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Mouse Guard movie!

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Mouse Guard movie!

Postby jabba359 » Mon Jul 18, 2016 14:40 +0000

It's just been announced that Mouse Guard has been optioned for a movie! If it does well, maybe someone will consider optioning an Usagi movie?

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/matt-reeves-gary-whitta-adapt-912076

Matt Reeves and Gary Whitta are teaming up to adapt the Eisner-winning graphic novel series Mouse Guard.

Twentieth Century Fox has optioned the best-selling work by David Petersen that will be penned by Gary Whitta, the screenwriter of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Matt Reeves, the director of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Cloverfield, will produce the adaptation via his 6th & Idaho banner, along with Mouse Guard publisher Boom! Studios' Ross Richie and Stephen Christy. Reeves is not intending to direct at this stage.

The studio is looking to make a live-action movie utilizing the performance capture technology pioneered for Fox’s acclaimed Apes franchise as well as technology used by Disney’s live-action animal tale The Jungle Book to bring the Mouse Guard world to vivid life.

Created, written, and illustrated by Petersen, Mouse Guard is tells of anthropomorphic mice set in medieval times, focusing on a brotherhood of mice that is sworn to protect the common folk. Or rodent, as it were.

The series, which just celebrated its 10th anniversary and hails from Boom!’s imprint Achaia, has almost one million copies in print and has been translated into 10 languages. It is considered one of the most successful independent comic book franchises of the last decade, with three volumes of the main series, three volumes of a spinoff series Mouse Guard: Legend of the Guard, and a Mouse Guard Roleplaying Game published. A new series titled Mouse Guard: The Weasel Wars is expected to launch next year.

Adam Kassan will executive produce for 6th & Idaho, and Boom!'s Adam Yoelin and David Petersen will co-produce.

Boom! is prepping its first production, The Empty Man, which will star James Badge Dale and is due to begin shooting in August. The company, which enjoys perhaps the largest IP library outside of Marvel and DC, also has adaptations of its hit comics Lumberjanes and James Wan’s Malignant Man in development at Fox.

Whitta, who counts the Denzel Washington thriller The Book of Eli amongst his credits, is repped by UTA, Circle of Confusion, and Behr & Abramson. Reeves is repped by CAA, 3 Arts, and Jackoway Tyerman. Boom! is repped by Matt Saver.
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Re: Mouse Guard movie!

Postby Jet_Jaguar » Mon Jul 18, 2016 14:55 +0000

I'm really excited about this. I think it could be fantastic if it were done in a similar style to The Jungle Book.
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Re: Mouse Guard movie!

Postby Mayhem » Mon Jul 18, 2016 16:27 +0000

I forgot Whitta wrote Rogue One as well. I met him a long time ago (cos he's British!), and knew he was a good journalist back then. I really hope the film does well. If it does, god knows what David's work might be worth down the line...!
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Re: Mouse Guard movie!

Postby jabba359 » Wed Jun 26, 2019 0:55 +0000

In case you didn't hear, due to Disney buying Fox, the movie was cancelled a couple weeks before they were supposed to start shooting and it sounds like they've been unsuccessful in the search for a new home for the project. :(

The pre-visualization demo is pretty incredible, giving us a feel of what they had planned, and I think they nailed it. The mouse design isn't my favorite, but this was made early on (about a year ago, I believe) and the final mouse designs were closer to David's style. If you're curious about what might have been, give the video a watch.

https://youtu.be/XWHPhc2xNNU
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Re: Mouse Guard movie!

Postby maichan » Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:33 +0000

I can't begin to tell you how bummed I was when this news hit a few weeks ago. And how disappointed I am with Disney.

This is one of those times I hope fans can rally and make their voices heard, and that someone somewhere is listening and will to take a chance and do the right things and make the Mouse Guard movie a reality.

I'm sure David and the production team have tried all feasible options by now. I have not read anything if they approached Netflix or Amazon (or... ?), but I would think one of them might have been the best chance outside of the usually studios.

Kyle, your the closest thing to an industry insider that we have here, what are your thoughts?
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Re: Mouse Guard movie!

Postby Mayhem » Wed Jun 26, 2019 13:20 +0000

maichan wrote:I have not read anything if they approached Netflix or Amazon (or... ?)

David intimated in one of his FB comments that they'd already approached Netflix about it.
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Re: Mouse Guard movie!

