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Chris Cunningham and RANXEROX - Coming To A Theater Near You Some Day' Warning: Graphic Images Contained!

Hey folks, Harry here... Seems that Chris Cunningham has been exploring and working up ideas for his feature film adaptation of Sterfano Tamburini and Tanino Liberatore's Amoral multilayered fully painted comic RANXEROX which concerned Sexual Abuse, Arm Rippings, Stabbings, Murders, Rampant Mayhem and sorts of intensely sexual and violent imagery caused by a Robot called Ranxerox, who could take off his skull cap and tighten and adjust the interior of his mechanical head. VERY COOL COMIC. Many of you know the work from the 1980's when it appeared in HEAVY METAL - still others know the original Italian books from the Seventies.

Chris Cunningham is the last of the super-geniuses from the realm of Music Video Directing that we haven't seen a feature film from. He's collaborated with Kubrick, was working up ideas and a script for A SCANNER DARKLY either with Richard Linklater and Steven Soderbergh or before them. For the longest time he was attached to bring to life NEUROMANCER, which is now dead. In a wonderful interview in RES magazine Chris talks with Shari Roman about his career, projects, philosophy, inspiration via LSD and tons more, you should definitely check it out. It is here where she asks him about Ranxerox:

Could that be why you're interested in adapting the '70s graphic novel, Ranxerox? The drawings make it seem sort of like a cross between Mad Max and Blade Runner.

I'm more interested in the characters than the drawings, and the flavor of it. It's something I want to start working on really soon. I have a lot of ideas on how I want to approach it as a film.

When you have a comic that attracted the love of Frank Zappa and the pages of HEAVY METAL and the genius of Chris Cunningham, I start smacking my lips and hoping that this is the project that finally brings Cunningham to our local theaters...

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 26, 2002, 8:17 a.m. CST

    could it get an R rating?

    by cncoyle

    Hopefully they'll make this movie all-out nasty without caring about ratings. (First)

  • Sept. 26, 2002, 8:27 a.m. CST

    I seriously doubt that this could ever make the transition to li

    by TimBenzedrine

    This has got about as much of a chance of being made as that "Den" movie you suggested about a month ago.

  • Sept. 26, 2002, 9:19 a.m. CST

    Ranxerox? A movie? SUH-WEEEET!

    by Shai-Hulud

    But you can bet your bippy that this never EVER sees the light of day. Not gonna happen. And if it did, they'd want some pinhead like Vin Diesel to play him. Ol' Rankie's too big for live-action. Not to mention the fact that hardly anyone in this spoon-fed pop-culture wasteland we live in would know who he is...I just don't think it would work. [SIGH]Oh well. But as long as we're fantasizing about Heavy Metal heroes, why not a "Mercenary" film, based on the Segrelles comics? Now THAT would be cool. So would a DEN flick, but I think we got as close to that as we'll ever get with HEAVY METAL. "You die, she dies, everybody dies"...I love that silly movie.

  • Sept. 26, 2002, 10:06 a.m. CST


    by BigAssScar

    Wow, I'm not that familiar with the Ranxerox comic, i have a slight recollection of it from Heavy Metal. Now, is it just me, or does that lead character have a striking resemblance to Steven King? I think it is quite uncanny and someone should be suing!

  • Sept. 26, 2002, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Relative of Renfield? (Tom Waits)

    by The Grin

    In that first picture, the face looks like Tom Waits as Renfield in "Bram Stoker's Dracula"....

  • Sept. 26, 2002, 10:53 a.m. CST

    If this were posted anywhere else but AICN, you'd be hearing

    by Terry_1978

    Hence our open-mindedness here, I doubt that'll take place. The man does very interesting work, and it'll take a lot of work to bring it to another medium.

  • Sept. 26, 2002, 11:16 a.m. CST

    Damn Cool

    by Son Of Batboy

    Interesting stuff. Great paintings. Looks raw and angry. Hope he's able to do it though I agree it'll be a tough sell. You need someone with the spirit of SAM ARKOFF to get this thing made.

  • Sept. 26, 2002, 11:26 a.m. CST

    My hometown?

    by Rand Race

    While I've always dug the comic, I just don't see sexualy active, 12 year-old, infant-abusing heroin junkies going over well here in the States. Psychotic two-headed Elvis fans sure, but Ran's girlfriend is a bit much for small-town theatres.

