I’ve been covering fan films for an extremely long time. And in that time I’ve seen some spectacular productions. Along the way I’ve also seen quality concepts that just couldn’t make it to completion for one reason or the other. The potential left behind is certainly images that can still be appreciated even knowing the final vision was never finished. What I have for you this time out is ten of these fan films I’ve been following for a while that are definitely dead or that I’m 99.9% sure will never be completed. And these aren’t just some kids with mom and dad’s VHS camera. These are really high end fan productions. So let us begin…
Star Wars: Secrets of the Rebellion
I remember the website and stills for this fan film. What director Mark Twitchell put together was spectacular. But now there’s just this little stumbling block. Mark Twitchell is now facing trial for murder. The self proclaimed Canadian filmmaker “allegedly” lured a gentleman named John Brian Altinger to his garage by posing as a woman on some website. Investigators believe the murder of Altinger bares a striking resemblance to a movie that Twitchell had been planning on making called House of Cards about a character who lures people to a garage, ties them to a chair, and chops them into pieces. Twitchell was also very fond of the Showtime television series, Dexter, with the main character being a serial killer.
If you even care at this point the plot of this fan film was explained as follows –
“The time is just a couple of days before A New Hope. Red Hand Squadron moves to infiltrate the Imperial Outpost on Danuta in order to broadcast the plans of the dreaded Death Star to a rebel mole onboard a Star Destroyer 10 parsecs away.”
This technically is no longer a Max Payne fan film. Let me explain. The brains over at Fox Films who are behind the recent failed Max Payne motion picture starring Mark Wahlberg sent a cease and desist to Fergle Gibson to stop his fan film production based on the famed video game character. To what I read the studio didn’t want potential audiences being confused by their peace of crap film that got 20% on the Tomatometer at RottenTomatoes.com to what Gibson was doing. Even the games own creator from 3D Realms, CEO Scott Miller, told the video-game magazine Edge, “There are several fundamental story flaws in the film that have me shaking my head in bewilderment.” Among them, he said, is the fact that Payne is seen in a flashback scene half way through the movie learning that his family has been murdered. Said Miller, “In the game, we put this scene right at the front of the story for a reason! Saving this scene until mid-film is a narrative blunder, because the audience needs to empathize with Max in order to like him and understand what drives him.” But Fox Films can’t keep a good fan film down. A few tweaks to the story and promotional materials and a fan film are full speed ahead. The fans will still know who the film is about and be happy to see the character given his due justice.
This is truly a unique fan film because of the fact that it’s been filmed in both California and Scotland. The story revolves around a young Indiana Jones who travels from the deserts of Mexico to the highlands of Scotland in at the bequest of an old friend and in search of a medieval prize – the Treasure of the Templars. The idea for the movie sparked in 2004 with the filmmaker’s original footage being scrapped when felt a far superior job could be done. The first ten minutes have made it online with the entire feature pending its full debut. I have reservation as if the full film will ever see the light of day considering how many years it has taken to get this baby out. I hope I’m proven wrong, but doesn’t look good.
Spider-Man Versus Kraven The Hunter
One of the earliest Spider-Man fan films beyond the 60’s Don Glut short is a webhead flick by Bruce Cardozo made in 1974. According to an article in the a 1975 issue of Marvel Fan Magazine the film features appearances by Kraven the Hunter and Gwen Stacy, and the story is based on issue fifteen of the comic book. Supposedly, the reason that Mr. Cardozo doesn’t want to put his film online present time is he doesn’t want to show the forces at Marvel and/or Sony how to do a good Spiderman film. I can’t imagine a fan film made in 1974 is going to spark any creative juices for the rebirth of the franchise that’s coming. I’m sure there’s some bad blood there because this was actually endorsed by Marvel and got the thumbs up from Stan Lee. If Cardozo is happening upon this page I have to tell you it’s been over 25 years my friend. Let it go and let the world see your work. Perhaps someday Cardozo will reconsider, but not betting I’ll ever be able to view this potential fan film classic.
The official site gives a cryptic answer as to why the film will never be completed. “Due to different circumstances out of our working life the finalization of our film will be interrupted again and again. A potential release date is unknown up to now.” I’m not a gossip monger, but in reading between the lines creative differences halted this fan film from a galaxy far, far away. It’s been a few years since any word on this one. I fear it will for ever be buried in the fan films that never were vault. It’s a shame. The trailer is awesome.
I’m not sure what happened to this film and I’m not even sure if it’s out of the realm of possibility. I thought this movie died a while back, but doing some research for this article it still may be coming to an internet near you. Daryl Kyle was/is heading up the project. A post I read May 0f 2007 suggested he was still going to make the short fan film, but here we are a year+ later with the announcement of an official film being released from Marvel Studios yet no film from Kyle.
The first Broken Allegiance is spectacular even by today’s standards. I can’t believe the original film is six years old already. It may not seem like a long time except when you put it into the context of the origins of the entire fan film explosion. Broken Allegiance was such a hit among the Star Wars and fan film community a sequel was planned, a script was written, the actors were ready to return to their parts, and then it pretty much fell apart from there. You can read the full story with the link provided above.
You can watch the original Broken Allegiance film HERE.
Based on the Weapon X years of the X-Men character Wolverine this fan film seems to of withered on the vines. The fan film is inspired by a story by Barry Windsor Smith adapted by Michael W Kondyra and Sam Meola JR. Their official website is no longer online and they’re MySpace site hasn’t updated since June 2008. Not being able to see this completed film wants me to break out in some berserker rage.
UPDATE – August 11th, 2012
Sam Meola from Hell Unleashed contacted the Fan Film Follies to clue us in why the film was never completed. We thank him for the incite into why the project was never finished.
We couldn’t finish the film due to:
- our main filming location was sold to a new owner
- I was in a motorcycle accident followed my a very serious work accident (my legs were crushed between two 20-ton slabs of steel). I was told that I would lose them and never walk again. Eight months later I started bouncing at a bar and doing bodyguard work and had to cut my hair and sideburns. (Obviously, I didn’t listen to the doctors, my legs work just fine and look normal.)
- I was dating the girl who played “Ms Hines”, we broke up after the motorcycle accident.
- I lost muscle and got skinny with a gut, then built up bigger than before while not at work…which wouldnt hurt the film, but I was also getting heavily tattooed.
Mike and I ended up being in a few movies and were stunt fighters in a big-budget flop “The Last Airbender” by M. Night.
It seemed like lot of people liked the teaser footage, we even got a nod and were linked with Barry Windsor-Smith’s site. He loved it. Thanks for the mention.
– Sam Meola
I actually have an interview posted with the creators behind this potential Wolverine fan film where you can read here. That interview is the very reason I don’t interview anyone anymore who doesn’t have a promising trailer of a completed fan film. They went as a lot of fan film creators I’ve followed go. They’re so full of steam out of the gate, but too many factors come along that weigh your ambitions down until you finally have to decide to scrap the idea.
The film would of centered around one of George W. Trendle’s other creations, Sgt. Preston of the Yukon. In the adventure, a young Preston, not yet a sergeant is aided by a Texas Ranger in his quest to capture his father’s killer. Classic Media has asserted its rights to the characters in this movie and has effectively shut it down. We will keep you posted if anything changes. How cool would a Lone Ranger fan film be? But alas – not going to happen…YET!