Let’s dive into the book and movie that made Sean Connery give up acting and Alan Moore give Hollywood the finger.
This is one of those rare instances where I can say I didn’t like the book or the movie.
Back when I was graduating from junior to adult fiction, I went through a phase of reading all of the classic adventure novels. Everything from Tom Sawyer to Dracula. As such, I was familiar with every character Alan Moore put into his comic and none of them sat well with me. They were all slightly facile and nastier versions of the characters and stories I’d appreciated – love is far too strong a word.
When it came to the movie I was blown away by how terribly hamfisted it all was. Nothing in the movie really worked, despite there clearly being some talent involved.
For me, the worst part of the movie was Dorian Grey. I’d actually only gotten to that novel shortly before The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie came out so the character was fresh in my mind. To say that the character portrayed and the one from the novel were nothing alike is an understatement. Even the comic version is taking only the cliff notes version of the character.
It makes you wonder why either book or movie versions decided to use these public domain characters rather than make their own?
Oh look, Moore has commented on that, saying:
“The planet of the imagination is as old as we are. It has been humanity’s constant companion with all of its fictional locations, like Mount Olympus and the gods, and since we first came down from the trees, basically. It seems very important, otherwise, we wouldn’t have it.“
“…it could be said that the theme of using popular fictional characters to comment on cultural and political mores has been carried over to “The Black Dossier” and the next volume of “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.” Source.
Or in other words, he thought it would be a cool narrative technique that might attract some readers. Not sure what the movie makers were thinking other than “franchise, franchise, franchise” while dancing in a conga line.