Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Just read Alan Moore and David Lloyd's V FOR VENDETTA. Wow, what a piece of work. My reading of graphic novels over the years has been quite thin, but this is the best example of the form I have ever seen. I know it's an age-old argument as to whether the two things can be compared or not, but I would but V up there in my top five novels of all time, graphics or no.

So... I read a great piece of fiction, then I want to find out a bit more about it. Interviews from the authors about it, what other people thought of it, etc. And what do I find? V FOR VENDETTA appears to be a big, hollywood blockbuster movie, coming out later this year.

And it pisses me off.

Now, I realise I am behind the times. I've had 20-odd years to read V, and I couldn't expect material like this to remain untouched forever. But even so, why does Hollywood have to vandalise EVERY decent piece of fiction? It's OK, you don't have to give me reasons. I know - comics are hot in Hollywood... Alan Moore comics in particular. But is it good? Is it a good thing that V FOR VENDETTA will henceforth be known as a big movie starring the suit guy from THE MATRIX?

Good things about V FOR VENDETTA, THE MOVIE:
  1. You never know - it might be alright.
  2. No Keanu Reeves.
  3. Will lead lots of people to the book, which will lead them to more books.
  4. No Vin Diesel.
Bad things about V FOR VENDETTA, THE MOVIE:
  1. Why did they have to do it?
  2. I've only just discovered the thing, independently of movie buzz or anything. And now I'll look like a bandwagon-jumper if I bring it up in conversation. The same thing happened with SIN CITY, and it's just not on.
  3. Just why?
  4. No Mr T.
  5. Is nothing sacred?
  6. No Hoff.
There is another thing, a thing I was going to put in "Bad things..." but rightly hestitated to. You see, the book is about a London in the grip of terrorist attacks - one minority aiming to topple the majority via explosions and death. Of course, the majority is represented by a post-nuclear totalitarian Big Brother state, which has purged it's people of culture. And the minority - a masked marauder dripping culture and irony - is a victim of that state. But... Ah, I haven't seen it, so I'm in no position to comment on the wisdom of putting out such a movie at such a time. Let the movie come, and let's see how it deals with the terror angle. Let's just say the book has frightening parallels with recent events in London, and the empathy lies clearly with the terrorist. Timely? Or ill-timed?


Jim Winter said...

Uh-huh. But will that stop you from cashing the check when the DEADFOLK movie is shot?

I only ask because that'll determine whether I see it first run or on DVD, and what, by the way, do you get the bigger cut from anyway?

Sarah said...

I saw the trailer the other night and frankly, it confused the crap out of me. Natalie Portman has hair -- then she doesn't! Then she does! Then she doesn't!

Oy gevalt.

Charlie Williams said...

Jim - Deadfolk movie? You know something I don't? No, I would never compromise my artistic integrity by selling DEADFOLK to the movies. Or, if I did, I would want AT LEAST fifty pounds for it. OK, forty (AT LEAST). And it has to be in the contract that Stallone, Mr T, and Carl Weathers play themselves.

Sarah - Ah... the hair, no hair, hair again sub-plot. It's a thrower alright!

Bill Peschel said...

I dont know if it's crap or not, but Alan Moore thinks so.

Charlie Williams said...

Cheers for that Bill. Wow, Moore is not happy with Hollywood. Or DC. Or anyone, by the sounds of him.

Jennifer Jordan said...

I dearly hope they don't try to make Watchmen into a movie.

Steve Kane said...

Alan Moore, arguably one of the greatest comic book writers of all time, has been woefully served by Hollywood? From Hell anyone? The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen? Both terrible movies of wonderful graphic novels.

Watchemn has been in development hell for years. Terry Gilliam was attached to it for a while but, most recently, Paul Greengrass was set to direct. He was responsible for The Bourne Supremecy and, more interestingly, Bloody Sunday. It sounded like he was determined to maintain the comic's political and social commentary and the general pre-production word-of-mouth sounded most promising. But then the studio got cold feet, declared that the budget was too high for what was shaping up to be something quite different from a conventional blockbuster.

Hey ho. I'd be interested to see Watchmen on the big screen but, on the other hand, the graphic novel was utterly superb and I wouldn't want anything to diminish my estimation of it.

Charlie Williams said...

I prefered V to Watchmen. Still, both are simply awesome. But yeah, I agree - they should leave it alone. (Mind you, Terry Gilliam would have at least had a chance of making something interesting.) I'm not really in a position to comment because I haven't seen these movies, but it seems to me Moore's work has an unflinching aspect that would probably be discarded by movie execs as "too adult". And I don't mean gore, but simple human frailty.

Dave White said...

I haven't read V is for Vendetta, which is probably why the movie trailer looks really cool to me.