Producer Dylan Sides talks about Dark Horse Comics’ scheduled four-issue series of The Mask–and the release of a new teaser trailer

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Is it just coincidence that Dark Horse Comics has announced a limited -four issue release of the comic book just after Controlled Chaos producer Dylan Sides and director Lance Kawas demonstrated by creating last year’s viral sensations Rise of the Mask and Revenge of the Mask–short films which caught fire and burnt up the internet with their numbers–that there is still more than a little fan interest in this franchise?

It was over twenty-five years ago that comedian Jim Carey gave life to the character based upon the original comic book series.  The movie The Mask released by New Line Cinema, directed by Charles Russell, featuring Cameron Diaz in her debut role,  was a critical and commercial success. The sequel Son of the Mask was less soThe comic was released as six separate four-issue limited sets,  with spin-offs and cross-overs, and a animated series to follow.

While these Controlled Chaos created short films were not part of the Dark Horse Comics franchise,  it may be argued that the comic book was the inspiration for these films. But much went into developing the story-line and characters which appeared in Rise of the Mask and Revenge of the Mask.  In fact the green-headed character which appears in the films bear  little to no resemblance to the original Dark Horse Comic book character, the 1982 character created by Mike Richardson.  But the character in Controlled Chaos’  short films bares a striking resemblance to a later incarnation of the character,  and the latest, this character to appear in the yet to be released limited four-issue run entitled The Mask: I Pledge Allegiance to the Mask!, due for release October 15,   resembles theirs. This character to be illustrated by Patric Reynolds (Joe Golem).

This is a fact that Dylan Sides, producer of both Rise of the Mask and Revenge of the Mask. hasn’t missed.   As he said, ” So it appears Dark Horse is releasing The Mask in a new comic book series. It seems that this just came out of nowhere, cough, cough … and it just seems very odd that the character seems to look exactly like our version of The Mask.”  said Sides,

This question caused such a riff that a legal challenge was filed and Controlled Chaos was forced to pull its short film Revenge of the Mask–once it had gone viral–from off of youtube until the natter was resolved. Success of the original shorts caused such a divide between Dark Horse and Warner Bros.  as both the comic book and the studio are in the process of creating their own The Mask content.  Dark Horse specifically didn’t want to confuse people with their new content and what Controlled Chaos had created.

So what was the result of this challenge?  We got the answer.   Weekender spoke with Sides regarding this matter.



Can you see a resemblance?  Is this simply coincidence?

Dark Horse Comics is apparently going to release a four -issue limited edition of the  comic book in October.  You haven’t missed this news.

Yes they are  And both Warner Bros. and Dark Horse comics are going to release live action projects based on The Mask.

Although the green-headed character for this series bears more than a passing resemblance to your character,  they are not crediting you.

No, they didn’t credit Adi Shankar when Hill Short Film brought back the Power Rangers franchises either. And his had bigger names and more numbers.  So, I figured the same thing would happen to me But I am very honored that the fans still recognize that it’s our efforts that brought it back to life.

You are presently working on another addition to this, both the Rise and the Revenge sagas on which I understand you have wrapped your principal shooting and have released a teaser trailer. Both shorts are now in post. What are you prepared to share about this?

Revenge is moved to a bigger world showing different characters from the Dark Horse comics and how they mix with our universe.  Essentially picking up where the other movie left off. However, it does jump around time showing the past and the present.  It’s essentially three different stories following three different characters and how they interact with new characters like Walter and Kelleway..
The story takes place in Edge city six months after the events of the first film.  Big Head killed over 200 people, however, the people he killed were all bad. It might’ve been for a selfish reason, but the people of the city don’t know that.  They think he’s some kind of vigilante. Now they’re experiencing a peace they had never seen before but some people aren’t too thrilled with Big Heads actions.

Rise of the Mask is a very different film from last year. it reveals how the two bothers ended up with the mask And leads up to the events on the beach.  Odin hires nine people who are all damned due to bad life decisions including our two protagonists He offers them the chance to redeem themselves by capturing the god Loki for the crime of killing Balder … so the nine with instructions from Odin create the mask and attempt to subdue Loki and de-power him. But they quickly realize it might be them who is being hunted.. I mean how can you hunt something than can do anything, be anything?

Who wrote the scripts for these sequels?

I was the head writer for Revenge of the Mask and Kyle helped with story development.
Christina wrote Rise of the Mask.

