I'm not questioning a story change between mediums - far from it, as I've said before. But Wanted is a superhero story, and "good assassins" play no role in it. Neither a league of assassins nor the word "Wanted" would be actionable. There was no need to pay Millar, unless they thought the title would bring people into the theatre. You imply that wasn't the case for you, so I don't know that they did save any money doing it this way. But it neither offends me nor bothers me ... I use the word "baffle" in a light-hearted way.
I understand. I'm just a little fascinated by the adaptation process so I was kind of thinking out loud about what happens during the adaptation process. As for why they paid Millar, studios often option works as much to keep them out of others' hands. Meaning they might well have had the idea for a league of assassins story, knew the comic book Wanted was out there and purchased it so no one could beat them to the punch with a similar movie based on the book. They get the best of both worlds - their picture plus the extra insurance of a comic property behind it.
I've read enough books and seen enough interviews with them or about them to know enough. Also, my roommate worked at one of the production companies that was developing Wanted last fall, and his impression was that "Wanted" was made because anything comic-related is expected to do gangbusters at the box office right now.
And I don't think I've offered universal praise for directors (many of whom are little more than hired guns), for you to get that worked up over it. As for studio executives, from my range of knowledge, the ones who actually love film and deserve to be praised are a very, very rare breed. Nine times out of ten, there in it for the money. Which isn't a bad thing, per say, but that's usually where they're coming from.
I was speaking more to a generally accepted stereotype amongst fans - that directors are the artists and studio execs are shallow money-grubbers who wouldn't know a good story if it bit them in the ass. Yet it was a studio exec somewhere who hired Christopher Nolan to redo Batman. It was a studio exec who helped develop the Iron Man script and got Robert Downey Jr. It was a studio exec who made sure Speilberg had everything he needed on set to make Raiders. It was a studio exec who looked at Peter Jackson and said, "Why would you want to make this in two movies? It's three books, let's make three movies." (<That one would be Weinstein at New Line).
Studio execs are involved at every point in creating movies. So every great movie came as much from a studio exec as it did from any other top brass on the production. So to smack them all with a blanket villification just strikes me as strange from anyone who loves movies.