DCC 2012: Exclusive Interview – Jimmy Palmiotti Talks About THE NEW WEST Movie

A man, his horse, and a sword. Welcome to The New West! Back in February, we told you that Jimmy Palmiotti and Phil Noto’s 2005 sci-fi western comic book miniseries, The New West, would be heading for the big screen with Benderspink and Wizard magazine founder Gareb Shamus. At Dallas Comic Con, I had the most wonderful chat with the multi-award winning writer, editor, artist, and character creator Jimmy Palmiotti (All-Star Western, Painkiller Jane) about the big screen adaptation of this two-issue comic. Check out our conversation below:

SciFi Mafia: Let’s talk about your sci-fi western project with Phil Noto, The New West, that is heading to the big screen…

Jimmy Palmiotti: The New West, yeah, it was the second time I worked with Phil Noto; the first was on Beautiful Killer. [New West] is a two-issue story where a pulse weapon is set off in L.A. and at the same time the Mayor’s wife has been kidnapped and we follow a police detective and his partner just trying to track down the Mayor’s wife in a city that has been free of any electricity or the past 8 months. The city has become a ghost town and at the same time, a no man’s land of horseback vigilantes and police all living at their most basic.

It’s been looked at by the studios for years and it’s one of those projects that I thought that if they ever make it, it will be a pretty cool flick. So, I’m excited about it. Phil’s excited about it. Like with all things, I’ll believe it when I see it.

SFM: So will you and Phil be able to be involved in this production process?

Jimmy Palmiotti: No idea yet on this one.

SFM: Still too early?

Jimmy Palmiotti: Yeah, it’s still too early. I mean a part of me is like, they buy the rights and whatever they do is their thing. They don’t tell me how I write my comics and I really don’t tell them how to make their films. So, it’s a nice relationship.

SFM: But would you want to be more involved with the film-making process?

Jimmy Palmiotti: Oh, yeah. I always put in for producer and then hope for the best and we’ll see what happens. This one I don’t know yet because there are a lot of different issues going on with it.

SFM: Different issues… like what?

Jimmy Palmiotti: There’s still a part of the deal that hasn’t been worked out yet but I’m staying positive. I have that and two other things that are in the same kind of development stage. I wait till all the contracts are signed to see where I fit in.

SFM: The New West is a sci-fi-western. When people think of that genre these days, they immediately think Serenity or…

Jimmy Palmiotti: Cowboys and Aliens?

SFM: Yes, how is The New West different?

Jimmy Palmiotti: Well, it happens in modern day. So the pulse weapon knocks out electricity in L.A. for months and there’s no electricity of any kind there. People either pick up their bicycles or they’re on horseback. We turn modern L.A. into a western town. And the law itself is running around with bicycles and horses. It’s set in modern society so everything is kind of…

SFM: Kind of more within reach?

Jimmy Palmiotti: Yes, it’s a lot more within reach. If they were filming, all they’d have to do is clear a street out or have parked cars since cars are useless. In the eight months, some people are abandoning Los Angeles thinking that the electricity’s never going to come back on. Other people are hiring people to protect their property and waiting for when it does one day. There’s a lot of flux happening within the city at the time. So it sets up as our hero, because he won a bet, he got a horse. This retired cop actually gets to use his horse. Long story short, he has a samurai sword and a horse and he runs around L.A. That’s the set up.

SFM: I love the imagery already!

Jimmy Palmiotti: Yeah, so it’s kinda fun and like I said, I’ll be interested to see what their take is on the property because it’s always a little different. If anybody reads Jonah Hex on the stands… the difference between the book and the movie were pretty big.

SFM: Yeah, I’ll say.

Jimmy Palmiotti: Exactly.

A huge thank you goes out to Jimmy Palmiotti for talking with SciFi Mafia at Dallas Comic Con. We had a great time talking comics, movies, and getting fans involved with crowdfunded projects. Check out the rest of our conversation on Creator Owned Heroes, Retrovirus through Kickstarter, and new projects in development here. Read Jimmy’s blog and catch up with him on Twitter.

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Lillian 'zenbitch' Standefer
Written by Lillian 'zenbitch' Standefer

is Senior Managing Editor for SciFi Mafia.com, skips along between the lines of sci-fi, fantasy, and reality, and is living proof that geek girls really DO exist!