In a stunning combination of wonderful things—Star Wars, pre-show short films, lost art—Variety reports that Roger Christian’s short film “Black Angel” is not only set to return to the big screen, but will do so as a new feature-length outing.
Journey back to ’80s with me, won’t you? Back in 1980, George Lucas commissioned a short film from Christian to play before screenings of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. The film was called, you guessed it, “Black Angel,” and was styled as a fantasy epic that (quite possibly) inspired similar features, particularly John Boorman’s Excalibur. Directed and written by Christian, the 25-minute film was an exciting companion to The Empire Strikes Back, combining impressive visuals and snappy mythology in a way that felt familiar and welcome to Star Wars fans.
And then it was totally lost. Well, sort of. The film was believed to be lost, but an archivist discovered a negative in 2011, which was then restored (frame by frame) in 2013. The film then “re-premiered” at the Mill Valley Film Festival in California. And now, inspired by the popularity of that original short, the film is getting a feature-length version.
Per Variety, the new Black Angel is “an epic fantasy based on a knight who undertakes a classic hero’s journey to fight the Black Angel, the Demon Kings commander in the lands of Serandal. Guided by the sorcerer Myrddin and aided by Princess Kyna, the daughter of a rival king, they take on an epic adventure to stop the darkness from taking over the lands and allowing the demon king to reign supreme.”
Christian will return to both write and direct this version, as inspired by his original short.
Despite its vintage roots, Black Angel: The Feature Film is going decidedly modern with its new production, even going so far as turning to Indiegogo for crowdfunding (you can check out its campaign right here; the film has already raised nearly a third of its goal in just one day). Should Black Angel: The Feature Film get its funding (and we are guessing it will), the film will shoot in September in Hungary, Belgium, Morocco, and Scotland.
The new film will star Rutger Hauer (so ’80s) and John Rhys-Davies (so Lord Of The Rings).
You can watch the original short (complete with an introduction from Christian) below: