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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Comic book films that I would like to see - Part One

Ever since the movie studios became confident in the ability of then new technology, they have embraced comic books as a source of film. The Matrix, released in 1999, brought exceptional technology to the world and was based on a graphic novel. It was the ultimate cyber punk film. Other graphic novels such as V for Vendetta and From Hell soon followed. Comic book juggernauts such as Spiderman, Superman, The Incredible Hulk, The Fantastic Four, Batman and The X-men were all converted into celluloid.

Interestingly, not all the comic book to film transfers, were reliant on special effects. A film like Ghost World could have been made in the 1960s. This suggests that the technology made studios confident that they could re-realise graphic printed art on film and then they decided audiences would show an interest in any graphic novel or comic book, no matter how many buildings were blown up or how many characters bent time and space for the camera.

So with this in audiences' tastes in mind, I have decided to jot down a list of comic books and graphic works that I wish to see on film and why? I have suggested a few people who could work on the projects too. Do you agree with my suggestions? Do let Screenforum know your thoughts using the comment link at the bottom of this post.

Here is work of art number one:


Preacher tells the story of Jesse Custer, a man who had terrible, abusive upbringing. He is a preacher by profession but does not preach very often. he lives in Annville, a tiny town in texas. He is possessed by a supernatural creature named Genesis. His church is destroyed during the possession. It's a violent, demented story but it's very entertaining and it uses the comic medium brilliantly.

Many people rate it as one of the best ever graphic novels. I get tired of "best ever" lists often because I may just like a piece of art because of some nuance within it, which sets it apart from other things in its genre, however big that class may be. I enjoyed Preacher after I got over the perverse characters within it. When I was 11-years old, I heard about how dark it was and did not bother with it. But, in my twenties, it has been far easier to appreciate.

Still, the question people will ask is can the craziness of the story being translated into film? It could if the makers focussed on the main plot and only a portion of the Preacher tale. It would also have to be R18 and probably get rid of some of what the hillbillys do to people and animals.

Or am I wrong? Should filmmakers tone things down at all? The Swedish movie, Let The Right One was toned down compared with the novel that it was based on.

A whole subthread about pedophilia is only touched on. Pedophilia is an emotionally demanding subject for many people and maybe to visualise it can be too off-putting. Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones, though, hinted at it and dealt with child murder. I leave audiences to watch that film to see what is actually shown in this regard. The book it was based on was much better.

But, back to Preacher; I would like to see Edward Norton in the role of Custer. It has been too long since he used his talent. Ryan Gosling would also fit well or even Eric Balfour, who has experience from the paranormal series Haven.

As far as the director is concerned, I do not really mind. Sam Mendes was once attached but he dropped out to direct James Bond 23, which is tentatively set for release next year. I think he should do Preacher and Bond or leave Bond to someone else.

Alistair Anderson

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