Alan Moore: “I for one am sick of worms.”


Author/sorceror Alan Moore. Photo by Jose Villarubia, via Swindle Magazine.

A remarkably candid  interview with the grand magus of comics writing, Alan Moore, went up today over at the LA Times, discussing, among other things, Moore’s utter contempt for various Hollywood film adaptations of his body of work. Now, I know a lot of folks are really excited to see the new Watchmen movie (based on Moore’s seminal graphic novel, illustrated by Dave Gibbons), and while I’m sorry to piss on the parade, I must admit I’m in complete agreement with Moore that this book in particular (arguably his most influential work to date) is “inherently unfilmable.” I’m glad to see him speaking up. Quoting from the interview:

I find film in its modern form to be quite bullying… It spoon-feeds us, which has the effect of watering down our collective cultural imagination. It is as if we are freshly hatched birds looking up with our mouths open waiting for Hollywood to feed us more regurgitated worms. The Watchmen film sounds like more regurgitated worms. I for one am sick of worms. Can’t we get something else? Perhaps some takeout? Even Chinese worms would be a nice change.

Yes.

I’m fairly convinced that no matter how hard director Zack Snyder tries –and undoubtedly the good man is trying very hard– his adaptation will pale in comparison to the scope, depth and resonance of the original work, just as every other movie based on Moore’s books has failed to measure up. (Sure, V For Vendetta was, well, watchable. Is that really saying much?)

This is not to imply that flicks adapted from other formats are without merit (hell, sometimes they even surpass the original work; Blade Runner, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Excorcist, The Godfather, and The Shining all spring to mind), only that Moore, being a undisputed master of his chosen format, has proved time and time again that one can achieve a sublime kind of storytelling through sequential art that cannot, WILL not be conveyed through in any other medium.

We’ve entered an era ruled by scavengers. We are starving for substance. Obviously, we can’t look to Hollywood schlockbusters to nourish us. Still, the platform of narrative movie making has its own profound and distinctive magic. Here’s hoping that somehow, thanks to the increasing accessibility of equipment and relative price decrease in digital film and editing software, more and more storytellers standing beyond the gates of the sausage factory will be goaded, either by hunger or the pure urgency of inspiration, into making their own moving pictures. Otherwise, we can all just look forward to endless helpings of the same insubstantial, derivative slurry, ad nauseum.

Speaking of substance… I was lucky enough to acquire a copy of The Mindscape of Alan Moore a few months ago. The directorial debut of DeZ Vylenz, Mindscape is the only feature film production on which Moore has collaborated, and given personal permission to use his stories. I can’t begin to tell you what an enjoyable and fascinating documentary it is. It will be officially released on DVD on September 30th.

Alan Moore’s not just one of most important writers in comics; he’s one of the most important writers, period. So really, whether you’re a longtime comics reader or you’ve never delved further than the first issue of Gaiman’s Sandman, the Northhampton Wizard of Words’ body of work cannot be recommended highly enough.

43 Responses to “Alan Moore: “I for one am sick of worms.””

  1. pedro soenen Says:

    I agree. And he is a genius. But he didn´t write Sandman (Neil Gaiman did).

  2. Mer Says:

    Thanks, Pedro. I’m going to rewrite that sentence, ’cause I certainly didn’t mean to imply that Moore wrote the Sandman. Yowzers.

  3. Jack Says:

    “Moore’s not just one of most important writers in comics, he’s one of the most important writers, period.”

    Indeed!

    I’m really excited to be teaching The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen to my undergrads this semester!

  4. Jon Munger Says:

    It’s not often that a creator comes along and reinvents, refines, and perfects a medium. You’ve got your Becketts, your Shakespeares, your Welles and your Moores. It’s a peculiar thing to know that (barring Amazonian Insect Moon War spillage), people will be reading From Hell in college lit courses a hundred years from now, and Watchmen will be assigned to High School seniors in the year 2144.

    Everyone who writes comics is lurking in his shadow.

  5. Ben Morris Says:

    Alan Moore is wonderful. I wholeheartedly agree with the “he’s one of the most important writers, period” statement.

    My favorite Alan Moore media outside of comics is a poem of his in memory of Robert Anton Wilson (another writer very important to me). The first time I saw that I had a fairly intense emotional reaction to it.

