One project that’s been in development hell for a while is a big-screen adaptation of Wendy and Richard Pini’s long-running fantasy adventure comic “ElfQuest.” Warner Brothers picked up the rights to the 35-year-old series back in ’08 while they were knee-deep in “The Hobbit” pre-production and since then, there’s been absolutely no movement towards getting the world of two moons onto the big screen. That film reached the finished script stage in late 2009 before before languishing on the pile of other WB properties.
Well, now that the rights have reverted back to its creators, they’ve gone ahead and passed them along to indie producers Stephanie Thorpe and Paula Rhodes who were responsible for the 2011 award-winning short “ElfQuest: A Fan Imagining.”
In the press release, the duo’s ability to put together fan-funding is given a bit of attention, while never explicitly calling out any efforts to get this made into a feature film. Best guess: we’ll be seeing “ElfQuest” as some kind of episodic web production in the style of Bruce Boxleitner’s “Lantern City” or on the more expensive side of things, 343 Industries’ “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn.” Which might be the right move. A full-fledged fantasy feature is expensive and unless J.R.R. Tolkien’s name is somewhere in the title, it might struggle at the box office. A live-action or animated web series could be a more manageable for the producers: while a big-budget, tentpole fantasy feature might not allow for a narrow focus on one or two characters with a limited number of settings, but web audiences seem more understanding of that kind of format.
“ElfQuest,” which launched in 1978, tells the story of a group of elves being driven from their forest home by encroaching humans only to encounter another tribe of elves.