The first trailer for 18 Days, Grant Morrison's much-discussed CGI retelling of The Mahbharata, is online. And after watching it, we can't wait for next spring to see the finished version of the We3/Invisibles writer's psychedelic excursion.
In addition to the trailer, the project's website also includes notes from Morrison about how he approached the project, which he likened to "a psychedelic The Lord of the Rings with Star Wars technology":
Given the nature of the medium and the kaleidoscopic possibilities of the original narrative, my intention is not to tell the story in strict chronological order (beginning with Shantanu and progressing through the various stories towards the war) instead I'd like to approach the text not in a linear fashion but as a 3-dimensional structure to which we can continually add new modular episodes which will eventually build up into an incredible mosaic of the War and the events surrounding it. In this way the story will grow in power and interconnectivity as we build it up piece by piece, episode by episode.
As I see it, the whole of the Mahabharata, and indeed the whole of Hindu thought and ultimately of all contemplative thought, expands outwards like the Big Bang from one timeless Singularity – the moment when Krishna stops time to deliver the terrible wisdom of the Gita and reveal to Arjuna his – and our own - place in the cosmos. Here is the ‘crack' in time, the crack between Ages and the crack in every human heart through which the light of A New Way To Think can come.
Poised between massive opposing forces, from the Singularity of Krishna's message, we expand outwards into duality and the War that comes to represent all opposing dualities in the cosmos beyond the Singularity. This is a story with a timeless resonance.
If the finished movies can live up to Morrison's descriptions ("Our world of Bharat is a place of incredible art and technology... The armour and vehicles they use look like the kind of thing you'd expect from a culture more glorious than anything we in the degraded Kali Yuga could aspire to... Use familiar historical styles and fashions that we associate with traditional depictions of the Mahabharata and then mutate those traditional influences into a much more shiny, reflective, decorative look. Like Jack Kirby doing the Hindu gods," he writes), we're in for a treat.
18 Days is expected to be released in Spring 2010.