  6. Watching « Life With Gatsby Says:

    [...] 18, 2008 Via Coilhouse, I learned of the Alan Moore interview posted today at the LA Times. Every time he emerges from his [...]

  7. JW Says:

    I didn’t even like Watchmen. Focusing on Moore’s subtext overlooks the lame story, the pointless alt.history and Rorschach (whose badassocity makes Batman quiver in his fancy rich kid costume) going down like a punk.

    Transmetropolitan is way better and (so far at least, I’m only on book #5) much less freighted with messages. And it would make a kickass movie. Plus, Warren Ellis is sane.

  8. Kevin Says:

    While I agree that Watchmen is unfilmable, I don’t necessarily frown on the attempt. My favorite example of this is L.A. Confidential, a book that was by the author’s own admission, absolutely unfilmable. The end result however, was a story that veered wildly from the source but was still thematically on target and was a wonderful beast in and of itself. That’s why I don’t get worked up about adaptations of Moore’s work… the hope that while as an adaptation of Watchmen the movie will undoubtably fail, that we might be left with a different work that has its own positive qualities.

    Sadly, I fear that Zach Snyder is not the man to do this.

    Also: The Mindscape of Alan Moore is a fantastic documentary. As much as I love the magical bits, being a crazy magician myself, his stuff about starting out in the industry is riveting. And as always, I find his voice hypnotic.

  9. William Kiesel Says:

    I still waiting for the Grand Basilisk’s Grimoire: The Moon and Serpent Bumper Book of Magic. Hopefully the world will not come to an end before it is issued!

  10. the daniel Says:

    JW, sure Transmet is great, but it lives in the shadow of Watchmen. You lament Rorschach “going down like a punk”? I know that comics are easier to digest when you can guess the endgame of each character a few pages after their introduction, but in my opinion the fate of Rorschach was key to the tale and a strength not a weakness.

  11. Justin Says:

    I love movies. I love comic book movies. But I’ve never really been able to get into comics or graphic novels. I’ve read modern issues of Spiderman and Batman comics from the 40s. I’ve picked up V for Vendetta and read about the death of clark kent.

    I never managed to get into any of them. The movies, though, I can’t get enough of. I ate up every crumb of information leading up to the release of The Dark Knight (without spoiling the plot…much) and I’ve watched Spiderman 2, Xmen 2, V for Vendetta, and Batman Begins too many times to count.

    I understand that if I had created something in one format I might be hesitant to allow other people to turn it into something else. I can relate to him on that level. But at the same time a film adaptation is not going to take fans away from the original material. If anything it will draw new fans in. And for a worm-filled popcorn eating movietheater goer like myself, it may be the only way I ever have a chance to get into this story and its characters.

  12. Ben Johnson Says:

    Count me in as somebody who’s looking forward to the film anyway. While I don’t expect it to supersede the comic (I mean, there’s more than 3 hours of story in there), I nonetheless expect a nice ripping yarn full of Hollywood spectacle, enjoyable on its own merits. Moore’s distaste for filmed versions of his works is well known, but calling a story “unfilmable” is really just daring somebody to prove you wrong.

    On a related note, I suspect that The Watchmen is going to be another in the line of slavish “command performance” film adaptations that we’ve seen lately, where the director just tries to recreate the original work as cleanly as possible. Snyder’s version of 300, the Sin City film, and the Harry Potter movies have all been a part of this trend. While I can understand that these productions try to avoid the ire of the existing fan base, I’d like to think that a talented director can enhance a story by adapting it to use the strengths of film.

    Certainly, in my industry (the games industry) there have been plenty of games that have suffered for staying too close to cinematic source material.

  13. Erin Says:

    I agree with most of the rest of this but… Blade Runner….better than Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

    Really?

  14. Mer Says:

    Erin, I love P.K. Dick quite a lot, but in my opinion, that novella’s not his strongest work, whereas Blade Runner has become one of the most influential and visually definitive sci-fi films of all time.

  15. David Forbes Says:

    Watchmen is one of my favorite works in any medium (Moore’s Promethea is also in the pantheon) and one of the best novels to come out of the latter half of the last century. I don’t think it’s necessarily unfilmable, because every time I’ve said that about any work I’ve been proven wrong, but it would require an extremely unique team with a real understanding of the work and their own artistic vision that complemented yet diverged from Moore’s.

