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GROO Is Wandering Towards The Bigscreen!!

Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...

This is a great comic, probably the best thing Sergio Aragones ever did, and I’m curious to see how it’ll work on the bigscreen. Here’s the press release we got from the company that has just aquired the film rights:

Marc Toberoff’s company, IPW (Intellectual Properties Worldwide) has acquired the motion picture rights to the long-running comic book GROO THE WANDERER. Created by Sergio Aragones with writer Mark Evanier, GROO was first published in 1983 and generated an immediate outpouring of affection for its unique irreverence. Groo’s adventures now number over 170 issues, and Aragones and Evanier will draw from this wealth of material to write a screenplay as part of their deal with IPW.

Best described as Conan the Barbarian meets Shrek, the comic book has attracted many suitors of late. Toberoff, along with IPW’s head of production J. Todd Harris, teamed with Bay Area producer Jeffrey Allard, President of Indie Entertainment, LLC and executive producer of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, to take the property off the market.

“I’ve known Mark Evanier and have been a fan of Sergio for many years,” noted IPW Chairman Toberoff. “For me, GROO is one of the few remaining crown jewels of the comic world. Imagine crossing Arnold Schwarzenegger with Peter Sellers and voilà -- GROO. Sergio is a visual genius and Mark’s witty dialogue and stories are hilarious and family-friendly. In a couple years, our kids will be saying “GROO, GROO, GROO” like Shrek today.”

Able to lay waste to entire armies while saddled with the mental capacity of sand, Groo roams the land with his swords and his adoring dog Rufferto, encountering dragons, wizards, witches and kings along the way. Villains often attempt to exploit his legendary swordsmanship by playing on his lack of smarts, but Groo’s charming blend of naiveté and stubborn literalness has an uncanny way of derailing their schemes.

Aragones is best known for his work for Mad Magazine, to which he's been a regular contributor since 1963. He has won every known award for cartooning, including the prestigious Reuben Award from the National Cartoonists Society. Evanier has extensive writing credits in comic books and television (including three Emmy nominations). His television writing includes Garfield and Friends, Mother Goose and Grimm, and Superman. Together, Aragones and Evanier have been nominated for fifteen of the comic industry's Eisner Awards since 1992 (twelve for GROO) and have won six times.

Marc Toberoff recently founded IPW to focus full-time on acquiring rights to branded properties for exploitation via film, television and merchandising. The company recently set up My Bodyguard at Dimension Films and has numerous projects in development including The Immortals at Paramount. and Fantasy Island at Sony. Other properties in various stages of development include Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Guys and Dolls, Grand Hotel, Rififi, Little Caesar, Asphalt Jungle, Sanford & Son, Hart to Hart, Ironside, Police Woman, and Piranha

In addition to writing the screenplay, Aragones and Evanier will serve as executive producers. Toberoff and Harris will produce. Allard will executive produce.

Hmmmmm... I love GROO, but I don’t know if I’d compare it to SHREK, necessarily. Whatever the case, I hope this maintains the comic’s original sense of humor. Could be loads of fun...

"Moriarty" out.

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 27, 2004, 7:07 a.m. CST

    this shallow life.....

    by ChickenGeorgeVII

    I AM EVERYWHERE! I AM THE KING OF THE FIRSTIES!...And thus, I have half left in the bottle! - - - George, The 7th Chicken!!!!

  • Sept. 27, 2004, 7:25 a.m. CST

    Mmm, cheese dip

    by Cerebud

    Love Groo. What a great book. And you're right, he has nothing to do with Shrek, but I'm assuming that how they're trying to sell it to the simps. This really has to be animated, you know? And not CG. Would Groo be Groo without Aragones' distinctive art? Almost everyone know Aragones. If you're wondering what he did for Mad, all you had to do was look in between the panels, in the margins, etc... Brilliant stuff. Hope it does well. Mark Evanier discusses this at his blog,

  • Sept. 27, 2004, 8:21 a.m. CST

    Well, they're THINKING Shrek, so we'd better be ready

    by filker-tom

    The best chance is fortunately the easiest -- if Evanier and Aragones can come up with a script that's funny in and of itself without having so much specifically modern satire (roughly the same chance as the sun rising in the East) and selling it ON THAT BASIS, i.e., "If we put in TOO much of that stuff, people would just say 'aw, it's like Shrek, but not enough', so we shied away from it. This way you've got something Shrek-like in its innovation, but without the 'hip' baggage." It's worth a shot, anyway.

