Jack Kirby to the rescue

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ff cia10 f Jack Kirby to the rescue
Wired Magazine has the incredible comics tie-in story of the week one that defies an any link summary. But we’ll try. It seems that back in 1979 when Iran took personnel at the American embassy hostage, six of them escaped to hide out in Tehran. The CIA launched an effort to rescue them and decided the perfect cover would be…location scouting for a sci-fi epic based on a Roger Zelazny book with concept art by…Jack Kirby.

All they needed now was a film — and Chambers had the perfect script. Months before, he had received a call from a would-be producer named Barry Geller. Geller had purchased the rights to Roger Zelazny’s science fiction novel, Lord of Light, written his own treatment, raised a few million dollars in starting capital from wealthy investors, and hired Jack Kirby, the famous comic book artist who cocreated X-Men, to do concept drawings. Along the way, Geller imagined a Colorado theme park based on Kirby’s set designs that would be called Science Fiction Land; it would include a 300-foot-tall Ferris wheel, voice-operated mag-lev cars, a “planetary control room” staffed by robots, and a heated dome almost twice as tall as the Empire State Building. Geller had announced his grand plan in November at a press conference attended by Jack Kirby, former football star and prospective cast member Rosey Grier, and several people dressed like visitors from the future. Shortly thereafter, Geller’s second-in-command was arrested for embezzling production funds, and the Lord of Light film project evaporated.


Stranger than fiction indeed. The illo above is from Wired’s storyboard style coverage and is by Tim Burgard.

Comments

  1. Sphinx Magoo says:

    This “Lord of Light” project sounded way too ambitious to work. I remember reading about it years ago in Jim Steranko’s “Mediascene/Prevue” magazine, and recently in “Jack Kirby Collector”. There was no mention of CIA involvement, but Kirby’s designs were mighty awesome!

  2. a kirby amusement park
    sounds like the perfect dream world
    to take the entire family…

  3. SporksOnTheInside says:

    Jack Kirby was the Chuck Norris of comics.

  4. Brian Spence says:

    Mark Evanier wrote about this recently, and even put (I think) a drawing of a related theme park attraction to tie in with the movie.

  5. Hi guys
    sorry, but Mark evanier just made up most of what he wrote, never asked me what really happened; well, some journalists are sometimes deadline orientated and really dont care past their egos. I wrote him but he never responded. Hah! Truth is outlined on the website, http://www.lordoflight.com.

    Also, when John Morrow interviewed me I did not know at that time of the CIA involvement — it came out when Earl Morris interviewed Mendez on his book. For those of you not reading the movie trades, George Clooney bought the rights to the Wired article and I am working to see that Jack’s stuff gets included :-)

    Barry Ira Geller
    — “would-be” producer who spent a few million … LOL!!

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