Long-lost Star Wars precursor Black Angel is to be made into a full-length movie with the help of fans from around the world.
This crucial part of the sci-fi franchise's legacy first screened as a short film alongside Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in 1980. The story follows a Knight who sets off on a quest to fight Demon Kings commander the Black Angel and stop darkness taking over the lands, guided by sorcerer Myrddin and helped by Princess Kyna.
John Rhys Davies (The Lord of the Rings) and Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner) have signed up to be part of the new movie's star-studded cast, with Oscar winner Roger Christian on board to write and direct the film after doing so for the original short.
Black Angel: The Feature Film will be shot in an "earthy and authentic style combining high adventure with high drama" in a similar vein to The Lord of the Rings and The Hunger Games.
Production slated to begin in September this year with shooting locations set to include Morocco, Belgium, Hungary and Scotland.
Christian is asking fans to join the production process by donating on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. The campaign goes live today and will run for 45 days, with a target of $100,000.
Contributors will be rewarded with exclusive perks, including an invite to the red carpet premiere, a role as an extra in the Demon King's army, an all-expenses paid week of work experience with the audio department and the opportunity to own a piece of film negative from Star Wars: A New Hope, given to Christian by George Lucas.
The Black Angel short was made on a budget of just £25,000 in 1979 and hailed by Steven Spielberg as "one of the most enigmatic films he'd ever seen".
However, after a brief run in cinemas, all copies of Black Angel were somehow lost, until a Universal Studios archivist stumbled across a negative in 2011. UK Studio Rank had stored the prints in World War II bunkers and they ended up in the US after its collapse.
Christian hopes that modern cinema-goers will "experience the intensity of the battles where life or death is the only prize".
"Like the first Star Wars and Alien we are going for absolute reality, engaging the audience in the drama so they feel like they are really there in this ancient world, shot in staggeringly beautiful landscapes, ancient cities and castles," he said.
"With flying demons and sorcerers, princesses and Knights, armies of the undead and an evil god of the underworld, we are filming down and dirty; ultimate realism that audiences hunger for and the world I am passionate to create on film again."
Gary Kurtz, Star Wars producer, said the team "all believed in Roger Christian because of the incredible way he transcribed George Lucas's drawings into life on the Star Wars films".
"I'm so pleased for Roger and his crew as they embark on making this visionary short into the feature length film it so deserves to be," he continued. "I think the IndieGoGo campaign is a great way for fans to get involved in what could be the last remaining part uncovered from the Star Wars legacy."Reuse content