There are no shortage of film heroes on the big screen that have found their origins in comic books. Some of the biggest hits at the movies have been based around superhero comic book characters. A closer look into the film industry uncovers more characters in films that started in comic books than one would realize.
Sin City was a series of comics introduced by Frank Miller in 1991 in the Dark Horse manuals. The comic was turned into a film in 2005 and produced in the same neo noir style that the comic had been written in. A fine cast including Micky Rourke, Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis and Clive Owen were able to recreate the dark shadowy characters in a series of dark plots. Filmed partly in black and white the atmosphere of the comic book was recreated perfectly on the film set.
The Addams family have found fame as both a television series and also on film. Many people forget that the Addams Family started in the New Yorker in 1938 as a cartoon strip and ran until 1988. The film was released in 1991 and was brought alive by the fine acting skills of Angelica Huston and Raul Julia. The characters, such as Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday and Lurch were skillfully transferred from the comic page to the screen’s stage.
Not all transitions from the comic book to the film goes so smoothly. The film “From Hell” was released in 2001 and was supposed to be an adaptation to the comic book “From Hell” which was published from 1989 until 1996. The first thing the film makers did was to change the main character from being an older conservative detective to a younger character played by Jonny Depp. The writer of the comic Alan Moore was not amused. He described Depp’s character as an “absinthe swigging dandy”.
Moore has been described as the best graphic novel writer in history but has never had a positive opinion on adapting comics from the books to the screen. He felt by writing comics for books made them completely special. This changed when they were turned into films. Another film where the relationship between the comic and the film is not a very close one is “2 Guns”. The comic book is a wry witty caper with little violence. The script that Denzil Washington and Mark Wahlberg follow is far more violent with plenty of foul language. The wise cracks between the pair make it an entertaining movie but it bears little resemblance to the original comic.
The comic book “Men in Black” not only had one successful film but a number of sequels as well. The book ran from 1990 until 1997 with the first film being released in 1997. The films were massive successes but whether this was as a result of the fantastic comic book stories or the quality of the acting relationship between Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones is yet to be decided. There are many other examples of comic books being recreated on film sets and there have been many examples where they have proved to be of great benefit to both the comic book and film industry. However, not every adaptation has been a successful one with the relationship between the comic writers and the film directors on occasions being a tense one.