Reviewing an issue of Heavy Metal the other day put me in mind of this article which appeared in Entertainment Weekly awhile back. Reading it left me super-excited at what a cool sequel this could be, and at the same time thoroughly disgusted with the wimps at Paramount who can't deal with the thought of a kickass project that can't be marketed to the Happy Meal set. In fact, this country has become so conservative I have serious doubts that the original Heavy Metal could be made today, what with its gratuitous nudity, rampant violence, girl-on-robot sex and unbridled coke snorting.
I never did get around to seeing FAKK 2 back in 2000- was it even released in theaters or did it go straight to video? Just the film's very concept was so totally different from the structure of the first film that it didn't seem right for it to bear the Heavy Metal title. Instead of a collection of vignettes by a variety of imaginative creators, it was a single story co-written by Eastman and starring an animated version of his wife. I read a couple of issues of Melting Pot when it was first released, and they didn't exactly blow my mind. Nothing about them made me think "these puppies need to be made into a feature film, pronto!" Most of the reviews of the film at the time reaffirmed my assumption that FAKK 2 was eminently missable.
On the other hand, what I've seen so far about this proposed new HM sequel has me thinking that a lesson's been learned and an effort is being made to replicate what made the original so great. Just the fact that a director of David Fincher's caliber is on board should be a clear signal to Hollywood that this project should be taken seriously. The return of the anthology format and the list of great creators involved (I only know Steve Niles by reputation but can verify that Joe Haldeman and Neal Asher do, indeed, kick ass) have me crazy to see this movie right friggin' now immediately! Hell, the fact that soulless studio execs consider the script "too risque for mainstream audiences" is a badge of honor in my eyes!
Stick to your guns, David Fincher and Kevin Eastman! It sounds like you are really trying to produce the kind of Heavy Metal movie old-school fans want to see. In a world where Lionsgate can make big bucks with envelope-pushing fare like the Hostel and Saw movies, there has to be someone left in the movie industry who still has the cohones to make the kind of wonderfully outrageous epic we all want to see.
And can you bring back Taarna? Pretty please?