  • Sept. 26, 2002, 11:28 a.m. CST

    I want an adaption of Miller & Darrow's HARD BOILED

    by Abyss

    Fuck this Xerox/photocopier shit whatever it is.

  • Sept. 26, 2002, 1:49 p.m. CST

    Very exciting for 2 reasons.......

    by MechaniFerret

    1.Chris Cunningham has created some of the most visually stunning music videos in existence 2.Richard D. James(Aphex Twin) is supposed to do the soundtrack for Chris's first movie. There is also a possibility that Boards of Canada could do part of the soundtrack as well. If you haven't done so..check out the videos Chris has done for Aphex Twin, they are some of the most disturbingly creative pieces to ever be put to media. The video for Windowlicker is fucking hilarious and the effects will make your eyeballs shoot out of your skull.(I agree the Bjork video he did is pure brilliance) I feel like every day that passes without a film from Chris is another day wasted in this genius's life. I'll STFU now. PS....I want to see a live action version of Big Guy and Rusty The Boy Robot that is loyal to the comic series. MF

  • Sept. 26, 2002, 2:14 p.m. CST

    Steven King...

    by Miworld777

    Them pictures of that bloke with the piggy nose, looks like horror man, Steven King...

  • Sept. 26, 2002, 2:37 p.m. CST

    by p_yarrum

    I think that Nic Cage has signed up for Hard Boiled. This looks pretty cool but i doubt that it'll get made or if it does that they'll keep the original content.

  • Sept. 26, 2002, 3:21 p.m. CST

    would rather have neuromancer

    by Count-Zero

    come on Chris! I don't want this, give me data thiefs and mercenaries.

  • Sept. 26, 2002, 3:53 p.m. CST

    never gonna happen

    by Ignatz

    I got was reading these books when I was about eight, got busted for it too.The only way this will happen is as a re-imagined steaming pile of crap. Though I would still pay good money to see it, unlike a certain other re-imagined steaming pile I can think of.FM/GD hard boiled would rule, especially if it were done as an animation. Hollywood just won't deliver because there's not enough people willing to pay for this.

  • Sept. 26, 2002, 4 p.m. CST

    I mean really

    by Ignatz

    The essence of ranxerox is that he's a psychopathic horny robot in love with an UNDER-AGE JUNKIE who he has sex with constantly, except for the few times when he's twisting peoples heads clean off or having sex with other UNDER-AGE girls. I love this kind of stuff, but I think a live action version, adapted faithfully, would be really quite illegal.

  • Sept. 26, 2002, 4:20 p.m. CST


    by Buck_Turgidson

    Highly repressed adolescent wank images contained!!!!!

  • Sept. 26, 2002, 4:22 p.m. CST

    Looks like

    by darthhaole

    Is it just me, or does the top picture remind anyone else of Nick Nolte? Personally, I think making movies out of dark comics like this is a bad idea. As long as comics like Superman, Spiderman, X-men, know, the kind where you can take your kids to see it, are coming out, the genre will do well. It's this kind of stuff that could kill it for us all. Maybe I'm just reading to much into it, but it seems that one really bad comic failure could cause movie companies to think that maybe it's time to move on. That would suck! I know I don't really want to take my daughters to see a crazed robot doing it with underage girls...but maybe that's just my Christian upbringing... If I feel that way, I'm sure other parents feel the same way.

  • Sept. 26, 2002, 4:59 p.m. CST

    My last post if anyone cares

    by BigAssScar

    I want to take back the last line of my previous post. "I think it is quite uncanny and someone should be suing!" Once i looked at it on the board, i seem really gay. almost as gay as that cartoon of Harry. Jesus Christ, please bring back the one where his head gets blown off.

  • Sept. 26, 2002, 5:52 p.m. CST

    just drooled all over the keyboard

    by aphekqs

    well, if it ever gets made it'll be amazing, but i doubt it'll happen. imagine the shitstorm it'll start. still, i'd love to see what Cunningham, who i consider to be a stone-cold genius, could do with the subject. the very thought of it is enough to give me chills.

  • Sept. 26, 2002, 7:02 p.m. CST


    by Ignatz

    Heavy Metal drew blankets over Ranx's Schlong in some of their publications. This is strange when you consider the fact that Den was always running around feeling the breeze. No Holywood movie is likely to show penis(exception of crying game,I'm sure there's another but these only prove the rule). They could get around this and the whole under-age thing, but is it really worth it? Somethings are just better left in print, but not Hard Boiled! or Neuromancer for that matter.

