by Brett White
Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” is getting another chance to transition out of the comic book world and into moving pictures. The comic book series has just received a put pilot order at Fox, which means that a pilot for a possible “League” television series will will be made and, as it is a put pilot order, Fox will be obligated to air the episode even if they don’t order the pilot to series. So yeah, Allan Quartermain, Mina Harker and the extraordinary others will all definitely come to life again – this time on the small screen.
The pilot will be produced by 20th Century Fox TV with Michael Green and Erwin Stoff at the helm. Green has previously worked on “Green Lantern,” “Heroes,” and “Smallville” and will serve as writer and executive producer. Stoff, whose credits include “The Matrix” and the NBC drama “Kings,” will also executive produce.
“The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” is an action adventure comic originally published by America’s Best Comics in 1999. The series follows Mina Harker, fresh off her escapades in “Dracula,” as she is recruited by James Bond’s grandfather to assemble a group of extraordinary individuals to take on threats to the British Empire. She joins up with Captain Nemo, Allan Quartermain, Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, and the Invisible Man to fight the likes of Fu Manchu and Sherlock Holmes’ arch-nemesis Professor Moriarty.
This is the second attempt made at adapting “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” following its… rather interesting transformation into a summer blockbuster in 2003. Well, it tried to be a summer blockbuster. The film was crushed by its competition, “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” and grossed a sad $66.4 million domestically. The film became infamous for being so problematic that it made lead actor/film legend Sean Connery retire from acting. Now that’s rough.
Hopefully this pilot will stay a bit more faithful to Moore and O’Neill’s work, as opposed to the film which took a number of liberties with the source material. The most groan-inducing liberty had to be the forced inclusion of American literature hero Tom Sawyer, a character who never appeared in the comics.
With Hollywood’s fascination with public domain characters and classic literary ideas – like Dracula and Sherlock Holmes – a “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” film makes a lot of sense. Here’s hoping that enough time has passed since the film that any negative connotations with the title can be forgotten.
What do you want to see in a “League” TV series? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter!