Black Angel, the short film that screened overseas in front of The Empire Strikes Back in 1980, disappeared more than three decades ago. Many Star Wars fans saw it for the first time when it resurfaced last month, after director Roger Christian uploaded a restored version to YouTube. Now, a new feature-length adaptation hopes to find a home on the big screen.
Christian has launched an Indiegogo campaign to remake his 1980 fantasy short into a feature starring John Rhys-Davies, Rutger Hauer, and Laura Weissbecker. While the medieval fantasy has secured some traditional funding, the crowdfunding campaign hopes to raise an additional $100,000. The project brought in more than $30,000 in just its first day, with perks that range from physical copies of the finished film (with a $35 contribution) to a piece of the original Star Wars: A New Hope negative ($20,000).
Christian won an Oscar for art direction on Star Wars: A New Hope, and while Black Angel may not have lightsabers or X-wing fighters, the 25-minute short about a knight defeating an evil, skeletal force evokes the current look and style of cinematic fantasy, from Game of Thrones to The Hobbit. “With the success of the fantasy genre recently, we know now the time is right to bring back Black Angel,” Christian writes on Indiegogo. “Together we can make this happen. Together we can turn Black Angel into the epic fantasy film it was always meant to be.”
Watch the restored version of the original Black Angel short below.