Watch out, “Lord of the Rings,” you’re about to be outdone—by an indie series.
“Mythica,” starring Melanie Stone, Adam Johnson, Jake Stormoen, and Nicola Posener, is a five-part high fantasy film series created by Jason Faller and Kynan Griffin and directed by Anne Black. The first two movies, “Mythica: A Quest for Heroes” and “Mythica: The Darkspore” have been released, while the third installment, “Mythica: The Necromancer” is set to be released this summer. Production on the final two movies also finished recently.
Based on the sort of characters typically found in a fantasy role playing game, “Mythica” follows the adventures of Marek (Melanie Stone), a former slave girl with a limp and a natural power for necromancy. She is joined by Teela (Nicola Posener), a priestess, Thane (Adam Johnson), a drunken swordsman, and Dagen (Jake Stormoen), a half-elf thief who loves women almost as much as he loves treasure. In the first movie, the team must rescue Teela’s sister, who has been captured because she possesses a magic stone. In the second film, they must then stop that stone, called the Darkspore, from falling into the hands of a powerful necromancer, Szorlok.
Full of action and suspense, “Mythica” is surprisingly sophisticated for a series created on an indie budget. “You gotta hand it to them,” said Johnson. “Our budget is small, but they put all the money they have on screen. Everybody involved is really dedicated to making a really quality project.”
Their hard work pays off, with sets and costumes that look like they could have been created by an established movie studio. “It’s a bare-bones crew,” said Stone. “We have one costume person, which is nuts for a fantasy movie.”
The producers are not without help, however. “Mythica” has been largely funded by very successful Kickstarter campaigns, the most recent of which surpassed any of the previous campaigns in order to fund video effects for the fourth movie. Faller and Griffin had conducted Kickstarters before and noticed that their fans from previous projects came back to give them support, but had never received as much funding as they did for “Mythica.” “It definitely continues to build, and it’s a great stamp of approval on the series from the fans,” Griffin said.
An interesting aspect of the plot is that the main protagonist is not only female, but disabled, which makes it unique among stories of its kind. “It’s great to break out of that stereotypical idea that in a fantasy world a woman has to be sexy,” Stone, who plays Marek, said. “You’re able to focus more on her being a strong character than a sex symbol.”
In fact, when Griffin, Faller, and Black were originally writing the script for the movies, Marek’s character was male. “It was feeling a little stale, like we had seen this before,” Griffin said. Black suggested changing the character to a woman and giving her a disability in order to give her an obstacle to overcome, which became a critical point in their writing process and allowed all of the rest of the characters to fall into place.
“Mythica” has grown a dedicated fanbase of die-hard fantasy fans, which the cast and crew take as a great compliment to their hard work. “I love that when movies from studios cost hundreds of millions of dollars now that people are giving it a chance,” Stormoen says. “It’s really neat to see it start to get a following.”
The creators hope that that following continues to grow. “We want to see it go as far as possible, and for ‘Mythica’ to sort of take place fairly commonly among fantasy fans,” Faller says, “so that if you’re a true fan of fantasy, and you loved things like ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Narnia,’ that you have ‘Mythica’ right there on your shelf alongside it.”