Official Press Release
Sequart and Respect Films are proud to announce a new documentary film, the first in a new series that will take advantage of new forms of distribution. A Kickstarter campaign has been created to help fund the project.
Comics in Focus: Chris Claremont’s X-Men examines one of the most important comic books of the modern age, using new, high-profile interviews to explore both the behind-the-scenes story of the series and its influence.
During his 17 years writing X-Men / Uncanny X-Men, from 1974 to 1991, Chris Claremont took the title from the brink of cancellation to being the best-selling comic of all time, co-creating more iconic characters than any comic book writer since Stan Lee. Over the course of his run, Claremont remained remarkably fluid, changing with the times as writers like Alan Moore and Frank Miller reshaped comics.
While stories like “The Dark Phoenix Saga” remain popular to this day, the impact and legacy of Claremont’s run remains widely unexplored. Today, the “X-books” remain a massive franchise that spans comics, movies, and TV, but for most of the ’70s and ’80s, they were one man’s vision. Claremont’s work has inspired writers like Joss Whedon and Matt Fraction and redefined the super-team, creating a set of stories that endures decades after original publication.
Comics in Focus: Chris Claremont’s X-Men will take an in-depth look at Claremont’s monumental run. It will explore the behind-the-scenes origins of notable characters like Wolverine, Storm, and Phoenix, as well as the challenges of creating art within a corporate system. The film will include new interviews with many of the biggest players involved, including Claremont, Louise Simonson, Ann Nocenti, Art Adams, and Jim Shooter. Particularly notable is a roundtable interview featuring Claremont, Simonson, and Nocenti, together for the first time in 10 years. The film will also include new interviews with contemporary artists inspired by Claremont’s work, including Matt Fraction, Jason Aaron, and Chris Bachalo.
The film will be produced by the same team behind the critically-acclaimed documentaries Grant Morrison: Talking with Gods and Warren Ellis: Captured Ghosts. It is directed by Patrick Meaney and produced by a partnership between Sequart Research & Literacy Organization and Respect Films.
If successful, it will be the first in a new series of short-form documentaries offering in-depth looks at significant works that shaped comics history, using interviews with the people who helped shape it. These documentaries will be approximately 45 minutes long and released through direct download and online DVD sales, allowing us to tackle important subjects that don’t fit into the high-profile, feature-length format.
We have turned to Kickstarter to help fund this project. This is your chance to support discussion about the merits of comics and to document the stories of the people who have shaped contemporary pop culture.
Rewards include the documentary as a DVD and a digital download, thanks and other credits in the film, and digital access to extra interview footage not included in the film. They also include books and feature-length films from Sequart’s library, including director Meaney’s two feature-length comics documentaries, his book Our Sentence is Up: Seeing Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles, the upcoming feature film Diagram for Delinquents: Fredric Wertham and the Evolution of Comic Books, the book Mutant Cinema: The X-Men Trilogy from Comics to Screen, and others.
For more information, visit the project’s Kickstarter page or http://www.sequart.org/movies/4/comics-in-focus-chris-claremonts-x-men/.