When some studio announced its intent to turn Red Sonja into a film again, I got to thinking. We all know Red Sonja has been a film before, but the likelihood is of course very high the studio will ignore this previous (and very failed) attempt and start all over again, rather than pulling a direct sequel 20 years later. Everyone involved, especially the fans, are happy with this idea. We have no problem ignoring the first incarnation of the story on film and treating the new version as a stand alone -- something akin to a restart of the story. And this concept is not at all unusual to comic book movie fans who've survived some pretty crappy attempts through the years and patiently waited for the current age of the comic book movie. Captain America is on Marvel's future movies slate. Cap has seen action in feature films before, but there is no doubt this modern film will restart the story rather than building on the poor stories of the past.
Likewise Nick Fury existed in a made-for-tv movie starring the Hasselhoff and written by David Goyer himself, a man who is now one of the biggest names in the comic book film world. Even with this scriptwriter, who would put money on the new Nick Fury film acting as a sequel to this one.
The Punisher existed prior starring Dolph Lundgren. When Marvel released a big screen version of The Punisher a few years ago they started with an origins story anyway, and fans were more or less pleased -- pleased with the idea of a restart, anyway. People weren't particularly pleased with how the actual film turned out.
Even the mighty Batman film franchise reset itself last year with Chris Nolan's run away success Batman Begins -- and this despite a few relatively successful films already existing. DC realized the franchise's story had degenerated to a sad degree, and allowed the movie industry to call a mulligan and start over.
I know you are thinking "so what's your point, geek?" Yes, comic book stories have been known to get a second try from time to time, but so what? For the most part, this has been a very good thing for the state of comic book films -- why are you dragging up these painful memories of our beloved heroes in terrible, terrible films? The point, my friends, is this: I want a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen film, because I was highly dissatisfied with the last one.
So I ask you, why not? The first one was miserable -- you know it, I know it, Alan Moore knows it. I highly suspect even the people responsible for making the film have some vague idea of it's poor quality. I desperately wanted this film to be good, and most of the comic book community did as well. The comic book (graphic novel) story is fantastic, the characters are wonderfully well written, and the dialog is clever. Then along came a Hollywood attempt at a movie, and the story got stupid, the characters were flat, and the dialog almost killed me.
The solution? Let's forget it existed and try again. Give it to somebody who could really handle the property and reboot. Sure, the last one only happened three or so years ago ... but who cares? By the time scriptwriting, filming, and production happens it'll be at least five to six years in the past -- and if one thing is true about modern Americans, it's that we've got a very short memory. Odds are strong for the current comic book movie craze to last out at least at least another three years (major titles are in the works through 2009, with plenty more pending on the potential successes of those),so the audience should still be there. Every actor alive seems to be jonesing for a part or two in a comic book movie, so casting should be no problem either.
The major hurdle would no doubt be convincing some studio to take on a film which just had a poor showing in the not too distant past. Yes, it pulled in similar money to the somewhat better received Vendetta, but it cost more to make and got rather terrible reviews. Combining the DVD market and overseas sales, it certainly made a profit, however ... and that seems to be enough for most studios these days.
Yes, I realize these a just ramblings. It's likely that the studio which produced LXG still has rights over film potential -- and if they ever decided to do anything with the property it would surely be a sequel. But hey, a guy can dream, right? Maybe if I wait patiently for another decade or so someone will make the attempt. If it resulted in a really good LXG movie, I'd be willing to wait.