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Rodriguez forging Heavy Metal update

Filmmaker enlists fans at Comic-Con for inspiration

Robert Rodriguez has acquired fearture rights to sci-fi fantasy magazine Heavy Metal and plans to develop a large-scale media project and a new animated film.

The filmmaker made the announcment Thursday during his panel at Comic-Con, and announced that he’s seeking ideas from fans via a web site.

“I think one of the ideas I always believed in is international artists coming together to show their best work,” he said. “And when I ask other fans what they think, they all want to work on it. So I thought it would be really cool if everyone got the chance.”

The magazine, which began publishing in 1977 in the United States, specializes in dark fantasy/science-fiction and erotica. It inspired a 1981 animated feature and a 2000 sequel.

Paramount Pictures had announced in 2008 that it was developing an animated film inspired by Heavy Metal with director David Fincher spearheading the project. The film would have consisted of eight or nine animated segments, each directed by a different helmer including Fincher; Kevin Eastman, the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” co-creator who became owner and publisher of Heavy Metal; and Tim Miller, whose Blur Studios was set to handle the animation.

Eastman appeared with Rodriguez at Thursday’s event.

“Some of the stories we’re working on already, but I’m leaving a slot open for the audience who has been so good to Heavy Metal and who has always believed in Heavy Metal and what it could be,” Rodriguez said. “And I think it would be great if we all participated together and made this the best version of Heavy Metal that ever existed.”

Rodriguez announced in November that he’d teamed with Gigi Pritzker’s OddLot Entertainment and Michel Litvak’s Bold Films on Quick Draw Prods., a film production and finance shingle. His fourth “Spy Kids” film — “Spy: All the Time in the World” — is set to be released Aug. 19.

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