Continuing on the popular trend of turning comic books into movies we have news of acclaimed 2005 Dark Horse comic El Zombo Fantasma being adapted. Death Ray Films and Maya Entertainment are teaming up to bring us the big-screen live-action adaptation, followed by an animated series.
The film will be written and directed by Kevin Munroe (a founding member of Death Ray Films) and will be produced by a collaboration of people - Munroe himself, Chris Patton, Jose Martinez, Kellvin Chavez (head honcho at the movie news site Latino Review) alongside the creators of the comic book Robert Sanchez (IESB.net) and David Wilkins. Executive producing will be Mike Richardson and Maya Entertainment founder and Academy Award nominee Moctesuma Esparza.
If you haven't heard of it, here is the very interesting story:
The story follows the mysterious murder of the world's most notorious Mexican wrestler who bargains his way out of an eternity of fiery damnation by returning to Los Angeles to play guardian angel to a troublesome teen, Belisa Montoya. He soon discovers that the teen is not what she seems and that their fates have been intertwined for centuries.
Those involved had this to say:
"Zombo started years ago as just a geeky idea between two friends who worked at the same video game company," says Munroe. "But Dave and I always knew that the property had a broader appeal than just its publishing roots, and now we'll see it finally reach an entirely new audience. I'm thrilled to be a part of creating this new breed of superhero for the big screen."
"As a Cuban-American in this industry, I see El Zombo as a unique property that will not only showcase Latinos but also appeal to all audiences. It has action, romance, redemption and wrestling, it's a Latin Hellboy," says Robert Sanchez. "It's the prefect date movie!"
"El Zombo is an extremely cool superhero and it's tremendous, pile-driving fun," says Kellvin Chavez. "As a fan of wrestling, I used to watch 'Santo, el Enmascarado de Plata' one of the most famous Mexican free wrestlers, so I was excited by this project."
"We are excited to work with Death Ray and Dark Horse on El Zombo as it furthers our goal of bringing Latino themes and Latino talent to the commercial market," says Jose Martinez Jr. for Maya. "We plan to blow this out in a big way so that everyone can enjoy this awesome idea.
Yet again this is a comic book I hadn't heard of before today (I really need to brush up on my comic-book reading) but from the story outline alone it has me extremely interested to see how it turns out. It sounds like a difficult task to translate to the big-screen without making it seem cheesy but from the info of the amount of producers putting their time and effort into it plus the fact that the original comic creators are on-board to adapt it just show that they have faith in the project.
There's a good reason that adapting comic books into movies is such a popular trend - they have fantastic potential for a cinematic telling, along with the obvious built-in audience they bring with them. The visual effects technology that's available now plus real creative talent being, for the most part, behind the adaptations make them worthwhile cinematic projects not just to make but for the audience to sit and watch.
El Zombo Fantasma (I wonder if they'll keep that name word for word) certainly sounds interesting and full of potential to be one hell of a fun movie...but do you agree?