March 03, 2004
Moore disowns Constantine

James passes this on (via Sethos) from Ain't It Cool News:

"After reviewing the script and casting of HELLBLAZER, Comic Kingpin Alan Moore has done the unthinkable. He's washed his hand of the entire debacle. That's right- he's instructed DC to NOT credit him as the creator of the character. And putting his money where his mouth is, he has instructed that the royalties that he was splitting with his co-creators goes EXCLUSIVELY to the artists, Veitch and Bissette.

Often we hear about an artist upset that his creation has been butchered but this is the first I can recall where the creator asked that both name and money be rejected. Moore is apparently so upset at the desecration done to Constantine by Producer Lauren Shuler Donner that he is stating that he will never support a film project based on his work again. DC Toady Paul Levitz is running around trying to get Moore to change his position, but Levitz is the one who had 30,000 copies of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #5 pulped. The bad PR this move could create in the geek community is of grave concern to Warners and DC."

James adds for our benefit:

"Now just to give you a little background, Moore is famous for his "hands off" approach to adaptations of his characters and stories, going so far to claim that the comics are so separate from the movies that he doesn't care what people do with them. He even allowed his name to go on the movie of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen which utterly mutilated the comic and missed every point that it was trying to make. So this is either a Big Lie or Bad News."

Um, yeah. THIS is what will keep the "geek community" away from the theaters, because we all know how enthusiastic about a dark-haired American Constantine they were before.

constantine | from inside the mind of krix at March 03, 2004 12:14 PM .


Thanx for the info anyway, James :-)
It's sweet that you're still thinking about 'us Keanuians' despite the pre-slaughtering and stuff. Even if this is not true, I guess it will 'become' true in the minds of everyone, because once a rumor's repeated enough, people start to believe it. ::sigh::

Posted by: Julie! on March 3, 2004 01:08 PM

I would like it to go on record that I have NO FUCKING LOVE AT ALL for Harry Knowles.

Posted by: krix on March 3, 2004 01:16 PM

...keeping my fingers crossed for trying to make this thing go away from K! He didn't write the script, he didn't produce - and what strikes me as odd is the fact that this Alan Moore debate surfaces now, after the movie has wrapped. A tad late, isn't it??? They don't quote him as having seen rushes or even clips... and I agree with Julie!, this rumor will surely take roots soon in the "geek community"... Who will be blamed if the project tanks? K, as usual!

Krix, my thoughts exactly!

Posted by: Niobe on March 3, 2004 01:28 PM

I wouldn't worry about this. The "geek community" isn't large. What is fairly large is the Keanu fan base, as well as the folks who just like a good, big, colorful, flashy, splashy CGI-packed flick on a Friday night. It's not like something based on an Edith Wharton novel that only Brit Lit majors will go see.

Posted by: Smit too on March 3, 2004 04:35 PM

Yep, there's something strange about this happening all of a sudden... But the percentage of people that the producers have to hope will see this film--who even know who Alan Moore is--has got to be very small. Nobody makes a film like this expecting it to appeal only to the geek fanbase.

And I agree about AICN. I stopped reading there after a couple of, although possibly positive, reviews of LOTR and the Matrix films that were just...disgusting to read. Maybe somebody didn't suck up to Harry Knowles and this is the result.

Posted by: bakednudel on March 3, 2004 05:17 PM

I'm not worried. From what I've seen of the film thus far, I'm sure I'll enjoy it.

I rarely agree with critics or irate artists. :)

Posted by: Mikey2 on March 3, 2004 05:19 PM

On a second read, this sentence:

"The bad PR this move could create in the geek community is of grave concern to Warners and DC"

sounds like complete bs. Just what is the print run for a comic like Hellblazer? How big exactly is the geek community? Grave concern? I really doubt it.

And again: just *now* Moore is "reviewing the script and casting"? That doesn't make any sense...

I'm not worried.

Posted by: bakednudel on March 3, 2004 05:25 PM

nudel, you've hit the nail on the head! It IS total BS.

Who gives a shit if Alan Moore and the geek community do not approve of this movie? It will be a hit anyways.

Posted by: sta-cie on March 3, 2004 06:24 PM

I don't know Hellblazer from The Sandman, and I think the producers are counting on most of Keanu's fans not knowing the difference either.

What I do know is that Edith Wharton is an American author, not a British author.

Posted by: Melissa on March 3, 2004 06:44 PM

Interesting interview with Moore here.
He seems to have some perspective on the Hollywood machine, with regards to one's work. The more I look into this the more I think that the AICN report might just be utter bullshit.

Posted by: krix on March 3, 2004 08:35 PM

Even if every present and former Hellblazer fan were to boycott the movie (not something I'm considering) it would only knock a couple of million off the film's international gross, so as people above have pointed out, that's not a big concern. Hell, it might even be a boost to the film - Moore has many millions of fans worldwide who might flood into the cinema to see just how "bad" it really is.

For me the concern isn't that the film will perform badly, but that it will be a soul-crushing experience on par with remaking Bill and Ted with Christopher Walken replacing Keanu.

Actually that sounds hilarious, but you see what I mean.

MELISSA: "I don't know Hellblazer from The Sandman"

I highly recommend you find out! The Sandman (especially later in the run) is one of the 20th century's most brilliant works of fantasy. Doesn't really kick off 'till book 4, "Season of Mists" though.

Posted by: James on March 4, 2004 12:06 AM

I enjoy Hellblazer, but it's not going to kill me that the movie isn't exactly the same as the comic. We knew from the start that there would be differences. Even if I was a Keanu fan, I'd still be intrigued enough to go see it.

