by: Austin Welch source: The Wrap
Who’da thunk this whiny farmboy would be so multi-talented?
Actor Mark Hamill, who will never shake his most famous of roles as Luke Skywalker, is more than just a pretty, Wampa-slapped face. Over the years, he has cultivated a varied career on both the big and small screens, on stage, in voiceovers, as a writer, and also behind the camera. I, for one, applaud him, and his refusal to just sit back and cash in on his Star Wars connection.
Back in the 90s, when he was livin’ large as the Joker on the Batman animated series, Hamill wrote a five-part comic series for Dark Horse called The Black Pearl (not to be confused with the similarly-titled Pirates Of The Carribean film). The story, which involves commentary on the modern media and sensationalism set against a crime thriller, has long been a pet project of his, and he has wanted to make a film out of it for years. Well, he may be getting close to his wish.
Hamill hinted at the recent Los Angeles Comedy Shorts Festival that he has secured a budget for a Black Pearl movie. While he didn’t mention it by name – his financial partners want him to hold off on an announcement until May’s Cannes Film Festival – he let it slip that the film he is eyeing is based on a comic book he once wrote. He said it was set in the real world, and “at first glance, it’s a drama, but it has dark humor.” Supposedly, he has secured about $7 million from primarily UK sources, which was no small feat. “Believe me, you don’t want to mention the word ‘satire’ in a room full of executives.”
The budget is chump change compared to the $30 million Hamill might have been able to acquire from Paramount, who are high on Hamill’s co-screenwriters. But he’s aiming for creative control, and wants to direct – something that a Paramount deal would preclude. He says that he wants “to make a movie the studios wouldn’t make.”