'Turok' aims for sophisticated viewers. - Mania.com



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'Turok' aims for sophisticated viewers.

By Rob M. Worley     February 05, 2008

Yesterday Comics2Film talked to Evan Baily and Tony  Bedard, producer and screenwriter respectively of the 'Turok: Son of Stone'. In that interview both men detailed their experience with the character and the journey towards making that movie.

Today we pick things up with the discussion of tone and direction of this new movie, which plays to a more mature audience than previous incarnations of the character did.

"There's this misconception that animation is a children's medium. It's understandable that people think that, given that the vast majority of animation that we see is for kids," Baily explained. "Animation is a way of telling stories. It's good at things that live action isn't good at. It can't do certain things that live action can."

Bedard hastened to add that it's difficult to compare comics from the 1960s with 21st century animation. The original comics, "came out at the height of the comics code and people were censoring themselves back then," Bedard said, "but they don't look cartoonish at all. They're very realistically illustrated and I think there was a seriousness to the approach in those to begin with.

"Now we're able to put this movie out at a time when you have a wider array of animation, especially the stuff from Japan, there's a different audience that we're serving, that's been exposed to a lot more things."

"A lot of the reaction has been, 'Hey, I can't believe you guys are doing that with animation,'" Baily said of early reactions, but adds that everything that happens in the movie is in service to a very specific story, that took shape throughout the development process.

"The way we built it was about building out from the emotional lives of the characters and basically shaping what happens to them to put maximum pressure on them, to reach down inside themselves, to figure out who they were."

In telling that story Bedard feels the film definitely echos the tone of the early comics.

"I feel like we're taking a serious approach to it as they did back then with the comics, but in a context where we can do more," Bedard said. "I think that everything in there, while it might be violent, it's honest. It doesn't seem gratuitous to me. It just has emotional punch to it."

While there may have been some compulsion to tone things down and maybe avoid some controversy, Baily told us that doing so would be selling the audience short.

"When you look at the landscape of comics and graphic novels that are being published today, and if you look at comic book based animation that's being produced, you see much more mature and sophisticated and layered storytelling being done in the comics on the publishing side than you do in animation," Baily said. While he didn't name and specific instances we were certainly put in mind of 'The Ultimates' a fairly sophisticated comic which was translated into the more simplistic 'Ultimate Avengers'.

"I think that fan who loves DMZ or Preacher wants to have that experience when they're watching a film, and we felt like we could be the ones to give them that."

Tune in tomorrow as Baily and Bedard talk about the legion of talent behind the film.

'Turok: Son of Stone' is available on DVD today!

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