Back in 2008, nine years before the friendly duo started developing “Terminator 6”, “Deadpool” director Tim Miller was actively pitching film studios a new movie based on the American science fiction magazine Heavy Metal, with no one other than James Cameron to executive produce and co-direct.
For those who are not aware, “Heavy Metal” was a fantasy comics magazine, known primarily for its blend of dark fantasy, science fiction and erotica. Definitely not for children, the magazine grew in popularity with young adults, so much so that in 1981, an animated feature theatrical film was adapted from several of the magazine’s stories.
In the year 2000, there was a brief resurgence when the direct-to-video animated sequel “Heavy Metal 2000” was released, but then the property as a whole went dormant…. until 2008 when Tim Miller tried reviving it.
It was Tim Miller’s dream project to make a new “Heavy Metal” movie a reality. Set to be Executive Produced by James Cameron (with David Fincher), this new animated feature film was proposed with a modest budget of $50 million dollars. Tim Miller’s Blur Studios would handle the animation of 28 original short stories executed by 28 different directors, and one of those directors was going to be James Cameron!
But Miller and Cameron’s “Heavy Metal” was unfortunately never greenlit, because there wasn’t a studio willing to commit to an R-Rated animated feature, even at a low budget of 50 Million dollars. Tim Miller elaborated on the disappointment, as a guest on the CG Garage Podcast in September 2015:
TIM MILLER:”Heavy Metal is a good example, where I mean we had the rights to do it we developed 28 amazing stories. David Fincher was going to direct one, Jim Cameron was going to direct one, Zack Snyder was going to direct one, all committed and we couldn’t get a studio to take it. It just, we tried for three years. David and I, I shit you not, took a hundred meetings to try and get that movie made because I love movies and I love long-form storytelling but short stories what an amazing idea. It’s all meat no fat, just get in there and a story.”
“But we just couldn’t sell it. You have great names, but it’s an R-rated animation anthology, those are three things that have never been successful by themselves much less as a group.”
It’s certainly a shame that Tim Miller and James Cameron couldn’t get Miller’s “Heavy Metal” dream project off the ground. We certainly hope they have much better luck with “Terminator 6”.
We’ll be back!