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Arts & Culture

From Comic to Film: Mark Millar on Adapting Wanted

Wesley and Fox in Mark Millar's graphic novel Wanted (Top Cow)... and Wesley (James McAvoy) and Fox (Angelina Jolie) in the film version of Wanted (Universal). I know a few guys who would have liked to see Jolie in that outfit the comic book Fox wore.

Adapting anything from one medium to another is difficult because there's always a comparison to be made. The book was better because it was more complex, the TV show was better because it had more time to develop a storyline, the play was better because there was more respect for the dialogue... well you get the idea. But graphic novels provide a particular challenge because they essentially look like elaborate storyboards for movies. So in one respect the task sems easy, yet in another fans of the source material have very vivid ideas about what the film should look like. But the vivid visuals of a graphic novel may also be one of the reasons why Hollywood has taken such a liking to adapting them to the screen -- executives don't have to imagine what the film will look like, it's all right there in front of them. So far, there have been some very successful film adaptations of graphic novels, most notably Daniel Cloves' Ghost World, Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis , and Frank Miller's Sin City and 300 . But there have also been some duds -- Daredevil and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen , to name but two. The latest graphic novel to hit the big screen is Mark Millar's Wanted .

Wanted... on the page and on the screen (Top Cow/Universal)


So for any fans of Millar's very adult and totally kickass graphic novel, here's a brief comparison between the comic and the new film directed by Russia's Timur Bekmambetov. The main thing fans of Millar's book will notice is that the costuming is much more realistic. That might be because capes and tights are hard to pull off well on the big screen or because some of the characters in Millar's tale of super-villains taking out the world's super-heroes looked a bit too much like ones copyrighted by DC and Marvel.  But the gravity defying action remains pretty much intact. You can't put a copyright on that. I'll have my review tomorrow. In the mean time, here's Millar commenting on the film version of his graphic novel, including the famous scene of Wesley being asked to shoot the wings off of flies. Millar did not write the screenplay for the film but did stay close to the production. Michael Brandt, Derek Haas and Chris Morgan are the credited screenwriters for Wanted .