The “Gargoyles” Movie That Isn’t

So I was all about enjoying my hiatus from this page, when I heard some rather…interesting news.  For those who don’t know, it was revealed yesterday that Disney is taking the initial steps to produce movie based on the concept of gargoyles in a modern-day world–a movie notably not related to the very similar concept they already own.

The biggest question in most Gargoyles fans’ minds right now is a very logical “WHY THE FUCK?!”  Why spend money and brainpower developing what they already have?  Some have come to believe that they’re the butt of a sadistic joke: after a decade and a half of support and requests for more “gargoyles” they’re rewarded with precisely that…except not.  Even Puck couldn’t have planned it better.

So what, precisely, does this news mean for Gargoyles?  Hard to say yet, given how vague everything is.  The core concept–modern-day gargoyles–could be developed in a million ways, and the chances that this new property will end up resembling Greg Weisman’s in anything but the most superficial way seems slim–I don’t expect I’ll see Shakespeare, robots, the Illuminati, and multi-racial cops in (writer in charge of developing the project) Zoe Green’s treatment.  In any case, a few of the more enterprising fans have noticed that regardless the outcome, the news has created a sudden and unexpected amount of interest in Goliath and co., and are willing to make the most of it: Greg Bishansky, for example, has created a Facebook  page for Gargoyles’ fans frustrated with this news, which he’s noted has attracted several people outside of the fandom’s usual suspects.    What will come from the venture is anyone’s guess, although the hope is to prove to Disney that there is indeed interest in Greg Weisman’s Gargoyles, interest the House of Mouse would do very well to exploit.

A particular question in fans’ minds is whether they’d be better off hoping for the project’s success or its failure.  On one hand, if this becomes a Pirates of the Caribbean-like success, Disney may decide that spending money on a similar concept in the hope that lightning strikes twice may be a worthwhile venture.  On the other hand, the new concept may cast an inescapable shadow on the Manhattan Clan, and Disney may decide that the way to bring Goliath and co. back is by making them more like Green’s gargoyles.  A The Last Airbender-type failure, on the other hand, would bring its own dangers.  While failure would allow Weisman’s gargoyles to maintain some cred as “the good version of Zoe Green’s ‘Gargoyles'”, it might also make Disney even more averse to supporting the existing Gargoyles franchise.  Then again, Gargoyles fans are more than used to that particular status quo.

Personally, I think that unless the final movie actually ends up having “Gargoyles” somewhere in the title–and I’d put even money on that–the similarities in concepts won’t matter in the long run.  Core concept aside, I don’t see this movie resembling Weisman’s Gargoyles much at all; in fact, I’d be very surprised if the gargoyles in this movie don’t turn out to be something like the Pokemon in the anime of the same name–they’ll be prominent, but they won’t be the stars.  They’ve got my attention, however, and I’m certainly interested in seeing how this turns out.

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