Currently halfway through production, the team behind the unofficial Strontium Dog fan film have received a welcome pact on the back: receipt of a one-of-a-kind artwork from the characters co-creator Carlos Ezquerra.
The commission serves as some form of approval for a project that is far from ‘officially approved’ – a not-for-profit fan film based on the dystopian sci-fi character Johnny Alpha, originally created in 1978 for UK comic Starlord by artist Ezquerra and writer John Wagner and later to find his home within the pages of 2000AD, with strips co-written by Alan Grant.
The project is the follow-up to the hugely successful and critically acclaimed Judge Minty fan film, which used characters from 2000AD stablemate Judge Dredd, was screened free at numerous international festivals and conventions, as well as racking up impressive numbers on YouTube into the hundreds of thousands, impressing everyone with top-notch production values and a true love for the Judge Dredd lore and source material.
Now, with Strontium Dog, the filmmakers are wanting to take the lessons learned from Judge Minty and propel the fan film to the next level. Having Ezquerra show his support for the film in this fashion is certainly bolstering that ambition, says Co-Director Steven Sterlacchini.
“When the filming schedule hit the half way mark, we wanted something to give the cast, crew and supporters a bit of a boost, and the commission from Carlos certainly hits the spot!”
Prop and Costume Creator Daniel Carey-George is thrilled that their work has garnered the approval of someone as intimate with the character of Strontium Dog as Ezquerra is. “We’ve been lucky enough to receive unofficial input from comic creators, including invaluable visual guidance from Carlos Ezquerra himself.”
The commission features the two actors in the film in Ezquerra‘s own classic style – the production stills that have been released show exactly how faithful the team are planning to be with the finished result.
“It was a chance meeting with John [Wagner] at a convention that got the ball rolling,” says Co-Director Steve Green. “After seeing Minty, John mentioned that we should do Strontium Dog next. It was only a passing comment, but we took it as a ‘direct commandment’ and began work the next day.”
We’ll keep an eye on this project and make sure we post the finished film up on our To The Main Viewer section of AEISD when it lands – we’re old school zarjaz-heads and this looks like it should be quite the sight to see.