Star Wars isn’t the only epic gaining new life this year; the feature version of the 1980’s fantasy short film Black Angel has officially begun casting.

The original short film was commissioned by George Lucas himself to run alongside The Empire Strikes Back, but despite receiving high praise from prominent filmmakers like Steven Spielberg, Black Angel short film was considered lost. In 2011, however, Universal Studios found one of the originals safely stored away. It was released on YouTube and quickly became a sensation. Now a new version of the film will be getting its own release, and has landed some pretty major players for the cast.

Variety has announced that John Rhys-Davies (known for playing Gimli as well as providing additional voices for Peter Jackson’s Lord of The Rings films), has come onboard as King Aeolus. Joining him is Batman Begins and True Blood actor Rutger Hauer as High Priest Sirdar. Laura Weissbecker will star as the warrior princess Kyna, who sets off on an epic journey in order to stop a demon king from ruling the land.

Underworld director Roger Christian, who helmed the 1980 short, is set to direct the feature. Here’s what Christian told Variety about the upcoming project:

I wrote ‘Black Angel’ as an epic adventure inspired by the great Samurai films. For the feature film I want the audience to experience the intensity of the battles where life or death is the only prize. Like the first ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Alien’ we are going for absolute reality, engaging the audience in the drama so they feel like they are really there in this ancient world, shot in staggeringly beautiful landscapes, ancient cities and castles. With flying demons and sorcerers, princesses and knights, armies of the undead and an evil god of the underworld, we are filming down and dirty; ultimate realism that audiences hunger for and the world I am passionate to create on film again.

’Black Angel: The Feature Film’ is being made for the fans and crowdfunding is the best way of ensuring creative freedom so that audiences get the film they want to see made.

Cast of Black Angel Movie Hauer Rhys Davies Weissbecker Black Angel Revival Casts LOTR & Batman Begins Stars

Rhys-Davies, Weissbecker and Hauer

With help from Indiegogo, which has a funding goal of $100,000, production will begin in September and take place in nearly half a dozen countries. Funding as already reached $31,120, with a variety of goodies still up for grabs including a preview screening and red carpet access. Production is set to begin in September.

At this time, Black Angel does not have a release date.

Source: Variety, Indiegogo, Youtube

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