    That’s damned hard to do (geniuses set the bar pretty high), though I give V for Vendetta more credit. I think it was a good movie, and in one scene in particular really did capture the spirit of the original.

    I lost all optimism about Snyder’s Watchmen, though, the second I saw Nite Owl hit the ground and realized that he looked like a greek god instead of a paunchy has-been. I have no doubt the film will be sickeningly sleek, but just in that one moment I saw it missing the original’s point entirely.

    We’ve entered an era ruled by scavengers
    I couldn’t agree more (my god, how many fucking remakes are there? Bad ones too), but I’d take heart. This isn’t the first time mediums, including film, have started to drown in their own crap. The great thing about it is the constant regurgitation tends to get new filmmakers really, really pissed: the backlash, when it comes, is going to be beautiful.

    I will have to watch Mindscape ASAP.

  16. Skerror Says:

    No way in hell the Watchmen movie is going to surpass the comic, but I want to see it anyway. Zack Snyder is going to spoon-feed it to us in colorful hi-def slo-mo for sure, but I’ve got tempered expectations for a middlebrow blockbuster like this. If he can effectively get a chunk of the thematic stuff from the original across to the audience…so that there’s at least some crushed up Flintstone vitamins in our worms, I’ll be satisfied.

    I remember hearing that Terry Gilliam was trying to get a Watchmen adaptation off the ground a few years ago. Maybe he would’ve had a chance at doing it proper justice…if he had a studio willing to give him a billion dollars with no expectation of recoup.

    I just saw the “definitive” cut of Blade Runner recently and it kind of fucking rules…even more noirish than the others I’d seen.

  17. Tequila Says:

    Moore took comics not so much to another level but gave it the depth so many knew was possible. His ability to see comics as something other than the bastard son of movies and books is what makes his work so of its medium. Comics have a fundamentally different language than movies. Moore knows that and many good comic book creators know it too…it’s the weak ones who have seriously turned comics into what Moore hit at….storyboards for movies.

    Moore’s genre writing where he seeks to only entertain hits beautifully also. Look at his lesser known runs on WildC.A.T.S or his attempt to reboot Youngblood…that’s the real measure of his skill as a master storyteller. He doesn’t look down at what he’s working with and you feel that as a reader. His beautiful Lost Girls ranks not only as an exquisite tale of eroticism but also shows something only comics have been able to pull off so well in terms of the exploration of human sexuality on a visual level. Moore if a great writer yes but as a Comic Book writer he’s capable of doing what novel, screen, and even TV writers simply can’t in their chosen formats.

    Much of his work IS unfilmable because of that key understanding he has of Comics. ANY quality filmmaker understands adaptation and the strengths of film. Compromises must be made and as numerous films have shown sticking to those strengths is what makes films immortal. Ever read Giant? Of course not…few outside of those when the book came out read the novel. Have you seen Giant? Any film fan worth their salt has.

    So yes Watchmen as a film could end up as a quality adaptation or interpretation really. Gilliam did attempt this in the 90′s but it never panned out and he ended up working on another unfilmable book instead…Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

    If the trailer is any indication though…Watchmen is gonna suck pretty hard. It’ll be visually flashy but that looks to be it at this stage. I’ll check it out of course but I’ve no high hopes. V for Vendetta for all its faults DID get the spirit of comics down pretty well even if much of the depth was lost.

    @JW…”…Plus, Warren Ellis is sane…”

    Since when? The man is madness with a cane! Children not his own flee in terror, fangirls take “sexy” myspace pics in droves to appease him, and his name is often linked with the strange and unnerving. If he was sane his name wouldn’t pop up on Coilhouse every other week also…:P

    I love Transmet. Bought issue #1 the day it hit and have the rare newspaper promo. The full run sits well read and cared for in my closet…but like every modern comic it owns a lot to the storytelling techniques used in Moore’s books. He’s worked with great artists of course but try to get your hands on his scripts…they are curious beasts on their own. Transmet also tips its hat to Hunter S. Thompson’s work (in a good way…not saying it’s a rip-off so no death threats please…) and it took the craziness of that creative team to pull it all off. They are from very different eras though and show it…yet the fact they still hit true is what makes each so great.

