ElfQuest Movie On The Way

From the director of... Dodgeball?

It’s been four long years since Rawson Marshall Thurber burst onto the scene with his debut feature film, the minor comedy classic, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.

Four long years in which Thurber hasn’t, if we’re being honest, capitalised on the heat generated by the Vince Vaughn-Ben Stiller comedy. Since then, he’s appeared in The Nines, and wrote and directed an adaptation of Michael Chabon’s novel, The Mysteries Of Pittsburgh, which is still awaiting release in the States.

But now, in the grand tradition of news stories that start by saying someone’s been away for ages, he’s back back back – but with a project that’s taken us by surprise.

Yes, Rawson Thurber – like a careless roadie, it would seem that he’s dropped the Marshall – is set to write, produce and direct an adaptation of the comic book, Elfquest.

If he succeeds in his Elfquest quest, Thurber will have solved a problem that’s been dogging some of the finest minds in Hollywood for ages: how to adapt the comic to the big screen. Although it’s not entirely clear how Thurber will do this: the format is currently undetermined, which might indicate that this movie could yet go down the animation route.

But a quick brush-up on Elfquest, first: created by Wendy and Richard Pini, it’s one of the few comics – possibly the only one – to have been published by both DC and Marvel during its history. It concerns a group of elves called the Wolfriders and, you might not be surprised to hear, a quest – in this case, an attempt to link surviving tribes of elves on an Earth-like planet with two moons while they’re dogged at every step by trolls and beasties and whatnot.

We wish Thurber well – Dodgeball is a huge Empire favourite, and it’s good to see him moving into another genre, and another financial ballpark. No doubting the man’s ambition. However, many of the attempts to fill the Lord of the Rings’ shoes have fallen by the wayside – will Elfquest suffer the same fate? Readers, you know what to do.