Deadline reports that Sony Pictures has acquired the rights for Robert Rodriguez's live-action remake of the Ralph Bashki and Frank Frazetta animated fantasy film Fire And Ice. It's an interesting return for Robert who has made a home at Dimension Film's owned by The Weinstein Company, but got his start when Columbia Pictures picked-up his Sundance hit El Mariachi. That film would later spawn to sequels with Desperado and Once Upon A Time In Mexico.
The news isn't surprising since Robert has been vocal for ages his next project would be re-imaging of the animated film Fire And Ice. An aspect that wasn't a sure thing was if it was going to be live-action or animated. It seemed the costly production would have to be animated for it to work, but with Sony and Whiplash's Bold Films partnering on the film it's not a viable live-action adaptation.
As to the intended rating of the fantasy project, it's currently unknown. Robert would likely be aiming for a more mature audience. Frazetta's work helped inspire the Conan film franchise, which Robert was eagerly interested in getting involved with when it was getting rebooted. He had hoped to direct the Conan The Barbarian remake, and was producing the remake of Red Sonja with Rose McGowan attached to star. Things fell apart concerning the production of Sonja and it eventually got the axe.
Sony could try to woo the Game of Thrones crowd with Fire And Ice, the series is actually known as Song of Fire And Ice. It's mixture of romance, high tension drama and violence has worked-out well for the HBO series. However, Robert isn't know for that level of quality and it could come-off as a bit more sleazy and grindhouse in nature. Hopefully, Sony who is known for making R-rated content won't be pushing for a PG-13 rating here.
I think we can all have a collective sigh of relief Robert isn't going to be forcing another horribly made kids flick on us. There had been some chatter he could be considering getting involved again with the Predator franchise, as he produced and shot some scenes in Predators. Shane Black (Iron Man 3, Nice Guys) was said to be writing a direct sequel to the original. Black had starred in the original film, after penning his own script for the film which didn't get used. Robert wrote his own Predator script did early in his career. The spec-script included both characters played by Danny Glover and Arnold Schwarzenegger in a Gladiator-type sci-fi epic set on the predator's homeworld.
There are still rumblings that he's keen on making a third and final Sin City movie, but considering the poor box office reception that seems unlikely at this point. It also seems up-in-the-air if Machete Kills In Space will get made as well. It's second installment Machete Kills wasn't as well received as the first film. Basically, it's been a tough couple of years for Robert and we wish him all the luck on his next one.
Below is some of the concept art that showed-up awhile back on EntertainmentWeekly's website.
He also debuted some other pieces of artwork at Wizard World Chicago (via IdolThreat) and Austin (via Youtube) in 2013, which someone snapped photos/video. This all seems fresh to me and I'm unsure if these have been seen outside of the people that attended the events. The video from Austin also reveals some test footage which was shown as well. I'm beyond excited for this one and this could be one hell of a fantasy flick. It's more visual than anything we've seen from Robert, and gives the impression it'll also be the director's biggest film to date.