Comic book fans young and old at the NY Comic Con this weekend walked out on the early premiere of the trailer for Frank Miller’s Will Eisner’s The Spirit. In an interview with MTV director Frank Miller defended his film’s look by saying that he has ‘forged ahead’ with Eisner‘s creation rather than produce what he calls ‘something dusty from off the shelf.’
That’s all well and good, Frank… but from this trailer The Spirit looks far more like Sin City 2 than Will Eisner’s The Spirit. Not that this is a bad thing ( I fully enjoy Sin City), but… what’s the deal?
The film stars Sam Jackson as the villainous Octopus (never fully visualized in the comic book series), Eva Mendez as the love interest and devious Sand Saref (whose jaw nearly dislocates when asked a question by MTV) and newcomer Gabriel Macht as the title character Danny Colt/The Spirit.
For those not in the know, Will Eisner’s The Spirit is regarded by many as the Citizen Kane of comics. As perfect as a sequential work can get, the series ran in newspaper strip format in 1941. A lighthearted and theatrical piece, the strip introduced some of the most sophisticated tropes and techniques in comics that we take for granted today. Frank Miller has long been a devoted follower of Eisner‘s teachings. The influence in his work can be seen in his panel transitions, line work and general sense of character in his style. A darker and grittier creator, Frank Miller‘s film of Eisner’s creation is expected to be an extension of a more violent and modern pulp sensibilities.
Judge for yourself…
The Spirit opens January 19, 2009.