For those of you who exist outside of the comic book world, Alan Moore is a renown English writer of the genre. The 62-year-old graphic novelist has not only contributed to DC comics, but wrote the inspirations behind the film adaptations of Watchmen (2009), V for Vendetta (2006) and The League of Extraordinary Gentleman (2003).
Alan Moore has expressed his adamant distaste for adaptations and franchises in the past — even refusing to credit his name on remakes of his work. However, Moore has finally transgressed into the cinematic universe, allowing movie geeks everywhere to rejoice in the medium's latest addition with upcoming Show Pieces.
Caught up on the burlesque-era trailer? Good, now let's try to make sense of it. In an exclusive interview with Playboy, Alan Moore gave all the juicy details explaining the movie, the manner in which ideas came to him, and his approach throughout its creation.
How did the project start?
“It started out innocuously enough, about six years ago when I was working on my beautiful but doomed magazine Dodgem Logic. For the second issue I had been approached by my great friend, the internationally renowned photographer Mitch Jenkins, who had suggested that he’d like to do something—very kindly suggested—that he’d like to do something for this nonpaying underground magazine."
If only Moore knew the adventure he was getting himself into...
Why The Burlesque Theme?
"So we’ve got an article in the second issue written by my wife, Melinda Gebbie, that was talking about the burlesque scene as she’d encountered it over here, where it’s very much modern burlesque.”
The issue featured characters who represented the era, such as cabaret performers, an odd clown, and even a version of Alan Moore as an Eastern European organ trader turned emcee. Obviously, Dodgem readers were intrigued and the issue received tremendous success.
Why Did He Turn To Film?
“Mitch came around and said that he’d wanted to do a short film, just for his show reel, based upon the burlesque shoot. So at that point, perhaps unwisely, I said, ’Well, do you want me to just write a screenplay for you?’ He said, ’Well, that couldn’t hurt.’ I wrote a little 10-minute screenplay. Or it was intended to be 10 minutes."
This "surrealist-noir" short film, entitled Jimmy's End, revolves around the trippy mid-century psychosis of David Lynch. In his cabaret craziness, a beautiful woman finds her way into his madness of a world. From there, sh*t gets cray-cray.
How Did It Go From A Short Film To A Regular One?
“I came up with a much bigger idea in which the revelation at the end of the short film would turn out to be a point of misdirection. So I sat down and wrote two or three other pieces.”
Not that this is in any way a shocker. Moore has made a name for himself in the art of writing far too much (which us fans are happy about). His newly-released novel Jerusalem — which he began in 2008 — came out to 1,280 pages, with over 600,000 words. So far, Show Pieces consists of five shorts, including Jimmy's End (2012), its prequel Act of Faith (2012), and His Heavy Heart (2014).
How Is Alan Moore Approaching His First Cinematic Experience?
“A big part of the way that we’re approaching these films is that I decided that it might be interesting to do something that I’ve previously attempted at various times in my comics work. If I’m inventing a world, then I’d like to invent the entire culture that exists in that world. I’d like to know what products are going to be advertised on the hoardings, what shops there are, what magazines people are going to be reading. So for the continuum of The Show we’ve made up everything.”
Yep, could have called that one. J.K. Rowling, you've got some company. Moore even based the fictional setting on his own hometown, Northampton, England.
Why Was Moore So Against Movie Adaptations In The First Place?
In this panel, Alan Moore explains exactly what ticks him off about film adaptations (or any adaptations, for that matter) as well as franchises:
"The thing is... Film is a medium. Yes, it's great. We're planning something at the moment, something that has been written especially for film. Hopefully, it will be out by the end of the year. Adapting from one medium to the other — I know that it's automatic and it's reflexive — but, there's no reason for it other than to make money. [. . .] There are no creative reasons for it whatsoever."
Well, he's certainly made us wait our entire lives for his creative genius self to do this sort of thing. Let's see how this beautiful hallucination-inducing madness is brought to life.
Do you feel as though these trailers seem representative of the notorious Alan Moore style? If you'd like to know more about the project, you can visit the official website here.
Sources: Playboy Magazine