  • Sept. 26, 2002, 8:13 p.m. CST

    This, and that Den thing, are so fucking homoerotic

    by Saucy_Jack

    Like one of the posters said, Vin Diesel would be perfect for this role, being a new gay icon and all...

  • Sept. 26, 2002, 9:07 p.m. CST

    by dplatt

  • Sept. 26, 2002, 9:08 p.m. CST


    by dplatt

  • Sept. 26, 2002, 9:11 p.m. CST

    Can't see how this could possibly be released...

    by dplatt

    ... at least not as a mainstream movie. I remember the original comic, and being disturbed by it (I vividly remember the face in the fan). I'm not saying that ultraviolent movies can't be released (Hannibal comes to mind), but the ultraviolence combined with such an obscure character makes it seem impossible. That said, Ranxerox is a dead ringer for Jim McMahon of the Chicago Bears... is he too old now?

  • Sept. 26, 2002, 9:46 p.m. CST

    I feel sorry for people who are so void of creativity that they

    by Smeg For Brains

    At least the Beatles proved their talents before they got into he whole drug aspect, but I couldn't imagine having to resort to drugs to create something. As an artist/comic artist/writer I could only imagine drugs clouding my mind and making it even harder to get out my ideas in an interesting way. Having gone to art school, I've also seen the results of so called creativity through drug use first hand,many times, and it is usually pretty pathetic. I await the scorn of all the drugged up losers out there in Talkback land. C'mon, just try to tell me that drugs are good for art. All I could say to that is if you can't do it without drugs, it isn't you that is doing it anyway. If you had the talent , or creativity, you wouldn't need the drugs.

  • Sept. 26, 2002, 11:13 p.m. CST


    by KONG33

    it depends on what you're offering/creating, I really doubt it would help a comic book in the short term. I don't use drugs, but I'm offering a different opinion, if you used drugs once twenty years ago, could they help you in art today? I think so. If you take 'drugs' for depression they often give you strange, inspiring dreams of some definite value, do those drugs not count? Would you personally discredit dreams or life experiences as well as drugs? Aren't they almost exactly alike? A person can never understand the song 'I Don't Like the Drugs (But the Drugs Like Me)' or the importance/relevance (if any) of drug art until they take a drug, so it is technically a life experience.

  • Sept. 27, 2002, 1:50 a.m. CST

    Smeg For Brains

    by St.Buggering

    I am also an artist, and I do have to take issue with your Nancy Reagan-like position. I have done LSD in the past, and I do have to say that it opened up manners of perceiving the world to which I was not privy before. Do I still do it? No. It served its purpose already. I agree with you to the extent that artists shouldn't NEED to be ON drugs to perform their art. But HAVING DONE them can indeed be a valuable experience, in the same way that having traveled in Europe can be a valuable experience. As long as you don't think you have to be in Europe to produce art. But when you say that if someone produces art on drugs, it's not really them doing it, you're way off the mark. You can't just take any schmoe off the street, hand him a tab of acid, and expect him to produce Sergeant Pepper. Art requires talent; being on drugs is really no different from being crazy and fucked up, which, let's face it, many real artist are.

  • Sept. 27, 2002, 7:49 a.m. CST

    Libertore didn't paint Ranx...

    by dudemanguy

  • Sept. 27, 2002, 7:55 a.m. CST

    Libertore didn't paint Ranx...

    by dudemanguy

    I kid you not - He said in an interview that he drew it with markers. I'm an artist, and that just boggles my mind. I have no idea how he could come up with a technique like that. Markers may be a conveniently portable medium, but how do you make subtle gradation in color with it? How do you keep it from saturating the paper? The man's skill has me in awe.

  • Sept. 27, 2002, 2:25 p.m. CST


    by Ignatz

    You know if they made lubna's drug addiction more of a sad thing and played down the sexuality, to maybe not quite the level of The Professional. It could work, base it on Ranx in NewYork and keep the Fred Astair number with the topless dancing girls! that would be sweet. I think the daughter on Gilmore Girls could make a great Lubna and Vin Deasil as Ranx(joke).

  • Sept. 27, 2002, 9:29 p.m. CST

    Gotta Be Kidding

    by TriMister

    I Love Ranx. Libetore was a god. But to have stuff like wiping fresh blood and semen from the back of the cab he drove, man there is no way any studio would dish the cash to make Ranx real. He was hardcore and the studios, like many with too much money, are too soft. Gutless cowards. So I don't think this gonna happen. Ranx rules!