Posted by: Tabitha on March 4, 2004 03:42 AM

Krix, thanks for the article on Alan Moore. Interesting guy. There seems to be a lot of Moore himself reflected in the JC character, don't you think? After discovering Hellblazer, I'm definitely getting interested in mature comics!

About this 'Moore washing his hand' story on AICN...
It seems more like the next stage in an ongoing dispute between Moore and DC Comics. If the story is true (and quite possibly it is, AICN isn't known for fabricating stories), it's very likely not about Warners butchering his creation, but about DC 'selling out' to Warners.

According to a fansite dedicated to Moore (, Moore left DC in the late 80's because of a disagreement over the Watchmen comics' merchandise. On the fansite there's info about the whole dispute in the FAQ's. I won't elaborate, anyone who's interested can read it over there.

It seems the dispute's key issue is ownership of the titles and characters, and artistic freedom. Most of the comic writing deals involve 'work-for-hire' contracts, where the publishing company owns the rights to the characters and comic titles. It looks like Moore got sick of DC's manoevering and having no control over his creations some time after the interview in 2001. On the fansite I read that Moore announced retirement from comics in 2003, so after the release of From Hell and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (also his creations).

I think Moore wouldn't blame Warners for any of the alterations they made to the story (including hiring a certain darkhaired Mr. Reeves for the lead). That was to be expected, no? Moore is a smart guy, he knows how these things work. But those DC people had better stay out of his way...

Posted by: Maddi on March 4, 2004 04:46 AM

I'm sorry. I could've sworn that I read someplace an interview with either Moore or the originator of the Constantine character before the movie started shooting that it was cool that JC was no longer Blond and being interpreted by Keanu. The person was saying something about his edge coming from being British and that was a concern. But we think K can be pretty edgy, dammit. It's called talent...

I must be going nuts! Anybody else remember that?

Anyhow, I thought the first X-men movie missed the mark with too few characters but I was waiting for the Angel and the Morlocks. Saw it twice though (X2 as well), and can't wait for X3. I wouldn't worry...

Posted by: Tawny on March 4, 2004 05:48 AM

i'm not worried, this is nothing new. whenever i've read a book before the movie comes out, the book is almost always better. it's just the nature of the media. that doesn't mean the movie was necessarily bad.

as for hellblazer, i don't know anything about it except what i've read in relation to keanu and the movie. and from what i've seen from news on the set, i'm excited about it, and i'm still gonna go see it. i do second the feeling some of have voiced here that it seems kinda fishy that this story is coming out *now.* maybe this whole story *started* in the so-called geek community?

Posted by: casluvskeanu on March 4, 2004 05:57 AM

It's a little late for hand-washing - if he was that concerned about the changes in the movie he would have been grabbing Palmolive months ago. BS squared, I'm thinking...

Posted by: Chianti on March 4, 2004 06:14 AM

Tawny, perhaps you read an interview with Garth Ennis, the writer of the Hellblazer 'Dangerous Habits' series. I remember him saying something like that in an interview a couple of months ago.

Personally, I think all this is very amusing. I can't imagine Warner Bros is really very concerned about Moore's action. The only thing that matters for them is making a good movie. Because ultimately, good reviews from movie critics and good word of mouth will make people go to the box office to buy a ticket... not rave reviews from the 'geek community'.

Uh-oh, that sounds as if I don't like geeks. But I do! I do! (I don't think I qualify to be one myself, although I *love* the Hellblazer comics...) But I'll go to see the Constantine movie. Why? 'Cause I'm too curious to NOT go and see it!

Posted by: Maddi on March 4, 2004 08:16 AM

You know, if it were MY comic book, I'd ask to see how things were going to be done, not how they turned out. 'Cause if you give freedom of thought to the screenwriters and director, well, well, you might as well keep your mouth shut, 'cause you never said anything against it.

Posted by: anab on March 4, 2004 08:53 AM

Personally, I perceive the "geek" community to be all about the they are gonna luv this one!! I think it is likely to generate more interest rather than less. With this they will want to go see the movie to find out why Moore has issue (in my mind thinking "is he intentionally creating this to make fame?." The geeks want to be involved in the whole dialogue so they can form their own opinions. Remember, this is what happened with the Matrix movies too, it is what sells. All the rest of the audience, well they will be Keanu fans and the content of this movie is what they crave. They will be there to see how he's going to make this character come to life...they don't care if they change the color the character's hair (they would not want a blonde Keanu Alan Moore). Moore is being tempermental, and he does not know elements of a good screen portayal. He probably doesn't realize that if it were left up to him alone, nothing but comic books would sell. I think Keanu, DC, and WB should not worry. If the director's did a good job it will be a hit. If not, Keanu not to worry cuz sh** happens...and people will still love him.

Just my opinion.

Posted by: shelz on March 4, 2004 09:32 AM

remember back in the day when constantine was just a keanurumour? way back then i went public with the strong opinion that keanu shouldn't do it, for many of the "authenticity" issues touched on here. in sum, the fanboys are gonna hate ANY changes made to their beloved character, and i didn't want to see keanu's reputation attacked because of this. since then i've sort of changed my mind, and i'm really getting excited about how keanu will portray this character (not to mention that i think the movie is gonna kick ass!). basically, it all comes down to the fact that lotsa people are going to see it just because it's dark and action-packed and supernatural, or any of the above.

Posted by: lori on March 4, 2004 12:16 PM

Hey, Melissa, you are 100% right, Wharton is American. But her writings were so much about aristocratic Americans trying to cling to Old World style and gentility, and clinging to class distinctions rather than identifying with the American ethos of equality, I always end up mentally categorizing her with the Brits. Sorry about that! Good catch!

Posted by: Smit too on March 4, 2004 01:22 PM
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