Comics and Celluloid: Winter 2008 / Spring 2009
We few, we (mighty?) few. (the Fall 2008 / Winter 2009 comic book movie release schedule)
The pickings look pretty slim for those wanting to see new comic book movies this coming Fall / Winter movie season. In a span of roughly six months (I'm going from September through March for my count) I count only three movies based on comics being released through this time. Sure there are ahandful of Sci -Fi and Horror flicks coming down the pike, but they are not directly comic book related or inspired so I don't feel it would be fair to include them here.
The first of the few films to mention is The Punisher:War zone ( December 5th ); this film has had more than its share of ups and downs, starting in pre-production when actor Thomas Jane walked away from the movie over script differences with the studio making the film (Lionsgate). Subsequently, the film suffered from a delayed shooting schedule due to the "harsh" shooting conditions of the Canadian shooting locations, and finally, in post production, the film has apparently been in an editing tug of war between the director (Lexi Alexander) who wishes to preserve the gritty and bloody integrity of the film and Lionsgate who have wanted to edit the film to get it a PG13 rating instead of its originally intended R rating (due in large part to the mega -success of the PG13 The Dark Knight, this Summer.
The second of the few is The Spirit movie. (December 25th) This movie is directed by Frank Miller and appears to follow largely in the footprints of the successful Sin City which was itself a Frank Miller / Robert Rodriguez collaberation which appeas to have really rubbed off on Miller. This film is an adaptation of the Iconic Will Eisner comic book character, but I just haven't seen much in the trailer to make me think Eisner's Spirit so far. At least with Samuel Jackson and a bevy of Hollywood beauties it has an interesting cast going for it.
The last of the few is the Watchmen movie (March 6th). Zack Snyder's opus comic adaptation has been a long time in the making and has undergone many different pitches and treatments before Snyder got his hands on it ( at one time years ago it was supposed to be a Tery Gilliame project). The early trailer - shown before The Dark Knight in movie theaters this Summer, has received a largely positive reaction from the comic book fanbase that has waited for this project to see the light of day. Being an adaption of the classic Alan Moore and Dave gibbons modern comic masterpiece, it will be most interesting to see how the intricate and interweaving storylines are handled. Already there has been some mention that the pirate story from Watchmen will be covered as a seperate direct-to-DVD animated feature, to be released the same week Watchmen hits theaters. It has also been reported that Moore has disavowed having anything to do with the project for whatever reason (maybe just on the assumption that his material has never been done well so far - remember League of Extraordinary Gentlemen?).
Well there you have it; there may not be much to look forward to, but I guess that just means that each one canbe savoured that much more...