In what is kinda good news, regarding something that will surely be anything but, producer John Davis has announced that Fox’s reboot of ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ will be female-centric. In 2003, the studio tried to take one of the most literate and intelligent comics ever and turned it into a dumb action movie that totally bombed, even with Sean Connery in the lead role as Allan Quartermain. The movie was a complete dud, but since Fox still holds the rights, they are determined to once again exploit that with a hasty revival before they lose them. (See: ‘Fantastic Four’)
The comics were written by the esteemed Alan Moore and united characters from classic literature into a Victorian era Justice League, featuring Quartermain, Mina Murray (Harker) from ‘Dracula’, Captain Nemo, Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde and The Invisble Man, who worked for a mysterious British spy agency which nods subtly to Sherlock Holmes as well as James Bond.
Said Davis about the new movie:
“Just by going back to the roots and making it authentic to what the fan base was really excited about. It’s female-centric, which I think is interesting. I love female characters, point-of-view characters in action movies. I thought Mad Max was great. I think you can always find a fresh way of doing something and going back to the basics. What is that people love? What is it that made them love the property in the first place?”
Well… that’s sort of good news, as the original comics focused on Mina Murray, one of Dracula’s victims, now an anachronistic woman of action who leads the team and serves as the brains of the organization. For all intents and purposes, a ‘League of Extraordinary Gentleman’ movie should focus on Mina. Does Fox plan to bring in additional characters? Will this be like a Victorian ‘Ghostbusters’? No clue yet.
In the 2003 movie, Peeta Wilson played Mina, whose vampire nature was emphasized heavily; it was only vaguely referenced in the comics. She was also clearly modeled on modern leather-clad vampire-slayers like Selene from the ‘Underworld’ movies (Kate Beckinsale) and Blade (Wesley Snipes). The leadership role was passed to Connery’s Quartermain, which probably made sense considering his stature as a film legend, but in a weak low-brow affair such as ‘LXG’ (as it was EXTREME-ly nicknamed), it mattered little.
Whatever Fox does, it doesn’t erase the fact that Fox really should just leave this property alone. The first movie is pretty well disliked across the board, but isn’t exactly forgotten.
The comic isn’t a mainstream super hero title and its fans are wary of Hollywood mucking with this sophisticated tale teeming with references to 19th century literature. But if Fox is too faithful, they’ll lose that summer popcorn audience for which they are clearly aiming.
What do you think? Will making ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ female-centric help it? Comment below!