Turkish comic hero Karaoğlan coming to Anatolia

August 09, 2012, Thursday/ 17:56:00/ ALİ KOCA

Cartoon master Suat Yalaz’s hero Karaoğlan is picking up his fight against archrival Camoka from where he left off, but this time on the soil of Anatolia instead of the Altai Mountains.

The famous cartoon character from the 1960s is being adapted for cinema once again as filming continues in Kemerburgaz, İstanbul. The movie’s director, Kudret Sabancı, is calling his new project a “reboot” rather than a “remake.”

Sabancı and other writers Melek Öztürk and Rana Mamatlıoğlu have created an original story but are still remaining faithful to the comic world of Yalaz in “Karaoğlan,” produced by TMC.

Set in the 1230s, the story centers on Karaoğlan’s struggle against the Mongols in Anatolia. The “reboot” story takes the protagonist from the Altai Mountains, where he fought against his enemies, to Anatolia.

This is how events develop: the Turks are on the verge of a huge war against the Mongols, who are at the doors of Anatolia aiming to seize the land of the Turks. The Turkish states call for unity against their common enemy. Çise Hatun, an elite woman from the Anatolian Seljuks, is going to be married to an Altın Orda statesman, but the Mongols, led by Camoka, plot to prevent this union by murdering Hatun. And thus, Karaoğlan and Camoka encounter each other once again.

Renowned Turkish actor Kartal Tibet started his cinema career with the Karaoğlan movie, in 1965 and the fictional character reminds followers of Turkish cinema of him. This is a strong connection that will be hard to shake for the new Karaoğlan, Volkam Keskin, who played Balaban in Turkish blockbuster “Fetih 1453” (The Conquest 1453).

Director Sabancı is an ardent fan of the Karaoğlan series drawn by Yalaz, who launched the comics in 1963 with “Asya Kaplanı -- Karaoğlan” (The Lion of Asia -- Karaoğlan) after being inspired by Abdullah Ziya Kozanoğlu’s novel “Kızıltuğ.”

Sabancı had been planning to shoot the movie since 1998, when he directed his debut film “Laleli’de Bir Azize” (A Patroness in Laleli) and has tried to start shooting the movie a couple of times since then. The audience appeal of “Fetih 1453” might have convinced the producers to make the “Karaoğlan” epic, according to Sabancı. Shooting is expected to run for eight weeks.

The budget for “Karaoğlan” is TL 10 million. The movie is expected to hit the big screen in January of next year.

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