What's Alan Moore's Problem?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Samuel T. Cogley, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. Samuel T. Cogley

    Samuel T. Cogley Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Hold still, Jim.
    Why is he such a crabby bastard about 'Watchmen', etc.?

    I'm guessing he has his reasons.

    What I'm looking for is a concise explanation with as few inside references as possible. (In other words, I'm on the outside looking in, and I need a little help.)

    I'm guessing that he had some bad experiences with studios in that past, and he feels burned.

    But, if that's the case, were his experiences any worse than what the normal creative type has when they go head to head with the suits? (As much of any of us can possibly know what happened, that is.)

    Or is he just reacting more strongly than others to the same nonsense that every creative type has to deal with?
     
  2. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

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    From what I have heard he is disgusted with the Hollywood system in general and very protective of his work-I don't think he wants them to change one word. Literally. I read V and saw the movie and it was darn faithful-but he disowned it.
     
  3. ancient

    ancient Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I believe he doesn't think his stories are filmable. If this has anything to do with his crankiness I have no idea.

    I know a lot of stories are not made for Hollywood adaptation, and require massive rearrangement to become movies.

    For example, take the classic The Strange case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. The book has no love intrests. Most of the action takes place via flashback. Mr. Hyde is actually barely in the book at all. The story ENDS IN A FLASHBACK. The main character is actually Utterson, who is just an observer, and thusly useless unless you were to keep the mystery aspect. and of course, everyone knows what's going on so the mystery aspect is also useless. Turning that into a Hollywood formula requires that the entire storyline be essentially thrown out and replaced, even though the book is excellent as a book.

    It's possible Moore is simply unhappy with Hollywood commandeering his work. A lot of artists are possessive of their ceations, which I can sympathize with. I guess Hollywood clinging to his coattails annoys him. Others write their stories specifically so they will be easy to adapt.
     
  4. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

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    He dislikes how all of his projects have been filmed so far (in general, he doesn't believe in film adaptation, saying that they were written for one medium and so should stay there), and there have been some other complications (such as a lawsuit accusing him of ripping off another screenplay when writing League of Extraordinary Gentlemen).

    He also has issues with filming things that he doesn't own, such as Watchmen, where DC played fast and loose with the contract rules on certain merchandising items and on ownership in general.
    It was a good film on its own, but it completely changed the message of the original (and he also disliked the way the British characters were written, which he thought was laughably inauthentic).
     
  5. Out Of My Vulcan Mind

    Out Of My Vulcan Mind Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There was a long discussion, which turned into quite a heated debate, about Alan Moore and his attitude and actions regarding film adaptations of his work on a Newsarama message board thread. The thread can be found here. Skip ahead to page five of the thread if you want to start reading at the point where film producer Don Murphy (From Hell, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) enters the discussion and things start getting interesting.
     
  6. Lapis Exilis

    Lapis Exilis Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I was always under the impression that he is simply a crabby bastard. I rather like that in an artist from time to time. It's refreshing instead of the "love me, love me" narcissicism so often found in those who play along with the system to hawk their creations in whatever form will bring them a buck.
     
  7. grabmygoblin

    grabmygoblin Commodore Commodore

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    exactly. he's a big gruff guy who writes amazingly but is not one of those writers you could easily have a beer with.

    sometimes I like it, but other times, his attitude can be extremely frustrating. Marvel finally talked him into letting them print his old Captain Britain work. a printing error later, and he revoked their rights again, even after profuse apologies.

    I guess I'd probably be cranky as well if I had to deal with contracts and lawyers and protecting my intellectual properties, but I hope I wouldn't be as cranky.
     
  8. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah even though his attitude does kind of rub me the wrong way, it IS refreshing to see an artist who actually doesn't give a crap about Hollywood, and isn't looking to cash in anywhere he can.
     
  9. ancient

    ancient Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Sounds like he's reminding them who is in control and screw you moneymakers this is my stuff. Which I can respect.
     
  10. Leroy

    Leroy Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Moore doesn't want his work stained by bad movies mention League of Extraordinary Gentlemen to anyone and they'll think of that shitty movie instead of the awesome comics.
     
