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Old August 20 2008, 10:25 PM   #16
JacksonArcher
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Re: Neil Gaiman's Law of Superhero Movies

30 Days of Night took some deviations from the original graphic novel. And quite frankly it just wasn't a good movie.

I wonder, though, can you be faithful to the source material but suck as a film, and still be successful? I've seen many comic-book films that weren't that close to the material but worked as films, and thus were successful in their own right.
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Old August 20 2008, 10:27 PM   #17
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Re: Neil Gaiman's Law of Superhero Movies

I imagine material that would suck as a film probably (although not certainly) sucks as a comic book. Or in the very least isn't very cinematic and is overlooked by studio executives anyway.
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Old August 20 2008, 10:28 PM   #18
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Re: Neil Gaiman's Law of Superhero Movies

I dunno. I wasn't too impressed by Wanted but that got made into a film and was generally successful.
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Old August 20 2008, 10:31 PM   #19
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Re: Neil Gaiman's Law of Superhero Movies

But didn't Wanted totally deviate from the source material? Or is that what you're saying. I guess it does contradict Gaiman's law. I'd put that in another category, though, since it has the box office wild card of Angelina Jolie (and Morgan Freeman, too, IIRC).
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Old August 20 2008, 10:35 PM   #20
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Re: Neil Gaiman's Law of Superhero Movies

Hirogen Alpha wrote: View Post
But didn't Wanted totally deviate from the source material? Or is that what you're saying. I guess it does contradict Gaiman's law. I'd put that in another category, though, since it has the box office wild card of Angelina Jolie (and Morgan Freeman, too, IIRC).
Angelina Jolie isn't box office cash, though. Before Mr. And Mrs. Smith (which she can only take partial responsibility for it terms of its success) she had a string of box office flops -- Original Sin, Taking Lives, A Mighty Heart, etc etc. where she headlined. Morgan Freeman doesn't solely drive a blockbuster, either, mind you.

Wanted was successful because it was an R-rated hardcore action film that was good counterprogramming to Wall*E.
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Old August 20 2008, 10:38 PM   #21
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Re: Neil Gaiman's Law of Superhero Movies

Hirogen Alpha wrote: View Post
Was that 30 Days of Night movie that was released a year or two back very faithful to the original comics? I don't recall it doing that well at the box office.
I can't speak to its faithfulness but I'll take JacksonArchers word for it that is strayed. I saw the movie and as a creepy vamp movie thought it was decent. It didn't bomb, flop or tank however. Modest success.

I found League of Extrodinary Gentlemen and Constantine to both be entertaining films. I even own LXG. Neither set the box office on fire but like 30DoN didn't outright tank. Not sure if its due to how they are as films or if like VforVendetta they were boycotted for lack of strict adherence. V I loved by the way and only read after the movie.

JacksonArcher wrote: View Post
I dunno. I wasn't too impressed by Wanted but that got made into a film and was generally successful.
Could not agree more. As a movie it was a retread of so much. Again, don't know the source material but it amazes me at those about the net who view it as an honest to god good movie. There was literally nothing new visually or thematic in that movie.

From what I read online the first act follows fairly closely to the original source. Acts 2&3 go their own path.
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Old August 20 2008, 10:40 PM   #22
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Re: Neil Gaiman's Law of Superhero Movies

JacksonArcher wrote: View Post
Hirogen Alpha wrote: View Post
But didn't Wanted totally deviate from the source material? Or is that what you're saying. I guess it does contradict Gaiman's law. I'd put that in another category, though, since it has the box office wild card of Angelina Jolie (and Morgan Freeman, too, IIRC).
Angelina Jolie isn't box office cash, though. Before Mr. And Mrs. Smith (which she can only take partial responsibility for it terms of its success) she had a string of box office flops -- Original Sin, Taking Lives, A Mighty Heart, etc etc. where she headlined. Morgan Freeman doesn't solely drive a blockbuster, either, mind you.

Wanted was successful because it was an R-rated hardcore action film that was good counterprogramming to Wall*E.
You don't think the greatly increased press coverage of Jolie had at least something to do with it? I'd agree that it was good counter-programming, but I think you're not giving Jolie enough credit.

And A Might Heart was Oscar bait, not a movie designed to make huge box office.
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Old August 20 2008, 10:43 PM   #23
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Re: Neil Gaiman's Law of Superhero Movies

Jolie just hasn't proven herself to be box office credible. Mr. And Mrs. Smith was successful for the most part because of the buzz surrounding her relationship with Brad Pitt in the tabloids. What has she driven that has been successful otherwise?

Sure, her presence might have added a little bit of box office push to the film, but certainly not enough to justify its over-$50 million opening.
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Old August 20 2008, 10:46 PM   #24
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Re: Neil Gaiman's Law of Superhero Movies

Norrin Radd wrote: View Post
http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2008/0...-anything.html

Had a conversation with Paul Levitz the other day about Gaiman's Law of Superhero Movies, which is: the closer the film is to the look and feel of what people like about the comic, the more successful it is (which is something that Warners tends singularly to miss, and Marvel tends singularly to get right)
What say you? Is he on to something?
Well, I'd give it a corollary which SHOULD go without saying, but really doesn't.

