These movies are associated with popcorn fun. They're low brow entertainment to take a hot date too.
But for Cassie Hack, this ain't no popcorn movie.
Cassie, the daughter of the notorious Slasher, the Lunch Lady, travels the world with her monstrous partner, Vlad, hunting and destroying Slashers where ever they may be, whatever form they may take.
According to Variety, Devil’s Due’s Hack/Slash has found a studio home. The trade reports that the Universal-based Rogue Pictures (the genre division of Uni’s Focus Features) has picked up the film rights to the series, created by Tim Seeley and Stefano Caselli.
Todd Lincoln is slated to direct the film version, with Adrian Askarieh and Daniel Alter are producing. Martin Schenk will co-write the script with Lincoln.
The series stars Cassie Hack and Vlad. As Seeley explained: “Cassie Hack, our heroine is a teenage girl who survived an attack by a slasher...this one was called the Lunch Lady, and it turns out she was Cassie's mom! (dun dun DUN!) So, Cassie takes to the road to kill other Slashers before they can make piles of dead teenagers around America.
“Vlad is her partner...a big, malformed guy, who looks like a slasher, but is actually a nice fella. He wears a gas mask, wields machetes, and cracks more bad one-liners than Arnie. The series follows them on their Slasher hunt.”
The comic has proven to be Devil’s Due’s most popular home-grown property, with a handful of one-shots, a recent miniseries, the March2006-shipping "Hack/Slash: Trailers", and a stage version.
A match made in heaven? The comic book HACK/SLASH and a big feature film adaptation go together like peanut butter and chocolate, and as we first reported here, Rogue Pictures is developing a live-action interpretation of the popular Devil’s Due publication created by horror hound Tim Seeley. Blue-eyed beauty Cassie Hack is the titular heroine (“the slasher victim slashes back!” as one comic cover screams), a misfit of society pushing through life haunted by the memory of her mother—a now very deceased “slasher” known as the Lunch Lady—and hell-bent on ridding the country of those just like ma. Along for the ride is the mammoth malformed Vlad. Together this unlikely duo and their ever-growing fan base have experienced six print adventures and a Chicago stage adaptation. Now it’s time for them to kick some ass on the silver screen.
Making that happen is newcomer Todd Lincoln, who’s helming the feature for Rogue and co-scripting with Martin Schenk; the two previously penned a remake of THE FLY for Fox Searchlight before taking on this gig (as we reported yesterday). Currently in the throes of the screenwriting process, Lincoln firmly tells Fango that there’s no better time than now to bring HACK/SLASH to a theater near you. “Audiences are craving original movies,” he says. “I’m craving original movies. The best ideas are always the simplest, and HACK/SLASH is such a no-brainer. It’s just familiar enough and yet totally fresh. There is still time to save this decade and put the hair back on people’s chests.”
Lincoln goes on to emphasize his project will be an action-horror hybrid “with an emphasis on horror,” he says, alluding to the sprinkling of cross-pollinated genre flicks we’ve seen the last few years that have been full of brawn but lacked little fright bite. And for those devoted fans of the source material, Lincoln wants to assure the readership that they needn’t be worried. He’s keeping series creator Seeley and artist Stefano Caselli (HACK/SLASH: EUTHANIZED) close to the development process. And, yes, the film will feature an all-new Cassie adventure, but still give those unfamiliar with the HACK/SLASH mythos a quick origin recap. “That being said, we’re not wasting half the movie telling the origin story,” Lincoln says. “We’re cutting right to the chase. The film will begin in the middle of the action, about one or two years into Cassie and Vlad’s slashing adventures.
“Martin and I are going to stay very true to the tone and style of the comic,” he continues. “I‘m completely protecting what I and everyone else love about this comic and these characters. Cassie and Vlad aren’t heroes who have sponsors. They don’t wear the latest fashion. They don’t even have cell phones. They’re outcasts—ragtag secondhand heroes fighting on a shoestring budget. They’ll be hunting down and battling multiple slashers in the film. Different types of killers in different types of locations. We are creating all-new original villains as well as using one or two famous ones. Even though we are subtly laying the groundwork and building the mythology for the sequels, we are not holding anything back. The first movie is going to pack an f-ing punch and be able to stand on its own.”
