The Last Unicorn (lost unmade film adaptation of Peter S. Beagle fantasy novel; 2005-2015)

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One of the film's logos

Status: Lost

The Last Unicorn is a popular fantasy novel written by Peter S. Beagle. The story follows a female unicorn who discovers that she might be the last of her kind. So she sets out on a magical journey to find out the truth about the unicorn's disappearance.

In 1982, the novel was adapted into a fully animated feature film by Rankin/Bass and has since become a cult classic. But what many people don't know, is that there were once plans to produce a live-action adaptation by Continent Films Ltd.

Background

In the early 2000s, Continent Films Ltd. announced it would produce a live-action adaptation of Peter S. Beagle's novel by setting up a website to promote the film.[1] The website would slowly be changed and updated over the years before finally going out of service in late 2019.[2]

Thanks to the Wayback Machine, it is possible to view the different versions of the film's website, and to see various production materials and lists of cast and crew members.

The film was to be directed by Geoff Murphy and produced by Michael Pakleppa, with a screenplay written by Beagle himself.[3] The film would have utilized both practical and non-practical effects. Such as a real horse being used to play the titular unicorn (with makeup and CGI enhancements), a real cat playing the talking cat, and several animatronic creatures.[4]

An official letter from Christopher Lee regarding the film.

The film also would've featured a star-studded cast. Such as Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Schmendrick the Magician, Mia Farrow (who voiced the unicorn in the animated version) as Molly Grue, Angela Lansbury as Mommy Fortuna, Rene Auberjonois as both Captain Cully and The Skeleton, and most notably, Christopher Lee who would reprise his role as King Haggard.[5]

For over a decade, the film seemed to go through development hell (the exact reason as to why being unknown) with it constantly being pushed back and getting stuck in pre-production.

After Christoper Lee's death in 2016, the website was changed to heavily promote Angels Of Notting Hill.[6] which was Lee's final film before his death.

Since the website is now no longer in service, and Continent Films (presumably) being dissolved,[7] the film has most likely been canceled. Whether or not any footage was shot for the film remains unknown.

Videos

A video that talks about the film. Which showcases both concept art and test animations for the unicorn.


Gallery

External Links

References