The reason that some comics get made into comics is that they have a broad, popular appeal. Some others are popular with a small niche market.

As a rule, the ones that have broad appeal are the ones that get made into movies. SO... Gaiman's rule applies anytimes that's the case.

On the other hand, it's possible that there are a few "fringe" comics that may be broadly disliked by general audiences. In those cases, the movie may be more successful if it deviates in a few key areas.

However, in those cases... I'd just as soon never see it get made into a movie in the first place. If someone wants to tell a significantly different version, they should go out and create their OWN story.

So... to sum up... I agree with Gaiman's point except for the above.
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Old August 20 2008, 10:52 PM   #25
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Re: Neil Gaiman's Law of Superhero Movies

IJD GAF wrote: View Post
it sort of assumes that the comic version is the one most ingrained in the collective consciousness and thus, the most likely to succeed.

What about something like Superman, where the Reeve films are tops? Superman Returns, though its sequel is in a dubious status, was a pretty successful film.
I still think that when people think of Superman, they overwhelmingly think of the comic book version first. The first mental image most people have is the 4-color pen-and-ink image, in other words. Reeves' image is up there as well, of course... as are a lot of other folks... George Reeves, Dean Cain, Tom Welling...

But the the 4-color one is, I believe, the most universally-recognized one.

"Superman returns" wasn't a flop... but it wasn't a success, either. It was a "disappointment." And the reason I most often heard (and which I agree with) is that the characters felt "wrong" compared to ANY prior version... Superman was weak and somewhat creepy... Lois was, at best, forgettable (first time that's EVER been the case as far as I'm aware!)... the super-kiddie was annoying... and Lex was a spoof of Gene Hackman's much superior version (which was, itself, a spoof).
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Old August 20 2008, 10:57 PM   #26
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Re: Neil Gaiman's Law of Superhero Movies

TremblingBluStar wrote: View Post
Norrin Radd wrote: View Post
What say you? Is he on to something?
Add to that the fact that many successful superhero movies changed the look and feel of the comic book dramatically (nearly every good Batman film) while some massive flops kept the look of the comic (early Marvel films).
About Batman... wrong-wrong-wrong... the BAD "batman films" deviated the most from the Batman comics.

Or didn't you know that "Batman Begins" was based, almost page-for-page, on "Batman Year One" blended with "The Long Halloween" and "The Man Who Falls?"

There were tons of scenes in that film which were very nearly exactly copied off of the drawn-and-written page. They even duplicated the heel-mounted "bat-caller's" APPEARANCE from where we first saw it drawn by David Mazzuchelli (sp?).

(Of course, maybe you're saying you think that Nolan's work is the worst and the two "robin-bearing" prior films were high art???)
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Old August 20 2008, 11:18 PM   #27
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Re: Neil Gaiman's Law of Superhero Movies

Cary L. Brown wrote: View Post
TremblingBluStar wrote: View Post
Norrin Radd wrote: View Post
What say you? Is he on to something?
Add to that the fact that many successful superhero movies changed the look and feel of the comic book dramatically (nearly every good Batman film) while some massive flops kept the look of the comic (early Marvel films).
About Batman... wrong-wrong-wrong... the BAD "batman films" deviated the most from the Batman comics.

Or didn't you know that "Batman Begins" was based, almost page-for-page, on "Batman Year One" blended with "The Long Halloween" and "The Man Who Falls?"

There were tons of scenes in that film which were very nearly exactly copied off of the drawn-and-written page. They even duplicated the heel-mounted "bat-caller's" APPEARANCE from where we first saw it drawn by David Mazzuchelli (sp?).

(Of course, maybe you're saying you think that Nolan's work is the worst and the two "robin-bearing" prior films were high art???)
Yes, but consider Burton's Batman films. Very successful. Not much like the comic.
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Old August 20 2008, 11:39 PM   #28
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Re: Neil Gaiman's Law of Superhero Movies

It might not be 100% correct, for example a lot of comics have renewed themselves during the years, like Batman, so it's hard to actually pin point what exactly constitutes "the" comic. But he's definitely on to something.

Like I hated the Punisher movie because it simply wasn't Punisher
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Old August 21 2008, 12:32 AM   #29
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Re: Neil Gaiman's Law of Superhero Movies

I agree with others that "the look and feel of what people like about the comic" is highly subjective and therefore I don't necessarily think Gaiman is onto something. Each character has gone through many variations of over the years from campy to dark to outright weird to some combination of the three to something else I've failed to mention. So who's "look and feel" is the "correct" one in regards to each of the movies?
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Old August 21 2008, 12:36 AM   #30
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Re: Neil Gaiman's Law of Superhero Movies

His joke about David Tennant in Hamlet is spot-on, though.
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