALLY does not.

In contrast, though -- look at the way Marvel is allowing "Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes" to run somewhat congruently with its live-action MCU.  It seemed last year like they were hoping A:EMH would act simply as awareness-raising of the Marvel Avengers concepts, even though parts of the animated series are markedly different from the movie portrayals.  (Thor and Loki are quite different, even though Stark is very clearly RDJ-lite.)


Quote
Also, toys. The SciFi and Fantasy genres exist in a world where big-ticket properties MUST include the merch. "Merchandizing, Merchandizing! Where the real money from the movie is made!" More than one animated TV show or concept has been axed because merchandising it was unfeasible. IE: Cartoon Network cancelled "Symbionic Titan"- a great show IMO, not as 'epic storytelling' as Avatar but with a Buffy/ Angel mix of episodic a story arcs- largely because they couldnt find anyone to start cranking out an action figure line. Because the companies approached considered the prospect unfeasible.

Potentially a similar issue here. Toy companies want easily defined 'boys toys' and 'girls toys' to put on the respective aisles, and EQ cant be pinned into one. I can see the pitch meeting now: "Beautiful fashion-plate elves who hunt and go to war? A man with the power to make flowers grow? Are you kidding me?" "You do know figure lines are supposed to be divided into ones with mostly males and one or two females, or mostly female with one or two males, right? What's with all this equal representation? Parents WONT KNOW who to buy them for!"

Oh, do not even get me started on rants about the way toy licenses are handled or the way toys are marketed! We'd be here all day.

I'm a modest collector of action figures (I could go into reasons why they specifically appeal to me), and I'm constantly frustrated by the poor selection and the incomprehensible marketing/release decisions on the part of companies.  (Hasbro, here's a hint: when the movie comes out is when people are most interested in buying figures based on the movie, okay?  There was no earthly reason for the delay in offering the Thor and Cap figures.)

And I know that my opinion won't change the way companies are still idiots about the "boys toys" and "girls toys" thing -- but I can still call it out as stupid, and wish that someone, anyone would be bold enough to see in a property like ElfQuest to win big with BOTH the boys and girls markets.  Which is not to say I think that an EQ toy line should repeat the recent LEGO mistake (which got a lot of negative press, thankfully) of thinking that "appealing to girls" means "put pink crap all over everything".

I know there are girls who like pink, and flowers.  The thing is, those girls are hardly under-served by today's toy market.  I'm just speaking as a girl who had no Barbies growing up, but instead had the original 12" GI Joe figure, the Lone Ranger and Tonto, and a whole bunch of realistic horse figures.  (I am too old to have had to contend with the original My Little Pony, thank god.)

So you market Redlance and Nightfall and Moonshade and Shen-Shen, and other EQ toys to girls.  You market more "action" oriented characters like Cutter and Skywise and Strongbow to boys. (And I hate even typing that, but that's as much bowing to reality as I want to do.) 


Quote
EDIT: Add to that uncertainty the economic gamble of EQ merch competing with Hobbit merch.  No sale.

I know it's much easier to theorize than to make actual decisions about gambling in the marketplace.  But again, I just don't believe that Hobbit merchandise, which ought to be offered near when the movies come out, is going to compete THAT much with theoretical EQ merchandise that could be aimed for summer releases.  No more than I believe that if anyone had offered a GOOD RANGE of A:TLB merchandise, it would have competed with Harry Potter.  People are going to buy both, if they become fans of both.


Quote
And, 'blasphemous' it may be, I doubt an ElfQuest movie could have made its investment back on ticket/DVD revenues alone. It'd likely be another "Treasure Planet," a good maybe even great film that couldn't break through to a large audience. With "Iron Giant" sized marketing confusion to help drive people away. In other words, a very pretty bomb. And that's not just sour grapes, I've felt that way for a long time. Being up against The Hobbit on multiple front wouldnt have helped either.

Yeah, this I completely agree with, sadly.  I've seen too many perfectly good films fail to break through to a larger audience.

