« Forthcoming movies | Main | Movable Type update »

Last Unicorn movie


A couple years ago, I found out that there were plans for a live-action movie of one of my favorite books in all the world, Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn.

Today I found the movie FAQ at the IMDb. Very informative. It turns out that the production company has indeed been saying for years that they're making progress, but it's still "in the stage of raising money and contracting actors." They are apparently planning to use the script Beagle wrote (which used to be downloadable from the official movie website but I don't think is there any more), but Beagle isn't otherwise involved. And that list of actors who've supposedly been cast? Turns out at least one hasn't even been asked yet. Also, the production company has "explicitly asked [fans] not to send any more fan mail."

So it sounds like the movie could still happen, but it's a lot further away from happening soon than various sites have made it sound.

Meanwhile, Connor Cochran, business manager for Peter S. Beagle, has put up a page asking for fans to help Beagle get money apparently owed him by Granada Media for his work on the original animated Last Unicorn movie. The tone of that page kind of puts me off; it talks about Granada owing Beagle money, but doesn't make clear whether that's a legal obligation or an ethical one. It also talks about Beagle's financial difficulties, trying to support his 100-year-old mother, who's ill. I'm a huge Beagle fan, and I certainly want him to receive the recognition and recompense he deserves for his work; still, the page feels manipulative to me, and more like an emotional appeal than a factual discussion.

Cochran's press, Conlan Press, also hosts some Last Unicorn art, by 18-year-old Rebekah Naomi Cox. About that art, Cochran says: "In 40 years Peter has never seen anything he thought better captures the story as he always saw it in his own head."

Finally, the unofficial Beagle site peterbeagle.com is in the process of becoming an official Beagle site; the new version launches October 17.

That site notes that Beagle's new novella "Two Hearts," the bridging story between Last Unicorn and the forthcoming sequel novel, is in the October 2005 issue of F&SF. It says that issue's print run has sold out; but you can still buy a downloadable version from Fictionwise.

Damn—wish I'd seen that site a couple days ago. Turns out Beagle was reading at Borderlands in SF yesterday, as part of the Tachyon Publications 10th Anniversary Party. Oh, well.


Hmmph. I prefer Judy King Rieniets.

I assume you mean she did art for some edition of The Last Unicorn? I'm not familiar with her work, but I did find a page with some samples of her (and others') dragon art: More and more dragons, also notable for the often-sarcastic captions that someone (presumably not the artists) attached to the pieces. (I'm guessing these copies are not authorized by the artists, but I could be wrong.)

As for Last Unicorn art, the Darrell K. Sweet cover remains the definitive one for me. And, indeed, the definitive unicorn art of any kind. The idea of a unicorn as more deerlike than horselike really fits my mental image of them as being graceful, wild, sleek (perhaps even delicate), shy, and attuned to the woods. I know that for some people unicorns are all about rugged solid muscular wild masculinity (for which I can see that horses make more sense, especially if you want to ride one), but that's not how I think of them.

Wow, what a blast from the past to see that cover. That was the exact same edition we had kicking around the house.

I don't know if it was from an edition she did the work for. I've got the pic kicking around the house somewhere; I'll see if I can scan it.

But yes, I agree with you on the not-like-a-horse issue.


Thanks for spreading the word about Peter's fight to get what he is owed. I apologize for the fact that it feels "more like an emotional appeal than a factual discussion." That's entirely my fault, I'm afraid -- after working on Peter's dispute with Granada for two years, my patience with them is worn thin and my sense of righteous indignation sometimes get the better of me. We are now expanding the http://www.conlanpress.com/youcanhelp page with detailed histories and FAQs, plus specific calls to action. I hope the facts will make clear exactly why I and so many others are upset.

For what it is worth, Peter's problem with the Darrell K. Sweet cover is that it is *too* deerlike. As far as Peter is concerned unicorns do not look like horses, but they don't look like deer, either. They are entirely their own creatures. There may be better versions lurking out there somewhere, but at this point he's backing Rebekah's work as being closer to his personal vision than anything he has yet seen.

Which doesn't mean he's "right" -- we all see the movie in our own head, not anyone else's -- but it is nice that after all this time someone's work really excites him.

