Movie News

Latest on the Live Action LAST UNICORN Flick

Published at: May 30, 2005, 5:56 a.m. CST

Hey folks, Harry here with the latest on the live-action LAST UNICORN film from creator Peter Beagle... who has been continually screwed over on all things regarding THE LAST UNICORN, but he's hoping for a brighter future and personally - if you're a fan of the original, you can't wait for his sequel book, TWO HEARTS. The real question after this piece is who is the Hollywood Heavyweight that has come aboard THE LAST UNICORN - or more to the point is about to come aboard. Here ya go...

Hey Harry,

I've enjoyed your site for a while now, thanks. This might not be big or impacting news but for anyone that's a fan of The Last Unicorn it may be pretty cool, and you should at least know.

I got this today from Peter Beagle's newsletter, the Raven.

"LAST UNICORN FILM NEWS

It wouldn't be a RAVEN without an update on the announced live-action version of The Last Unicorn. This time the structure is inevitably a bit like one of those good news/bad news jokes, however.

The Good News: Continent Films, the company which has held an option on the property for the last five years, recently paid the Big Movie Money needed to exercise the buyout clause on their deal with Granada Media, the English company which owns the rights to the 1982 animated movie. This buyout fee was $250,000, so their action shows serious commitment.

The Bad News: The announced budget is a third what Peter believes it should be, and he hates their plan to create his unicorn by filming a trained horse (or horses) and modifying the picture with CGI later. If that's how things are going to be, he'd rather they not make the film at all.

The Good News: Continent says they are bringing a new producer on board who is a Hollywood heavyweight, someone with a background in this kind of movie, someone who can get things done and get the budget increased.

The Bad News: Peter has heard this kind of rah-ah before, and it has never led anywhere. It may not lead anywhere this time either.

The Good News: IF the name being mentioned is for real, and IF the deal goes through, it would radically change the situation for the better.

So let's all cross our fingers. In the meantime, it turns out that Peter's 1978 film contract for The Last Unicorn granted him all media rights in any sequels that he writes. Now that "Two Hearts" is coming out, and a full sequel novel is in the works, Peter is free to try and start up his own direct cinematic sequel to The Last Unicorn if he can find an interested producer or studio. That search has begun."

It's too bad the budget is being restrained but I'm excited to know the project is moving forward in some way. As far as the use of the horse, I can understand why someone who likes unicorns would care so much, but I think it's probably the best way to get the movement somewhat realistic. The hooves, tail, and horn can be manipulated afterwards. Idunno, maybe a CG Unicorn would be better. Need to see tests first! Whether they're planning on using a real bull or not might be the real question.

Hope this was of some interest,

-cgmatrix

Readers Talkback

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  • May 30, 2005, 5:58 a.m. CST

    by ManDevil

    First

  • May 30, 2005, 6:09 a.m. CST

    Morg

    by SilverGiz

    Yay...Unicorns

  • May 30, 2005, 6:46 a.m. CST

    third...strike

    by sounding

    wonder if this is a preteen movie or something with some weight. imagine killer unicorns. bloody horn, gording then eating victims. potential?

  • May 30, 2005, 7:16 a.m. CST

    PLEASE GET MOVING ON THIS!!!!

    by Anna Valerious

    I've been waiting to see Jonathan Rhys-Meyers in a fantasy movie (He had signed on to play Schmendrick the magician) for a LOOOOONNNNGGGG time. Besides, Christopher Lee is not getting any younger...

  • May 30, 2005, 7:40 a.m. CST

    I never liked The Last Unicorn...

    by DerLanghaarige

    ...but my sister loves it and she is really looking forward to this. And who knows? Maybe I like the live-action more than the animated one? (If they finally make one)

  • May 30, 2005, 8:14 a.m. CST

    Rhys-Meyers was in Gormenghast. That was Fantasy.

    by Trevor Goodchild

    Isn't a Unicorn a horse?

