Science fiction author Howard Waldrop is set to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award in November from the World Fantasy Convention and his pal George R.R. Martin is celebrating a bit early. The Song of Ice and Fire writer announced he’s adapted Waldrop’s short story “Night of the Cooters.” What’s one more non-Game of Thrones project for the pile, am I right?
Interestingly enough, this one was kept very quiet. Martin says principal photography has already wrapped on the short film adapting one of Waldrop’s stories from Night of the Cooters: More Neat Stories. It also has a fun name attached for in front of and behind the camera: Adventures in Babysitting (and, whatever, some other stuff I guess) star Vincent D’Onofrio directed from a screenplay written by Joe Lansdale (a sci-fi/horror author in his own right who has also written for Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Love, Death & Robots, Creepshow and more). D’Onofrio also took on the lead role of Sheriff Lindley. You can see the first image on Martin’s personal blog.
Martin wrote, “No one else writes like Waldrop. And Howard never writes the same story twice. His best story? Damned hard to say. So many classics. But one of them, surely surely, is ‘Night of the Cooters,’ a finalist for the Hugo Award and Locus Award (did not win either, alas), and the title story of his second short story collection. Inspired by H.G. Wells and War of the Worlds, it is all about the time the Martians invaded Pachuco, Texas.”
He added that of course Waldrop has been involved through the whole process — which started about five or six years ago according to Martin. He also detailed what we can expect it to see eventually: “I’d guess [the short film] will come in somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes, shot with a combination of live action and state-of-the-art animation [from Trioscope Studios]. If you loved the story, we think you will love our movie.”
When can you watch it? Well, Martin says it may be a while yet. “We shot everything on green screen, so the post production process is going to be a lengthy one. The ball has now been passed to our friends at Trioscope, who will supply the backgrounds and special effects. We are thinking the final cut won’t be ready until early next year.”
Additional cast includes Hopper Penn as Sweets, Harrison Page as Luther, Martin Sensmeier as Leo Smith, Cristin McCleary as Atkins, Elias Gallegos as DeSpain, Luce Rains as Skip, Jazzy Kim O’Brien as Lil’ Chisum, and Darius Eteeyan as Billy Strother. Clarksworld magazine actually has the story up in full online if you’re interested in giving it a read before we get to see this one.