And thanks again!

-- Connor Cochran
Business Manager for Peter S. Beagle

I loved the movie as a little girl, i wish i could see it again, Does anyone know where i could get it.

I'm pretty convinced that Connor Cochran is a fake. Why would Peter Beagle's business manager be posting on a random fansite like this? Why can't Beagle speak for himself? Why is it continually, 'Peter says this,' 'Peter likes this'? The guy is a con artist. He has no affiliation with Beagle whatsoever. He asks for donations to help Beagle, but the mailing address and Paypal account both go to him. Why isn't the money going directly to Beagle? I wouldn't believe a word he says.

Leah: to tell the truth, I was concerned about that at first, but I checked via email with a source I trust, who has provided enough confirmation to satisfy me.

As for "a random fansite," this issue has come up before, so let me explain: When you follow a link, the owner of the website that you end up at can see where you came from. So if I post a link to site X, and fifty or a hundred people click it, then the webmaster at site X will know that I've linked to that site. It's not unusual for the people whose sites I link to to come here and comment. It's also worth noting that this entry of mine is the 8th search result if you Google for [Connor Cochran].

If you're still skeptical, you may want to follow some of the links from my latest entry about Beagle. I've now purchased (and downloaded, and listened to part of) the audiobook version of The Last Unicorn from Conlan Press; as far as I know, it's not available from anywhere else, which would seem to suggest that Beagle is in fact connected with them.

Here are some more links:

Film Gecko Talks With: Peter S. Beagle, Author of The Last Unicorn, an interview with Beagle in which Beagle praises Cochran and provides the URL of the You can help page.

Beagle is going to be writing for an online game called Horizons: Empire of Istaria; RPG Vault posted an interview of Beagle and Cochran back in November of 2005.

And a quote, though not a link: Gordon Van Gelder (presumably) wrote in an about-the-author note preceding "Two Hearts" in the October/November 2005 issue of F&SF: "[A word of thanks] for Connor F. Cochran, whose work with Mr. Beagle is producing wonders."

I agree with Mr. Beagle's call- that illustration is *too* deerlike. But many an artist nowadays thinks that a unicorn is merely a horse with a horn. I prefer Michael Green's illustrations. You can't find much of his art on the web (good, because most stuff on the web is posted without permission, and even worse, without credit to the artist!). Of course, his work, "Unicornis: On the History and Truth of the Unicorn" is out of print, but I *HIGHLY* recommend it for purchase. Not horse, not goat, not deer, his unicorns are fantastic. Just my two cents.


I would like to start with, I have spoken with Connor at length and he is not a fake, he is Peter's business manager.

I am a simple long-time fan of the Last Unicorn, and recently went on a search to find not only the book, but most everything else by Peter. Stumbling upon www.conlanpress.com was a godsend for me. I ordered everything under the sun there, and have received everything, personally autographed by Peter himself. So no, Connor is not a fake, just a very witty and passionate man about his friend Peter.

I have stumbled upon this site while actually compiling a list of fansites for Connor to help with the fight against Granada. I am hoping that once I have a good list, Connor and Peter will approve a button that I will ask the fansites to put on their page that links to the www.conlanpress.com/youcanhelp page to help raise awareness for this cause.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and I do have this weblog bookmarked, for future communications so long as Peter and Connor give me approval on the button etc. :)

This movie is the best i have ever watched, it brought so much emotion to my heart and made me feel so happy that she found others like her. To all those others that appretiated this film just like me, I thank you.

I think this is an even better represenration of what a unicorn looks like---definetly its own unique creature.

I love to have a unicon as a pet.

I actually met him the morning of the day his mother died. It was awful, but he seemed at peace with it. :( I love that man.

Read the post- I was disappointed that the film version got nixed myself- so I took matters into my own hands, and am adapting and directing a stage version in Chicago this fall! I've got Peter and Connor's permission, and Peter will be there opening weekend. If you want more info, please check out the blog I'm keeping about the show's development (see the link above) or visit my theatre company's website, www.prometheantheatre.org. Thanks!

Post a comment