Film Trailers

When we saw The Dark Knight the other day, we also saw trailers for some upcoming films based on comic books.

First up was The Spirit, written and directed by Frank Miller, based on Will Eisner’s characters. The trailer looks downright awful, all noirish and with a cutesy sort of sex appeal combined with menace which seems utterly unlike the comics. I’m not a big fan of the source material, but it seems like Frank Miller is exactly the wrong person to adapt Eisner’s characters, which sprang from the tradition of newspaper adventure strips of the 30s and 40s. Miller over the last decade or so tends to take things to the extreme, which is entertaining when he’s working with his own characters (Sin City), but a disaster when working with others’ characters (The Dark Knight Strikes Again).

Anyway, based on this trailer, I can’t see myself going to see this film. (This trailer is slightly better, but extremely generic.)

By contrast, the trailer for Watchmen has been all the buzz on teh intarwebs this week, and it looks really good; many shots look like they were lifted directly from the graphic novel. My enthusiasm is somewhat tempered because adapting this story to a 2-3 hour film is extremely ambitious and I imaging they’ll either leave a lot out, or shorten many scenes, so I don’t expect it to have the same impact.

Still, based on this trailer, I can’t imagine myself not going to see this film.

(My copy of the graphic novel has been on loan to my friend Lee for a while. He reports that his cow-orkers have been coming into his office and thumbing through it since the trailer came out. So people are definitely interested in this film.)

By the way, it looks like grumpy old Alan Moore – the book’s author – has asked to not be associated with the Watchmen film, as the trailer site says the film is “based on the graphic novel illustrated by Dave Gibbons”. Whatever, dude.

2 thoughts on “Film Trailers”

  1. It looks like the first 25 minutes or so i.e. the first issue of the comic is available for free download from the iTunes Music Store. The Silk Spectre’s voice is all wrong, but everything else looks very cool.

  2. Never mind, that’s the Watchmen Motion Comics (from Warner Brothers). The movie trailer does look extremely slick.

    I would guess that adapting the story to the big screen will involve a lot of compromises – in particular, the careful arrangement of panels on the page tied to the dialogue and pacing will probably be lost in the movie. Some of it could be better – there’s a number of visual arrangements in the comic that might be easier to do in the movies – but I suspect a lot of it will just get snipped. We may also lose chunks of backstory, which is a shame.

    Still, I’ll be motivated to find a babysitter and take Susan next March!

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