Hooray, Something For Alan Moore To Bitch About

Courtesy of DC Comics
FOX is adapting League of Extraordinary Gentlemen as a TV series.

I'm going to pause to let that information sink in. League, a densely packed graphic novel love song to Victorian literature, was infamously adapted into a film that isn't that good, and successfully killed any joy Sean Connery got from making films, resulting in his retirement (he remains, however, the best thing about the movie). It was also another in a long string of adaptations of his works that Alan Moore was extraordinarily vocal against, demanding that his name be removed from the project, he didn't have creative control over his own works, etc. etc. I understand his arguments, and agree with them to a point, though with League I was less sympathetic because the characters are all public domain, and the plot of the film bares only a cursory resemblance to the originating book. Moore's opinion on the matter is that he's stealing characters and creating original stories for them to take part in, while adaptations are just lazy excuses to feed off of someone else's creativity. It's a fine line, but I do agree that the better adaptations are the ones that use the characters, but create their own plots (look, largely, at the Marvel Cinematic Universe).

Anyway, I've gotten off topic, which is that FOX, the only America network to give science fiction a chance, has ordered a "push pilot," which means there will be financial repercussions for the network if they don't pick the series up, meaning it will probably at least get a short order. Michael Green, late of The River, is running the show, but no word on other writers or cast. In fact, no word on which characters will be involved, though one imagines it will stick closely to the Alan Quatermain/Mina Harper/Invisible Man/Dr. Jekyll/Captain Nemo lineup of the original book. There series will, it is wisely assumed, share no connection to the film, though the non-Connery cast cannot be said to have been the film's weakness either.

This comes on the heels of the announcement of Showtime's picking up of Penny Dreadful from John Logan and Sam Mendes, which is described as a "psychosexual horror series" set in the Victorian era, featuring Dr. Frankenstein, Dorian Grey (who was an addition to the League film) and several Dracula characters. With NBC already teasing their horrible looking Dracula adaptation, it makes me wonder if FOX has decided to rush development of the League series to compete with these developments, all of which are free to use the same characters so long as they fall into the public domain. Which means, at some point in the next year, there could be three separate versions of the character of Dracula on TV.

One can't help but wonder if the popularity and success of Sherlock and Elementary are partly to blame for the resurgence of using the classic Victorian characters. Or if it was just an accountant realising they didn't have to pay for any of the character rights.

Via Collider.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.

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