Robert Rodriguez developing Frazetta's Fire and Ice as potential film franchise

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Dec 19, 2014, 6:25 PM EST

In the wake of Game of Thrones’ massive success, it seems like the perfect time to bring action fantasy stories to the big screen — and Robert Rodriguez has a few ideas.

Deadline reports Sony Pictures has picked up the rights to Frank Frazetta’s iconic 1983 animated film Fire and Ice, with plans to turn the story into a big-budget, live-action franchise. The animated film was inspired by Frazetta’s unique, dreamlike paintings, and Rodriguez hopes to bring those visuals to live action. Rodriguez (Sin City) has been developing it for quite a while.

If you’re not too familiar with Fire and Ice, you’ve probably seen some of Frazetta’s other work. He’s arguably best known for his illustrating work, most notably on pieces such as Conan the Barbarian and Princess of Mars. But Fire and Ice was his sole film, so the story holds a place of honor in cinema lore.

The original story is basically this: The evil Ice Lord Nekron destroys a small village with his glacier domain, but the sole survivor — a young warrior — goes on a quest for vengeance. A princess is also kidnapped, so the warrior is tasked with finding her along the way. Typical sword-and-sorcery stuff, sure, but still a great jumping-off point for someone with talent at the helm.

Here’s what Rodriguez had to say about the project:

“I’m a lifelong Frazetta fan who was inspired by his work, like so many people. It was my dream to work with him, and the first thing I did when I got to Hollywood was call him. I got him to do a From Dusk Till Dawn poster for me, and I got to work with him and know him over the years. When I’d visit him at his museum and see his artwork, I tried to figure what would the ultimate Frazetta movie be. I remembered the movie he did, Fire And Ice, back when I was a kid.

I thought, ‘I wish they could have made it look more like the paintings, but I guess they’d have had to paint each frame.’ Now, you could do that. You could make it look like you were in his imagination. He didn’t use models, he didn’t use swipes. He painted purely from his imagination, and the characters and the colors made you feel like you were in a dream, and a fully realized and completely imagined world. It was so visual and arresting.”

It’s nice to see Rodriguez really is excited about the concept, and considering his admiration for Frazetta, you’d have to think he’ll approach Fire and Ice with care. A big-budget fantasy action flick inspired by Frazetta’s work? We could think of a whole lot worse things to try.

The film is still in the early phases of development, but Rodriguez said they’re pursuing some A-list writers to take a crack at the treatment in early 2015. Here’s hoping it stays on the fast track.

(Via Deadline)