CBR News spoke with Petersen about the upcoming anthology, the stable of creators involved this time around, what to expect from this round of storytelling, the hands-off nature of the editing process and the long path to development. Plus, Petersen gives a concrete closed door to the "Mouse Guard" movie.
CBR News: David, Archaia just announced a second volume of "Legends of the Guard," which is pretty exciting. Why decide to do another volume? Were there more creators you wanted to bring on to play in the Mouse Guard universe?
Before I let you go, any more developments on the "Mouse Guard" movie since we spoke in late 2011?
Essentially, at this point, everything is dead. There was an offer on the table and there was a lot of negotiation back and forth for the contract. I would put a lot of the weight of why that negotiation took so long on the studio. The studio, at least their lawyers, would in essence send over a contract that we couldn't sign for legal reasons. The contract was with me, not Archaia, because I have the movie rights and they would be asking me to sign away rights that I don't actually have, like publishing rights, which Archaia has. We'd say, "No, you don't understand. You actually have to do two separate agreements so that legally, I can sign everything." We were going back and forth, round and round with that stuff, getting kind of close and then the studio was bought. The parent company was bought and they said, "No more new development."
It ended up working out because otherwise they would have just sat on the rights. They would have had the rights and sat on them for a while. Yeah, I would have gotten some money, but they could have potentially sold those rights to somebody else, and then I could be doing business with someone I didn't want to in the first place. The rights are still in my hands and if the right kind of offer comes along, then I'm interested. But what I realized during that whole ordeal that took years and me talking to producers and lawyers and directors and studio people is that -- the whole point of this was for me to get "Mouse Guard" stories out to a wider audience. I realized that if I had just taken all those hours over those years and put it toward making more "Mouse Guard" comics, I would have achieved those goals all on my own. The stories are more important to me than any movie ever will be.
"Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard" volume two arrives in June from Archaia.