    Watchmen opened the door for many of the more serious and realistic heroes we see today and to be blunt MANY of the current and near past Comic Book Films take cues from it. Look at the first two X-Men films as an example…they are closer to the DC aesthetic that Moore pioneered than Marvels on work (The 90′s animated cartoon is the closest adaptation to the X-Men most of us fondly remember.)

    Lastly…if you’re a Watchmen fan pick up a copy of the beautifully presented ABSOLUTE WATCHMEN that DC put out not long ago. It’s now out of print and hovering at $150 last I checked (it retailed for about $80) and it remains the BEST presentation of the story with non glossy paper so the colors don’t shine cheaply and the kind of care and love usually associated for Criterion Collection and Kino film releases. Get it before the movie hype makes this impossible to score at a fair price.

  18. Mer Says:

    Warren will always be my #1 ranting bearded wizard from England.

    “so that there’s at least some crushed up Flintstone vitamins in our worms, I’ll be satisfied.”

    Heh. Well said.

    Way I heard it, Gilliam slaved over various versions of a Watchmen script for almost a decade, but called it quits as much because he couldn’t find a satsifcatorily nuanced/respectable way to translate the book to film as because of a lack of funding.

    As I said, I definitely think there are some really incredible adaptations of books and comics out there, and there’s an outside chance I could be proven wrong with Watchmen. (I was really snarky about Jackson’s LOTR adaptations and I ended up enjoying the hell out of those films, hobbit homo slo-mo and all.) Of course, not all Hollywood blockbuster versions are hopelessly watered down, no. (Loved the shit out of Iron Man, Hellboy, and everything Chris Nolan’s ever done.) I’m actually dying to see China Mieville’s work adapted for film with a gargantuan budget.

    But Watchmen? Ugh. It’s perfect as it is. Might as well re-do classic Hitchcock while you’re at it… oh, wait, nevermind.

    As for the “well, the comic’s still there, it’s not going to change, it can’t be harmed” sentiment… yes, true. Can’t argue with that. But keep in mind you’re talkin’ to someone who gets unreasonably agitated whenever she sees a Calvin pissing bumper sticker, let alone some shitpile movie rehash. So BLARGH. ;)

  19. Daniel Says:

    I have always felt it is unfair to compare movies to their source material. I think a movie needs to be judged on its own merit. I get really irritated by someone whose criticism of a movie is “it’s not as good as the book”. Well, of course! Your imagination is far more capable than a camera. However, film is its own medium, and I think a lot of these adaptations, if viewed independently and as movies, not as extensions of the book, are often just fine.

  20. thekamisama Says:

    Utter agreement on the dread that is this upcoming Watchmen film. I find it even more disturbing that the supposed “fans” are getting up in arms about stupid Hollywood politics between Fox and the Warner people. Why is there no outcry or protest that the creator didn’t want his book made into a movie in the first place?

  21. Captain Nuclear Says:

    In the first paragraph you used the word completely, when it should just be complete. I probably look like an asshole and I’m sorry for that, but thought you should know.

  22. Rex Parker Says:

    Watchmen is the Paradise Lost of the 20th c.

    I say that without the slightest trace of irony.

    I have no idea what “like a punk” is supposed to mean re: Rorschach. He refuses to compromise and gets evaporated because of it. That makes him way more heroic, or at least courageous, than anyone else in the book.

    I think “Watchmen” should be a 12-part miniseries. Like “Roots,” but without Cicely Tyson

    rp

  23. Mer Says:

    Actually, Cap’n, I’m pretty sure that error makes ME look like an asshole, so you have my gratitude for the heads up. Fixxored. Cheers!

  24. Red Scharlach Says:

    Good Lord, the V for Vendetta movie was by far the worst thing to come out of pop culture this decade. It’s unbelievable crypto-fascist nonsense. With bonus Cult of Personality points to boot.

    Not to mention horribly stereotyping of the British.

    Anyone who says Transmetropolitan doesn’t bash you over the head with its message is, well, unsane. What an enormously over-rated pile of juvenile shite.

  25. gooby Says:

    It really is an issue that tests my faith.

    I love hearing covers of songs, to hear someone else’s take on something that already had a lot of meaning for me in the first place.

