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‘Sin City’ Concept Art and Character Models from Unmade Video Game

Filmmaker Robert Rodriguez told a crowd at SXSW this week that he will begin production of Sin City 2 this summer. Rodriguez’s statement is just the latest of many such predictions since the original Sin City movie he co-directed with graphic novelist Frank Miller was released seven years ago, and it got me thinking, “Hey, wasn’t there also supposed to be some kind of video game based on that mostly excellent and award-winning noir graphic novel series?” As it turns out, there was! And CBR actually wrote about it just yesterday.

Developed by Red Mile Entertainment, the Sin City game was abandoned at some point 2008. Fortunately, loads of character model sheets and conceptual art have surfaced, giving us an idea of how cool a Sin City video game could look.According to a 2008 report by Reuters, California-based Red Mile farmed the Sin City production to Australia’s Transmission Games, where we can assume Melbourne-based artist Simon Lissaman worked. On Monday Nixel Pixel published a hefty gallery of Lissaman’s Sin City art, which is extremely reverent of the designs and other aesthetic values seen in Miller’s Eisner-winning comics. Indeed, Red Mile licensed the comics from Miller directly, as opposed to involving themselves in anything officially connected to the Sin City movie business.

From the 2008 Reuters piece:

“We wanted to go back to the source material instead of the filtered version that people saw on the big screen,” [Red Mile COO Glenn Wong] says.

Wong recognizes that, in making that call, he forgoes the one-two marketing punch associated with releasing a game day-and-date with its cinematic counterpart. After all, a simultaneous release might have been easily arranged since “Sin City 2″ is in preproduction and scheduled to hit theaters sometime next year. And one of its directors — “Sin” creator, author, and artist Frank Miller — is the game’s licensor.

“We’d like to think that we’ll be able to capitalize on whatever awareness of ‘Sin City’ is generated by the second film,” Wong says. “But, frankly, I don’t even know when that’s scheduled to be released.”

The article indicated that Sin City was to be developed for PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii using the Unreal 3 engine, and ideally launch a franchise for Red Mile. However, subsequent to that report Red Mile was acquired by Canada’s SilverBirch Studios, which soon closed its doors in 2009 after losing funding. All the relevant corporate websites are down, and it would seem that the Sin City game was lost somewhere in the process.

Without any casting news or other official announcements, it seems very possible that Rodriguez is crying wolf again with respect to the Sin City movie sequel. Of course we’d be very happy to be proven wrong, especially now because of how promising Sin City looks as a game. As referenced in the Reuters piece, these media licensing things go hand in hand, making the emergence of such a game much more likely if a movie were to happen, and it’s difficult to imagine anything more fun than crushing some virtual spines as Marv with his mits or blowing away some gangsters as Gail with her trademark Uzi machine gun.

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