Newsflash: "Rebirth" is "The Dark Knight Returns - An Epic Fan Film"
In 1986 I was in film school and read a limited comic series called "The Dark Knight Returns" by Frank Miller. It was a remarkable Batman story, and would help set the standard for a new wave of adult-oriented comics that launched a creative revival in the comic world.
For me, the story was instantly cinematic. The panels of the comic were film frames waiting to come to life, and I wanted desperately to adapt them into a film project. Unfortunately, my young age, lack of experience, and lack of distribution outlets would keep me from doing anything with the Dark Knight for almost 30 years.
After the completion of Four Color Eulogy in 2014, I took a careful look at my world. I was a partner in a production company, was older and more experienced, and had connections to cast, crew, and locations. Youtube was bigger than ever, and fan films of all types were drawing huge audiences and gaining tens of thousands of views. The time had come - I would adapt The Dark Knight Returns into a short yet epic fan film. I wrote the script in November of 2014, began pre-production in April of 2015, and began shooting in June of that same year.
Why a fan film? You can't make money on them, as you don't own the copyright and you're doing it without permission, and there's still a real possibility of being ordered to remove the film from public view. So what's the point?
Pure fun and creative expression, that's the point. It's been a huge relief and a jolt of energy to work on something that doesn't have a hard deadline, budget, or client pressure. That doesn't have an approval process. That I don't have to get done by next week so we can pay the rent.
And to be brutally honest, it's what I refer to as my "last flare". I never really got the attention in Hollywood that I wanted, never really got that chance to direct or act at a studio level, so this is kind of a last shot at maybe getting some attention, sending up a 'flare' if you will, and seeing if anyone notices. If it results in a studio meeting or some inquiries from agents, fantastic. But even if it only generates fan interest and some screenings at conventions, well that will be pretty damn cool, too.
Now, nearly 2 years after we began, Rebirth is almost finished. We've shot for 24 long days over the course of 16 months, and we'll probably need a few additional days for a major miniature scene before we're done. But the project is looking really good, as good as I could have hoped.
At this time I'm very proud to announce that The Dark Knight Returns - An Epic Fan Film will premier in November at the 2016 St. Louis International Film Festival, which runs the 3rd through the 13th. I don't know the time or theater yet, but trust me, when I do you'll be the first to know.
I also want to thank all of the people, locations, and companies that have supported this project. People say "I couldn't have done it without you", but in this case, I literally couldn't have done it without you.