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    • CommentAuthorThe_Doc
    • CommentTimeJul 1st 2011 edited
     (9986.1)
    Hey Ellis/all,

    I write for Examiner.com as Monroe Pop Culture-mahoozitz where I cover Comics, movies, music, tv, etc. and have penned this article describing why I think the Authority should be made into a feature film. Quite frankly i'm astounded someone hasn't jumped onto this thing earlier. (But then, HBO wanted no parts of Ennis' opus, CW turned their collective noses up at GF and a thousand stars had to line up before Walking Dead got greenlit so no accounting for taste, eh?)

    Comic book series that would make great TV shows or Films: The Authority

    Those of you who know and love the Authority like me probably know all of this, it's written moreso for those people who don't even know this stuff exists. Still, I think it would be interesting to have this discussion, especially in light of the current onslaught of comic based films.

    So thoughts, is there a chance of this actually becoming, y'know, a thing, or am I just pissing in the wind at this point? (I still maintain that the Series of Fuckeried Events that has been the handling of The Authority property of late have been a coordinated effort by TPTB to silence the popular new kids because they were starting to make those tired old men look bad.)

    But yeah, thoughts forum?
    • CommentAuthorrdouek
    • CommentTimeJul 1st 2011
     (9986.2)
    Well, of course it would make an awesome movie... that goes without saying!

    Still, I just don't see it happening. You have to appreciate the sheer amount of money that would have to go into making it in order for it to look good - and weigh that against the fact that there are very, very few people outside of comics fandom who know who the Avengers, or the JLA are, much less the Authority.

    Look at what it's taken for Marvel to do the Avengers as a film. They had to do what, 5 or 6 movies to establish the main characters individually, because if they had to do that in one film, there wouldn't have been time for an actual plot. So to make an Authority film, you'd have to make 6 additional films just so the public could learn who the hell these people are. And no studio is going to bank that.

    The only feasible thing I can think of would be an adult-oriented animated series, almost like what HBO did with Spawn back in the '90s. Even that is probably a pipe dream, but its probably the best way to get the characters some more mainstream exposure. I say animated because the budget would be probably be much more feasible than live-action.

    Don't get me wrong. I love, love, love the Authority. Its just that its so big in scope, and sadly, not so widely known outside of comics, that its practically impossible to see any kind of movie getting done. I mean, unless it was one of those god-awful SyFy films where they just throw the original material out and used horrible CGI and C-list actors... and I don't think any of us want to see that!
    •  
      CommentAuthorCOOP
    • CommentTimeJul 1st 2011
     (9986.3)
    "Nothing carries a film as well as it's characters and The Authority is full of interesting personalities."

    Dude, "it's" is a contraction of "it is". APOSTROPHE FAIL
  1.  (9986.4)
    The difference is Disney purchased Marvel to make big budget films of its properties. DC purchased Wildstorm... basically to kill it.
    • CommentAuthorThe_Doc
    • CommentTimeJul 1st 2011 edited
     (9986.5)
    Coop-- Agh, my mistake. An annoying habit of mine that I really have to work on. Corrected.

    Also rdouek, you make a good point but do remember how very little we knew about these characters' personal lives during Ellis' initial run. The whole point of it all was that it was a nonstop action movie, very light on the introspective bits. Super-decompression, huge action scenes, kicks and 'splosions, all done at the hand of a master's brush, so you knew more about these people from implication than could ever be said through words and melodrama. As I mentioned sure, entire movies could be dedicated to any one of the main characters' backstories. That's the beauty of it, how so many mad ideas get halcyon collided against one another with no regard for propriety and no interest in toning it down. And it all works beautifully.

    It wasn't until Millar opened the floodgates by making them the superhero version of Bono that we started down the road that would inevitably lead to the situation we have now. Things that were briefly mentioned during Ellis' run, the very things that worked so well as understatements got brought to the forefront and made main issues. Doctor went from a psychotropic drug user expanding his consciousness to a heroin addict on the cover of the Enquirer. Li-Min went from a badass warrior woman to a preachy ultrafeminist. Apollo and Midnighter went from two characters who'd sooner punch you in the mouth than stand around talking about "their feelings" to Jenny's big gay dads. The Authority went from a team operating on a global scale dedicated to the betterment of all mankind to a predominantly USA fixated group of political dissidents. I would have thought Ellis established their purpose was much larger than that. It was the comic equivalent of a writer taking over Charles Schulz's work and being proclaimed a genius for finally allowing Charlie Brown to kick the football. Sure, it's easy enough to get that brief pop of applause, but there's really nowhere else to go from there. Granted his execution of the premise was more skillful than most, but I had a snaking feeling what would come in the hands of lesser talents. And even before his own run was over those fill-in issues verified just what i'd been fearing. Four whole issues of "i'm not gay" pathos. In a book with doors to every known universe, a 50 mile wide carrier ship and the most eclectic cast of superpowered mad bastards i've ever seen. Why must I cry?

