We’ve seen tons of comic books made into live-action films—but Room Service, an in-the-works horror short, flips the script a bit: it’s an original live-action film made by three acclaimed comics creators: Eisner Award winner James Tynion IV (The Nice House on the Lake, Something Is Killing the Children) wrote the script; PK Colinet (Superfreaks, Star Wars: Adventures) will direct; and artist Elsa Charretier (Love Everlasting, November) illustrated the storyboards.
There are other luminaries involved in Room Service, described in a press release provided to io9 as “dark, strange, and provocative” and “poetic and gory.” They include artist Tonči Zonjić, who designed the mask for the character of Caretaker, who “helps” the story’s desperate protagonist, and artist Martin Simmonds, who created a poster to support the film’s crowdfunding campaign. Other Kickstarter goodies include a making-of artbook, an exclusive Charretier poster, a short story by Tynion illustrated by Charretier and set in the film’s mysterious world, and prints by Charretier and four guest artists: Rafael Albuquerque (American Vampire), Cliff Chiang (Paper Girls), Francesco Francavilla (Night of the Ghoul), and Jim Mahfood (Grrl Scouts).
“From Get Out’ to The Invisible Man and Parasite, this is a tremendously exciting time for people who love horror films with biting social commentary,” Tynion said in a press release. “When PK and Elsa approached me about collaborating on a short film, I wanted to create a story that would confront the horror and inequity of the world around us.”
In an exclusive statement to io9, he elaborated. “Coming from the world of comics, I’ve always been obsessed with finding the key visual of a story. The image or character that lingers with the audience long after they put the project away, and the one that might entice them into the project in the first place,” Tynion said. “The Caretaker represents a faceless enabling force, taking the darkest desires of the ultra-wealthy and making them available at a price. I love what Tonči did with the the design, and it’s phenomenal to see him come to life under the pen of so many incredible artists.”
Added Charretier in the press release, “Why the heck are three successful comic creators pivoting to this cash-eating monster of a medium: movies?! PK was excited to get behind the camera for his directorial debut, James wanted to stretch himself creatively, and for me it was a true honor to capture James’s chilling words and PK’s haunting vision in my storyboards.”
To io9, she said, “I feel like PK and I have been preparing for this project since we were 12, when he directed me in our school’s play. Everyone was running around on stage, ecstatic to be let loose while others were suffering in gym class, but even then, PK was there to do a job. A kid, but focused and with a vision. On stage or behind a camera, he would just light up. Comics then entered our lives and we took a pretty amazing detour working on the most amazing books and franchises, but with Room Service we’re back being the 12-year-olds excited to bring a story to an audience with complete freedom and utter excitement. Me as a storyboard and poster artist and him as a director, as he was always meant to become.”
Colinet agreed wholeheartedly. “James gave us a priceless gift with his script: a killer high-concept that can be built on almost effortlessly. I was completely hooked within seconds of reading it,” the director told io9. “He had endowed each character with such humanity and such deep flaws that I just had to bend down to pick an angle. James also proved to be an incredibly generous collaborator who welcomed my additions and was truly along to have fun and experiment.”
Click through to see Charretier’s poster and five of the guest artist prints, making their exclusive debuts on io9, as well as more looks at the film and its creators. To support the Room Service Kickstarter campaign, visit this link.