Does anyone remember back in 2003 when Fox put out an abysmally terrible adaptation of Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which the studio creatively abbreviated to LXG on the posters? It was pretty universally panned and received a mere 17% on Rotten Tomatoes. This was ostensibly because of poor handling of the story on the studio’s part as the graphic novels earned accolades and were generally well received by the public.
Well, leave it to Hollywood to ensure that nothing terrible ever stays truly dead. It was announced in May that Fox Studios was going to go for a mulligan and try, again, to adapt Moore’s comic to the big screen. Producer John Davis was interviewed where he stated he thinks he knows why the first movie did so poorly.
Just by going back to the roots and making it authentic to what the fan base was really excited about. It’s female-centric, which I think is interesting. I love female characters, point-of-view characters in action movies. I thought Mad Max was great. I think you can always find a fresh way of doing something and going back to the basics. What is that people love? What is it that made them love the property in the first place?
I’m not normally one who embraces the whole female reboot idea. I, along with many other fans of the original, am still pretty upset about the upcoming all-female reboot of Ghostbusters. Just go to the comments section of any story about the reboot and you’ll see the anger first hand. Most of the vitriol aimed at director at Paul Feig is because of mucking about with one of the most beloved films of many people’s childhood. He’s changing a core aspect of the story and replacing the people who defined the roles with sad wannabes.
So here’s the difference between Ghostbusters and the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The original comic story had a female lead. This was changed in the movie most likely because of Sean Connery’s star status. The original main character Mina Murray (AKA Mina Harker in the movie) helped form the League and acted as their leader. This is a far cry from her role in the movie. I’m perfectly ok with the story focusing on her character because, like I said, that follows the story of the comic.
Consistency is important. When writers, directors, and producers go around changing core aspects of stories, especially in the guise of a “reboot” or “re-imagining,” they sometimes miss the point of what made the original appealing to audiences. Many times cashing in on an established brand and fan base is just far too tantalizing for a creative team to ignore. That leads to undoubted failures like the new Ghostbusters movie is sure to be. I don’t see the same thing happening if they go this route with a new League movie. Fans of the comics might actually forgive the studio’s initial missteps if they produce a halfway decent adaptation that’s true to the source material.
We can only hope.