That's why I started thinking that EQ would be better poised to gain attention and success as an animated series or mini-series on cable, rather than as a one-shot theatrical release.
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Eregyrn

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Re: Warner: No ElfQuest movie.
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2012, 10:31:37 AM »

Sorry to both jump on my soap box or throw a little conspiracy theory in here, there is no proof of this idea nor do I particularly want to jab at WB if they are really just putting EQ on the back burner and will pick it up later.

It seems really convinient timing.  I heard rumor of a live action Hobbit as soon or just before the third LotR came out.  Its been rolling around for  long time. Why they waited so long on it is a puzzle to me, unless they were trying to maximize returns on the LotR movies, initial DVD releases, initial Blue Ray releases, Special Edition releases in bith formats, Extended editions of both formats, Special Extended versions in both formats, and twelve hour special extended directors cut of all three movies in both formats (i habe a fo-worker that helped this along, buying each version in each format...). But whatever the reason, they knew about it for a long, long time.  The Hobbit is schedualed to come out THIS year, and I had seen a teaser out days before the EQ NO announcment. Even though EQ was penciled in for next year, I dont k.ow how it would have been able to come out even close to the second movie, seeings as they already have enough done on Hobbit to know that its going to take two movies to run, specific dates set for their release, and teasers/trailers already in circulation, while EQ hadnt even had the format nailed down.

It seems to me more likely that they *might* have been just holding onto the movie rights so that no one else could beat them to the punch, and reduce Hobbit's performance to second fiddle.  Hobbit is a garanteed cash cow, even if it sucks, but would stand to lose more if people felt like it was thrown out to ride the wake of another fanasy series.

Well, like I said, crazy consiracy theory, but its been eating at me.

The reason I'm not quite sold on this as a theory is...

First: LOTR was originally New Line Cinema, not Warner Brothers.  At the time LOTR came out, WB didn't own the rights to The Hobbit.

Second: IIRC, it's not that there were rumors of a live-action Hobbit soon after LOTR came out; but rather, there was a lot of vocalized wishful-thinking in that regard.  Although TH is a prequel, in the aftermath of LOTR and its massive success, it made sense for people to think, "can there ever be a sequel?"  And the answer is, "No, but there's an obvious prequel waiting" (and nobody of course meant the Silmarillion; to which film rights don't exist anyway, and the Tolkien estate appears to be disinclined to sell those, as it wasn't completely enamored with the LOTR film treatment).

However, just about all the talk about a possible Hobbit at the time assumed that it wasn't worth doing if Peter Jackson didn't do it.  And it seemed fairly understandable that he and his team were utterly exhausted after ROTK came out.  Even if the LOTR experiment made it clear that it was both possible and profitable to front the money for such a giant production... you have to have a production team willing to do it, and whom you are willing to trust to do it. PJ and team had just proved they could... but for a long while, they weren't willing.

Third: I just can't see any way their calculations would have thought that an EQ movie coming out would have endangered The Hobbit.  I think it's the other way around: WB thought The Hobbit would make people even less interested in EQ.  The Hobbit itself, as a book, is far more famous than ElfQuest; and then there's the entire publicity surrounding LOTR and its success.  The Hobbit is seen as a sort of sequel to one of the most successful movie franchises of all time.  IMO there is just no way it loses any audience to even a very popularly-received ElfQuest movie coming out 6 months ahead of it.

I also have a somewhat hard time believing that studios think that way.  It usually seems that they think the opposite.  Look at both last summer and this coming summer: Marvel Studios puts out TWO superhero films in 2011, banking on the idea that one will whet people's appetites for the other, not that one will cause people to skip the other.  And their gamble pays off, even though 2011's summer also had other comics-derived films competing with Marvel's two, in addition to several other gigantic franchise films.  No, Marvel's Thor and Captain America didn't do business in the realms of POTC4 or Transformers 3.  But the two films did well, even in a summer that everybody agreed was over-saturated with films of that type.

