Ladies and gentlemen of the internet, I humbly implore you to drop your expectations of everything you expect to read in this article. This is not some analysis of a future blockbuster, this is not a criticism about some long-debated adaption, this, put quite simply, is a beautiful story that deserves a big screen adaption. In 2003, Kamelot released the album Epica, starting the story of Ariel, the philosopher, Helena, his love, and Mephisto, the fallen angel. Based off of Goethe's Faust, two albums twisted the well known story into something... new, something... well... beautiful. All of you, open a new tab right now, go to youtube, look up The Haunting by Kamelot it is one of the most beautiful pieces of modern music that I have heard in a very long time. As for the actual breakdown of the story, just to prove its cinematic appeal, here are the plots of "Epica" (2003) and "The Black Halo" (2005) taken straight from wikipedia:
Epica: The story takes place at an unknown time and place on Earth. God has commanded all angels to serve alongside humans on the Earth, but one angel named Mephisto has refused to obey this order, claiming that he takes orders from God alone, after which Mephisto is expelled from heaven. God eventually decides to give Mephisto one chance: If Mephisto can claim the soul of God's favorite man, an alchemist and scholar named Ariel, only then can he return to heaven. If not, then Mephisto will be condemned to hell forever. Mephisto agrees and searches for Ariel.
Meanwhile, Ariel is introduced and he begins to ponder his research on the true meaning of life and why God created humans. He comes to a conclusion that science nor religion can truly answer these questions. Feeling lost and powerless, he decides to leave his hometown to search for answers. He bids his farewell to the towns people and to his lover, Helena as he departs for answers, promising that he will never return. Years pass by as Ariel begins his search, but eventually turns to the occult after his search seems in vain. He then begins to ponder his life back in his home and of Helena while aimlessly walking through the wilderness, regretting his decision to leave. Under the influence of hallucinogens, he gives up his search and decides to commit suicide, believing that he will never find the answers he is looking for. But before Ariel has the chance, Mephisto arrives and proposes a deal: Mephisto will help Ariel in his search for the questions and fulfill his desires and in turn, Mephisto will claim Ariel's soul when he dies. Ariel is then mysteriously transported to Mephisto castle, where a feast is thrown for him, provided by Mephisto, and he enjoys his splendors. After the feast, Ariel then agrees to Mephisto's contract, but only that if he wishes to live forever in a moment of happiness, then can Mephisto claim his soul. Knowing that it may be harder for him to claim his soul, Mephisto agrees.
After leaving Mephisto's castle, Ariel runs into Helena, who has been searching for him throughout the years he's been gone. Shocked to discover each other, Ariel he becomes joyous to finally see her after the years they've been separated. However, despite his joy, the one thing that ponders his mind is his ever-searching answers to his questions. Despite this, the two enjoy the night and sleep together, not knowing that a child now grows within Helena. After spending time with Helena for about a month, he eventually decides to leave Helena to continue his search for the truth. With his newfound power with Mephisto, he feels the answers are within his grasp. Not wanting to leave Helena, Ariel tells Helena of his departure, claiming that "love means nothing to me, if there is a higher place to be." He begs Helena to leave as he returns to his quest, claiming that he wishes to save her from any evil. After Ariel leaves, Helena is heart-broken and claims that she will love Ariel even in death. She then drowns herself, which also kills the unborn child within her. Her body is then discovered and a town crier announces her suicide, which grabs Ariel's attention. After knowing of Helena's suicide, and of her pregnancy, he becomes increasingly upset and weeps at the river where Helena died.
Consumed with grief, he questions on whether he should continue his quest. He blames both God and himself for Helena's death, but Mephisto encourages Ariel to continue his journey, claiming that human emotions will ultimately become their demise, calling it a curse of humans. Ariel then decides to continue his journey, and slowly becomes under Mephisto's influence. As Ariel continues his journey, Helena watches him from heaven.
