By Joseph Leray
Watching Moonbot Studios’ Kickstarter campaign for “The Golem,” I can help get the impression that they’re punching above their weight: they need to raise a lot of money in the next few weeks.
Still, you don’t win an Academy Award -- as Moonbot did for the short film, “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” -- without making some friends, and the team have enlisted Guillermo del Toro to the cause. “Moonbot has some of the finest storytellers in the world,” the “Pan’s Labyrinth” director enthuses in a recent video update to the project. “I believe in them. I believe in [lead writer] Bill Joyce. I believe in the capacity they have to turn ‘The Golem’ into an incredible world.”
“I believe Bill and his team are the ones to make it happen,” del Toro continues, noting that they’ll be working together on a “Golem” proposed film. Later in the video, Joyce notes that they’ve been working on the “Golem” story, and that the project spans a number of transmedia possibilities: “We showed it to [del Toro], and he said, ‘I love this. I want to work with you on this with you guys no matter what. If it’s a movie, if it’s a game, if it’s a book.’ And we wanted to do all of those things anyway.”
The catch, of course is that Moonbot still needs $680,000. The project looks superlatively evocative, and I’d be sad to see it fail. Still, even if the project fails, I’m optimistic that working with someone as high profile as Guillermo del Toro could give “The Golem” legs in more traditional business models as well.
Honestly, every update to the “Golem”’s Kickstarter page -- from the prototype for the game’s unique control scheme, to the fact that Moonbot is working with scholars and rabbis to bring the Jewish storytelling tradition into the game -- has me more convinced that this game needs to happen.
As for Guillermo del Toro, his own horror game, “inSANE” was in development by Volition but was cancelled by publisher THQ last fall. Del Toro retained the rights to the game though, and development is apparently back on.