Alex Cox Takes Bill The Galactic Hero To Kickstarter

Repo Man director Alex Cox is now teaching at the University of Colorado, and he’s turned to Kickstarter to fund a film that will employ his students as the crew, and the University as his location.

Cox first optioned Harry Harrison‘s sci-fi novel Bill the Galactic Hero in 1983, but the film never happened – and in this video he’ll explain how it came around again, why he wants to make the film and what the next steps will be.

I have to say, I feel the same way about Starship Troopers as Harrison did – and so did the makers of the Starship Troopers movie which flipped the politics on their head. I haven’t ever read Bill The Galactic Hero, but it sounds like it might be right up my street.

One thing this pitch video reminded me of was Cox’s introduction to Alphaville on his BBC 2 strand, Moviedrome. Many of those links are on YouTube but not this one. From my memory, though, I can tell you that Cox was in love with Godard’s use of contemporary architecture as sci-fi sets.

He’s lucky in that the University of Colorado seem to have everything he needs:

Harry’s story of grunts – and one grunt in particular – in the lowest echelon of the war machine – can readily be recreated in an academic environment: in this instance, the University of Colorado’s Boulder campus. ATLAS, home of the University of Colorado’s Film Studies Program, features concrete staircases and windowless basement corridors which already resemble the corridors and fusebays of the Good Ship Fanny Hill. The Visual Arts Complex features asymmetrical hallways and strange machines. Tunnels beneath the campus provide us with the bowels of Helior, the Imperial Planet. The Engineering Dept. has space suits and a mock-up Space Shuttle replacement. Bill’s one trip “above ground” to Helior’s Walled Gardens, can be recreated on our lovely campus.

What can’t be filmed will be rendered in FX, or in the film’s opening and closing sequences, which will be animated. Cox says:

Bill the Galactic Hero begins and ends as an animated cartoon. The anime department, run by my colleague Chris Pearce, will also create Eager Chinger, the tiny reptilian spy.

What makes it an anime department as opposed to an animation department I don’t know.

Bill sounds like a very promising project to me, and Cox is always interesting, to say the least. We’ll keep you posted.