24 July 2005

"V" For Vindictive?

"Watchmen" creator Alan Moore has to be the crankiest man in comics. Crankier than Harlan Ellison, who once wrote an article entitled "Why I Fantasize About Using An AK-47 On Teenagers"--back in the early 70s! That's cranky. Moore's been quite vocal in his disdain ("imbecilic") for the upcoming film adaptation of his 80s anti-Thatcher, pro-terrorist dystopian allegory "V For Vendetta" (co-created with artist David Lloyd). Granted, "The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen" movie was sub-Golan/Globus hackwork, and the stylish "From Hell" was ruined by a ridiculous happy ending (Mary Kelly survives?!) but "Constantine", IMHO, made for an enjoyable LA noir and retained some of the integrity of its source material, even though the purist in me is still twitching over the casting of Keanu instead of a proper Brit. Moore, who has severed all ties with DC/Vertigo, is peeved at Joel Silver's public claim that he has given "V4V" his blessing, and has asked for a printed retraction/apology, which has yet to materialize. His anger here, is perfectly understandable. But if Moore really feels the state of current cinema is worthy of his "dwindling respect", why does he repeatedly sell the option rights, especially since bad comic book adaptations go back to Lewis Wilson changing into his batsuit in the back of a saloon car? Much of Moore's own esteemed body of work consists of considerable liberties taken with the creations of others (H. Rider Haggard likely didn't envision Alan Quartermain as a junkie, and let's not forget "The Killing Joke", in which the Joker rapes and cripples Barbara Gordon, which I'm sure didn't go down too well with Bob Kane) , so to cry foul when other writers play fast and loose with his work displays a double-standard either naive or arrogant. J. Michael Straczynski has read the shooting script and has hailed it as "a work of freaking genius", and the trailer looks good. Check out bald Natalie and Hugo behind a Guy Fawkes mask here.