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Exclusive: Why Alan Moore Hates Comic-Book Movies


It seems hard to believe after the epic struggle to get it to the big screen, but it’s only a matter of weeks before we can all go and see Watchmen at the cinema.

We, like you, can’t bloody wait. But there’s one man who definitely won’t be seeing it, not now, not ever.

totalfilm.com sat down with Alan Moore to find out why he hates the film industry so much.

As you might expect, he doesn't hold back. So if you’re easily offended, look away now...

1. Comics don’t work as films.


“The main reason why comics can’t work as films is largely because everybody who is ultimately in control of the film industry is an accountant.

These people may be able to add up and balance the books, but in every other area they are stupid and incompetent and don’t have any talent.

And this is why a film is going to be a work that’s done by dozens and dozens and dozens, if not hundreds of people.

They’re going to show it to the backers and then they’re going to say, we want this in it, and this in it... and where’s the monster?”
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2. Hollywood is full of idiots.

“We had one particularly dense Hollywood producer say, ‘You don’t even have to do the book, just stick your name on this idea and I’ll make the film and you’ll get a lot of money – it’s… The League Of Extraordinary Animals! It’ll be like Puss In Boots!’ And I just said, 'No, no, no. Never mention this to me again.'”

3. Comics are better than blockbusters.


“There is more integrity in comics. It sounds simplistic, but I believe there is a formula that you can apply to almost any work of modern culture...

The more money that’s involved in a project the less imagination there will be in the project, and vice versa. If you’ve got zero budget, you’re John Waters, you’re Jean Cocteau, you’re going to make a brilliant film.”
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4. Films are a waste of money.

“100 million dollars – that’s what they spent on the Watchmen film which nearly didn’t come out because of the lawsuit, that’s what they spent on The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen which shouldn’t have come out but did anyway.

Do we need any more shitty films in this world? We have quite enough already. Whereas the 100 million dollars could sort out the civil unrest in Haiti. And the books are always superior, anyway.”

5. Movie contracts are ridiculous.

“The League film cost 100 million because Sean Connery wanted 17 million of that - and a bigger explosion that the one he’d had in his last film. It’s in his contract that he has to have a bigger explosion with every film he’s in.

In The Rock he’d blown up an island, and he was demanding in The League that he blow up, was it Venice or something like that? It would have been the moon in his next movie.”
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6. The modern American comics industry is ideologically flawed.

“Back when I wrote Watchmen I still trusted the viperous bastards, I had a different feeling about American superhero comics and what they meant.

I’ve recently come to the point where I think that basically most American superhero comics, and this is probably a sweeping generalisation, they’re a lot like America’s foreign policy.

America has an inordinate fondness for the unfair fight.

That’s why I believe guns are so popular in America – because you can ambush people, you can shoot them in the back, you can behave in a very cowardly fashion. Friendly fire, or as we call it everywhere else in the world, American fire.

If you’re up there in the stratosphere so that everything on the ground looks like ants, it might be insurgents, it might be an Iraqi wedding party, it might be some English soldiers.

There’s that beautiful bit of dialogue from the cockpit video when they say, “You’ve just bombed a load of Brits.” Their pilots say, “Woah, dude, we’re going to jail.” This is the Iraq war, not Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure!

I believe that the whole thing about superheroes is they don’t like it up them. They would prefer not to get involved in a fight if they don’t have superior firepower, or they’re invulnerable because they came from the planet Krypton when they were a baby.

I genuinely think it’s this squeamishness that’s behind the American superhero myth. It’s the only country where it’s really taken hold. As Brits, we'll go to see American superhero films, just like the rest of the world, but we never really created superheroes of our own.

And as Londoners, when we had that little bit of bother on the 7th July 2005 – after America had two big buildings blown up... Terrible shame, but we had a lot more than two buildings blown up during the ‘40s when America was providing most of the munitions to Hitler...

But when it happened in England, what was the reaction of the American forces on the 8th of July, as soon as those bombs went off? They pulled the American servicemen outside of the M25, because London was too dangerous for the armed and trained American military men.

Then after a few days, they thought, actually, this does look kind of bad, even for America, let’s creep back into London and pretend we’ve been here all the time.”

Alan Moore’s latest project, Lost Girls, is on sale now.
 

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