MARINA DEL REY, Calif. — Genre icon Malcolm McDowell is set to star in producer James Deen and writer and director Bryn Pryor's steampunk adventure "Cowboys & Engines."
McDowell will play Dr. Clay, an evil mastermind bent on destroying San Francisco with a temporal engine stolen from one Professor Nicholas Timéon, played by "Star Trek" and "Babylon 5" actor Walter Koenig.
Deen and Pryor announced the project in January, launching a KickStarter campaign to raise $100,000 by March 9. As of now, contributions have reached more than $89,000.
Aiding the film's visibility is Deen's crossover success into mainstream, catapulted by his role in the much maligned, headline-grabbing indie drama "The Canyons," written by "American Psycho" bad-boy Bret Easton Ellis and co-starring tabloid-queen Lindsay Lohan.
Deen and his co-producers, however, are encouraging steampunk fans to look past the filmmakers' porn ties and instead revel in anticipation for what they promise to be a "dynamic, entertaining work of art for its own sake."
"We aren’t hiding the fact that many of us who are working behind the camera to bring 'Cowboys & Engines' to life have risen to the top of the adult film industry," the movie's Kickstarter page reads. "Our director and one of our producers have both won the most prestigious awards and accolades that business has to offer. It certainly isn’t a secret, but it’s also nothing to do with this project in any way.
"'Cowboys & Engines' is an attempt to create something truly amazing. A film that demonstrates without compromise that the people making it, irrespective of their professional backgrounds, are artists capable of working far beyond the narrow constraints of public expectation."
McDowell is the star of countless genre classics, including Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange," Paul Schrader's "Cat People" and Mark L. Lester's "Class of 1999."
The 69-year-old's recent creds include last year's "Silent Night, Deadly Night" remake, the sequel "Silent Hill: Revelations" and Rob Zombie's "Halloween" remakes, in which he played Dr. Loomis.
"Cowboys & Engines" isn't the first time McDowell has worked with pornographers. He played Gaius Germanicus Caligula in the controversial Bob Guccione-produced 1979 epic "Caligula."