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Makeup artist Rick Baker discusses the grisly, live-action film adaptation of "Gargoyles" that never was (Polygon)

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‘We weren’t doing it for kids’




In 2016, Rick Baker, the Oscar-winning makeup artist and creature creator behind Men in Black, An American Werewolf in London, and Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes, auctioned off the monsters in his closet. Tucked away among the alien costumes and gremlins from Gremlins 2 were some curious bits of miscellanea related to an unproduced project: a live-action adaptation of Disney’s afternoon animated series, Gargoyles. In Baker’s collection were sketches, mock-ups, and an intricate, detailed maquette of main character, Goliath, with wings gloriously outstretched.


But how close was Disney to producing the Gargoyles movie? Close enough that one of Hollywood’s go-to screenwriters took a stab at writing the blockbuster at the end of his tenure with Disney. Having read the script, and after speaking to the creatives who developed the project, it’s clear that the film would have shocked audiences in comparison to what Disney was producing at the time.



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Jordan Peele has been trying to get Disney to allow him to take a stab at Gargoyles for over year or 2 now. I would love to see a movie adaptation but I wouldn’t do makeup and just motion capture. Makeup might look a bit too scary for young ones. . . if working during The Grinch at the theatre all them years ago taught me anything.

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On 5/19/2021 at 5:36 AM, Keyser_Soze said:

I haven't seen the show in a while but from what I remember the show wasn't much of a "kids" show either live action or not. It was about on par of the maturity level of the Batman or Xmen cartoons.

True but the show did help sell a ton of toys back then, and a good chunk are still under my brothers old bed. If Disney were to make the movie, it’s gotta sell toys again. So I think they are still looking for that happy visual medium faithful to the cartoon but newish for the movie/toys. Plus you’re at the perfect time frame to make one with the kids who grew up on the series now parents themselves with kids roughly the age that they grew up with the series. Just can’t make it too mature too that would scare off the next generation of fans. Just like when Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche did a tour playing Pinky and The Brain a few years back. Rob said they did it for the fans that grew up watching the series and so, being adults now were dropping F Bombs in character catching adults by surprise but kind of loving it. Then they notice that nearly a third of the audience there were kids of these kids that grew up watching them and had to cut down on the mature material and try and keep it clean. So they didn’t ruin these characters for the new fans, and good thing since it got renewed a few years later. My nieces just LOVE Animaniacs and it kinda makes me proud 

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1 hour ago, Kal-El814 said:

I continue to find it strange that people want "mature" versions of children's properties.

well like @Keyser_Sozesaid above that this was a “kids” show. It was pretty damn mature for a kids show with actual blood, death and consequences of said actions. I could easily see this as a mature PG-13 film, much like the Marvel films which are also geared towards kids. Except Marvel can play in the light and show off fancy lights for shooting and magic. The darkness in which these Gargoyles live in, could be just enough to scare kids shitless. Oh, but let’s make it 3D with shattered stones flying at you as they awaken 

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