Dark Horse President Hints At ‘B.P.R.D.’ Movie, Talks ‘The Goon,’ ‘R.I.P.D.’ And ‘Bruce Campbell Vs. Frankenstein’

Earlier this week we gave you a sneak peek at the upcoming relaunch of Dark Horse Comics’ anthology series “Dark Horse Presents,” including a preview of “Xerxes,” Frank Miller’s follow-up to “300.” Along with chatting up Dark Horse president Mike Richardson about all things DHP, we also got an update on some of the movie projects in development at their film production arm, Dark Horse Entertainment.

From adaptations of popular comic book series like “Criminal Macabre” and “The Goon” to original films like “Bruce Campbell Vs. Frankenstein,” Dark Horse currently has a long list of fan-friendly projects in various stages of development.

While Richardson couldn’t offer too many details, he did offer a status update of sorts for many of the films, and hinted that that one of the company’s most popular franchises is changing things up in a big way for its next installment.

Given the massive response to “The Goon” concept footage we exclusively premiered during last year’s Comic-Con International (it was the most-watched video on Splash Page in 2010), we’re not alone in wondering how the funding for the film is coming along. Last we heard, producer David Fincher and the rest of the “Goon” team were hoping to wrangle up enough investors to turn the short piece of animation we’ve seen into a full-length animated feature.

“We’re out putting the project together, still raising funds,” said Richardson of “The Goon.” “We’re certainly hoping to have success in that soon.”

“It’s a great clip,” he said of the teaser that premiered on Splash Page. “Blur Studios did a great job. We’re hopeful. We think it’s a very original series, and something the fans will really embrace. We’re hoping to get it funded really soon.”

Also in development is “R.I.P.D.,” a live-action adaptation of a Dark Horse graphic novel published in 2000. The project is at the center of a lot of attention lately, as Ryan Reynolds is attached to star in both “R.I.P.D.” and “Deadpool,” and has hinted that he’ll likely do one of the two, but not both. “Surrogates” filmmaker Robert Schwentke will direct the film.

“Robert Schwentke is working on designs and we’re moving forward on that one,” said Richardson. “We’re hoping for a start date sometime this summer. It’s a project we’ve invested a lot of time in, and it’s a great project.”

As for Reynolds’ involvement, Richardson couldn’t speak to the actor’s uncertain future with the film, but did explain why he’s the right man for the job.

“We approached him and he seemed to like it a lot at the beginning,” he said. “As it’s developed, he’s been very interested in the project, and he’s a great choice for the role if you’ve read the graphic novel. I think we have a really great movie in the works.”

Fans of “Evil Dead” star Bruce Campbell will be happy to know that plans for yet another film starring the actor are in the works.

“Bruce and I had a blast doing ’My Name Is Bruce,’ and Bruce’s fans really liked it,” said Richardson of the 2007 film that pitted Campbell against a vengeful demon. “We have a script for ’Bruce Campbell Vs. Frankenstein,’ but because of Bruce’s television work it got delayed. We’re hoping to get going on it later this year. We have ideas for several sequels, as long as can keep making them.”

And possibly the most intriguing news to come out of our chat was uncovered when we asked Richardson about the likelihood of seeing another “Hellboy” movie.

“There are some other projects Guillermo is working on right now, but you might be more likely to see a ’B.P.R.D.’ movie before another ’Hellboy’ movie,” he hinted.

Could the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense be getting its own spin-off movie? Richardson seemed to indicate that a “B.P.R.D.” movie was in the works, saying he’d “leave you with that teaser” to think about.

Finally, I ran through a short list of the projects currently in development with Dark Horse Entertainment, and Richardson offered up some quick updates.

“We’re working on ’Emily the Strange’ at Universal, and Steve Niles’ ’Criminal Macabre’ at Universal, and have high hopes for those projects,” he said. “They’re all strong projects with strong followings, and we’re developing them in the studio right now with writers.”

“Gerard Way’s series, ’Umbrella Academy,’ we have writers for that one and that’s also at Universal and moving along,” he added.

And there you have it, folks: Dark Horse Entertainment’s movie slate in a nutshell, courtesy of Mike Richardson. Make sure to check out “Dark Horse Presents” in April, and keep it locked to Splash Page for more on all of these comic book and movie projects.

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