For someone who may not have followed the Dark Horse comic, how much did you borrow from the original premise? From what I recall of the Jim Carey movies, “The Mask,” your story line does not resemble it at all. Am I correct? How much are your stories like the original comic series?

It’s very much based on the comics, but In a way it’s its own thing with more characters from the comic book world entering into this one.  We’re aiming in a direction where it’s fallowing the story of the Hunt for Green October.

Was there some challenge to what you had created and wasn’t your short, Revenge of the Mask pulled from youtube. for a short while? Are you at liberty to talk about what was behind this?

I can’t talk about it to much, but what I can say is the success of the original shorts caused kind of a divide between Dark Horse and Warner Bros., and they’re both in the process of creating their own content based on The Mask. Dark Horse specifically didn’t want people to become confused between their new content and what we did.  However, with the help of Warner Bros. we came to an agreement and here we are.
Basically our existence is more beneficial to both studios at the end of the day

Did you borrow at all, or base the appearance of your primary character on the lead in the comics? Or the mask itself? I can see how Big Head resembles the comic book character, perhaps not the original one, but the later one. This reflects the artistic style of each artist.
His look is very much based on the comic books alone. He resembles Jim Carey in anyway. it’s purely because they did such a good job of representing the character in the film. His look is original but it’s based on various costume changes from the original comics

Based on your view count (combined) you have demonstrated that there was a hungry fan-base waiting for what you had created. Where does your view count, and subscriptions stand as a result of you posting these on youtube.

Oh God it’s reaching like the 38 million range  And I believe the current count is about 170,000 subscribers

Could this be what is called “professional jealousy”? To the description of your teaser you have included a bit about “fair use.”

It was just part of the agreement that I came with Dark Horse.

To the story, you have added a number of different characters. Were they part of the original comic-book story? Without giving too much of the story-line away, can you tell us briefly about each of these characters?

Kelleway Is a Class-A character from the comic and one of the most consistent.
So, I really wanted to bring a certain gravity to the character. That’s why we hired Dean Cain.   Ricky is an original character that we created solely based on the opening joke from the ‘Who stabbed Ricky?” thing.  He is great, but he serves an amazing purpose of both being a perfectly personified asshole, and the way of introducing new characters And Walter, it’s just a juggernaut and he is the main antagonist of The Mask in the comic books. Casting him was very difficult but when we found Nathan Jones we knew we had it.

Although a year has past since you posted both of the story lines, “Rise” and “Revenge” online, do we pick up with each where we left off?

Both of them are kind of both a sequel in a prequel, but yes, they do pick up where the others left off

In this teaser trailer, we see some awesome make-up jobs which was used to create several of these characters. Who was responsible for the design and the creation of these “costumes”?
I was responsible for the design of the make-up for all the characters in Rise of the Mask including Loki, with assistance from Tracy Noe Noe and many other amazing make up artists  Tracy was responsible for the design of most of the characters for Revenge of the Mask/ And Christina Tomlinson created all of the costumes for all of the characters

Kudos to your cameraman. What a great job he has done. When in watching, I ask how in the world did they ever achieve this angle, you know he has my respect. Tell me what you can about your cameraman.

Istivan is one of the most amazing DP’s I’ve ever met. His sense of movement and command of color on set is unparalleled. Me and him and Lance have a tendency to get into it on set but that’s mostly because we have a tendency to be on each other’s backs about quality which is honestly a good thing because it keeps us all and check for making stupid decisions istivan has a tendency to be the loudest voice in the room, but one you need to listen to.

Also, your composer is spot on! Introduce your composer, the one who creates your soundtrack and score for you. Watching the teaser, the score builds to a tumultuous conclusion.
The score for the trailer is created by 2WE. They did the music for last year, however, the score for both the films this year and last year is Pierre Vaucher He’s just one of my favorite people He flew in just to be on set all the way from his home country .  He flew in just to visit and see things early. I have never met a composer so committed.

The description for your teaser concludes with this line, “Both worlds of “Rise of the Mask: Odin’s 9” and “Revenge of The Mask 2,” will collide leading to an unbelievable series finale.” Is this the last of these that you will do?

We’re going to do one more. However, it’s just entirely dependent on quite a few things. However, I can say this is planned as a trilogy.

Do you have any idea as to when either of these shorts will release?
Right now we’re just saying fall because it’s entirely dependent on editing and we don’t wanna set a date and disappoint our fans.


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