After a half an hour of Q&A at his spotlight panel at San Diego Comic-Con, writer Ed Brubaker halted the proceedings so he could introduce his special guest for the panel, actress/stuntwoman Zoë Bell, the star of the upcoming Sony Pictures Online Entertainment series, Angel of Death .
After Bell’s applause calmed, Brubaker spoke of how the project started when he was approached by producer John Norris ab out doing a project online. Norris had been talking to Bell as well, and Brubaker, being a fan of Bell’s started digging through his notebooks for a project that would be suited for the actress.
Shortly, Brubaker found it – an idea he had for a hitman – changed to hitwoman “who kicks ass,” Brubaker said, adding, “And miraculously, it’s actually happening.”
As brubaker descrbed it, Angel of Death is the story of Anette, a hitwoman who receives a traumatic brain injury which leads to hallucinations and mental problems, which her condition finally helping to convince her that the only way to easer her troubled mind will be to kill those who sent her on her missions to kill her victims over the years.
Angel of Death will be presented in 8-10 minute long episodes online at Sony’s Crackle.com. “Each segment has to be satisfying and seamlessly blend into a really cool movie,” Brubaker said. “So if you never saw Chapter 5, you can look at the whole thing, and see that it’s a cool movie.”
Asked what kind of action she’ll be asked to perform for the film, Bell said that it’s her dream – low-profile, low-budget action, focusing more on hand to hand skill and speed, rather than effects and wires.
Brubaker added that the advantage to having Bell star as Anette is that “she’s a great actor and can do all these stunts, so you can do it on a lower budget, while you don’t have to cut away to another actress before and after the stunts.”
The writer added that Angel of Death will have the feel of a classic “Grindhouse” movie, that is, a low budget, lots of action, creepy elements, crime, and “lots of kung fu, or whatever she wants to do. She’s my Michelle Yeoh.”
In response to a question about her comic book cred, Bell said that once Brubaler cam on board, and she had the role, she started reading more of his comics and had become a big fan. The actress also noted that she couldn’t believe how smooth the process has been, lading Brubaker to say that so far, there hasn’t been a single speedbump in the road. “It was greenlit before I started writing a script.”
Asked if there would be a love interest for Bell’s character in the film, Brubaker said yes, and that there might even be some nude scenes.
“Really?” Bell asked Brubaker with raised eyebrows and a skeptical look.
Brubaker laughingly backed down, adding though that there may be shower scenes, as one of his friends had suggested to him
Noting the poster by Sean Phillips, Brubaker said that, given her depiction in the art, he may have to have Bell’s character kill someone with an axe in the film.
On the subject of the larger view of the project, Brubaker said that he sees Angel of Death as a movie, albeit one that’s presented episodically. “If you looked at Raiders of the Lost Ark, and had to come back every week for the next ten minutes [of the film], it would still kick ass,” Brubaker said to emphasize his point.
On the whole, Brubaker said that Angel of Death has a very comic-book feeling on the production side – there are very few people involved in its creation, and everyone who is working on it is very passionate about it. “We’re lucky in that they still haven’t figured out how to use the internet to distribute stuff around the world, and when they do, it might just be more complicated that,” Brubaker said with a laugh.
When asked about his role in the film’s production, Brubaker said that he’s just writing it, and is not an executive producer, “Although if anyone wants to throw that title up there, I’ll take it,” he added. Brubaker said that he plans to be availbel for the production while managing to meet his other deadlines, but has “been warned by his screenwriter friends not to be on the set too much, or they’ll get you to rewrite stuff for no money.”
Brubaker added with a chuckle that he has no desire to be in the film himself, to which Bell added that she would love to kick his ass.
Angel of Death will be collected as a direct to DVD video release after the episodes have been released online.