With the release of the big screen adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons Watchmen looming ever closer (I personally can not wait) it looks set to be the first adaptation of an Alan Moore graphic novel which could be good, banishing memories of the atrocious League of Extrodinary Gentlemen, the equally awful From Hell (read the novel it really is epic in every sense) and the slightly medicore V for Vendetta. So it makes me wonder bout other comic-to-film adaptations which I have either enjoyed or been bored though particually as the source matrieal for some is not ideal for filmmaking or even that intresting. Since 2000 there has been on average around 2 to 3 comic to film adaptations a year, the majority being Marvel comic based and I think this is down to the popularity of both the first Blade film and the first X-Men film. Immensley enjoyable both in their narrative and set pieces with Blade being the real standout with its bloody , brutal vampire rave which sets the tone for the rest of the film. Managing to be a mature comic book adaptation with a black superhero (or rather anti hero) and being better then its orignal 70’s source matieral.
Each year with each adaptation Marvel seem to be leading the pack with more hits then misses, last year there was both Iron Man and The Increible Hulk released a month between each other both containing elements which tied both films into something bigger (whether we will see the avengers film is another thing), and for geeky fanboys everywhere it was the start of something intresting, two Marvel characters from different film studios directly crossing over into each others films.
So at the moment Marvel is the forerunner for enjoyable film adaptations with DC slacking on the film front, its primery source being Batman (The Dark Knight is a pheonminal film) and Superman (which is being planned to be Re-booted again). It will be intresting to see characters such as The Green Lantern , Wonderwoman and The Flash (a personal favorate of mine) adapted on to the big screen instead of just tv series (which they are ultimately quite good at doing).
The last few years there has been a steady decline in Marvels film features such as Electra (felt rushed and quite shallow), Ghost rider which I actually enjoyed though not on a level as much as sayX-Men 2 or Spiderman 2 but purely for its wow factor of a flaming skull headed anti-hero. Same goes for Rise of The Silver Surfer the fantastic four sequal, the silver surfer was amazing to see on the big screen the rest of the film was a bit cheesy to say the least.
But comic book films seem to have a long way from the first adapatations , but pre-Blade and X-Men seemed to be missing that core spark that made them so much fun to watch, a film maker who was intrested in the various backstories and mythology of the characters, each new film seems to be written and directed (some better then others) by true fans of the source matieral and as Watchmen comes closer I hope this is a turning point for more faithful comic book adaptations.
Embrace the Inner Geek!