Tales of the making of TALES OF AN ANCIENT EMPIRE - The Genesis - 2007

Tales of the making of TALES OF AN ANCIENT EMPIRE – The Genesis – 2007

by albert on November 18, 2010

Genesis – Fall 2007

Having finished Left for Dead and Bulletface, I was trying to figure out the next project. I knew I wanted to do something bigger with more mainstream chance of success. Cynthia was always pushing for a The Sword and the Sorcerer sequel. I thought that might be too big and elaborate, especially as I was living on Whidey Island in the middle of Puget Sound. Miles away from any location where the movie could be put together though we tried by seeing if the movie could be mounted in and around Bellingham , Washington where there was a growing and highly skilled film community. But the project seemed to complex and required too many elements not available in Washington. We also explored Vancouver, which has a very well developed infrastructure for complex filmmaking. We invested a lot of time and money in these scouts. These did explorations rekindled my interest in the genre.

I started to research what has happened with Sword over the years since its release in 1982 and clearly it had a solid fan base that was alive and waiting for the promised sequel at the end of sword.

Also, as part of that research, I watched a number of Kevin Sorbo movies and clips. And that’s really what got the ball rolling. With Kevin I could see how this could see the movie coming alive. Cynthia was already a huge fan of Kevin’s work. So right from the ouset he was in our minds the key artistic element.

So work on the script commenced in November 2007.

Originally I had hope to use and adapt a script by the young and supremely talented writer of Left For Dead, Chad Leslie. Chad had a futuristic script called “Sweating Bullets” that I thought was great. Very much a cross between Blade Runner and Total Recall.

That summer I had tried to get producer Mario Kassar to finance it and get it made. His staff gave it a good “coverage” which means a paid reader read and analyzed it for Mario. I flew to LA and met with Mario several times and it seemed it was a real possibility as he was just beginning a position for a large privately owned company that self financed a big budget film called Redline. So they had financing capability. Little did I know that Redline practically busted the company’s coffers and pushed the principals to shy away from further film investment.

But that ultimately went nowhere but I was still in love with the script. I had Cynthia take a turn at adapting it to a Sword and Sorcery story and setting as Chad couldn’t do it. He did a great job and even Chad approved when I sent it to him for his blessing.

The draft was a functional sword and sorcery tale but not organic and was just too expensive to mount. I sent the script to Hernan Findling in Argentina to see if it could be made here at a good price. Hernan arranged my Left or Dead shoot in Arentina and I had a lot of confidence in his ability to stretch each production peso. Also, I had Cynthia change the main character from male to female so we could cast Victoria Maurette, whom I really feel could be a a big action star.

But it was clear, the script’s storyline was just to complex and elaborate to do on a low budget. So we sadly, pulled the plug on that option.

By now, I was totally energized to make a sword and sorcery movie, so Cynthia set about writing an original scrrenplay from scratch, using the outline perimeters I gave her.


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