As if Alan Moore’s work has not been butchered enough by the motion picture industry, it looks like Fox is going to have a go at one of Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s crowning works. Yes, they want to make a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen TV series. Now maybe I am been a bit harsh on the adaptations of Moore’s work. While Watchmen was pretty good (but not without its flaws) and V for Vendetta certainly had its moments, none of these films have ever come close to the raw emotion and amazement you get from reading the source material. Moore himself is very aware of this, having distanced himself quite publicly from every adaptation so far. Fox’s plans for the book are as follows:
[quote]“A drama series based on Alan Moore’s critically and commercially successful graphic novel series about a group of Victorian-age literary characters, including Captain Nemo, the Invisible Man, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, who team up to fight a common enemy.” [/quote]
Not really much to go on at this stage, but what Fox really needs to do is take a good hard look at the abomination that was The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie starring Sean Connery, and do the exact opposite from that. Turning Moore and O’Neill’s work into an action epic took away most of the wit and charm of the book and dumbed it down for a movie going audience that could have coped with its dark edge. If you take it as a below average popcorn movie it can be quite the enjoyable guilty pleasure, but when you remember what source material this film actually came from it takes all of the joy away from repeat viewings.
Fox already has a team in place with the show runner for Kings, Heroes, and The River; Michael Green taking on multiple roles as writer/executive producer/showrunner, and Erwin Stoff (The Matrix) producing (per Collider).
Could the books work as a TV series is the main thing we have to ask ourselves here? There is a wealth of material from the books, and numerous storylines branching out throughout history, so it could be good if Fox followed this template and had each season follow the various incarnations of the League as they live through the different decades. The television format has proved it can successfully adapt great stuff like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, though less so on network television. If structured correctly though, I think there is potential here but that’s a big IF.
There are other comic book series out there more deserving of a TV show than The League, which has already had its time in the sun Fables for example could be a great book for TV expansion. For the sanity of Alan Moore fans everywhere I certainly hope it will be better than the movie was…