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Roger Corman’s Ten Million Dollar Cyclops

Cyclops Design Art!Dread Central got word the other day that production has just begun on Cyclops, a new Roger Corman-produced Sci-Fi Channel original movie from the writer-director of the upcoming Sci-Fi Channel originals’ Rock Monster and Genesis Code, both of which I just wrote about last week. What’s kind of strange about this is that I’d have sworn I read that Cyclops had already filmed sometime last year (““>Sci Fi Channel Movie A Go-Go!” – March 2008). There seems to be some confusion surrounding that.

Set in ancient Rome, filmed on the luxurious full-scale sets built for the USA Network’s Spartacus, and promising a plethora of stunt-filled action, the titular Cyclops is discovered and captured by an arrogant soldier named Marcus (Broadway and television actor Kevin Stapleton) and then brought back to the cruel and corrupt Emperor Tiberius (Eric Roberts, better believe he’ll be in hammy villain overdrive mode). Emperor Tiberius forces Marcus to fight in the gladiatorial arena against the Cyclops with the help of a beautiful barbarian (Wraiths of Roanoke’s Frida Ferrell). After Marcus learns what it means to be a hero and the Cyclops’ essential humanity is revealed, together they end the emperor’s tyranny.

Now get this: the press release claims Cyclops is a $10 million production. This is a Sci-Fi Channel original movie that does not possess a big name cast being filmed in the current b-movie capitol of the world, Bulgaria, yet we’re to believe the budget is ten million dollars? The last four creature features Roger Corman produced were Sci-Fi’s Supergator (which most definitely did not cost ten mil), Scorpius Gigantus (which only got a meager DVD release), the John Carl Buechler directed Saurians (a 2006 film that seems to have drifted off into the ether), and the surprisingly decent Cry of the Winged Serpent, another movie that has yet to see the light of day domestically. For some reason I’m just having a hard time believing Cyclops really has a budget of $10 million.

But apparently it does. Corman is quoted in the press release touting Cyclops as “one of the biggest and best pictures of my 400 film career.” We’ll see for ourselves sometime this fall, assuming things stay on schedule.

The Cyclops artwork accompanying this article was posted on Roger Corman’s MySpace page where you can keep up to date on all of his recent productions – though nothing on Saurian, which, again, seems to have fallen into the abyss or something. I’m thinking we need to put its picture on a milk carton.

The Foywonder

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