Citing cinematographer Dean (HALLOWEEN) Cundey’s early work as “the best thing ever” (he isn’t wrong), Lincoln aims to draw upon sundry other influences to breathe life into HACK/SLASH, including his affinity for the sensational artwork that graced the big-box horror VHS packages of the ’80s, which warped an entire generation of evolving horror fans. “HACK/SLASH is going to put the fun and heart back into horror, reconstruct the genre and return it to its pre-SCREAM roots,” he says. “Characters will absolutely not be sitting around talking about slasher movies. The famous slasher movies never existed in the HACK/SLASH reality, but the slashers themselves do. The HACK/SLASH version of the United States includes a Haddonfield, Illinois, Springwood, Camp Crystal Lake and plenty of other places that I can’t mention yet.”
And for those cynics out there who think that studio interference is going to trip up Lincoln’s momentum along his journey, take this into account: Rogue Pictures is now haven to producer Andrew Rona, formerly of Dimension Films, the exec seen shepherding FEAST to completion during PROJECT GREENLIGHT’s third season. Word is, since his arrival at the production shingle, we can expect more edgy horror projects to come out of Rogue and less flicks like last year’s softened CRY_WOLF. “Rogue and I are not only on the same page [about HACK/SLASH], we’re on the same paragraph, sentence, and word,” Lincoln says. “Execs Andrew Rona, Alex Heineman and Andrew Deutschman have completely supported my vision and contributed a lot of great ideas. We assign each other homework. I will assign them TWITCH OF THE DEATH NERVE, CHOPPING MALL, PSYCHO II and they will have me study certain details of NINJA SCROLL, FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER and THE SECRET OF NIMH, all of which I already own and love. HACK/SLASH is going to be a rollercoaster ride. I guess you could say I want it to move as fast and tight as the CLONE WARS cartoon series and look as killer as HALLOWEEN II.”
Rogue is aiming to release HACK/SLASH around Halloween 2007. For more on Lincoln, you can check out his official site here and download his early short films and music videos.
NRAMA: What’s going on with the comic books in Hollywood, do producers go the comic book store?
AA: Yes, they do. There are tons of people that we would categorize as Johnny Come Latelys, the Monday morning quarterbacks that try to get comic books left and right without really knowing what they’re getting. By the same token, there’s a lot of people in this business that grew up with comic books, loved them, they’re producers, they’re directors, they’re writers, they’re studio executives, they’re agents. They love comic books.
DA: We’re part of that group.
AA: We like to consider ourselves part of that group because I have over 22,000 comics. Danny has 5,000 comics. Comic books aren’t a trend anymore. I think they’re here to stay. They’re now a valid, legitimate source material, just like novels. As long as there are comic books being published, comic books will be used as source materials for film and television.
DA: The big Marvel and DC characters transcended being comic books years ago. They’ve become the equivalent of American mythology. They’re in our subconscious and our pop culture. That’s why movies like Spider-Man, X-Men, open so massively because it’s above and beyond the initial source material. But what you see with projects like Hellboy or Men in Black is that just because something hasn’t been around for 40 or 50 or 60 years and hasn’t been already adapted into cartoons and isn’t already napkins at a birthday party, is that a great idea is a great idea and great source material is great source material.
NRAMA: Can you guys talk about what would be your dream comic book movie?
AA: I would love to make the Kingdom Come movie.
DA: I would have loved to have made the Superman movie.
AA: We have picked up the rights to Loaded Bible from our friend Tim Seeley and we consider it an incredibly exciting challenge and an honor to get that movie made. We think that movie will be a blockbuster.
DA: It’ll be controversial but a blockbuster.
AA: It’s the Passion of the Christ meets Kill Bill.
Cassie and Vlad's adventures have inspired Rogue Pictures to adapt "Hack/Slash "as a feature film. Comics Catch was lucky enough to get an update on the development of the movie from it'swriter/director Todd Lincoln.
Comics Catch: What's the status of the script?
Todd Lincoln: It's tight, it's fresh and I'm ready to shoot this f***er. Fortunately, our team members at Rogue Pictures are not micro-managers. They're smart, decisive and true fans of the genre. Andrew Rona is the filmmaker's dream executive. When he feels it's right, he's not afraid to pull the trigger. We're moving fast while we're still ahead of the pack. Aiming to shoot Spring 07.
CC: Does the film adapt any specific Hack/Slash stories? If so which one and how loosely or faithfully does it follow the story?
