Sylvain White On Adapting Frank Miller's 'Ronin': 'It's Not A Straight Adaptation'

RoninDirector Sylvain White is cutting his comic book movie teeth on "The Losers," currently filming in Puerto Rico, but he's already booked his next trip to the medium with Frank Miller's "Ronin."

Although he's understandably busy with the Jeffrey Dean Morgan-starring Vertigo adaptation, White is still hard at work on "Ronin," a project that's over a year in development.

"It's still being developed," White told Superhero Hype of the project's progress. "I just got a new draft a week ago. It's looking really good and promising."

"Ronin" focuses on an age-old vendetta between the demonic Agat and the titular ronin that dates back to feudal Japan. Their souls become intertwined inside of the ronin's sword, only to be reactivated several centuries later in futuristic New York City where their vicious feud finally reaches its conclusion. While Miller's "Sin City" and "300" boast relatively simple concepts, the premise of "Ronin" is decidedly more existential.

"It's got so many ideas in it in terms of commentary and philosophy," said White. "It's very difficult, and it's not linear, and it doesn't really fit into a film format off the bat. It's not a straight adaptation like '300' was or even 'Watchmen.' It's not as simple.

"I think with 'Ronin' we need a little bit of streamlining, otherwise it's too esoteric," he elaborated. "You need a little bit of streamlining, but the story and the characters, if I get to do that movie, will all be there. I'm the guy who wants to respect the authors and the source material as a fan of graphic novels who grew up reading them whether it be in Europe or here. It's something that needs to be done right, and it hasn't really been done right."

Still, White won't make "Ronin" an exact replica of Miller's graphic novel, though many elements will definitely translate to the big screen—particularly the set design, which he hopes to render as a big 3D blockbuster.

"I would pay homage to him more in the production design versus the actual frames," he said. "The frames in 'Ronin' are some beautiful frames, and some I would go with, but what's beautiful to me about 'Ronin' is the production design and the character design and the colors that are used. I think framing—you can frame things with much more depth and beauty on film than you can in a graphic. Replicating frames... that's a different language. You want to always stay true to the graphic novel, but you're watching a different medium."

Are you interested in White's take on "Ronin"? How would you like to see the movie adapted?