    The real shame is the book didn't really come into it's own reader-wise until Millar's stories, so in most people's minds his is the run on the Authority that most defined who the characters are. And the fact that Ellis has vowed never to return to the title, to remind people just what made these characters so compelling in the first place. Damn him and his artistic integrity. Damn him I say!
    • CommentAuthorThe_Doc
    • CommentTimeJul 1st 2011
     (9986.6)
    Name recognition isn't what sells a film; brilliant, mad ideas do. And the Authority has these in spades. I do agree that if someone's going to short change it they might as well not bother. Still, if they treat this movie like the blockbuster it deserves to be I don't see how it could fail.

    Remember movies such as Blade, and Men in Black, Hellboy, Kick-Ass, Wanted all based on lesser or little known comic series that went on to be huge hits. All for the most part stories that typically deviate from the traditional superhero books in one way or another. Also the upcoming Cowboys vs. Aliens, a movie that takes one basic, accessible premise and makes a go of it. I think that's what people don't realize about film. The same things that make popular comic book characters won't necessarily make the most popular comic book movies. I wouldn't be raiding the DC universe proper for my comic movies, i'd raid Vertigo. Y-The Last Man, Preacher, maybe Sandman, DMZ, Fables, etc.
  2.  (9986.7)
    So thoughts, is there a chance of this actually becoming, y'know, a thing, or am I just pissing in the wind at this point?



    They don't even publish an Authority comic. Why would there be a film?
    • CommentAuthorThe_Doc
    • CommentTimeJul 1st 2011
     (9986.8)
    Yeah, tell me about it.

    Don't even get me started on that one.
    •  
      CommentAuthortedcroland
    • CommentTimeJul 1st 2011
     (9986.9)
    Watchmen is their yardstick for success. Done.
    • CommentAuthorThe_Doc
    • CommentTimeJul 1st 2011
     (9986.10)
    Watchmen is their yardstick for success. Done.

    Errmm... right, ya. That is to say, brilliant mad ideas executed properly.
    •  
      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeJul 2nd 2011
     (9986.11)
    There will never be a film of the Authority and I can prove it with charts and graphs.

    First, the superhero film is trending downward, in terms of box-office. Green Lantern didn't make enough money, Green Hornet didn't make enough money, Scott Pilgrim (while not a superhero but close enough) didn't make enough money and that's only to name three. No one is going to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on Gay Batman and friends. ("Does he have to be gay? Can they fight a giant mechanical spider? How about a wisecracking dog?")

    Which is the second point : executives will fuck with it. Never mind two of the main characters being in a homosexual relationship, Jenny won't be allowed to chain-smoke, the Doctor won't be a drug addict, Jack and the Engineer won't be having casual sex ... and that's not even discussing the violence or "mad ideas". (How well do you think a huge, tent-pole picture about superheroes killing 'God' would do in Red-State America? Yeah, not even that well.)

    Thirdly, the concept and the characters don't really lend themselves to a big-budget sfx extravaganza. Does it end with them taking over the world? With them realizing that "hey, we could be heroes, if just for one day"? With Jenny dying and being reborn? Yes, there were wide-screen set-pieces that worked ... in a comic book, read by comic fans, familiar with the tropes being subverted. A mainstream audience won't have that level of familiarity and so, it'll never get made. Sorry.

    A low-budget film would fail, so don't even suggest it. Animated series? You'd never see Midnighter and Apollo kiss, or even shake hands. "Cartoons are for KIDS!" and one angry mother would get it banned and hands would be cut off and stuff like that.
    •  
      CommentAuthorrazrangel
    • CommentTimeJul 2nd 2011
     (9986.12)
    I was just thinking it could be animated. Largely because I keep overdosing on anime and there's plenty on Adult Swim that would shock Tipper Gore into a stupor.

    *shrug* As with any good, solid project you'd have to find a producer with balls and who then knows people with nerve aplenty to do Ellis right.

    It's fun and easy to sneer at Hollywood for being so protective of its (massive) bottom line. It's true, they suck. Christopher Nolan* is the pinnacle of risk-taking but producers would rather clone him than try to find other bright minds. But fuck, if we're spitballing something that's hardly likely to happen, why not dream up the circumstances that would allow it? Fox Animation Studios, after all, has reopened. (It's sad that I know way more Japanese animation companies than American ones...though that's quite possibly because there are more Japanese companies than American ones.)

