Comic-Con is nearly two weeks past (I know, crazy!), but the trades and movie sites are still feeling the aftershock of Hall H buzz, and are still buried in piles of roundtable transcription. Now comes the time of the backlash, and if you follow Heidi MacDonald's excellent blog The Beat, you'll see the complaints and criticisms pour in from the press right down to the humble individuals working the merchandise booths. Mixed in with the general "Dear god, what did we do for four days?" horror is Anne Thompson's Studios Play It Safe piece which I feel is reflective of the films trotted out at the con. As Thompson notes, "Every studio is desperately seeking franchises, tentpoles, remakes, reboots, prequels and sequels. Original is a dirty word. It means having to start something from scratch with no safety zone. We know that books, plays, tv shows, videogames, theme park rides, comics and graphic novels are easier to make than anything original."

Now, I whole-heartedly agree with Thompson (heck, my second column ever was about the same thing), but I will argue that adapting literature, be it novels or comic books, isn't something to be frowned on. An original story is an original story regardless of what kind of page it appears on, and I don't think prior publication eliminates a property from being just as daring and original on the big screen. One of the reasons I love the comic book world is that it's a culture that's rife with edgy stories -- stories that are told in a picture-panel form because they're cinematic stories, but stories that are unable to be told on the big screen. No studio would have ever made Sandman, Watchmen, or Preacher into a movie, but slap those stories into a two dimensional panel, and they became legendary, and lusted after by Hollywood. I like that, even if I'm skeptical that something as unwieldy as Preacher or Y: The Last Man can be properly adapted.
categories Cinematical