News this week from Hollywood is that the on-again/off-again live-action ‘Akira’ movie (produced by Leonardo DeCaprio) may in fact be once again on, with a previous director Jaume Collet-Serra set to try and actually bring his vision to life with a realistic budget and expectations.  Long saddled with fan-hate, the efforts to adapt the legendary animated film have been difficult, with lots of arguments over the best way to faithfully recreate the magic of the original film.  (Of course, the fact that the 1988 version of the tale varies greatly from the original manga, especially at the end, is usually glossed over by purists.)  Still, I can totally see the point that they’ll have a hard time making a movie as good as the original, which does beg a query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) would have had an obvious answer for this one, but was surprised at how effective the Legion of Super-Heroes cartoon was at capturing the old-school 30th century magic, asking: What beloved stories do you think would be impossible to adapt to another medium?

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

7 Comments

  1. Of the top of my head:
    – Robotech (live action movie, which is in development Hell last I heard)
    – Kick-Ass (the 1st movie at least took away all that made the comic original for a standard super-hero plot line)
    – Wanted (I don’t see how you can make the original story into a movie, at all)
    – Birds of Prey (too much character development required, you’d need 12 movies)
    – Incorruptible/Irredeemable (at least I can’t think any adaptation could do it justice)

  2. I second the aforementioned Incorruptible/Irredeemable.

    I’ve got a really bad feeling about the coming Ender’s Game movie — doubly so if they go on to tackle the rest of the series. It’s too heady.

    • I’d love to see Speaker for the Dead make the transition, and it maybe could but I think the disconnect from the actors of the first movie would scare a studio.

      Anything beyond that, while I still love it, it’s too out there for usual movie audience. I don’t think the Shadow series can happen unless Bean really steals the show in the movie, and even then only maybe… half of the first book, and a blitz through the rest of the series.

  3. Sandman – Maybe some stories could be adapted, but certainly not the whole thing, and so many parts rely so much on the visual aesthetics

    Swamp Thing (Alan Moore run) – Too weird, too much visual

    Batwoman – So much of the Batwoman run (minus 52) has been dependent of the beautiful art, I think something would be lost transitioning this

    Metal Gear Solid – Too much would be cut, plus it’s very complicated (until the last 2 hours makes it all make sense)

    Monster – Beyond the already great transition into anime, I don’t see a live action version of this working, unless it gets the HBO GoT type treatment of many seasons of great acting.

  4. The 1001 Arabian Nights as a whole. Far too long with too many stories within stories. Parts of it have been adapted before, and done well, but the tales as a whole? Not so much. Hypothetically, it could be a great basis for a long running television series.

  5. The list is endless: Taylor Anderson’s Destroyermen series done as live action movies, but I doubt they’d be able to do the books justice, or perhaps John Birmingham’s Weapons of Change series, which is sort of a modern take on Final Countdown, only better done. I’d like to see Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind done as a movie – I know there was an anime that actually predated the manga, but the manga was so much better than the anime… Starstruck would also be a candidate – the story originated as an off-Broadway play, so it has the potential to be filmable, but since Kaluta and Lee have never finished the bloody thing, I doubt it would work as a movie, which is a pity.

  6. Asterios Polyp. If you’ve read it, you’ll know why. The entire product from cover to cover is focused on presenting the thematic elements of the story. The lettering, colours, panels, all work together in harmony. It’s a thing of beauty, and quite simply the best graphic novel of all time (in my opinion).

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