    From there maybe it's meeting the material with the right audience. We figure there should be one, right? We each love the shit out of Authority and know at least three other people who feel the same way. You'll find us at cons. We watch cartoons late at night; we play video** games (well, *I* don't, but most of you all do). That puts Authority in the same milieu as Ghost in the Shell. So that's (core) audience. The marketing that will push past the core depends on who they figure will cotton to the story and characters in Authority. Maybe that's not a lot of people. Chances are it would be most practical to assume that: Authority viewership is to X-Men viewership as Authority comic book sales were to X-Men comic book sales. So trying to assume that its commonality with X-Men will create similar buzz instantaneously is a mistake. So maybe not jumping up and assuming it can be a blockbuster movie right now...

    I keep thinking, sure I went and saw X-Men and Spider-Man at the multiplex like everyone else. But I have never read a single Spider-man comic, I watched the cartoon as a kid. Same with X-Men, though I did actually collect a few X titles after my animated Saturday morning introduction. If nothing else, keep in mind that the blockbusters are often characters pulling audiences from multiple generations and continuous iterations across a variety of media. At a dozen years old X-Men was roundly considered fare fit only for young boys who would otherwise refuse to read at all and perhaps even spend their time as delinquents. Make a cartoon out of it? Assume any self-respecting adult would consume any media related to it? Hell no!

    I don't figure if you just leave Authority on a shelf for 30 years it'll go from us faithful few to a great cultural force. I do figure there are other avenues it can go down while it builds cache. Or you can scale down from blockbuster movie to cable cartoon, DVD collection and/or video game. Don't underestimate how much money and attention is flying around in these arenas.

    *We could argue all day on Nolan's true merits, but that's not the point. I mention him only because all eyes are on him, and all eyes are on him because he's the guy who's currently allowed to take chances. That's all.
    **I know they're not video anymore and haven't been in a while. I use the term here as a catch-all for PC/Sony/PSP and god knows whatever else is out there.
  3.  (9986.13)
    Give it to the Japanese. They love this kinda high-concept stuff, AND are perfectly okay with Ho Yay played with actual Ho. Turn it into a serialized Anime, just to see how the hey they'll do it. And to hear how Jenny Sparks (sorry, Jeni Supakusu) will sound in Japanese.
    • CommentAuthorThe_Doc
    • CommentTimeJul 3rd 2011
     (9986.14)
    "Jeni Supakusu." Someone's out for my internets.

    Alright, here's all 9000. :)
    •  
      CommentAuthoriaviv
    • CommentTimeJul 3rd 2011
     (9986.15)
    The Authority is way too far out there for mainstream audiences. There's just no way. I would have loved to see them killing "God" on the big screen, but alas, it was not meant to be...
  4.  (9986.16)
    Might be worth considering Moore's take on Watchmen; to paraphrase and rework for this disucssion:

    Authority was meant to be a comic. It was meant to do things that only comics can do, or that comics can do exceedingly well. It doesn't need to be a movie.

    Movies don't have to be the final metamorphic stage of comic success. I'd rather see Inception then Dark Knight, as good as the latter is, because the former is trying to be it's own story.

    (That said, I love Kubrick, and most of his work was adaptations from literature...)
    •  
      CommentAuthorD.J.
    • CommentTimeJul 3rd 2011
     (9986.17)
    @TypewriterJason

    The Dark Knight is trying to be it's own story too, it just happens to involve a character from the comic books. A better comparison would be 300 to Sucker Punch, but really, no one wants to see Sucker Punch.
    •  
      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeJul 4th 2011
     (9986.18)
    Well, the whole thing's a bit of a moot point, as DC, in their infinite wisdom, have absorbed the Wildstorm Universe into the DCU proper. (And I wonder if Midnighter and Apollo will still be gay.)

    As much as I would love to see an Authority film, I think Brubaker's SLEEPER would make a much better film. Or PLANETARY - which could be a trilogy, if you did it correctly. But now we're just playing the Wish Game, which Warren hates. (I hope Si has more tolerance for our monkey-shines.)
    •  
      CommentAuthorCOOP
    • CommentTimeJul 4th 2011
     (9986.19)
    I believe that SLEEPER is in development... starring Ton Cruise.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCOOP
    • CommentTimeJul 4th 2011
     (9986.20)
    How about The AuthorityXXX? I'm sure Mr. Ellis would get behind that adaptation. (ahem)