What's Alan Moore's Problem?

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

  1. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

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    I really don't think anyone is arguing that, if put into the same position as Moore, they'd do the same thing as he is... am I wrong about that?

    I'm just saying that I don't find it TOTALLY stupid. He has a point.

    If it were ME, I'd probably want to keep the integrity of my creations... it's like the movie of Aeon Flux a couple of years back... the guy who created Aeon Flux stated that he was embarrassed and humiliated by the movie. I'm not a particular fan of EITHER form of "Aeon Flux" mind you... but it's a good example of a creator wishing that he'd never given up control of his creation.

    So... if I created something I felt a great deal of pride in and yes, ownership over, I'd be very disinclined towards letting someone else "put their own spin on it." Especially if I'd been stung by that more than once already.
     
  2. Davros

    Davros Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    If a filmmaker wants to make a book into a movie, that filmmaker is obliged to stick to the established story. If they cannot do this, they should find a different title for their film.
     
  3. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    I'm sorry, but this is ridiculous. It's impossible to directly translate a story from one medium to another. Certain things have to be excised due to time constraints, or because the two mediums express ideas in different ways. Now, with exception, making major changes to those ideas is probably a bad idea, but it's totally within the filmmaker's rights to do whatever the hell they (and, more likely, the studio) want to do with the property.

    I'm not saying that if it is announced tomorrow that a film called Casablanca has been announced and that it will be set in modern times and star Vin Diesel I'm going to applaud that move. I'll despise it. I won't go see it. I'll tell everyone I know to avoid it. But that doesn't mean the filmmaker's have an obligation to do anything I or anyone else who doesn't own the rights want.
     
  4. Trent Roman

    Trent Roman Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I agree with Hirogen Alpha. Books and movies are two different media, with different requirements in terms of narrative, pacing, characterization, etc. A good adaptation is one that preserves the spirit of the original whilst also serving the needs of cinema and that audience. I'd point to Jurassic Park and Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings as two examples of films that wouldn't have been as successful (as films, and not only in the financial sense) had they cleaved closer to the original book.

    Fictitiously yours, Trent Roman
     
  5. Derishton

    Derishton Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I have a high threshold for new and variable versions of stories (a side effect of studying 1300 years of Arthurian literature and films), but I do wonder why you'd bother to purchase the rights to something if you're going to go in a completely opposite direction. Wanted remains my baffling film adaptation of the moment: really, if you're going to drop everything that makes the series what it is, why pay Mark Millar when you could just do a whacky assassins film?
     
  6. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    I'm guessing they figured that comic book adaptations were hot, and that the "Wanted" title would bring in an audience that they wouldn't otherwise have. Studio executives aren't exactly brilliant thinkers, mind you.
     
  7. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

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    My guess is that they bought the rights planning a close adaptation, and then through development it gradually became totally different.
     
  8. Lapis Exilis

    Lapis Exilis Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Know a lot of studio executives, do you?

    It's always amazing to me that when a movie is good, the director is lauded as a genius, and the two execs who worked on it for a year and a half are never mentioned. Then, when a movie is bad, the director is never mentioned and the "evil studio suits" are invoked as the obvious cause of the story's downfall. Because surely there is not a single movie executive out there who makes movies because they love movies. And all directors, including Timur Bekmambetov (who dropped his brilliant Russian NightWatch/DayWatch trilogy to make the mega-budget Hollywood Wanted) are artistes to whom money means nothing, and only the integrity of the film matters. :devil:

    I didn't know Wanted was from a comic when I went to see it, and neither did anybody else I knew. Movie executives have said they've realized the advantages of purchasing comics since they are essentially storyboards and thus you can more or less skip a whole step in the movie making process. The buying of comic properties has as much to do with that as it does with any level of marketing to the audience. Keep in mind the absolute hardest part of movie making is coming up with a story that would make a good film. Comics automatically tell stories in a visual way and are that much closer to film making than novels.

    As for why things get seriously changed - try doing an adaptation. Take any story you like and turn it into a screenplay or a storyboard for a 110 minute movie with a $150 million budget. See whether or not you don't, in the process, have a great idea for something that's different than the source. Then there's the reality of the medium. Sometimes things get changed because they won't work on film. Sometimes things get changed because you wanted to do it just like the source, but you can't afford it. Sometimes you can't get the actor you want so you have to go a different direction with the character. Sometimes your PA does something stupid, wastes a day of shooting, puts you over budget and you have to scramble over the next two weeks to try to pull things back together which means rewriting 20 minutes of the movie. Movie making is a very organic process where things shift as the production occurs.
     
  9. Derishton

    Derishton Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  10. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  11. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    From what I understand, the changes had a lot to do with avoiding the wrath -- and legal teams -- of DC Comics and Time Warner. The Wanted universe is a thinnly disguised DC universe, albeit one where the villains won.
     
  12. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Fair enough. At the risk of being crass towards studio executives again, I'd say baffled is my usual reaction towards them.
     
  13. Lapis Exilis

    Lapis Exilis Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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 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.
     
  14. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I don't know anything about WANTED, but it's not unknown for a studio to like the basic idea of something, even if they intend to change all the details, and buy the movie rights just because it's cheaper than fighting a lawsuit later on.

    Or they discover that a project that's already in the works bears a possibly actionable resemblance to some earlier book or movie. So they buy the rights and make their movie an "adaptation" rather than risk getting sued somewhere down the road.
     

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