Thursday, March 16, 2006

Alan Moore at the Movies

With V For Vendetta opening tomorrow, fans of Alan Moore are wondering whether someone has finally succeeded in making a decent, or even watchable, film adaptation of one of his works. Moore himself claims not to give a crap about movies in general and definitely not those made from his comics. He has just cause for turning his back on Hollywood, as they've screwed up his graphic novels just about every time they've turned a camera on one of them. From Hell was a waste of film and two hours of my life I'll never get back and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was a mess. Both are so far removed from anything Moore wrote that you wonder why they even kept the titles. Frankly, I don't hold out any hope for the in-production Watchmen movie either. The only decent film version of an Alan Moore comic was an episode of Cartoon Network's Justice League Unlimited which adapted "For The Man Who Has Everything" from 1985's Superman Annual #11, though I feel the episode concentrated too much on the battle with Mongul in the Fortress of Solitude while giving short shrift to the Black Mercy inspired fantasy of a life on Krypton that was playing out in Superman's head.
It occurred to me a couple of days ago that if it weren't for a bad movie we, at least those of us on this side of the Atlantic (or, as Marvel's Aubrey Sitterson would say, the Pacific), may never have heard of Alan Moore. It was, after all, the dreadful 1982 Swamp Thing film that led DC to rescue the character from comic book limbo. It was this revived Swampy series that Alan Moore inherited with its 20th issue, as it stood on the brink of cancellation, bringing a fresh new voice and original ideas not just to Swamp Thing but to the American comics industry as a whole, and using the clout the book's popularity and acclaim brought him to go on to do such projects as Watchmen and From Hell.

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