Frank Miller talks The Spirit
As is the way these days, Frank Miller has used his blog to talk to fans about his upcoming comic book adaptation The Spirit. He talks about why the film is styled the way it is, comparisons to Sin City and also what his plans are for Sin City.
It really is good when directors use the internet to communicate with fans. Some others could take a lead from the likes of Miller and McG.
THE SPIRIT Blog #9
TO MY READERS
Much has been the fuss in the comics' blogosphere about my SPIRIT movie—much justified, much hoped for, and much to my delight, that there has been a fuss at all. Some comics readers are terrified that THE SPIRIT will be a retread of my SIN CITY. Others quarrel over the change of the SPIRIT'S traditional blue hat, mask, and jacket, to black. These are understandable concerns for any lover of Will Eisner's masterpiece. I take this opportunity to address these concerns. With glee, I take this opportunity.
THE SPIRIT is, with every effort I give it, not a rusty, dusty old monument to the work of my beloved Mentor, so much as it is an extension of what I know to have been Eisner's central intent: to create something new, witty, and exploratory. That's what he did. That's what I'm doing.
It only resembles SIN CITY in that I am its director, and, well, yes, I have my ways and my proclivities. Luckily, I was able to discern three important proclivities I share with the Master. We both love good stories. We both love New York City. And we both love beautiful women.
(Please forgive my constant present-tense references to my dear friend. His creative force, and his force of personality, remains so strong in my mind that I can't often think of Will Eisner as a man who has left us.)
Now, about that blue suit.
Comic books have long traditions based on the limitations of pre-digital printing. Among these are traditions from the old newsprint-run-through-letterpress approach (yes, comics have been—and still do--follow tradition that dates all the way back to Gutenberg!). Bad printing on pulp paper is why it was necessary for every superhero to have his emblem printed on his chest, and that everything that's black be printed in blue. Hence Superman's preposterous blue hair. And the Spirit's blue hat, mask, and suit.
In tests—and we did several—the blue made the Spirit look like an unfortunate guest at a Halloween party. Going to black brings back his essential mystery, his Zorro-like sexiness. It also makes that red tie of his look very, very cool. So I made the call, with all respect to Eisner's creation, and most importantly, to what I perceived as his underlying intention. It was an easy call for me to make. The Spirit dresses in black, and looks much the better for it. As I said, my desire was never to slavishly follow the rules of '40s printing into campy oblivion, but to reintroduce Eisner's creation, via modern technology, to our brave new world.
And THE SPIRIT as some sort of SIN CITY REDUX? No, SIN CITY, that one's my own baby, folks, and it looks the way it does for its own reasons. THE SPIRIT is, and will always be, Eisner's SPIRIT. Anybody watching me on the set could attest that I very frequently drew a storyboard for a given shot first as I saw it, then as Will might’ve seen in—and, in every case, went with what I saw as Will's version.
To drive the point home, THE SPIRIT, despite any accidental impression left by that kickass teaser-trailer, is a full-color movie. SIN CITY—and I hope to make of it a movie trilogy all its own, come Hell and high water—is, visually, a playhouse for black and white.
THE SPIRIT's been one hell of an adventure, one that's made me love the world of comics more than ever.
I'm confident that it's going to be one hell of a good movie.
So there you go, has that answered any concerns you had over The Spirit film? Considering the look of the teaser trailer, it's hardly surprising that people made comparisons to Sin City. Guess we'll have to wait to see more before we know just how visually different it is.