  • Sept. 27, 2002, 9:29 p.m. CST

    Gotta Be Kidding

    by TriMister

    I Love Ranx. Libetore was a god. But to have stuff like wiping fresh blood and semen from the back of the cab he drove, man there is no way any studio would dish the cash to make Ranx real. He was hardcore and the studios, like many with too much money, are too soft. Gutless cowards. So I don't think this gonna happen. Ranx rules!

  • Sept. 27, 2002, 10:20 p.m. CST

    wiping the _____ off the seats

    by dplatt

    Actually, wiping the blood and cum off the seats is nothing new... Travis Bickle did it in Taxi Driver, although Scorsese didn't show it. I still don't think this movie could be made. I didn't even notice the part about the 12-year-old junkie girlfriend. That's enough to get it banned most places.

  • Sept. 28, 2002, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Yeah scoring dope was job number one

    by TriMister

    Yeah even if they did finance it, getting a distributor would be near impossible. I seem to remember lotsa shooting sniffing and snuffing. It was awesome in it's hardcore reality. I would love to see an appreciation of Liberatore anfd some others from Heavy Metal's heyday (late seventies through the 80's). BTW thanks for the JPEGS.

  • Sept. 28, 2002, 10:41 a.m. CST

    ya gotta love ebonic_plague

    by frank cotton

    his posts are half the reason i read these talkbacks. as for drug use, some people shouldn't be allowed to be on them, and some shouldn't be allowed to be off them. same as with alcohol, it all a matter of body chemistry and the individual psyche. as for drugs and art, compare post drug aerosmith to their previous work. hell, pick any led zeppelin album. i imagine there are alot of straight hacks that might actually do something that doesn't suck if someone would just pack them a couple of bong hits.

  • Sept. 29, 2002, 7:12 a.m. CST

    interesting discussion about drugs in art...

    by phasmatrope

    I can understand and agree with both sides of this issue. I can indeed see where a lot of the drug use in art comes from; there certainly have been a TON of memorable artists over the years with various degrees of mental stability, and even if they're not going so far as to hack off their ear, then these people certainly have their issues, and for that matter, drugs are what they are: a source of escapism. I think if you can produce fantastic art without doing drugs, so much the better. And while we could go on and on about whether the art produced under the influence of drugs is "pure" art or not, for a lot of artists, it's just about relaxing and exploring different states of consciousness. Dreaming's an altered state of consciousness; is art that was inspired by someone's dream the work of a lazy hack? I'm a writer and I draw, I used to be very close-minded and anti-drug, but have become more accepting and certainly don't pass up on the chiba now and then. Hell, even cough syrup, a legal and arguably much more juvenile form of "drug," can likewise stimulate some subconscious creative thinking now and then (and for those who are hung up on the idea of illegal drug-inspired art being bad, let's not forget that alcohol IS a drug, and how many famous authors have been alcoholics??). Though I sure hoped I never would when I was twelve, I don't regret that I tried pot. All the same, I'm not going to do it everyday, and certainly don't need to everytime I sit down to write. I think the simple fact of the matter is that people are going to do drugs no matter what: blame it on addictive personalities, weak wills, irresponsibilty, I don't know. It's human nature, we are flawed. I would much rather have some poor drug user be capable of expressing themselves and using their talent to try make a living than to simply end up on the street begging for change, as is often the case with most drug users.

  • Sept. 30, 2002, 3:55 p.m. CST

    this won't be a hollywood film

    by inc

    There is absolutely no indication from Cunningham's work so far that he would even be interested in working with Hollywood studio restrictions. Besides that, there would be no chance in hell that a Hollywood studio would touch this anyway. ----- It'd have to be an indie film, with UK, European or even Canadian money. Like any comic to film adaptation, it's unlikely to be a straight version either. Another thing to think about is the difference between American Psycho the book and the American Psycho movie. It is possible to work with this kind of extreme material and make something that doesn't get banned everywhere. ----- As for not being able to take his "disturbing" videos seriously, they are MEANT to funny. That scene in the "Come to Daddy" video with the anorexic giant screaming at the granny cracks me up everytime. And "Windowlicker" is the perfect chaser to any hip hop "booty girl" video. ----- -inc -

  • Oct. 3, 2002, 2:23 a.m. CST


    by Ronnie_Dobbs

    ... is, and probably always will be, the greatest musical genius who ever lived!!!! And this movie looks cool.