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Shortly after the last document I posted, we finally pitched the comedy version of the GARGOYLES series to Eisner, Katzenberg, etc. They passed. So it was back to the drawing board. I showed what we had to Tad Stones, producer of numerous Disney shows including Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck and Aladdin. Tad suggested we go the action-drama route, creating a MAIN Gargoyle protagonist who was more of a tragic figure. He pointed to the success of the Disney BEAUTY AND THE BEAST feature film, and suggested that there was something in that for us.
This, given my comic book background, of course struck an immediate cord with me. Thus the proto-Goliath known simply as "Gargoyle" was born. We deconstructed all that we had created for the comedy series (much of which would later work its way back in to the show) and started from scratch. In some ways this version is even farther away from the end result than we were at our last glimpse of the comedy development. But it was an important step.
What follows is a memo that I wrote up summarizing a development meeting we had late in 1991. Elisa's starting to take a more familiar form. So is Xavier/Xanatos. And "THE GARGOYLE":
(Weisman / Summary of meeting 12/19/91)
1000 years ago in barbaric Briton, an evil Wizard wanted to ransack the castle of the good princess.
Gargoyles are stone sculptures that are used to decorate castles. Inspired by this, the wizard creates his own giant (Beauty & the Beast-sized) Gargoyle. He instructs this engine of destruction to fly to the castle tonight, while the wizard's army attacks from the outside.
(Perhaps he gives the Gargoyle a powder that will temporarily bring the other little stone gargoyles to life.)
The Gargoyle, which is stone colored, even when it isn't stone, flies to the castle, intent on destroying it.
He meets the princess who teaches him the error of his ways. He will fight against the wizard. But as the sunrises [sic], he falls asleep turning to stone. A part of the spell he was not aware of.
When the sun sets again, and he awakens, it is too late. The princess is gone (dead?). The castle has been ransacked. Even the wizard has left him behind. Angry at his betrayal...He is alone. Cursed as an outsider, able to function only during night hours. Frozen as stone during the day.
He stays in the ruined castle over the centuries. Making occasional forays to the outside world. Sometimes briefly, to steal books. Sometimes for long periods to fight evil (World War II, perhaps). But always returning to the castle and his loneliness. He despairs of ever finding a true friend. Despairs of ever having a purpose to his life.
One night he awakens, and finds that some repair work has been done on the castle. Each night he finds that a little more work has been done while he slept during the day. Construction equipment has gathered outside the castle walls.
One day, as he sleeps, the castle is lifted, lock, stock and gargoyle and flown whole across the atlantic to New York, by giant airships.
It is placed on the top of the Xavier Enterprises skyscraper.
Xavier is our arrogant villain. Not comic. Evil behind the scenes. Manipulator. Respectable to the rest of the world. Untouchable.
Our Gargoyle finds himself in this strange new world. Here he meets a young idealistic girl (perhaps a plain clothes police detective) who will be his friend and teach him not to despair. That he can help make the world a better place. In New York, the barbarians are at the gate, every night. This time, he can do something about it.
He becomes a de facto super-hero of sorts, though we don't have to flag it.
Xavier can hire other minor villains, plus we need to create some real psychos, and powerful ones at that, for Gargoyle to battle. Plus the ancient wizard could return in some form. Perhaps he has put his spirit in a amulet. Whoever wears it is possesed by him.
Perhaps, our Gargoyle can still temporarily awaken other gargoyles, little mischevious things who aren't too bright, but would try to follow his orders. But when they sleep each day, they have to be awakened by the magic dust each night or they will remain as stone. Only our hero awakens by himself every night.
Does our young girl have a child?
Who else populates this world?
Is the Gargoyle named Gargoyle, or is there another name for him?
cc: Bruce, Gary, Kat, Bob, Mike, Fred, Tad, DoMo
[This cc list includes my bosses, Bruce Cranston and Gary Krisel, our development associates, Kat Fair, Mike Ryan and Fred Schaefer, our Art Director Bob Kline, "consultant" Tad Stones, and Dolores Morris (DoMo) who was my opposite number in developing MovieToons like "A Goofy Movie".]