Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Comic Book Movie Costume Inverse Accuracy Law

Last week NBC (yeah, that NBC) released this publicity photo from their upcoming Constantine pilot.

Actor Matt Ryan will play John Constantine, the supernatural detective who's the star of DC Comics long-running Hellblazer comic book.

As you can see here he looks very true to the source material. Same hair, same shirt, loose tie and rumpled trench coat. The only thing missing is Constantine's trademark ever-present cigarette, and I would not be surprised if the network griped that out of existence.

Anyhoo, this is a prime example of what I like to call The Comic Book Movie Costume Inverse Accuracy Law. It's a little fundamental rule of the universe I made up that states:
The odds of a comic book movie or TV series staying true to the source material is inversely proportional to how much I care about the property in question.
In other words-- I'm not a fan of Hellblazer, so of course the TV version of John Constantine will look and act exactly like he does in the comic book. It's just a given.

The same thing happened with The Green Hornet movie a couple of years ago. I've never much cared for the Green Hornet one way or another, so of course the film version looked exactly like the comic. And even though the movie inexplicably starred Seth Rogen, they still got pretty much all the details right. The names, the origin, the supporting cast-- even the Hornet's Black Beauty was perfectly recreated.

Meanwhile, The Fantastic Four is my all time favorite comic. So naturally we got two awful movies in which most of the team was horribly miscast, looked nothing like the comic versions and acted completely out of character. And soon we're getting yet another botched version in which the actors look like high school kids and one isn't even the same race as his comic counterpart.

It stinks, but it's just something I've grown used to.

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