20th Century Fox are developing a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen reboot [because that’s what 20th Century Fox do now – Tom].
News surfaced last week that 20th Century Fox are working on a reboot of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. If you’re not familiar with the premise, imagine The Avengers crossed with the Penguin Classics section of a bookshop. The comics were great, but can Fox deliver the film that the fans deserve?
Suited and Rebooted
Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s critically acclaimed comic-series, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (1999), takes place in an alternate steampunk version of the Victorian era and features famous literary characters such as Allan Quartermain (King Solomon’s Mines), Mina Harker (Dracula), Captain Nemo (Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea), Dr Henry Jekyll (The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde) and Hawley Griffin (Invisible Man) teaming up to fight a host of nefarious villains.
Sound familiar? Fox released the first League movie back in 2003, and it was a flop. It didn’t fare well at the box office and the mere mention of it is enough to send some fans into a rage that would put Dr Jekyll to shame. The film was far from perfect, but with hindsight, it’s not too bad. Well, it’s bad but it’s not unwatchable. It seems to be on TV every week, and the more I see it, the less I hate it.
Sure, it’s not the masterpiece we could have hoped for but it’s definitely not the worst thing that Fox has done to comicbook fans, remember what happened to Deadpool in X-Men Origins? At least in this they didn’t sew up Quartermain’s mouth, or give Captain Nemo the ability to teleport. The point is, Fox’s attempt at The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen wasn’t great, but it could have been worse. That’s what worries me. They could now be making something much, much worse.
A few years ago there were rumours of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen being developed into a TV series, but it never really got off of the ground. In my opinion that would have been a better choice. Rather than trying to replace one bad film with (what could be) another, they could have taken a different approach. The comics really lend themselves to the episodic format as you could introduce new characters week by week and spend a bit more time developing complicated story arcs.
Alas, it’s not to be. I’m trying to remain optimistic about the reboot, but I don’t really have much confidence in Fox. It feels like they are desperately trying to make their comicbook franchises work, but never quite matching the success of Marvel’s cinematic universe. Here’s hoping that they prove me wrong, but I’m not going to hold my breath.
One thing is for certain though; Alan Moore will probably hate it. He hates everything.
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