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Monday, September 05, 2005 

"TC" for terrorism chic?

The Seattle Times features an article about the upcoming adaptation of Alan Moore's V for Vendetta. And from what can be told here, it appears that Moore himself, perhaps not surprisingly (is anything surprising nowadays?), is not happy about the finished film:
The movie is based on an acclaimed graphic novel — but that book's author has called the screenplay "imbecilic" and wants nothing to do with the film. The lead actor was let go four weeks into the filming and his replacement never bothered to read the comic book. The main character is a masked terrorist on a rampage in London who uses the trains of the Underground to attack the government — a scenario that has proven too close to real life. And despite a trailer for the film that culminates in a voice-over telling the audience to "remember, remember the 5th of November" — a reference to the release date — the opening was delayed at first until February and then, most recently, until March.

(snip)

With so many travails, it's not unreasonable to wonder if this capes-on-cobblestones movie will end up in the same commercial litter box as the studio's "Catwoman," a universally ridiculed masked mishap.

If that fate befalls "Vendetta," it would be "bloody depressing" for legions of fans who have been looking forward to seeing the beloved graphic novel elevated into a socially provocative film. Producer Joel Silver ("The Matrix," "Lethal Weapon" franchises) acquired the rights to "V for Vendetta" in the late 1980s, at a time when the tale by writer Alan Moore and artist David Lloyd conjured up references of Margaret Thatcher and George Orwell — not Osama bin Laden.

"This is a movie that is special. ... It's about violence and society," Silver said in a recent phone interview. The producer spoke a bit more before the call came to an end. But he called back within the hour. "Look, we need help on this. We need people to understand what this movie is and what it's trying to do. Look, it is a controversial movie."

Silver can be forgiven for sounding a bit anxious about the road ahead. It'd be grossly unfair to say the movie is destined to be a train wreck. But even Silver can't argue that it's been a challenge just keeping this particular vehicle on track.

The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, made it awkward for any ensuing film that intended to casually pan across the New York skyline or weave scenes of urban carnage into a plot. Likewise, "Vendetta" is a film that has some echoes of the July attacks in London that used mass transit and bombs and left more than 50 people dead.
Given that this is a wire service article coming from the ultra-PC Los Angeles Times, it's to be expected that something is being glossed over or missed here. And by that, it may worse than just the real-life similarities the movie, if not the original miniseries, may contain. To get a clue of what could be inside Matrix writers' Larry and Andy Wachowski's latest film, here's part of an article from Front Page Magazine:
"V For Vendetta." From Warner Brothers and the creators of "The Matrix" comes this film about a futuristic Great Britain that's become a 'fascist state.' A masked 'freedom fighter' named V uses terror tactics (including bombing the London Underground) to undermine the government - leading to a climax in which the British Parliament is blown up. Natalie Portman stars as a skinhead who turns to 'the revolution' after doing time as a Guantanamo-style prisoner.
I'm going to be quite honest here now. I am not confortable with the idea of making that low a "punk revolutionary" movie, which Portman's being a skinhead implies this'll be. That just emphasizes just how parrot-phrasing this movie could actually turn out to be.

To comment on some more of this article from the LA Times:
Still unclear is whether the movie can get past the criticism leveled by Moore (who, like the Wachowskis, is press suspicious). He has asked that his name be taken off the credits and any checks (he said Warner Bros. should give Lloyd all the money for the story rights).
No kidding. The Wachowskis, the ones who put this movie together, are really press suspicious? Don't they know that publicity provided by the writers/directors is important too? Or, is it possible that they really did decline clear press coverage here, for fear that they would end up in an embarrassing light?

As for Moore himself, they say here:
An elusive figure who cooks up intricate tales of mythology and the fantastic, Moore has been burned again when those creations have ambled off the printed page on to the screen.

"Swamp Thing," "From Hell" and "The League of Extraordinary Gentleman" failed miserably to match Moore's words. And his masterpiece, "Watchmen," made history in comic books but has changed hands as a movie property repeatedly since 1980s and been treated brusquely along the way.

Moore himself despises Hollywood now.

He told the BBC in a rare interview that an ugly legal spat that followed the "Extraordinary Gentlemen" experience sealed his opinion of Hollywood.
I certainly can't blame him. In fact, this now reminds me of when I saw an article on Newsarama that seemed to say that he was "satisfied" with the LOEG movie. But now, after reading this, I wouldn't be surprised if they were misinforming.

Update: just as I thought. The ultra-PC Capt. Comics glosses over just about all of the hard questions surrounding this movie. Which just shows how unreliable the mainstream media is, even with comic related issues.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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