Russell's Law of 50% Returns on Comic Adaptations
Lately, movies adapted from comic books have been successful about 50% of the time. For every X-Men or Spiderman, there is an Electra or The Incredible Hulk. Given that Batman Begins was a pretty good movie, I’m going to have to bet against the Fantastic Four. My motives are partially selfish, though, since one of the most amazing, well-written, and literary comic books (sorry, graphic novels) is being adapted into a movie by the guys behind The Matrix. It is V for Vendetta, by Alan Moore, who also wrote From Hell (an okay movie) and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (a bad movie), so by my logic, he’s due for a decent adaptation, too.
When I found out this was going to be made into a movie, I was completely caught by surprise. Along with V for Vendetta, Alan Moore created The Watchmen, which is one of the very best graphic novels, at least amongst those that deal with superheroes. It also, by far, the more popular of the two. Years ago, there was talk of a Watchmen movie, directed by Terry Gilliam, which never came to fruition. The last thing I ever expected to hear was that V for Vendetta would be considered for a movie. Although it slightly edges out The Watchmen for Best Graphic Novel by an Englishman Who Is Not Neil Gaiman in my own personal award ceremony, it is far too subversive for American audiences. Basically, one of its themes is that anarchy is a preferable form of government (or lack thereof) over fascism. I actually agree with that, but I’m not that eager to experiment either way.
In any case, a fear was that, in this wonderful, double-plus good age of enlightenment that America is currently wallowing in, the marketing guys at Warner Bros. would sell this movie rather gingerly. This week, however, they unveiled a new “coming soon” poster (just in time for the Independence day weekend, they said), which had this for it’s tagline:
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.
And to that I say, “Amen.”
Another happy happenstance: The main character, “V,” was going to be played by James Purefoy, whom I have nothing against, mostly because I have no idea who he is, but he dropped out. He’s been replaced by Hugo Weaving, the actor behind Elron and Agent Smith. This is happiness, indeed. Of course, if they stay true to the story, we never actually see V’s face, but that’s for later.
The man who introduced me to both The Watchmen and V for Vendetta is Joe Dubecky. He just informed me of his engagement (in the comments of this very blog!). Congratulations, Joe! And where did your website go?
For the past several months, I’ve had ONE blog entry per month. That’s so weak. Thanks to those who stop by every now and then to see if I’ve updated anything. There is always the desire to do more and the laziness that prevents it from happening. Maybe this month, I’ll post twice.
Posted by Jonathan at 04:48 AM, 01 July 2005