updated 24/7/06: Several studios have announced new comics-related
film projects in the run up to the San Diego ComicCon, including
Will Eisner's The Spirit - directed by Frank Miller - Doom Patrol
Alongside these comes news that the long-awaited Adventures of Luther
Arkwright movie, originally announced some time ago, is getting
closer to being made.
Hollywood Reporter reports that New Line company Benderspink --
producers of the Oscar-nominated A History of Violence, based on
a graphic novel by John Wagner and Vince Locke -- is teaming with
Australian producers Andrew Prowse and Sophie Patrick to produce
the film based on the award-winning comic book series written and
illustrated by Bryan Talbot -- and Britain's first ever graphic
First created in 1978, described by fellow comics creator Garth
Ennis as "one of the all-time great epics of the medium",
Arkwright story took Talbot more than 12 years to complete, first
serialised in various comics and magazines in England before being
wrapped up in a series of comics published by Valkyrie Press. A
sequel, Heart of Empire, was published in 1999 by Dark Horse. Audio
drama company Big Finish have also adapted the story, starring Doctor
Who's David Tennant as Luther Arkwright.
Chris Bender, J.C. Spink, Prowse -- whose credits include Farscape
-- and Patrick will produce the adaptation with Brian Spink serving
in a producer capacity. Benderspink are also developing comic projects
including Power and Glory and Y: The Last Man.
"I’m not really involved in the project at the moment
though when/if it goes into production, they want me on the production
design side," Bryan told downthetubes. "The first script
Koukou [who have regularly renewed their option on the story] sent
me was really naff. It began with Arkwright married to Princess
Anne – and made him a Christian to boot! The writer had reworked
the story that much it was crammed with great gaping plot holes.
"I spent a long time constructing the story and if you start
pulling out sections of it, changing or inserting new bits and so
forth, it totally destroys the elaborate structure and the internal
logic," Bryan expands. "Anyway, everybody agreed it was
pants so they gave the writer the boot and began again from scratch,
this time sticking as close as possible to the original and it’s
a very good adaptation."
Luther Arkwright possesses psychokinetic abilities that allow him
to travel across parallel worlds. Recruited by agents from a harmonious
parallel known as "zero-zero" he is sent to a war-torn
alternate reality where a dictatorial British Empire is still in
power, ordered to draw out malignant forces bent on destroying the
"Both Arkwright and the doomsday device, Firefrost are unique
– existing on only one parallel at any one time," Bryan
explains. "It's one reason why Arkwright can enter different
worlds. In my original story, the parallels are exactly that –
different facets of existence. In the first version of the film
script, the writer decided to educate the viewers by having Arkwright
explain parallel world theory to Harry Fairfax. The theory he expounds
is the quantum mechanics based concept of every single moment forking
to produce different temporal alternatives.
"I had to point out to the producers that this would mean that
there would be millions of Arkwrights running around after millions
of Firefrosts, making a nonsense of the whole story. As I said before,
I’d thought the story through. This writer didn’t."
Bryan is hopeful that if the film finally gets made it will mean
a new edition of the original book, "using the new digitally
remastered files from the Czech edition."
And is there any chance David Tennant might play Luther, as he has
in the Big Finish audio plays?
"It would be nice, wouldn't it?" Bryan replies. Perhaps
in a parallel universe..
the original article on the Down the Tubes site.