Hum. This is sure to get some chins wagging.
Producer John Davis recently announced that work is progressing on a “female-centric” re-boot of “The League Of Extraordinary Gentleman”, the 2003 movie which was a loose (“loose” as in, both were written using the english language and featured a character named “Nemo”) adaptation of the Alan Moore/Kevin O’Neil comic book mini-series. If I sound dismissive of the 2003 effort, I will simply note that it is most remarked upon these days as the movie that drove star Sean Connery into retirement.
Davis, whose credits include “I, Robot”, “Norbit” and the current “Man From U.N.C.L.E.” re-imagining, made specific mention of “Mad Max: Fury Road” in his comments on the “League” re-envisioning. As reported by Collider, Davis made the remarks at the Television Critics Association press tour stating: “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.”
I’ll say this much: he’s not wrong about “Mad Max: Fury Road”, that’s for certain.
“The League Of Extradorinary Gentleman” posited the idea that a select cadre of fictional Victorian characters worked against sinister and supernatural threats to the British Empire. In the comics, Moore played his usual iconoclastic games with the characters, making Allan Quartermain an opium-addled wreck, for one; The Invisible Man into a sociopathic sex offender for another. Director Stephen Harrington’s movie, needless to say, played it much safer; adding a studly Tom Sawyer into the mix so that Connery could have a few crushingly unsubtle “character” beats and, more importantly, so young American Males wouldn’t feel left out amidst all those pasty Brits.
At any rate this is at the very least in “development” stage. I will note that since it’s Fox that owns film rights to “League” this may simply be legal gearing up to re-brand, uh, I mean, re-think the property so that they keep their option open. (A process I shall hereafter refer to as “Fantastic4ing that shit”) As a wise man once said: we’ll see.
Honestly, I don’t see how any version could be worse than the 2003 movie. How in the hell you take a premise as exciting, rich and bizarre as the original comic book and turn it into such a thuddingly dull bag of cliches is, frankly, an almost impressive feat of reverse engineering. I’m sure the usual suspects will be up in arms about the gender swapping aspect of this re-thingamujigging of “The League…” but I’m optimistic. I have to be honest, my first thought on hearing the news was “What characters would *I* pick for a (mostly) Female League?”
Because, let’s be honest, there is no way that Hollywood would ever do a straight adaptation of Moore’s original. Just get that thought out of our collective heads. So. Given that they’re doing this because they suddenly woke up and realized that they’ve been essentially neglecting over half of the ticket-buying population for, oh gosh, EVER and not really out of any particular love/respect for the source material, who SHOULD be in a League of Extraordinary Ladyfolk?
My early picks? Well…
I’d keep Mina Murray (nee Harker) as a link to the original comic AND because she’s an awesome character as Moore originally wrote her.
Irene Adler from Sherlock Holmes mythology. Obvious, perhaps, but still a must.
Carrie Nation, the American prohibitionist would neatly fit the Mr. Hyde/”strongman” role, as well as reassuring the American audience in the midst of all those pasty Brits.
Catherine Earnshaw (of “Wuthering Heights”) could be a half-ghost/human “something”. Woah. Wait. That could actually be totally awesome.
Ayesha from “She”, by H. Rider Haggard who also gave us Allan Quartermain, so… links!
I don’t hate this idea. I guess the success or failure of the new Ghostbusters will be used as some kind of “litmus” test by Hollywood, so… if that does well (which, really, it should. I mean, that cast? That director? It has no excuse not be great.) I feel confident that Hollywood will attempt to fuck up this near un-fuck-upable property in all new ways. Again.
Like I said: I’m an optimist.