One year ago, almost to the day, I had the nerve to take the stage at the Eisner Awards at the 2010 San Diego ComicCon to promise you a film: the big screen adaptation of the late Will Eisner’s A Contract With God.
Together with colleagues Alex Rivera, Tze Chun and Barry Jenkins (the film’s directors) and producing partners Bob Schreck, Michael Ruggiero (Co-Executive Producers) and Mark Rabinowitz (Co-Producer), among others, I nervously struggled with a folded up piece of paper in my jacket and fumbled with my words.
I looked to my right to see the legendary Denis Kitchen – Will Eisner’s publisher – who had so graciously introduced us. I looked at the table in the front row to see Will’s nephew Carl Gropper and Carl’s wife, Nancy, with whom we signed our business agreement earlier that day. These were the people who were trusting us with Will’s crown jewel.
Beyond them – a rich sea of faces watching as I clumsily made attempts to quell any fears that this beloved work would not be done right, respectful of Will’s vision and not violate that the trust that was placed in me or my team. These were the faces that needed convincing.
To everyone’s delight, the response was overwhelming. The media – comprised mostly of supporters with a dose of naysayers – embraced the endeavor and adopted a hopeful attitude towards the prospect of this film not becoming “Hollywood-ized,” but in being a film with the same independent spirit of the source material.
Fast forward 365 days later….
How far have we come?
Well – it has been a tumultuous year. There has been progress and there have been setbacks. The team has changed. A few people have left to work on other projects and we’ve welcomed several new members. Thus – amid our own efforts and our own struggles – we have pressed onward – some days for better and some days for worse – and now, finally, are happy to report…
We are closer than ever to making A Contract With God a reality.
We would like to welcome the new faces to the team:
Producer Jonathan Shoemaker (The Treatment, Henry’s Crime, August) – to the mix. This has been a learning experience and the need for someone to share the work was a humbling revelation. Jonathan’s remarkable eye for detail has eased our efforts over the past few months and will continue to make this project more feasible down the road.
Casting directors Alison Buck and Jennifer Rudin. They will make finding our Marta and Eddie and Frimme all that more easy…
Also, we are finally live here at the new website. And we have a lot in store.
We have begun the casting process and – on the heels of ComicCon – plan on releasing names attached to the project – beginning with your Mr. Scuggs and Rosie – the leads of “The Super.”
I will share the blogging duties with our directors, our producing team, actors and, hopefully, some guest bloggers from the comic industry and the Eisner estate.
In a week or so, we will begin sharing script pages with you. This adaptation – which is always being tweaked for the better – has been approved by Will’s publisher, estate and – proudly – his widow, Ann.
We will keep you apprised of all news and crew additions surrounding this project on a regular basis. For example, we will soon name our fourth director as well as the cinematographers shooting each sequence.
And then – after the blogging and casting and fighting and fussing and fanfare…
We will make a film.
A film worthy of your respect.
A film worthy of the memory of Will Eisner.
A film called A CONTRACT WITH GOD.
And “God” will come soon…
Writer/producer, A Contract With God