TL: We're not adapting any specific storylines from the Hack/Slash comics, but we will touch on the origin story. That being said, this is not an origin story movie. It cuts to the chase and drops you in the s**t by minute one. The film will stay true to the style, heart and voice of the comics. Fans are absolutely going to get the Cassie and Vlad they know and love. Tonally, the movie is much more grounded and serious than the comic. There's a sprinkling of humor to balance the scares, but this will be a lean, vicious, blood-soaked, Hard R fright fest. The goal is to create the ultimate slasher film. Not just a love letter to slasher films, but a film that reconstructs, reinvigorates and elevates the genre.
CC: Any developments on the casting front?
TL: I can't say anything right now, but it's surprising who has shown interest. We've thrown around some names and some exciting names have been thrown at us. Cassie Hack is such an awesome character. She's a complex urban/suburban survivor. A smart, vulnerable, sympathetic, socially inept, real American girl. Cassie killed her own slasher mom and drives around the U.S. in a junker van hunting slashers with her only friend in the world, Vlad. These are challenging iconic roles that will create a star or transform an established star's reputation.
CC: Is there a tentative release date for the film?
TL: Spring '08. "
I'm thinking of starting a petition to get Seeley and Caselli to be the first slasher victims in the film. I think its only right that these two be in the film and have the honors of the first victims. Come on, who's with me here!
Source: Amazon Blog
Elston Gunn: Your website boasts your short films, music videos and ads.
How did you get involved with film in general?
Todd Lincoln: It had something to do with loving movies and hating math.
EG: Congrats on landing the feature adaptation of Tim Seeley's HACK/SLASH. How did that opportunity present itself?
TL: I bought the first issue of HACK/SLASH the day it hit the stands. I loved it and immediately saw it as a movie. I tried to option it from Devil’s Due Publishing, but the rights had already been snatched up by producers Adrian Askarieh and Daniel Alter. By an insane stroke of luck, it turned out that Adrian and Daniel were fans of my work and approached me about the project before I even knew that they were the ones who had optioned it. Around the same time, Andrew Rona at Rogue Pictures had contacted my agent Craig Gering at CAA to see if I had a project I was interested in doing. I went in to Rogue, slammed down the HACK/SLASH comics, told them that’s the movie people want to see and that’s the movie I want to make. We had a deal.
EG: What can fans of the HACK/SLASH comic, as well as those who know nothing about the story, expect from the film?
TL: They can expect a smart, scary, new-generation, blood-soaked, breast-laden, Hard-R frightfest with all the detail and character work of the best auteur films.
The heart of this movie is Cassie Hack. A real American teenage girl. Vulnerable, sympathetic, socially inept, driven by fate and circumstance to save and protect the type of people she hates. This is not Lara Croft, Aeon Flux or Wonder Woman. This is just a girl with a baseball bat, wearing bargain bin clothes, kicking a plastic soda bottle outside a Taco Bell. Cassie killed her own slasher-mom and drives around the U.S. in a junker van hunting slashers with her only friend in the world, Vlad.
Vlad is Chewbacca meets Hellboy meets Lenny from OF MICE AND MEN. A self-taught, rejected freak, germophobe, man-child. He’s logical, caring and protective with great fighting, technical and medical skills. He’s the voice of reason for Cassie. Cassie and Vlad are blue-collar heroes with no money, no style, no real training and no weapons supplier. They’re constantly on the hunt and on the run. These are rich, challenging, iconic roles that will create a star or transform an established star’s reputation.
HACK/SLASH fits in with and ties together all slasher films. The well-known slasher movies don’t exist as movies in Cassie’s reality. In HACK/SLASH, all fictional slashers and horror territories really exist. Haddonfield, Springwood (Elm Street), Bates Motel and Camp Crystal Lake are all real places in the America that Cassie and Vlad drive around in.
Tonally, the movie is much more grounded and serious than the comic. We’re playing this film straight, suspenseful, vicious and bloody. This is not a parody. This is not a self-aware, post-modern, campy retro-trip. The goal is to create something special. Not just a love letter to slasher films, but a film that reconstructs, reinvigorates and elevates the genre in the same way that INDIANA JONES, STAR WARS, TERMINATOR, JAWS, and KILL BILL did for their respective B-movie genres.
We’re going to make the slasher film scary again.
EG: What's it like trying to get inside the head of this character who killed her own homicidal mother?
EG: Are you retelling the origin or is this a brand new storyline?
TL: This is an entirely new adventure, but the film stays true to the style, heart and voice of the comics. Fans are absolutely going to get the Cassie and Vlad they know and love. We’ll touch on the origin story, but this is not an origin story movie. It cuts to the chase and drops you in the shit by minute one.
