Based on David Petersen Eisner-winning comic series, Mouse Guard was set up at Fox as a “Game of Thrones with mice” fantasy epic about a group of medieval mice sworn to protect their fellow rodents from all manner of dangers. The animated fantasy film was officially canceled in 2019, which director Wes Ball (The Maze Runner movies) marked by revealing a ton of concept art including ten whole minutes of test footage (seen here).
The comic series is written and illustrated by David Petersen and published by Archaia Studios Press. The world of Mouse Guard is set in a medieval era, paralleling the same age in human history, though in their world there are no humans. Its stories revolve around a brotherhood of mice known as the “Mouse Guard” who have sworn an oath to serve their fellow civilian mice in times of need, including making safe passage for them through the wilderness and protecting them from predators.
Darek Zabrocki was hired by Wes to work on the project as an artist early on, as he himself writes on his website:
“Back in the early 2018 Wes Ball, the director of Maze Runner trilogy called me. I worked with Wes before, on MR 3 so I didn’t hesitate to say yes to whatever he had next on the table. He showed me the comic-book series “Mouse Guard” made by David Petersen and the idea that it might land on the big screen. I got so pumped because of the world and the whole storyline. We started fleshing out ideas almost immediately. In the beginning, there was just me, Ken Barthelemey and Wes. Later, the project grew tremendously and kept evolving, pushing forward, etc. Seeing talented people from WETA bringing designs to the next level. Golden stuff. Sadly the project got canceled ( ). It was absolutely a BLAST of the project and 12 worth of sacrifice months taken out of my life. Never gonna regret it. The best project so far.”
All images used with permission by the artist. All images © Darek Zabrocki or their respective copyright holder.