  • Sept. 27, 2004, 8:53 a.m. CST

    I'm not sure this is going to work.

    by rev_skarekroe

    See one of Groo's things is that the only thing he's good at is killing people violently with his swords. Groo kills entire armies in a single issue. I have a feeling studios are going to balk at that kind of carnage when they're being sold what they think is the next Shrek. sk

  • Sept. 27, 2004, 9:45 a.m. CST

    What do you mean..."Slow of mind"?

    by SpyGuy

    Properly handled, GROO THE WANDERER could be just the thing to snap US 2-D animation out of its corporate stagnation. And yes, GROO will only work as a 2-D film, with an insane amount of frays and cheese dip. Appearances by the Sage, Rufferto, Chakaal and Arba & Dakarba are a must.

  • Sept. 27, 2004, 12:16 p.m. CST

    ain't it cold news? i read this 1 or 2 days ago

    by DarthBakpao

  • Sept. 27, 2004, 3:53 p.m. CST

    Groo the Moviestar?

    by JT Kirk

    It's been a long time since I've actually thought about Groo the Wanderer. I used to enjoy the comic a lot but it eventually fell off my radar around the time of the big comics crash which took out my local comic stores. Groo was always a fun read, but I honestly cannot imagine how it would be transformed into a cinematic universe - animated or not. I'd love to see them try though, but like the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers movie that disappeared, I highly doubt this piggy will actually make it to market. It's too bad too because we could really use some over-the-top, unapologetic, R-rated fantasy violence right about now.

  • Sept. 27, 2004, 4:02 p.m. CST


    by RickSlamu2

    ... I don't know if that's a good thing or bad thing but that's what i'd put money on!!!

  • Sept. 27, 2004, 6:13 p.m. CST

    this shoulda been made in the 80's as an R-rated barbarian movie

    by Mr Brownstone

    But that time has come and gone. Aragones was mean to me at a comic convention when I was just a kid, so fuck him and the horse he rode in on.

  • Sept. 27, 2004, 9:23 p.m. CST

    This could be cool

    by corvette63

    If they do it like Samurai Jack or Clone Wars where it looks like 2-D but is done with computers. Being an early fan of the Epic series, I hope this gets made.

  • Sept. 28, 2004, 1:29 a.m. CST

    I want to start a fray!

    by NubtheSquirrel

    I can't fucken wait! Groo will absolutely hilarious if Evanier writes.! All I know is that the movie better have Rufferto and the Sage with his pet dog, Mulch.

  • Sept. 28, 2004, 5:33 a.m. CST

    So 3-D CGI is over already?

    by Napoleon Park

    Obviously this couldn't be done live action unless it was absolutely brilliant (in other words, if Aragones and Evanier had artistic total controlm and even then... well, Liz Taylor and halle berry couldn't save the Flintstones... So it HAS to be animated and it HAS to be done in the closest approximation of Sergio's drawing style possible. but does that absolutely preclude having it done in 3-D CGI> Hey, I thought the Treehouse/homer int he Twilight Zone ep that ended with a minute of 3-D Simpson was a hoot. sure, it looked wrong, that was what made it funny. Imagine a 3-D version of Groo with that fat round body and those spindley little legs that couldn't support his legs if he were a model or sculpture (or clay-mation). That would be a hoot. As for the violence, Groo waves his swords, people fall down dead. There's not really that much beheading, disemboweling, or explicet violence anyway. Less than Usagi Yojimbo (another good property that should get an animation deal) But I agree, thay can't tone it down from there; eith do Groo or don;t do it, no middle ground. But then it's not my money. If someone gave me a million bucks for my comic strip The Three Pals they could do it anime style for all I care. And I am not overly fond of anime, to put it mildly.