  11. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    If it really is his stuff, how can anyone get the legal rights to do a Watchmen movie? Why doesn't he just refuse to sell the rights?
     
  12. FALCONX0N

    FALCONX0N Captain Captain

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    ^I'm not entirely certain on the details, but I hear that there was some sort of an arcane deal with DC back in the day that said that Alan Moore gets so much of the property, but the ultimate stay is for DC, for as long as they are actively printing his comics.

    Needless to say, Watchmen has been given a new printing in TBP form every year since it's initial release. So Moore doesn't actually have the rights in anything else but name only.


    But hey, this is purely uncited, just what I remember reading.
     
  13. Goliath

    Goliath Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Are we sure his name isn't really Howard Roark?
     
  14. Out Of My Vulcan Mind

    Out Of My Vulcan Mind Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^^^
    That deal with DC wasn't over Watchmen. It was over V for Vendetta, and it wasn't to do with the film rights (Moore had those and he sold them). That deal was to do with the V for Vendetta publishing rights. Moore would have got ownership of the publishing rights if V for Vendetta had gone out of print. But it never did because of its continuing popularity (something that Moore wouldn't have anticipated at the time the publishing deal was struck with DC because at that time a continuing backlist of graphic novels wasn't yet part of the industry). A lot of this stuff is in the thread I linked to above.
     
  15. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    Alan Moore is a genius, but an extremely bizarre one. He practices magic and worships a fiction deity he invented. Read his wikipedia page, it's pretty out there!
     
  16. Bob The Skutter

    Bob The Skutter Complete Arse Cleft Premium Member

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    I read that he said that are works that he doesn't have the sole rights to, and he doesn't want his collaborators losing out, so any work he can't refuse the rights to he wants his name removing from them, and his portion of the royalties to either go to the artists, etc. he worked with, or charities of his choice.
     
  17. Out Of My Vulcan Mind

    Out Of My Vulcan Mind Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's the stance he takes now. He won't take any further money from film adaptations and his portion goes to the artists. But on most of these films he participated along with the artists in selling the film rights and he took money for them at the time. It's in the last couple of years that he hasn't been taking money and won't allow his name on the films.
     
  18. Samuel T. Cogley

    Samuel T. Cogley Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Hold still, Jim.
    Assuming this is true, here's the first place -- and only place so far -- where I see an inconsistency.

    If Moore is so convinced that movies can't be made from his work; that Hollywood will fuck it up; and he doesn't care about the money, why would he ever sell the film rights to any of his projects?

    He would hold tightly to the film rights (on only the projects where he owns those rights, of course) and never let them go for any reason.

    Or did he sell them long ago, maybe when he needed to pay the rent and/or before he decided that Hollywood was such a disaster?
     
  19. Out Of My Vulcan Mind

    Out Of My Vulcan Mind Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think he made most of these deals in the late 1980s and early 1990s (he wouldn't have been hard up for cash at the time, but the big checks for the film rights certainly would have been enticing). It was after the films started coming out that he took a hard line against film adaptations of his work.

    He also now takes a position that the film adaptations damage his original work by changing them into a shape other than that which he intended, changes which become lodged in public perception. Some accuse him of hypocrisy on this since he freely appropriates other people's creations and reshapes it in his own work (such as in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Lost Girls).
     
  20. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Then he shouldn't have signed on the dotted line. The fact that he did means he has no right to bitch about the situation now (or more specifically, of course he can bitch all he wants, but nobody needs to take it seriously). He was greedy, he took the money and lost control over the property. What a crybaby.

    If the movies are somehow inhibiting sales of the graphic novels (because they are bringing the novels into disrepute), then that's something for the corporate bean counters to take into consideration. But I sincerely doubt that sales of graphic novels could ever compete with sales of movie tickets, plus movies are going to be such a publicity boost for the novels that even if the movies suck, they will drive graphic novel sales up.

    I suppose in theory there's a case where you would hold off on doing a movie for fear of hurting graphic novel sales (or real novel sales) if the movie sucks but I have never heard of suck a case happening in real life and would be astounded if the economics of it ever made sense.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2008

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