EG: Did Tim Seeley (creator of the HACK/SLASH comic) have any input on the script? What advice did he give you, if any?
TL: Even before I pitched HACK/SLASH, it was important for me to get Tim’s blessing and involve him as much as possible. I think the mistake of so many movies adapted from comics is that they completely ignore the original creators and original material. Tim and I first met at the San Diego Comic-Con and we instantly hit it off. We’ve become good friends. I call him throughout the process with updates and to bounce ideas around. The film and comic will perfectly compliment and inspire each other.
EG: Are you planning on more practical effects than CGI? Who is doing the effects?
TL: Practical effects all the way. I’ve got some personal favorite effects artists/houses. It’s still anyone’s game.
EG: Where are you now with the project, when will you start shooting and what is your target release date?
TL: We’re right where we should be. The script is tight, fresh and bloody. We’ve already got lots of interest from top talent and techs. We’re shooting late Spring ‘07. Hits theaters everywhere in ‘08.
EG: Between HACK/SLASH and the recent IDW comic miniseries you penned, ROAD TO HELL, you're obviously a fan of horror-action. What is it about putting the two genres together that interests you?
TL: I’m a fan of every style of horror and every kind of genre. Horror/Action just happens to be the right choice for these projects. ROAD TO HELL is actually Martin Schenk’s brainchild. I co-wrote the comic with him, mainly contributing some horror details and character moments. ROAD TO HELL is kind of like HELLRAISER meets ROAD WARRIOR as seen through Rod
EG: What films or comics are you looking to for inspiration?
TL: None. I’m purposely keeping an open mind and trying to protect the purity of HACK/SLASH itself. Sometimes the best thing to do is take a walk in a parking lot.
EG: How do you approach screenwriting vs. comic writing? Does one influence the other?
TL: They’re very different. Writing comics is much more difficult for me than writing screenplays. I have huge respect for comic writers. Screenwriting and comic writing definitely influence each other. I’ve been a life-long comic book fan. Over the years we’ve seen comics become much more cinematic and now I think movies could learn a thing or two from them.
EG: Let's talk a little about the Tulsa Overground Film Festival, which you co-founded. How was the festival born and what's your goal with it?
TL: Like all major cities, Tulsa needed a film festival. Shortly after high school my friend Jeremy Lamberton and I created Tulsa Overground to bring attention to the Tulsa scene, change people’s perceptions of cinema and loosen the notches of the Bible Belt. So far the plan is working.
Now in its 10th year, Tulsa Overground is an annual, three-night, international, non-competitive, non-profit film festival. It’s an all-ages, all-formats, all-styles, all-genres, anything-goes-showcase of the most innovative work from around the world. It’s a cinematic grab bag of first-time filmmakers, student directors, professional lensers and big name auteurs.
Overground is one of the largest film festivals out there. Over 1500 people a night attend the festival and its legendary afterparties. It has really become so much more than a film festival and has inspired a scene/style/movement. Kids buy and trade Tulsa Overground posters, stickers, buttons, t-shirts and panties. They make their own Tulsa Overground stencils and spray paint them on the sides of buildings and under their skateboard decks.
EG: Why do you only accept short films? Do you have plans to expand?
TL: Actually, we’ve always screened independent features (which we hand-pick), but we don’t currently accept feature submissions. The sad truth is that most independent features are just not cool, not innovative and not fun. They’re too damn stiff and long. Cinema snacks are the way to go. We receive about a thousand short films each year and I watch every single one of them no matter what.
EG: Any success stories from the festival since its inception?
TL: They’re all success stories. We don’t play favorites. We don’t give awards. We just give people a place to show their work.
Todd Lincoln's Official Website
Tulsa Overground's Official Website
HACK/SLASH Comics Webstore
Source: Aint It Cool
Wolfen sent us a report from San Diego Comic Con that Transformers star, Megan Fox, may be playing Cassie Hack.
In the book Hack/Slash, Cassie Hack hunts and kills slashers with her
only friend in the world, Vlad. They drive around the U.S. in a junker
van hunting, baiting, killing slashers. The well-known slasher movies
don’t exist as movies in Cassie’s reality. In HACK/SLASH,
all fictional slashers and horror territories really exist. Haddonfield,
Springwood (Elm Street), Bates Motel and Camp Crystal Lake are all real
places in the America that Cassie and Vlad drive around in.