The Black Halo: Continuing from Epica, Ariel is under the control of Mephisto, still stricken with grief and sorrow over Helena's death. With Ariel's will nearly under Mephisto's total control, the fallen angel brings Ariel a beautiful young woman, Marguerite, who looks and speaks like Helena. Ariel seduces Marguerite and the two sleep together, which completes Mephisto's manipulation of Ariel. The morning after, Ariel regains his memory, breaking Mephisto's control over him, and realizes that Helena is dead. He apologizes to Marguerite and explains his story of him and Helena, begging her to leave but that they may meet again. Ariel then leaves Mephisto, questioning how much pain he could bring despite his good intentions to search for the answers to the meaning of life. He concludes that it is impossible to find the answers on Earth, and that the answers lie in heaven and heaven alone. Realizing the sins that he has committed, he begs God for forgiveness, but does not hear any sign from him. Heartbroken, he realizes that he will never be able to enter heaven, and thus he will never see Helena again, nor find the answers he seeks. He looks back on his journey and the pain that he has caused to everyone he knows, including himself. He then believes that he will never be free of the burden of his actions.
With this conclusion at hand, he prompts himself into action and then heads towards the castle to confront Mephisto. Resigning himself to death, he confronts Mephisto, calling him a liar and a traitor. He cuts his ties to Mephisto, knowing that damnation is inevitable. He then goes back to Mephisto's claim of the curse of humans being emotions. He denounces Mephisto's claim and makes a statement that humans will always struggle with the very questions that Ariel has been trying to answer throughout his journey. This then pops a sudden suggestion about this, that love is the ultimate answer to life. He then finally realizes that he was experiencing this even before his quest, and that Helena and he created a part of it. He then comes to a state of complete understanding. Everything becomes clear to Ariel, that with the universality of love, he will never be satisfied on Earth, and that his free will allows him to create his own meaning of life and his destiny. With his questions finally answered, he becomes incredibly joyous and wishes to stay in his state forever.
This suddenly brings the effect of the contract to light. As Ariel's soul begins to leave his body, Mephisto grabs the chance to take it. However, Helena intercedes with God on Ariel's behalf and that Ariel has redeemed himself by rejecting all evil, even in the face of damnation. God considers this, and decides to spare Ariel by taking him away from Mephisto, and allowing to him to join Helena in Heaven. Mephisto, losing his bet with God, wails as he is banished to Hell forever.
As the story ends, it is revealed that Ariel's story is a play set for a New Year's Eve festival, which is similar to that of Goethe's Faust. The song Serenade is a tribute to comedy, tragedy, and to the cyclical nature of life.
What I propose is this, a Television miniseries, yes, I propose a rock opera. Wait. No. Not a rock opera. A METAL opera. Get Dave Mckean (mirrormask, and the image attached to this article) and Jhonen Vasquez (Invader Zim, Bioshock 2, JTHM) to work on the conceptual artwork. Allow some usage of CGI but build as many practical effects as possible, there's a different feeling when something exists in reality. As for the music, arguably one of the most important aspects of this story, I say lets look at Lion King. Not at the music itself, but how the music was made: A demo of an original song was made by Elton John then sent to Hans Zimmer to make more dramatic and orchestral. My suggestion is to just let the composer and the original musicians work together as much as possible so that it can be a new interpretation of the material while remaining true to the original intention. Now, as for the rest of the crew, that would require a bit more information than I have, but mostly Id look for people involved in music videos, not feature length films, getting the idea of beat and purpose to the camera movements and music, flowing the story effortlessly alongside an already exemplary soundtrack.
Now as for the cast, here is my suggestion:
Ariel: Tommy Karevik, Roy Khan's replacement in Kamelot. Honestly, he looks and sounds the part perfectly already, and looking at the recent music videos he would be able to bring a breath of humanity to the role that might be sourly needed
Helena: Emmy Rossum, she is supposed to represent innocence and all that is pure and good, she has this glow on screen, in particular in Phantom of The Opera, which only proves she has the voice for it as well
Marguerite: Alexa PenaVega, Shes supposed to look like Helena, which with the right makeup and hair she would, shes supposed to be able to sing like her, which if you've seen Repo: The Genetic Opera, you know she can, and most importantly shes supposed to be beautiful, which she is
And, the best for last, Mephisto: To be honest, I had a hard time coming up with an idea for who would make a good Mephisto, so I had an idea: pull a Cobra Comander. Use one person to play the right physical presence, then use another to voice that character, as for the body I'm stumped. But the voice, why change it? Shagwrath from Dimmu Borgier is perfect.
And to wrap up this rather lengthy article, the budget and timeframe: five -months pre-production, six months shooting, three post-production for the entire thing, and going off of a typical hallmark miniseries budget should work out just fine, (Mirrormask, The Lost Empire, Etc, Etc)
This is totally just speculation but what do yall think?