    But as an artist, if a song of mine had been taken without my permission and rerecorded by the Guitar Hero Studio band to sell Macaroni Sandwich Mondays at Tizazzles, I would be pretty heartbroken and would certainly hope that none of my friends would throw a penny in their direction. Especially if it were a song I had painfully vomited my soul into, which seems to be the process of Moore’s writing.

    But at the same time, the footage they showed at Comic-Con was making me tear up.

    When I first read The Watchmen, I got so drawn into their world, that my everyday life felt less real, and I expected to wake up elsewhere. And seeing certain shots from the film at Con really fucked with my memories of that time period. Like I was watching some traumatic event from my own past being recreated.

    But overall, Alan Moore has every right to be angry, nobody wants to see their baby killed, and who would give their permission to do so? Well, I guess a lot of people would for the right price, but whatever.

    I figure, I’m still gonna go see it, but to keep some respect for Mr. Moore and hopefully avoid his curse, I’ll find some other movie I don’t mind supporting, buy a ticket for that, and then just walk in to the Watchmen.

  26. Warren Ellis Says:

    That’ll teach you to write something about comics on Coilhouse. Look at the crowd it brings.

  27. Mer Says:

    I SHALL NOT RECANT.

  28. Nadya Says:

    Red Scharlach, I have never read all of Transmetropolitan (Mer and Zo have, I plan to) but Warren Ellis has been our friend and supporter from Day 1 so I took your comments here kind of personally. I really feel like he’s part of our family so, whatever the merit of his work, I have to say that I can’t help but feel bad when someone comes on our blog and says these things. Obviously we would never censor you over this, but please, be sensitive! Please.

  29. Tequila Says:

    @Red…”…Anyone who says Transmetropolitan doesn’t bash you over the head with its message is, well, unsane. What an enormously over-rated pile of juvenile shite…”

    That was kinda the point. It wasn’t trying to be subtle, coy, or slick. It was a world so filled with crap on all levels you had to bash, scream, forcibly threat, and endanger a person to get them to listen. You know, like today.

    As for V for Vendetta…what stereotyping? I thought we were all in agreement that film and Mary Poppins is exactly how the British are…well minus the good teeth Hollywood gave em.

  30. Miss. Onyx Says:

    If he wrote the Graphic Novel, couldn’t he have denied permission for the film adaptation to be done?….and if he GAVE permission: Why did he, if he considers the genre as a whole to be so disappointing?

  31. bunny Says:

    Miss. Onyx:

    In the wonderful world of art-whoring, we don’t own exclusive rights to what we make; the distributor or publisher or someone else along the line usually retains some rights to the content unless you are very savvy, have a kickass agent, or you are so well established the parasites just can contain themselves from profiting off you.

    In all likelihood Moore got a check for the option. It is equally likely that the check went uncashed as an active agent into the middle of some seal from the Lesser Key of Solomon.

  32. Jerem Morrow Says:

    I shamefully admit to never having read Watchmen, but LoEG is amongst my fave comics ever. The Watchmen trailer is gorgeous, but so was the trailer for 300, and in my not-so-humble opinion, that film SUCKED SO BADLY. My hopes for Watchmen (Although, i adored Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead remake) aren’t too high.

  33. Jon Munger Says:

    Where n = number of references to superheroes in any conversation
    y = number of posts
    x = probability of insanity in Mr. Ellis
    f(x) = n(n*12) / y

  34. Ben Morris Says:

    Jon: so f(x)= 23 in this case? (assuming n only equals unique references to superheroes and not redundant ones, also I am excluding this current post I am writing from y). Also I like f(x) = 12(n2) / y as a slightly simpler form of your function.

    Mer: The thought of a film based on one of Mieville’s novels is something I had never really considered, but damn if I haven’t spent the last couple hours off and on thinking about who would be best to direct such a film.

  35. Jon Munger Says:

    Like, math is totally hard or whatever.

    I’d just be happy seeing some clever devils at KNB effects or any of their peers doing some creature concepts for Perdido Street Station. I don’t need no movin’ picture.

  36. fortheloveofthestars Says:

    Rant ahoy!

    I remember David Lloyd (the artist behind V-for-Vendetta, and designer of V) saying something a long the lines of him and Alan didn’t go innocent and blind in to selling the rights to the book. Alan is neither innocent OR blind and he can’t possibly think any adaptation of almost ANYTHING will ever live up to or match up to the original novel. Comic or otherwise. (I’m in the Phantom fandom, you want to see a story raped?) I liked Watchmen, I will probably *LIKE* the movie. I liked V for Vendetta and I LIKED the movie. He is a rather delusional old fellow who is full of so much anger I am not surprised he’s still spewing this crap.

