Ralph Bakshi: Why did I get out of film? Because films ain't the world, films ain't everything. One has to have a life that's not about film. I paint pictures, that's as much rewarding to me as film is. I mean, Hollywood and film, people can't ever see themselves leaving L.A. or Hollywood. Film was just a step on the road to me living my life. I'm now living in New Mexico watching cowboys round up cattle. It's the greatest thing I've ever seen in my life, the fact that I'm now living in America watching guys who really work hard for their money.
I started out as an artist. Animation was something I got into. And then when I had too many fights, and things changed, and I had to give in a little, I decided not to give in at all and quit. Certainly Hollywood caught up to me, they didn't let me get away with it. I got away with a lot of stuff. I shot God in Heavy Traffic—go do that today. They eventually caught up to me and started to make life difficult for me, so I said, You know what, guys? It's all yours. And I split. That doesn't mean I don't want to make a film. That doesn't mean sometimes I [don't] feel like making a film. But there is a life outside of film. It's just another medium to me. I love radio, I'd like to do a radio show. I love comic books, I'd like to do Wizards comic books.
What I'm trying to say is it's just important to keep busy. That's the most important thing to humanity, just to keep busy and push one's mind as far as one can go. But film itself—I mean, Scorsese and Lucas dropped out of film, Coppola dropped out of film. There are other things to do if you're human.
Just a hypothetical question, then. If you had the opportunity to make a film without all the crap, without anyone interfering or anything, and you could actually make what you wanted, would you still feel the urge to do it?
Oh, sure! I have nothing against film, and if I had that right, that I could come back and do it, absolutely. Absolutely I would do a film. I'd love to make films. I'm just saying it wasn't the only thing that made me happy. But to have that chance again? Absolutely. If I had a chance to do Wizards II—
Yeah, you mention Wizards II a couple of times in the commentary.
I'd like to do Wizards II. There's a lot more to say now, twenty years later. I was on the cusp of the truth, now it's really happened. [laughs] Wizards opened with terrorists blowing up the world. Hello. [laughs]
Did you already have a Wizards II in mind?
Of course I have a script in mind. It's finished.
It's something you had in mind recently, or did you have it in mind at the time?
I've always had it. Wizards was always a three-part picture. Absolutely.
You don't want to give away any of what happens, do you?
No, that would be anticlimactic.
Wizards is definitely uncompleted because... what happens in Wizards, that's pretty much what's happening to western civilization today, as far as I'm concerned. That's about all I'm going to say.