"Don't tell anyone, but Trigan Empire has just been optioned as a movie," said... well, it was "a good human source" as Nick Davies recently said. One in a position to know.
Film projects move with the speed of glaciers, but that single sentence teaser thirty months ago looks like it is about to pay off. A script for a Trigan Empire movie has been making its way around some of the biggest Hollywood production companies and studios and has been receiving a lot of attention. It's still in the early stages in film terms but there's a hell of a lot of enthusiasm being generated and it shouldn't be long — weeks or months rather than years — before more details start to leak out.
So... I'm throwing this open to you all: who would you want to see directing the Trigan Empire movie and who would you cast in the leading roles?
To help you along, a few years back I put together a piece about the Trigan Royal Family for one of the Trigan Empire reprint volumes published by Rob van Bavel.
And who would you want to see directing the film?
I've a couple of ideas for the latter, both of whom would make a fantastic job of the movie. I guess the obvious first choice for everyone would be Ridley Scott. Gladiator was a fantastic movie and Trigan Empire is more historical fantasy than hard science fiction. Scott's also a fan of comics and may well have read the strip when he was a kid.
Second choice would be Duncan Jones who has made two superb movies: Moon and Source Code. And we know he's a fan of the Trigan Empire as you can hear in this interview:
As I said above, it's likely to be some time before the marquee names are attached to the movie. Until then, you can be your own film-maker and cast the movie how you please.
The main characters (and I'm only guessing at who might feature) can be described thus in quick brushstrokes: Trigo is intelligent, thoughtful and a born leader of men, who will put his people first over his own safety; Brag is a more straight-forward hit first, think later kind of character — a fighter not a talker but not stupid — and Klud a villainous snake but of royal blood, maybe the most complex of the three brothers. Janno is a brash, brave and somewhat impulsive adventure-seeker and Peric a scientist and artist (he designed the beautiful Trigan City) who helps shape Trigo's dreams and turns them into reality.
To get you started, how about Ian McKellan as Peric and Russell Crowe as Trigo? You can debate the merits of his accent in Robin Hood, but I don't think you can deny he's a good actor in the kind of leader-of-men role that Trigo would demand! Or Karl Urban, already the lead in another British comics-based movie but a fine actor in whatever role he takes. At least we know these three can ride horses. How about Gary Oldman for the venemous Klud?
Now the ball's rolling, over to you...
A QUICK ADDITIONAL NOTE
Mike O'Doherty (see Comments below) points out that Trigo's appearance may well have been based on John Richardson as he appeared in She. With the addition of a Kirk Douglas dimple in his chin, he could well be right. You can also see the same resemblance in Janno, Trigo's nephew.