  • May 30, 2005, 8:42 a.m. CST

    I loved the animated...

    by Karmakin

    I just don't see doing a live action of it. I just don't see it. The pace of the story is too relaxed almost. I think this is one story they really shouldn't even try to redo because they'll mess it up.

  • May 30, 2005, 8:45 a.m. CST

    Will there be Ligers? *NM

    by AI Joe

  • May 30, 2005, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Karmakin is right

    by howudoinchewbaca

    I loved this movie when I was a kid, and although I haven't seen it since 1988 when the betamax finally gave out, I'm almost positive a live action version could never live up to the creepiness of the original. Maybe it wouldn't seem so weird now, but as a kid it seemed very dark compared to fraggle rock.

  • May 30, 2005, 10:30 a.m. CST

    I think just a horse w/ a horn is good enough.

    by Nice Marmot

    The unicorns in Legend were one of the only convincing elements. And don't forget the unicorns in The Ice Pirates. . . .

  • May 30, 2005, 11:13 a.m. CST

    2 bad the region 1 dvd is PAN & SCAN only

    by Acne Scarface

    considering how the majority of dvds are presented in their original aspect ratio, it's bewildering that the domestic release of this & several other movies are put-out in p/s versions only. oh, i c, "it's just for kids. kids don't care about widescreen presentation".

  • May 30, 2005, 12:06 p.m. CST

    People actually CARE about this??!!!!!!!!

    by Mister Man

    For Pete's Sake. Just wave Charles Adam's famous illustration in front of your face, and pretend it's a movie. It showed Noah's Ark in the distance, with a unicorn standing alone on a flooded mountaintop. (Maybe there were two of 'em, cause one wouldn't have made too much sense, anyway.)

  • May 30, 2005, 12:31 p.m. CST

    Trained horse modified with CGI

    by Gheorghe Zamfir

    He doesn't like that idea, what does he want, a complete CGI unicorn?

  • Then how did it appear in his film several times? Who was really behind the 80s nostalgia in Donnie Darko, hmmm? When was the last time an animated film this good was made? I've only seen it once in the past 15-20 years (a couple of years ago) and I was awed. No wonder kids are the way they are now, with the shit their brains are being filled with. classic film

  • May 30, 2005, 2:40 p.m. CST

    Mister Man - Charles Adam's famous illustration

    by RobertsPlant

    Do you know where I can get a print of this?

  • May 30, 2005, 6:33 p.m. CST

    I think I remember...

    by Duncan_Idaho72

    this movie. It was a long time ago though. I remember a unicorn, a flaming bull (no not a homosexual one, though he could've been) and some sort of hero wizard with a huge frickin nose. I dont remember the story at all though. I do remember I loved that movie when I was a kid so...meh.

  • May 30, 2005, 9:15 p.m. CST

    "People actually CARE about this??!!!!!!!!"

    by Stan the Bat

    Not on this board- because it's a well-written book. Wrong crowd. However, it will probably be made into a real ass sandwich of a movie, so if you can't read, you're probably right not to care about it.

  • May 30, 2005, 11:28 p.m. CST

    I can remember the song in it...

    by mondoz2

    I remeber a magician, some kind of mountain, and a woman with long hair that was naked or something at one point. And another really ugly woman, with short hair, I think. There was some kind of bad guy, and unicorns in the water. The only thing I can clearly remember is the song at the end (Or was it the beginning?) with the title of the movie in it. Come to think of it, this was a really trippy movie. Or at least my memories of it are...

  • May 31, 2005, 1:09 a.m. CST

    Animated movie

    by tbrosz

    The animated movie was okay. I liked it when it first came out--a strange combination of Rankin-Bass/Paul Coker style and anime, long before most people knew what the hell anime was. Some damn good voice actors in there, too, including Christopher Lee. I'm not sure that a complete CGI unicorn would be that much more expensive than running trained horses through their paces.

