Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Are genre adaptations wanted

WANTED was a comic book story in which an ordinary bloke learned that he had superhuman powers that turned him into an superhero type working for a 'fraternity' set up to keep humanity on an even keel.

Timur Bekmambetov's film version of the story has jettisoned all of the superhero costumery stuff and turned the 'fraternity' into a group of assassins, but kept all the superhuman ability stuff, making the hero capable of curling bullets in flight, shooting other bullets out of the air, running fast and lots of other cool stuff.

No doubt the fans of the comic book will scream loud that the changes have ruined the source work.

Thing is, everything is subject to change in being made into a movie. History, for heaven sake, can't survive in the face of Hollywood's search for a story, so it's unlikely that mere comic books are going to fare better. Spider-Man had a number of changes made to it and still stayed true to the spirit and became one of the best-loved superhero films ever. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is regarded as a masterpiece of literary to film adaptation, but again takes a lot of liberties along the way.

The spirit of the thing is important, not the letter of it. Did it really matter than Constantine in the film was American and dark haired instead of British and blonde? If the spirit is lost then the name means nothing, but if the spirit is there then the details are unimportant.

We the fans get a little too caught up in the details of the shows, books, films and comics that we love and take it a little too personally when adaptations change details here and there.

Whatever you think of the fidelity of Bekmambetov's version of the Wanted comic book, it's a bonkers, action fest fun ride.

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