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Special Screening of "The Last Unicorn" at the Tower Theater with Peter S. Beagle

 For the next couple years, Peter S. Beagle and his crew will be hosting special screenings of the 1982 animated movie "The Last Unicorn" all across the United States and Canada.  The tour happened to be in my city on December 2nd, and the event was a relatively intimate gathering of a couple hundred people.  The wonderful part about this was that Peter was able to stay and speak to/do signings for everyone in attendance who was interested.  In fact, when the movie was about to start, the tour facilitators walked down the line of fans waiting to get an autograph and assured us all that it was okay to go get a seat in the theater - Peter would stay as long as it took after the show to meet everyone.

Before the screening of the film, Peter stood in the front of the theater for a Q&A session.  He took ten or so questions from fans, but the question that riveted most was: "Whatever happened to the live action Last Unicorn film?"  If you are a "Last Unicorn" fan, you will know that a couple years ago, a certain website was proclaiming that a live action adaptation of the story was in the casting stages, and Christopher LeeAngela Lansbury, and Mia Farrow were all returning to take up acting roles in the film.  But soon, actors' names started disappearing from the cast list, and there ceased to be any news of the film's progress.  Well, it turns out the answer to this mystery lies in the business arena, so Peter let his tour assistant, Connor Cochran, handle it.  Apparently the rights to the live action movie belong to a German man who lives in the UK who is quite crazy.  Like, literally insane.  Big Hollywood figures have approached him before, telling Peter Beagle and crew, "Don't worry. We can make a deal with anyone," and then they would come back and say, "We didn't know you meant he was actually crazy."  The website "chronicling" the development of a live action film was manufactured by this man, and he did not have permission from Christopher Lee and the other actors to list their names.  Absolutely no deals had been made.  That is why their names slowly started dropping off the list.

To make a long story short, this German fellow's rights to the film expire in 2015, so pray that he does not succeed in making a live action film a reality, because if he does, he will own the rights forever.  On the other hand, Connor Cochran shared with us, if his rights do expire before he makes a film, Peter and the team will most likely be making a movie deal in 2015.

On a humorous note, Christopher Lee has apparently acknowledged to Peter that it is possible he will pass away before he can play King Haggard in a live action version of the story.  Christopher Lee said: "If this happens, not to worry - I have risen from the dead many times, and I can do it again to be in your movie."

Knowing Christopher Lee, for some reason, I almost believe that. :)

For information about a screening of the film and a visit from Peter near you, check this website!


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