You know... that guy who play Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, Mark Hamill? Yeah, you know who I'm talking about, well he's prepping up to direct his first feature film based on a comic book that he created called The Black Pearl. Hamill was recently participating in a freewheeling Saturday panel entitled “Famous People Talkin’ About Sh*t” at the Los Angeles Comedy Shorts Festival in downtown Los Angeles. It was there that he told an audience that he was ready to move forward on a project that he’d been trying to get off the ground for some time.
Apparently his partners forbade him to announce officially what the project he wanted to make was until The Cannes Film Festival in May, but he dropped some pretty heavy hints saying that it’s based on a comic book that Hamill wrote, it’s set in the real world, and “at first glance it’s a drama, but it has dark humor.” His comic book The Black Pearl fits that description. The story for the comic was Originally written as a screenplay, and Hamill has been promoting the idea of a film adaptation of The Black Pearl, with himself as the director, since before the first issue of the comic was published in September 1996.
The Black Pearl is a five-issue comic book limited series published by Dark Horse Comics. It was written by Eric Johnson and Mark Hamill, illustrated by H. M. Baker, and inked by Bruce Patterson and Dan Schaeffer. The story focuses on Luther Drake, a troubled man who becomes a costumed vigilante hero by accident and media pressure. Hamill described the series as a "crime thriller five-part graphic novel", its less about superheroes and more about sensationalism, tabloid journalism, and "all the things that thrillers come from."
Now this isn't even the first time Hamill has announced the project, back at Comic-Con in 2008 Hamill reportedly announced that the film adaption will start shooting in the Fall and that he would be directing. Obviously that didn't happen.
As of right now he is still trying to secure a good solid deal. He admitted that the project is a tough sale, that he's secured a $7 million budget, largely from British backers. But now there are producers willing to throw $30 million into the project, the only catch is... he wont get to direct it with the bigger budget deal, so that sucks. A project he's been wanting to direct for over a decade, and if he takes this deal with more money he wont get to do it. Thats rough. It doesn't sound like he'll go that route though, here's what he had to say.
If you go over about $8 million, you have to start getting foreign sales before you start shooting. But if you stay in the $5-to-$7 million range, you don’t have to do presales and you can maintain much more creative control.
He then added that the goal is “to make a movie the studios wouldn’t make.”
I really hope Hamill gets to direct his film. I'd like to see him live out his dream. He can't be any worse than most of the directors out in Hollywood, right? I have a feeling he'll end up taking the lower budget so he can direct the film himeslf, thats what he's always wanted to do.
What do you think about Hamill direct the film adaptation of his own comic book?