    I don’t feel bad for him at all. YES. LOEG was pretty terrible, YES they took liberties with VFV. But he needs to get a little perspective, enjoy the money rolling in (Watchmen is flying off the shelves just like V did when V was in theaters) and stop shitting on everyone that isn’t him.

    Phillip K Dick said something about adaptations that just said it all, but I can’t find the quote.

  37. Ben Morris Says:

    After much thought Alfonso Cuaron is who I’d like to see take a stab at adapting Mieville.

  38. Beth Says:

    I’m about 1/3 of the way through WAtchmen right now, + I must agree that it looks like it would be difficult to stick to a screen, but I say hey, why not try?

    Also, mostly whenever I hear interviews with Moore, I just want to say “cheer the fuck up!”

  39. Mer Says:

    “Hey, teacup! Why dontcha chill out!”

  40. David Forbes Says:

    Best Simpsons cameo ever. At least he’s got a sense of humor about it.

    Is Moore really touchy about his work? Absolutely, but these are his creations. Given how most of them have been bastardized and what he’s been through (the LoEG film lawsuit, etc.) I don’t blame him. I’d be tempted to say “the hell with all of it” too.

  41. A.P. Stilwell Says:

    First, @ Ben in regards to Mieville/Cuaron: after Alfonso Cuaron directs the perfect adaptation of William Gibson’s ‘Pattern Recognition’, he’s free to go wild on ‘Iron Council’ (and you can probably guess why I want David Cronenberg on ‘Perdido Street Station’). It’s also interesting (read: dreadful) to note that Joseph Hahn, of fucking Linkin Park, has the exclusive rights to adapt ‘King Rat’.

    And now back to my regularly scheduled post:

    Alan Moore haters are the worst, I hate them. I’ll be among the first to stand in a line that says, “Alan Moore is a deranged lunatic,” because I do believe he is (so is the wonderful Warren Ellis, who has blessed us with his presence here). I’ll also be the first to stand in a line for, “Alan Moore is an immaculate genius of the sequential art medium, as well as literature, period.” Genius and lunatic go hand and hand together, and they usually make a potent cocktail when together. Something that both inspires and ignites me. I love talking about Moore (same as I love talking about Klaus Kinski, Werner Herzog, Pynchon, the list goes on). My thoughts on the ‘Watchmen’ film have varied through the years; I’ve read up on all of the past histories, and even the Sam Hamm and David Hayter drafts (trust me, you DON’T want those movies). The truth is, I trust Snyder with only an inkling of doubt. I appreciate the new flavor he injected into his ‘Dawn of the Dead’ remake; and I’d like it to a 21st Century variant of James Cameron’s ‘Aliens’. It’s certainly a big dumb action film, but it’s filled with charming characters, and more pathos and humor than most mindless action films. I think the visual style works well for the film, and I think that Snyder’s cast is very well-assembled. I’m in the group that says that ’300′ is racist, homophobic and homoerotic, action-porn. But, honestly, you shouldn’t expect more when it’s a adapted from a post-Ayn-Rand-period Frank Miller comic. Any of the faults that’s been cited upon ’300′ as a film, I always credit to Miller; because that’s what he wrote. It’s no surprise that Snyder and his co-writer injected the film with a very un-Miller subplot involving Queen Gorgo; I’m surprised that Miller didn’t object to the near-three-dimensional character of a woman. I was surprised to see it become so successful, but I think it’s rather obvious that the film’s target audience(s) — frat boys and gay men — would flock in drones to the film; because if there’s anything gay men and frat boys can agree on it’s well-toned abs and deltoids.

