The trolls have gone into hiding.
Two-and-a-half years after Norwegian producers announced that a 3-D animated movie titled "Troll: Tale of a Tail" would be produced in Rock Island, those involved have all but given up on making the motion picture.
The movie's $15 million budget could not be covered by presales overseas, Doug Miller said.
"We're continuing to put together a domestic financing package, but it's very difficult in these economic times," said Miller, a member of the Quad-Cities Film Coalition. "We're hopeful, but we aren't there yet."
A year ago, producers trolled for international financing at the Cannes Film Festival in France, but they did not reach the planned goal.
Computer animators had an office in the former Rock Island Argus building and elsewhere in the city, with plans to move into a floor of the Stern Center, also in Rock Island, once production began in earnest.
"Any studio setup around here would be contingent on the financing of the film," Miller said. "You don't build a facility until you're ready to do a film."
"Troll" was the reason for a film tax credit law that was passed by the Illinois Legislature and signed by Gov. Pat Quinn that would allow animated movies to earn credits during the course of production rather than at the film's completion.
In making the announcement during October 2010, it was estimated the movie would take 2½ to three years to produce. Producers promised 80 local jobs as part of the "Troll" staffing.
Miller said the Norwegian producers made the decision to halt production a few months ago.
"It's hard with these economic conditions to finance anything, let alone financing a feature film," Miller said. "Now we're in a hold mode."
The other larger production announced for filming in the Illinois Quad-Cities is moving at a slower pace than anticipated.
"Pizzaman," a horror film to be produced by comedy icon Mel Brooks, was to have been shot entirely in the Quad-Cities.
That is on hold as the movie's three writers, including Brooks and director Steve Haberman, complete the rewriting of the script.
"They're doing some sharpening, Mel Brooks being the perfectionist that he is," Miller said.
'We're working on the script to interest theatrical distributors and hoping to be able to return to Rock Island to shoot before winter," Haberman said in a private Facebook message.
CORRECTION: Global pre-sale commitments for the planned movie "Troll: A Tale of a Tail" had reached about $4 million in pledges, but the balance of the financing could not be raised, according to Doug Miller of the Quad-Cities Film Coalition, because of the international economic climate. Tax credits from the Illinois Film Office would have made up the balance after a post-production audit, he said Friday, and other financing options still are being explored. Incorrect information about the film's financing was included in an article published Friday.