Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Michael Sheen on 'Elric', 'The Raven', 'Breaking Dawn' and 'TRON: Legacy'

If you've loved Michael Sheen's work in projects like Underworld, Alice in Wonderland and The Twilight Saga, you might be delighted to know that the versatile Welsh actor is as much a genre fan as any of us. In fact, I caught Sheen on the convention floor of Comic-Con this weekend, in the fantasy illustrators' pavilion, where I overheard him telling Elric artist John Picacio that he's developing a movie about Michael Moorcock's famed sword-and-sorcery character with the Weitz brothers. (Chris Weitz, you'll recall, directed Sheen in The Twilight Saga: New Moon.) Weitz told Picacio that it was the recently published Elric volumes with Picacio's illustrations that he's been using as he works on the project. I asked Sheen about Elric, as well as another genre film he told me he's developing based on the life of Edgar Allan Poe.

"Yeah," Sheen, "I'm doing a film that I'm playing Poe in, about the last few months of Poe's life. And I'm producing it as well. Hopefully we'll be shooting it next year in Toronto. The title is The Raven, imaginatively enough. Or that's what it's called at the moment anyway."

Regarding Elric, Sheen simply said, "We've got plans maybe to do something with Elric as well. We'll see what happens with that." (Personally, I think Sheen would be perfect cast as Moorcock's albino swordsman.)

On his own love of art and comics, Sheen said, "I would have come here regardless of being in something. I'm here for TRON, but yeah, I get all the TRON stuff done as soon as possible and then I get out on the floor and wander around and see all these great artists and great comic books and stuff. It's fantastic."

As for the fate of his Twilight character in Breaking Dawn, Sheen remarked, "Well, there's no secret, because there's a book out, so you just have to read the book to find out what happens. But it's still early days really. There's no script and nothing's been set up definitely yet. I'm hoping it'll all work out."

If you've seen the TRON: Legacy trailer you may be wondering about Castor, Sheen's character in the film – an outrageously garbed and made-up figure who resembles a glam rocker. I asked Sheen if he'll prove to be one of the movie's villains.

"Who says he's a villain?" laughed the actor. "He's a bit sort of morally dubious, but aren't we all? The jury's still out on him."


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