In yet another example of things "I never knew about but now I really wish had happened," artist Brendan McCarthy was once commissioned to create development art for a never completed '90s film adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's classic novel The Wind In The Willows. McCarthy recently decided to share the art via his Facebook page, and it's pretty fantastic.


The story of anthropomorphic animals living in a pastoral England, The Wind In The Willows remains immensely popular, over a century after it was first published. A master of psychedelic art, McCarthy was an ideal choice to help bring the tale to life, as he's shown on multiple occasions his skill at creating a weird kind of mysticism in an English landscape (his recent work on Zaucer of Zilk for IDW is a good example). Outside of comics, McCarthy has worked as a designer on several film and television projects, including Highlander, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Lost In Space. 

The film was to be directed by Steven Barron, whom McCarthy previously worked with on Jim Henson's The Storyteller. On his Facebook page, McCarthy discussed the process:



The director liked me to do the boards in this style on the page, with key-frame colour shots dropped in here and there. (This was in the pre-digital era, about 20 years ago)… The director, Steve Barron, liked me to add lots of ‘camera movement’ arrows and verbal shot directions. Other directors only want minimal text. Depends…

These have been gathering dust, unseen, for twenty years… it’s good to give an airing to what could have been a decent British film, from that ‘Handmade’ era. Sadly I have lost most of my film visuals material. I never thought it very important… I always considered my comics work to be the real deal…

I noticed directors like to be able to show stuff to producers and investors before things are shot… It keeps them calm!





[Click image to enlarge]

[Via Robot 6]