The mythical writer of Watchmen, or the Killing Joke, Alan Moore, harshly criticizes superhero cinema in an interview for Deadline
It is not unknown to anyone that the relationship between Alan Moore and the cinema has not been anything good for the creator of Watchmen or V for Vendetta, who has always harshly criticized the way of taking his stories to the big screen, even leading him to make the decision to not allowing his name to be tied for these kinds of projects, even refusing to profit from the big screen incarnations, a decision he estimates has cost him millions. This time the mythical screenwriter has not missed the opportunity to do the same by criticizing superhero cinema during an interview with Deadline, on the occasion of the presentation of his own project, The Show.
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Now Alan Moore is trying to break into the movie business by setting his own terms with The Show, a film he has written and for which his first trailer was released this week. Directed by Mitch Jenkins and starring Tom Burke, which tells a fantastic adventure, set in Northampton, the hometown of writer and screenwriter Alan Moore, which follows a man's search for a stolen artifact, a journey that takes him to a world surreal crime and mystery.
Moore, in his interview with Deadline to discuss The Show, stated that it has been an exciting project for him and his producers, keeping it independent every step of the way, insisting on maintaining creative control and rights to his own intellectual property. After making several short films and now this feature film, Moore has plans for a television series based on the same characters and has already produced material for 4 or 5 seasons. The film can be seen tomorrow at the Sitges Fantastic Film Festival in the Noves Visions section.
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But he also spoke in it of the moment in which he decided to retire from the world of comics after finishing The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in 2018 and his opinion about the comic and film industry. Saying that “I'm not so interested in comics anymore, I don't want to have anything to do with them. I had been making comics for forty-odd years when I finally retired. When I entered the comics industry, the great appeal was that it was a medium that was vulgar, it had been created to entertain the working class, especially children. The way the industry has changed, now it's ‘graphic novels’, it has a full price for an audience of middle class people. I have nothing against middle-class people, but it wasn't meant to be a medium for middle-aged fans. It was meant to be a medium for people who don't have a lot of money.
Most people equate comics with superhero movies now. That adds another layer of difficulty for me. I haven't seen a superhero movie since Tim Burton's first Batman movie. They have ruined the cinema and also the culture to some extent. Several years ago I said that I thought it was a really disturbing sign, that hundreds of thousands of adults were lining up to see characters that were created 50 years ago to entertain 12-year-olds. That seemed to speak of a kind of longing to escape the complexities of the modern world and return to a nostalgic and remembered childhood. That seemed dangerous, it infantilized the population.
This may be a pure coincidence, but in 2016, when the American people chose a National Socialist satsuma and the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, six of the 12 highest-grossing films were superhero films. I don't mean that one causes the other, but I think both are symptoms of the same thing: a denial of reality and a need for simplistic and sensational solutions. "
About the difficult situation that the comic industry is going through due to the pandemic, he said: “I doubt that the main companies will come out of the blockade in any way. The mainstream comic industry is in its 80s and has many pre-existing health conditions. It didn't look so good before COVID happened.
Most of our entertainment industries have been a bit heavy for a while. The big corporations, the business interests, have so much money that they can produce these gigantic blockbusters of one kind or another that will dominate their markets. I can see that that is changing, and perhaps for the better. It is too early to make optimistic predictions, but it is to be expected that larger interests will find it more difficult to maneuver in this new landscape, while smaller independent interests may find it a bit more adapted. These times could be an opportunity for genuinely radical and new voices to come to light in the absence of yesteryear. "
But the most critical moment of the interview came when they asked him if he watched superhero movies and what did he think of Joker, a movie starring Joaquin Phoenix and how good reviews it had received: “Oh, God, no, I don't see any of them. All of these characters have been stolen from their original creators, all of them. They have a long line of ghosts behind them. In the case of Marvel movies, Jack Kirby (the Marvel artist and writer). I'm not interested in superheroes, they were something that was invented in the late 1930s for kids and they're perfectly good as children's entertainment. But if you try to make them for the adult world, I think it gets kind of grotesque.
More and more I think the best version of Batman was Adam West
I've been told that the Joker movie wouldn't exist without my Joker story (1988's Batman: The Killing Joke), but three months after writing it I was disowning it, it was too violent: it was Batman for Christ, it's a guy dressed as a bat. More and more I think that the best version of Batman was Adam West, who did not take it seriously. We have a kind of superhero character on The Show, but if we get a chance to develop them further, people will see that all the characters have quite unusual aspects. "
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