  • May 31, 2005, 1:55 a.m. CST

    How about releasing another Rankin & Bass classic on DVD....THE

    by Monkey_King

    The Last Unicorn was great for it's time, there are even huge fans of the soundtrack by America, but a live action version? Wasn't Ridley Scott's LEGEND enough? BTW a THE BERMUDA DEPTHS DVD is something Anchor Bay needs to jump on ASAP.

  • May 31, 2005, 4:42 a.m. CST

    Robertsplant

    by Mister Man

    I've seen the illustration in a published Charles Adams retrospective - try a Google search. And, Stan, I read quite a bit, just not about unicorns. But then again, I don't collect the DOLLS advertised on this site, either.

  • May 31, 2005, 8:37 a.m. CST

    Was it that good to begin with?

    by IamGreedo'sGhost

    Alright, it may be worth seeing if the skeleton drinking the booze is done well!

  • May 31, 2005, 9:06 a.m. CST

    Unicorns are supposed to look like DEER with a horn...

    by Sith Witch

    According to their earliest depictions, they are much more frail and deer-like than the modern conception of a heavy-footed horse. Peter Beagle's novel describes the unicorn as looking like the classical depiction, and so that is why he's burned by the use of horses in this picture. I hope they use the songs by America for the live-action remake...

  • May 31, 2005, 10:46 a.m. CST

    Great cartoon.

    by Engelhast

    They should leave it at that IMO. Oh and FIRST bitches!

  • May 31, 2005, 11:48 a.m. CST

    "he hates their plan to create his unicorn by filming a trained

    by Immortal_Fish

    Why? Isn't this the way most human and/or animal effects should be? Case in point, Hulk and Thing. Consider Hellboy's hand. Despite what you may have thought of that movie, blending CGI and traditional make-up rarely turns out bad if the talent is there.

  • May 31, 2005, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Thanks, Sith Witch

    by Immortal_Fish

    Your post wasn't visible when I logged mine in. Thanks. Beagle's still going to have to get over it though. Ask the average movie-goer what's at the end of the horn on a unicorn and they'll all answer that it's a horse.

  • May 31, 2005, 4:30 p.m. CST

    My advice

    by DanManLA

    The Smart thing to do would be to put all his creative energy in the second story. That would drum up business for the first. Then, once Hollywood wakes up and is interested film, make a phat deal to do both movies back to back. With a horse, CGI sucks

  • May 31, 2005, 5:13 p.m. CST

    my favorite unicorn scene in a movie was in

    by eraser_x

    The Godfather, when Tom Hagen chopped off that unicorn head and put it in the Hollywood producer's bed. What a startling scene!

  • May 31, 2005, 10:29 p.m. CST

    last u

    by vampireknight

    a cg hell-bull would kick ass though

  • June 2, 2005, 10:21 a.m. CST

    Just as long as they don't keep that horrible '80s sound

    by AnimeJune

    I'll be happy with the results. I think Topher Grace would have made a better Schmedrick, though.

  • June 2, 2005, 3:27 p.m. CST

    Beagle? CGI? REALLY?

    by outtatime

    That would be rubbish! I think the idea of CG modifications after is smart. A CGI unicorn isn't. The thing I worry most about is when the unicorn talks, what's that going to look like? Mr Ed? I'm looking forward to this film and I think they need to do a up to date soundtrack - maybe Evanescence (or your fave artist) can sing the title song. Here's a link to the development site if you wanna take a look. My bro did some of the storyboarding http://www.the-last-unicorn.net/

  • Sept. 12, 2005, 5:28 a.m. CST

    unicorn

    by Unicorn

  • Sept. 12, 2005, 5:34 a.m. CST

    Nosferatu Jones

    by Unicorn

    Firstly, I have to post an answer to the rants of Nosferatu Jones. Americans are crazy! Why do you still live at home? Get a job in film and make fantasy films the way you think they should be made. I work at miramax - gimme an email on caroline.x.mcfarlane.-nd@miramax.com. Second - I'm excited about this film, so in your face