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Allan Quatermain returns to the big screen

AllanQuatermain.jpgI'm one of the few people who doesn't see anything bad with The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and actually enjoys it when it comes on, and I love Sean Connery as Allan Quatermain, a great choice. So the news today that the next outing of the character on the big screen is going to Sam Worthington changes everything for me.

For if the actor isn't changing genre, then we're in for a pretty standard action film, something that Quatermain doesn't really seem to suggest. Action yes, but not in the young Clash of the Titans way.

H. Rider Haggard created and wrote the Allan Quatermain adventures of King's Solomon's Mines and continued the series after that. Quatermain was an English born professional big game hunter who loved the outdoors. He believed in the spread of colonialism across Africa but, unusually, he also believes that the native Africans should have a say and control in their own lives. He never had any real powers as any of the films suggest, at least not in the hands of the original creator of the character.

It took the writer Philip José Farmer to give the character some power, simple increased strength and intelligence, as part of his Wold Newton series which took the story of a real life meteorite that had crashed in Wold Newton, Yorkshire, England, on December 13, 1795 and suggested that a bus of people passing at the time were affected by the radiation. This caused their descendants to have increased genetic abilities.

Over time that family grew to include many popular characters, from Tarzan and Doc Savage to The Shadow, Professor Moriarty, and Allan Quatermain.

There have been numerous outings of the character on the big screen, something I hadn't actually realised apart from the Richard Chamberlain led film, even Patrick Swayze has played him.

However, let's get back to the present and find out from The Hollywood Reporter Heat Vision that this new story of the character is ripping him apart from the stories we've seen to date. Good bye to anything vaguely set in the older days, and hello to space Quatermain.

Oh yes. According to the story the new DreamWorks version, who you would think would know better, are setting this story in a time when humans have left Earth - so that's well over two hundred years from when Quatermain was originally seen - and sees the character return to the planet to embark on an adventure very much like King Solomon's Mines, the original story, but this time on a complete planet.

The script is still being developed and Mark Verheiden was behind the version of the script that is currently on the go. There's no director as yet, but that looks set to be the story and it's set to star generic action man Sam Worthington.

For me that kills a lot of the charm of the character. The elderly Quatermain set in the much older time period was a great draw for the film and for the character. Now he's going to be all Buck Rogers, or perhaps the real reason behind the story, all John Carter.

I feel that everything that was Quatermain has just gone with this idea. Wait for it, it'll be announced in 3D.



I don't really rate Worthington as an actor, so I'm waiting for him to prove me wrong, because he seems a decent enough guy and I enjoy the movies he makes (apart from that dreaded Clash remake). Going by the movies he does make he seems to agree with me.

P.S. I also enjoy The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Yeah I'm with you Billy, he's the same sort of gruff, frowning character I'm seeing from film to film at the moment, and while that worked well once or twice, I can't see what else he's bringing to his roles.

Superb! Another person who likes it. I think I'll put it on my next Filmstalkers Film Club audiocast - films that people hate that just shouldn't be hated.


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