    Now, onto the adaptations of Moore’s works: I saw ‘From Hell’ in cinemas with my sister. I was seeing it because it was an adaptation of probably the only thing I’d consider “un-filmable”; and I was proved right. Moore’s work on that comic is seminal, and — IMHO — is his rightful masterpiece. Oh, and I forgot to mention that the film was absolute shit — aside from Trevor Jones brilliant score (which proves a great listen when reading the book again). And then ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentleman’ came along. I’ve always thought — and will continue to — that ‘LoEG’ could provide a rich cinematic adaptation, if a filmmaker would actually draw from the film versions of these characters as inspiration. Unfortunately, when the film’s titled was promotionally shortened to ‘LXG’, I said, “No fucking way,” and skipped it (and Ben says I was right to do so). And why shorten it to something that we Americans can take as being “extreme” when the actual abbreviation of the title is an actual, pronounceable word: “LEG”? Wouldn’t it be cooler to approach the box office and announce that you’d like a ticket to “Leg”? I certainly do! And it’s no surprise coming from me that Trevor Jones’ (!) score for ‘LXG’ is ace. Then ‘V for Vendetta’ came along. I thought that the Wachowski’s and Moore made for an awful combo, but the early buzz and reviews convinced me that this might work. Unfortunately they were only half-right. I certainly think the film is watchable. But, like stated above, it’s filled with half-thoughts and inexcusable stereotyping of Brits. And the action scenes are rather lazy. The only bright spot in the film is Hugo Weaving’s masked performance as “V” and, as always, Stephen Fry. The less said about Natalie Portman, the better.

    So, next year — granted that this lawsuit shit sorts itself out) — we’ll be delivered Zach Snyder’s adaptation of ‘Watchmen’. In my eyes, he’s proven that he has a good gift for visuals; and he can handle the humor and melodrama well (as proved to me in ‘DotD’ 04). Now, I’ve never thought that ‘Watchmen’ is un-filmable (and I think very little is, given the right talent behind and in front of the camera); but I’ve never wanted to see it as a 12-part mini on HBO. I enjoy going to the cinema, and ‘Watchmen’ is something I’ve always wanted to see up on the big screen. And thank to the sleeper success of ’300′, Warner Bros. has pretty much handed Snyder the keys to the castle and we’re — finally — getting the adaption of ‘Watchmen’ that we all feared would never happen. For one thing, I never even thought I’d see a ‘Watchmen’ film before I even had any children of my own. Now, I may get stones thrown at me for this, but I think that Snyder is a very smart man (granted, he’s got a smart woman on his side, his wife, producer Deborah Snyder) and he realizes he has to deliver the initial project to Warner as they saw ’300′: something that is visually appealing, and will appease the masses. Which is why his initial teaser is styled the way it is. The man needs to promote this thing like ’300′ so that the bosses stay happy and off of his ass. That’s obvious to me. Now, what I think a lot of you aren’t seeing with his adaptation is what he’s doing to mirror Moore’s and Dave Gibbon’s work. He’s very in-tuned to making this a commentary on modern superhero films, as well as being a faithful translation of the comic. One need only look at the costumes of Nite Owl II and Ozymandias to see this. Since we’ve never (and doubtfully ever will) have a silver screen translation of the Blue Beetle, Snyder is drawing his inspiration from the screen iterations of Batman; from Burton to Schumaker to Nolan. The same can be said for Ozy — a fey character in the book — being given the “nipple” treatment. His cast is strong, and filled with actors rather than stars (and my only worry is Malin Ackerman as Laurie/Silk Spectre II). Snyder realizes that superhero films have reached a pinnacle, and it’s time to tear them down; and I feel he’s doing that. After ‘The Dark Knight’ and ‘Watchmen’, I feel that comic book films will take a turn similar to what the books did in the late 80s and early 90s; hell, the prophet Rob Liefeld has already begun scourging Hollywood with aspirations of putting pouches and BIG guns all over our favorite actors! I also applaud Snyder and his use of the Smashing Pumpkins’ “The Beginning is the End is the Beginning” in the teaser because he knows that we associate the song with the worst comic-inspired film ever. He’s using irony in the same fashion that Moore and Gibbons did; but some might be too quick to judge based upon his less-than-excellent track record. That said, I should still keep reservations (and I do) but I think most of us should keep heed to the notion that Snyder intends this to be the ‘Watchmen’ of the film medium. He’s set on that.

    I also think Moore has every right to be cautious of any future adaptions of his work — given the past — but I think he should look at film as a different medium; because it is.

  42. Mer Says:

  43. Mer Says:

    BWAAAAAHAHAHA: http://www.comicbookmovie.com/news/articles/5049.asp

Leave a Reply | Register for this Site | Login