One thing to take away from that is that Marvel played the synergy game well.  WB seems to have played it poorly, given how poorly-received Green Lantern was.  But GL's poor reception had more to do with abysmal critical reception and word-of-mouth and a muddled advertising campaign, not with audience saturation with superheroes (if the latter was true, then Captain America should have also tanked, and it didn't).

So I guess, in the end, I'm still saying that it seems foolish for WB to regard ElfQuest as a competitor with The Hobbit (they aren't apples to apples), instead of seeing it as an opportunity to keep audiences interested in the fantasy genre, with franchise films released in both summer and at Christmas.

And as you point out: EQ was so early in its production process that they had an option to simply take their time with getting it into production (rather than rushing it, which I think we can all agree would be undesirable anyway), and having an EQ movie aimed to come out in 2014, after the second Hobbit film is done.  It's certainly not too early for a studio to be planning for the 2014 season; Marvel Studios already is.

See Jeedai's post above, though -- WB makes some decisions that, to me, look really weird, anyway.  So this decision also just looks really weird; but it's of a piece with other weird-looking decisions they've made about their properties.


Quote
In the end, though, I dont think anyone is going to touch it with a ten foot pole until Hobbit winds down in a few years, unless they figure out a style that tears 'Hollywood' a new... Er, way of looking at things.

What Hollywood overall seems to have proven time and again is that it WANTS to imitate success... not avoid what seems to be successful due to over-saturation of the market. 

The Hobbit coming out did not stop two other studios from bringing out *competing* Snow White movies in 2012 -- even though they are much more obviously in thematic competition with The Hobbit concept than ElfQuest is ("a large cast of dwarves" + "high fantasy genre").  It will be interesting to see which SW movie is left standing... but at least they were "smart" enough to bring them out in the spring, far away from TH's release.


All that said... I still don't want to see an EQ feature film as much as I want to see it given a high-quality animated series treatment.  Where it would not be in competition with any fantasy-movie franchises; nor, giving the timing, would it be in competition with the new "Avatar: The Legend of Korra" series.  Rather, I see that as potentially setting up audience appetites for a property like ElfQuest in long-format.

I would love nothing more than to hear that that direction was at least being explored.
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TrollHammer

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Re: Warner: No ElfQuest movie.
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2012, 02:11:56 PM »

So what would you think about Marvel messing with ElfQuest? It isnt a superhero theme, as they ahve been persuing, but at one time EQ was published by Marvel/Epic.
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Eregyrn

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Re: Warner: No ElfQuest movie.
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2012, 12:03:56 PM »

Oh wow, I keep forgetting that!  But yes, a decade ago, that was true, right?

I guess I see that as two connected problems.  Marvel doesn't own EQ *now*, and it basically gave up on EQ back then.  Granted, back then, Marvel did not have its own movie studio.  But because it does now have one and is doing pretty well with it increasing the visibility/popularity of its long-standing properties, it makes me wonder if they'd be all that interested in acquiring another comics property (that they gave up on once), that can't fit into their "interconnected film universe" plans.

The other problem being... Marvel *is* now owned by Disney.  ;)  So if we are interested in keeping Disney AWAY from EQ...

(AFAIK, while Disney owns Marvel, they aren't interfering in how Marvel's movies are made at all.  And yes, otherwise, I think that Marvel is having success because they are exerting central control over their own properties and they really care how they come across in film -- which on its own is something I definitely want to see for whoever winds up doing EQ.)

Come to think of it, I need to look into who exactly is producing the Marvel animated series.  I doubt that is "Marvel Studios" per se...
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Eregyrn

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Re: Warner: No ElfQuest movie.
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2012, 04:11:28 PM »

I have to say, I find this announcement.... interesting.  Maybe suspicious.  I'm not sure.

"Warner Bros. has acquired live-action feature rights to Tite Kubo's manga and anime property "Bleach," which will be adapted by "Wrath of the Titans" scribe Dan Mazeau."

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118050608
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