Exclusive Interview with James Farr On His Xombie MovieGoon
Hey James, I'd first like to take the time to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to give us an update on what you've been up to. Now since we last talked to you alot has went down. How did this Xombie movie take off?
JF: Let's see. I was contacted by a production company out of Hollywood who absolutely loved the show. This was back in 2003. We talked back and forth for almost a year, and finally they flew me out to L.A. We talked zombies, signed papers, and I got to work polishing the script. That was in November of 2004, and we've been developing the film ever since.
For our readers who dont know about XOMBIE give them the basic outline of what its all about.
JF: Basically, Xombie is the story of a dead-man with a mind of his own. A zombie that's managed to retain consciousness, and chosen to help the human race - rather than devour it. The story follows him as he tries to bring a lost little girl back to her human family - meeting all sorts of undead monsters and things along the way.
Where did you get the idea to create Xombie from?
JF: I've always been a huge zombie geek. But as far as zombie movies go, there were very few new ideas being explored. I always found myself wondering what went through a zombie's head (before the bullet). What if a zombie could think and speak for itself? Where would it go? What would it do? Could a zombie actually use its powers for good? Xombie was a way to explore all those questions, and really create a rich mythology behind the genre.
What Zombie films and directors inspire you the most in your writing?
JF: Everyone says Romero. But the man basically invented modern zombie cinema, so we can't forget him. Romero, Savini, the Pangs. Too many to mention really. I've seen every zombie movie ever made (as far as I know), and they've all influenced me in their own way. Most of the time showing me what NOT to do.
I've been a big fan of the Xombie flash series for over a year now and I was wondering if the movie is going to fit in with the stories you have in that series?
JF: Yes. In fact, this first movie will be a re-telling of the story everyone's familiar with. It's been expanded upon, and amped up. So while we're covering familiar terrain, there are plenty of new twists and surprises to look forward to.
Are you going to keep all of the same voice actors for the film?
JF: Nope. But we are keeping some. The voice of Dirge (Geoff Edwards) is here to stay. Though we are recasting some of the other voices. Dirge has such a great, recognizable voice, it would have been silly to try and change it.
Is this movie going to retain the same look?
JF: Yes. But it will look ten times better. My style continued evolving throughout the development of the episodes, so it was always changing very slightly. The guys at Wetsand Animation have taken my
style and perfected it, making all the necessary changes, and generally improving the whole thing.
Did you always plan on doing a movie on this series?
JF: I originally intended on doing three movies. The story was written as a set of three feature-length scripts. The web series was a way to fine tune my skills, and also get the story out in front of people. Providing the first film is as successful as we hope, we'll get to see the other two.
Have you set a date as to when the film might be completed?
JF: As soon as possible. We'll be announcing a release date as soon as we have one firmly in mind.
Are you in full control of the feature film? And will you be directly over seeing the movie.
JF: Nope. Not in full control. Just trying to steer it as best I can. I am Co-Directing the film with the awesome Richard Morris, so we get to share the oversight. If ever there was a bigger zombie geek than me, it's Rich. The film is also being produced by Cindi Rice, Lawreen Yakkel and John Frank Rosenblum, who are all just incredibly cool and creative. Everybody brings something special to the table, which will only make the end product that much better.
I think this film has a big audience now that zombie movies are huge in Hollywood. Any talk of a theatre release or are you heading right to DVD?
JF: I'd never say NO to a theatrical release, but for now, we're content going straight to DVD. Plus, it lets us throw in tons of extras and hidden features, similar to the web episodes.
Now I'm a guy fiending for Xombie Chapter 6. Is it being put on hold for the movie or is your online series still going as planned?
JF: Haha. I get this question literally 100 times a day. Xombie: Chapter 6 is definitely moving ahead. As you might imagine, my work on the film has slowed development on the web show quite a bit. But it hasn't stopped it. I'm hoping to release Chapter 6 this summer. Although once Wetsand releases the trailer for the film, I think people will be begging me to quit and leave it to the professionals.
Now earlier you told me that there is a Xombie RPG game coming out. How is this going to be done and do you know if its gonna be on consoles or PC?
JF: Ah yes! There is a Xombie RPG in the early stages of development. However, it will be a true RPG. Similar to Dungeons & Dragons. We'll be releasing more info on that in the coming months.
After the film do have any other projects that you are working on? Can you give us some details?
JF: Yes. You can expect another series to pop up on the web once Xombie gets rolling at full speed. I didn't want to devote my time to another idea unless it was as cool (or cooler) than Xombie. I think I've finally settled on that new idea. Hopefully I can start showing it off later this year.
How have things changed for you since you talked to our sister Site MoviesOnline almost a year ago? Most importantly are you a reader of MoviesOnline.ca or Horror-Movies.ca?
JF: Absolutely. I make the rounds every day, checking out all the movie / horror news sites. Since last year, we obviously got the movie going, and I've had the chance to meet a lot of really amazing people as a result of the show. Can't wait to work with them on more Xombie stuff, and some future projects as well.
Once again I'd like to thank you for doing another interview with us. Its always a pleasure to get to talk to the man behind Xombie! Do you have anything else you would like to plug?
JF: My pleasure. Let's see. I want to encourage everyone to check out XombieForum.com, where you can chat with me and the rest of the movie staff. And also, don't forget to sign up over at Xombified.com and Xombie.ca. There's always plenty of cool stuff going on.