Postby jabba359 » Wed Jun 26, 2019 14:33 +0000

Part of the problem, if I understand correctly, is that Disney/Fox owns the option for the movie. So even though they are not going to proceed, they still own the movie rights until whatever amount of time the contract stipulates they have to actually produce a movie. If, after said amount of time nothing gets made, the rights then revert back to the IP owner, David. So the current contract either needs to be bought out by another company, or David has to sit and wait for Disney/Fox's option to run out before he gets the rights back and can shop it around. So it's possible it got shopped around and had interested parties, but none that were willing to give Disney/Fox what they wanted. Once the movie rights revert back to David, however, the license won't come with any Disney/Fox strings attached, so may be more attractive to other studios at that point.
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Re: Mouse Guard movie!

Postby Steve Hubbell » Wed Jun 26, 2019 15:04 +0000

Is anyone really surprised that Disney was petty enough to nix a "Mouse" movie which didn't feature Mickey?

What would surprise me is if Disney doesn't throw together a "Medieval" Mickey Mouse movie before the Mouse Guard option runs out....
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Re: Mouse Guard movie!

Postby Trevis Woods » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:01 +0000

jabba359 wrote:In case you didn't hear, due to Disney buying Fox, the movie was cancelled a couple weeks before they were supposed to start shooting and it sounds like they've been unsuccessful in the search for a new home for the project. :(

The pre-visualization demo is pretty incredible, giving us a feel of what they had planned, and I think they nailed it. The mouse design isn't my favorite, but this was made early on (about a year ago, I believe) and the final mouse designs were closer to David's style. If you're curious about what might have been, give the video a watch.

https://youtu.be/XWHPhc2xNNU


Sad news...I had not seen this video. Thanks for sharing! It was a great video of what could be. It had an epic, LOTR feel to it. Very cool visually. I agree the mouse design was not perfect but still a very cool complete visual of the property. It made me want to dig out my HC's and read some Mouse Guard.
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Re: Mouse Guard movie!

Postby maichan » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:14 +0000

jabba359 wrote:Part of the problem, if I understand correctly, is that Disney/Fox owns the option for the movie. So even though they are not going to proceed, they still own the movie rights until whatever amount of time the contract stipulates they have to actually produce a movie. If, after said amount of time nothing gets made, the rights then revert back to the IP owner, David. So the current contract either needs to be bought out by another company, or David has to sit and wait for Disney/Fox's option to run out before he gets the rights back and can shop it around. So it's possible it got shopped around and had interested parties, but none that were willing to give Disney/Fox what they wanted. Once the movie rights revert back to David, however, the license won't come with any Disney/Fox strings attached, so may be more attractive to other studios at that point.


Thanks Kyle. After reading your comments and finding more remarks from David, I have a better understanding just how complicated the whole thing is. It seems the biggest obstacle is Disney sitting on the movie rights, which sounds like it may be for "many" years... :oops:
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Re: Mouse Guard movie!

Postby Maka » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:24 +0000

We got WiFi today, so I watched this video on my phone. Wow, the amount of work and money that went into making that. Impressive.

I used to collect mouse guard and I love David’s art. I liked his different format size of his comics. The story wasn’t for me as much. Still, I would love to see this made someday. Peace, maka
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Re: Mouse Guard movie!

Postby jabba359 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 18:17 +0000

Dang, just got done reading the script for this and boy, was it good. It looks like the script download has already been removed, so I'll count myself lucky that I managed to grab it while it was available. I'll admit, I was a bit skeptical when I read that Gary Whitta was going to be writing it, as I thought Book of Eli was mediocre and I didn't even bother watching the universally panned After Earth. Sure, they hyped him up as the Rogue One guy, however he only got a "story by" credit, which means he wrote the early draft of the screenplay, but that it was substantially re-written by other writers.

But I'll give credit where it's due, the screenplay was a very faithful adaptation that captured all the things I like about Mouse Guard, reimagining it in a cinematic language that keeps all the things we know and love about the books rather than attempting to alter it into something it's not. I can't count the number of times where I've seen a book-to-movie adaptation where characters and major plot points are altered beyond recognition, often for no apparent reason. Those often left me wondering why they bothered licensing the IP at all instead of just creating their own since the movie hardly even resembled the source material in any aspect other than the names. I think this movie, however, would have not only made current Mouse Guard fans pleased, but been something that would appeal to a much wider audience.

I think one of the main issues is budget. At $170 million, that's a monster sized budget for an original, non-sequel (or non-franchise) movie. At least with Pixar or Marvel they're basically guaranteed to make their money back based on brand recognition, but with a budget that size, they'd need a global box office take of $400-450 million just to break even. That's a huge gamble, even for a company as big as Disney. So I get the economic reasons they may have cancelled it (not to mention the iron-fisted grasp they maintain on anything "mouse" related, as they don't want anybody to compete with their homegrown Mickey), but it's certainly a shame.
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