ElfQuest, The TV Series

Well, it’s taken 42 years, but it looks like ElfQuest fans, young and old, who have grown up with Richard and Wendy Pini’s creation since 1978, may have finally reached sorrow’s end.

Fox Studios confirmed a script commitment has been inked for a series of hour-long animation shows through Modern Magic, a production studio helmed by Rodney Rothman (director of the Spider-man “Spiderverse” movies) and Adam Rosenber, (formerly of MGM Studios as senior and exec vice-president). Emmy-award-winning studio Bento Box Entertainment, fresh off its successful first season of the critically acclaimed musical animation gem, Hazbin Hotel, is in line for the animation. Susan Hurwitz Arneson, producer of The Tick and Preacher shows, will write the adaptation, showrun, and be an executive producer.

ElfQuest is a fantasy story about a band of elves of different types, including the Wolfriders of the verdant forests, the Go-Backs of the cold mountains, and the SunFolk of the heated deserts, struggling to survive and peacefully co-exist on a primitive planet similar to Earth, but with two moons in the night sky. The 1980s saw the underground comic series win many awards for its art, style, and stories. Over the years, ElfQuest has held the distinct honor of being the most successful independent comic creation of all time. Through their comic company, WaRP Graphics, the Pini’s ElfQuest series was blessed to grace the covers for Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse Comics.

In February of 1978, the first ElfQuest story, “Fire and Flight,” illustrated the tale of a group of elves, led by a chief named Cutter, suddenly forced from their forest holt by the evils of man. They embark on a journey of discovery to find a new place to call home. The series followed the elves as they traversed the hot desert and met the SunFolk, elves like themselves but more advanced in technology and magic. Cutter met and fell in love with Leetah of the SunFolk, and through “recognition,” they became life-mates. She joined the Wolfriders on further adventures.

But let’s not howl at the moons just yet, ElfQuest fans. We’ve been down this painful path before, haven’t we?

In 1982, the Pinis announced they were in talks with Nelvana to bring an animated film to the screen to celebrate its 20th issue, but nothing more was ever said.

In the early 1990s, an animated adaptation of ElfQuest was considered, but the Pinis soon informed readers they’d withdrawn from the deal. A 50-minute VHS tape from Abby Lou Entertainment, copyrighted in 1992, was released, but it was mostly color still images from the comics mixed with some animation and dialogue. The “animated” video is available on the official ElfQuest website.

In 1994, the Pinis signed a development deal with film producer Edward R. Pressman, who had produced Street Fighter and The Crow at the time. Jeremiah Chechik, fresh off his success directing Benny and Joon, was set to direct. Again, nothing happened.

In 2008, Warner Brothers announced its intention to bring ElfQuest to light, with Rawson Thurber (Skyscraper and Red Notice) serving as writer and director. However, this, too, didn’t pan out. I suspect personally that Warner Brothers very likely didn’t want ElfQuest competing with their film, The Hobbit, which was released in 2013. So, again, nothing happened.

The only thing fans have seen as far as motion goes was a fan-made trailer created by Stephanie Thorpe and Paula Rhodes in 2011. That video trailer can be viewed on YouTube here. It had the full backing of the Pinis; they even helped with dressing and fundraising.

So, hang tight, everyone. While it’s exciting to hear, once again, that ElfQuest could finally get its shot at the silver screen, we should observe cautious optimism at this point. But the Pinis seem more hopeful this time. “ElfQuest couldn’t be in better hands,” they said in a statement to Deadline. “Our collaborators trust the story. We have the highest regard for their previous achievements, and they have our blessing and input. We know their adaptation of ElfQuest will be a dream come true.”

Let’s hope it is.

Forty-two years is a long time to wait for dreams to come true.

But someone reminded me that if your dreams come true, it doesn’t matter how old you are.

Perhaps I will howl at the moon tonight.