249: Corporate Fanfic

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No one mentioned the 1985 adaption of Clue? Yeah, it was a board game to movie adaption - and it wasn't that bad. It was a playful family movie, with a killer cast.

Edit: The article said the best case-scenario of movie adaption is grave robbing, but what about authors like Stephen King or Neil Gaiman who are more than happy to have their work adapted to other mediums? You get authors who co-operate with directors and vice versa, and they often create amazing landmark films. It really depends on the author, the property, and the care that goes into the movie's production. Sometimes things are misjudged and a movie tanks, but if all the stars align then you get a great adaption.

TheodoreLuke:
The main problem i had with the Watchmen movie was the way they OVERSTATED everything, from the sex scenes to the sound track to the gore and the blue wang compared to the subtleties of the comic.

That was one of many problems with it.

@vortexgods, good bit of typing there, especially regarding the squid. Even if you go with the thought that the monster in the comic about comics was a hark back to EC so it wouldn't be effective in a film, there's enough giant squid/monster epics of a classic nature to argue the same point in a film that SHOULD have been about comic adaptations in film and not about a film nut having a glorified wank over material he didn't understand.

Hey, you forgot the film adaptation of Beowulf. Grendel's mom's never been more... HOT!

SuperChurl:
Honestly it was the buildup to the Watchmen movie that kind of ruined it for me; months of interviews with Snyder playing up how faithful the movie would be to the book. And then... it wasn't. It kept the characters--kind of--and went through the motions, but it replaced crucial and characterful dialogue with Hollywood mush, played self-depreciating parts straight, and glorified in the violence Moore was writing against, radically changing the tone if not the message of the original... Apparently in Snyder's mind a deluge of f-bombs and gore are all that's required to tell an "adult story", without regard for subtlety or maturity. And seriously, a faithful adaptation means more than making sure the props in the background match the comic panels perfectly.

Don't get me wrong, it was an entertaining audio-visual spectacle that genuinely felt like a labour of love, and of course there's no way everything could have been crammed into one film. I did enjoy it; but I felt a little cheated at just how far the film deviated from its roots in ways beyond costume and colour scheme.

By contrast I totally loved Sin City, which I thought preserved the grit, tone and spirit of the comics, without compromising the entertainment value of the end result. "Put the original creator in the director's seat"? Fuckin' A.

...Not that Frank Miller's other attempt at directing was exactly stellar...

You're the second peson I've come across with this attitude (Disliked Watchmen, liked Sin City, is a fan of both comics) but I've never read either comic and I love the Watchmen film, but I dislike Sin City. I felt that it was very schizophrenic and obsessed with sex and violence for no other reason than sex and violence, like a generic action movie only with a cool CG color palette. I don't understand what there is to like about it.

What we have here isn't fanfiction, but someone taking an original premise and putting their spin on it.

In my own opinion, proper fanfiction should not be used as a retcon tool, but as a continuation of the creative world. Perhaps a proper way - maybe even the ONLY way - for Mr. Snyder to act was;

- Recreate the graphic novel EXACTLY as it was, only in movie format (i.e. you could use the comic to storyboard the movie exactly, giant squid and all)

or, as i'd have liked to see;

- Continue the story from where Mr. Moore left off.

In the correct hands, and with enough dedication and commitment from the creative team, a continuation can be a godsend to a franchise and/or story. People wishing for 'more, more!' get their proverbial fill, and the creators all get a nice slice of profit (extra points if the original creator gets in on the action, even if its at a consultant position).

Never-mind the nay-sayers, the internet tough-guys who would certainly flame it like an Alien egg within the Queen's hive - if the sequel was done properly, those delegating insults would be far and few between - you cant do any real damage with a low caliber bullet (unless it is aimed properly, but thats up to the professional critics, like MovieBob or Yahtzee).

I'm not sure I equate adaptations and sequals as fanfiction entirely. It's not like Watchmen was made specifically to fix the ending, whereas that is the reason a lot of fanfic gets written. I see the similarities, but it's rare an author / filmaker can get away with re-writing someone else's work simply due to taste. If anything I agree with the decision: if you're going to adpat something anyway, no point in leaving in any major faults of the original.

I say rarely because you missed the most glaring example of fanfic attitudes brought to professional work: Spider Man - One More Day / Brand New Day. Quesada wasn't happy with the Spidey books, so he takes a quick cheap shortcut story to "magicaly" change or remove anything he didn't like, not just the marrage to Mary Jane. I had no problem with the concept of the story, but the way it was shoved down our throats so Joe Q could have his single Spider Man again really left me wondering if he took lessons from Fanfictiong.net.

And it certainly isn't always a disaster. Edits and changes aside, Lord of the Rings came off very well, as did Battlestar Galactica.

Few things. First, being a film guy, I take your signature line as a challenge to adapt your article into a short film...consider this my official "I'm taking your challenge" statement. Second Couldn't agree more with your use of Watchmen as a prime example of this corporate fanfic. I love the book, liked the movie enough to buy it.

My example of corporate fanfic comes from the original author. Kick-Ass the movie, vs Kick-Ass the comic. The movie was dumbed down with the author's blessing, I find it intriguing that he did that. It assuredly got corporat-ified. Love the book and the film, and while the film is alot more fun, the book is a much better deconstruction of the genre in my opinion.

I love finding some of the escapist's great old articles.

Its definately true that the majority of cinematic adaptations are just fan-wank. I think hollywood needs to put more effort into getting the creators on board.

What happens when a great creator directs an adaptation of his/her own work? Look no further than Akira:)

Although thats getting remade by a poor horror director so I guess nothing is safe:(

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