06 February 2007

Comix movies

When it comes to your superhero movie dreams, the Lord giveth, but mostly the Lord taketh away.

As I recently reported, Joss Whedon if off of working on Wonder Woman. So unless they give the project to Kathryn Bigelow, the project is dead to me.

Then there's Watchmen, forever in doomed preproduction. It's fun to dream of a Watchmen film, but it's hopeless. As I've said before:

Recall that Terry Gilliam tried for years to do it, then finally gave up because he thought it was too ambitious. When the man who made Brazil decides that a film project is too ambitious to actually execute, you know you have some fundamental problems.
Now I said a couple of years ago that I thought director Paul Greengrass had at least the right attitude for the project. But he dropped out. Now it's in the hands of Zach Snyder, whose adaptation of Frank Miller's fascist testosterone festival 300 is Coming Soon to a Theater Near You. From the impressive 300 trailer, which shows an amazingly close rendition of the panels from the book, it's clear that Snyder has technical chops and a love of the comics medium. And okay, he does understand the fundamental stakes in adapting Watchmen to the screen.
I just don't think that Hollywood, in general, has any idea what Watchmen is. They think it's a superhero movie. They think it's Fantastic Four, and guys, it really isn't. Basically, they thought they were making The Champ and they got frickin' Fight Club, you know what I mean? That's the difference. That's how hard it is. The problem is that if everyone thinks they're getting a superhero movie, what they're going to get is like something that really makes them examine the entire genre. I always say that if we nail Watchmen, if it's awesome, everyone [making superhero movies] is going to be like, “Man, you've made it hard for the rest of us.” Which is what you want, I mean, that's how it should be.
But does this guy really sound sophisticated enough to tackle Watchmen? Consider his take on doing 300.
The thing that's cool about 300 to me is that though it's a Frank Miller work, as an event in history, it's one of the seminal events. Everyone knows about it. I mean, any historian will tell you about Thermopylae, a famous crossroads in history. And so for that matter, it is a worthwhile story to tell, and I think that Frank, like myself, is inspired by that same story. I think and my hope is that in some ways it has accessibility in a broader world than Sin City. Though I'm a huge fan of Sin City, I feel like my father can go see 300 and go like, “That's awesome!” and see a fight for democracy, and I can go see it and go “Oh yeah, there's girls kissing!”
I don't have a problem with the slavering fanboyishness. Honest. Joss Whedon is a fanboy. Bryan Singer is a fanboy. But a guy who reads a story in which the Spartans are the good guys and the Athenians are a bunch of sissies as a “fight for democracy” does not have the political or artistic sophistication to tackle Watchmen. Gods help us if 300 does as well as I expect; the damned thing will actually get made.

Don't even get me started on Ghost Rider.

But worst of all: Sandman. Perpetually trapped in a glass bell jar of Development Hell and probably for the best.

Now I am not a person who thinks that a Sandman film is a film that should never be made. I know that Neil Gaiman has mixed feelings about Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio's screenplay, but it proved to me that, in principle, a good film could be done. Preferably directed by Guillermo del Toro.

But you know who would be a bad director to pick? Joel F#@*ing Schumacher, that's who. The man responsible for Batman and Robin. Thomas Roche wails ...

..why, God, why? Have we made thee angry? How angry is it even possible to make thee?
It is a nightmare. Neil Gaiman might accidentally catch a glimpse of the damned thing, flying on an airplane or something, and it would kill him. And the man is not allowed to die until he tells Alinora's story, do you hear me?

No comments: