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Category: Books (81-90 of 420)

Alan Moore: 'League of Extraordinary Gentlemen' show is 'dustbin' hunting

There have been 33 feature films based on DC Comics since 1951, yet the Hollywood history of DC has been largely limited to a trio of characters too vivid to exist in the real world: Batman, Superman, and Alan Moore.

The first two everyone knows. The third is a British writer who, while not technically a fictional character, is absolutely a character of the highest order. But in what way does he rank with the caped legends? Four of Moore’s brilliant comic book epics have been adapted by Hollywood: Watchmen, V for Vendetta, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and From Hell. A fifth film, Constantine, was based on a character he created, and a sixth, Return of the Swamp Thing, was propelled by his landmark three-year work on bog monster’s series.

Those individual movies range from underrated and okay (Watchmen, Constantine) to overcooked and odious (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen). But collectively, they put Moore’s bookshelf not far behind Gotham City lore (nine Batman movies plus the stray spinoff Catwoman) and Metropolis mythology (the seventh Superman film is now in theaters, plus Supergirl and Steel, which were as bizarro-stupid as they sound.)

Moore lives in Northampton,  England, the same place he was born 59 years ago. Since then, he’s covered a lot of territory, and not just in this dimension. Moore’s interesting look — a bushy prophet beard, a menacing sorcerer’s glare, and metallic talons on his fingers — fit a guy who identified himself as an anarchist and (with a wink) a worshiper of Glycon, the 2nd Century snake god. But even with all that, it was only after Moore refused to cash his Hollywood paychecks that his industry peers began to wonder about his grip.

Moore is no forest hermit despite some past press portrayals, but he does live off the grid if your definition of “basic shelter” includes wi-fi coverage. “I have very few connections with the 21st century, actually,” Moore said last week over the most modern of connections: a landline telephone with a curly cord stretching all the way to the 20th century.

The line was busy the first couple times I dialed, but Moore picked up on my third try and I found (just like the first time I interviewed him, back in 2008) that there was far more mischief in his voice than malice, even when he took shots at DC Comics and Hollywood, which he sees as factories that grind art (and artists) into pulp that can be sold, recycled, and then sold again in new shapes.

The topic is timely: Moore’s name was in Hollywood headlines last week when reports surfaced that Fox has ordered up a League of Extraordinary Gentleman television pilot with hopes that a savvy small-screen take on the material could right the many wrongs made by director Stephen Norrington’s 2003 film (which notoriously drove star Sean Connery into retirement). [Read Owen Gleiberman's review here.]

That same television do-over approach worked for Fox with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but that series had the character’s creator, Joss Whedon, on board to show the way. Moore laughed when asked if he or League artist and co-creator Kevin O’Neill would be involved in any way with the broadcast venture.

NEXT: “It seems they are recycling things that have already proven not to work.”

How we chose our 100 All-Time Greatest Novels

We’ve gotten a landslide of mail about the All-Time Greatest issue, much of it along the following lines:

“Dear Dips–t Editors:

How could could you possibly be so dips—-y?

You put [name of masterpiece] on your Top 100 list even though it fully sucks. I mean, even my 8-year-old sister who drools when she sleeps knows the immense power of its suckage! Yet you totally ignored the awesomeness of [name of something pretty good]. You can explain yourself but I don’t care, and won’t listen, and hate you. Please die. Sincerely, A longtime subscriber” READ FULL STORY

'The Giver': Why Jonas's casting proves that fan rage is sometimes justified

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On some level, big screen adaptations of beloved novels are always doomed. Hew too closely to the source material, and they’re accused of slavish fan service; diverge too much from the original story, and they risk inciting mobs of obsessives who demand to see S.P.E.W. in all its glory. A successful adaptation must show respect for its root without attempting to translate it literally — something that would be impossible to do anyway, since every reader will necessarily imagine that book’s characters and settings differently.

That, of course, is why book fans often react with violent negativity after an actor is cast in an upcoming adaptation — regardless of who they are and what the role is. And because YA behemoths tend to have younger, more devoted followings than any other genre, the reactions of those followings tend to be particularly hostile.

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Google celebrates a special birthday with harrowing, Kafkaesque Doodle

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One morning, when Internet users awoke from troubled dreams, they found that the Google logo’s “O”s had transformed into a monstrous vermin.

The reason: Today is Franz Kafka’s 130th birthday –  or at least, it would have been, if he hadn’t died of starvation brought on by tuberculosis in 1924. All of us will die, someday. READ FULL STORY

Comic-Con: Kanye West's art director delivers 'Head Smash' to comics

There’s a long history of comic book artists treading into the neighboring world of album cover art especially when psychedelia, counter-culture, fantasy or heavy metal bridged the distance between the art table and the turn table. Usually it’s an art table star — like R. Crumb, Berni Wrightson, Barry Windsor-Smith or Paul Pope to just a few — playing the tourist in turntable territory but the exact opposite is the case with the cover for Head Smash.

The haunting image is the handiwork of Joe Perez, the designer and art director best known for his work with Kanye West and Donda. Perez’s portfolio includes the Cruel Summer album cover in 2012, for example, but never a comic book. That changes with the brutal dystopian visions of Head Smash , which features interior art by Dwayne Harris and the original cover by Tim Bradstreet. The world is the creation of Vlad Yudin of The Vladar Company and was co-written with Erik Hendrix of Arcana and premieres down at Comic-Con International. We caught up with Perez to get in tune with his mixed media. See the art below.

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I'm still not over... The heartbreaking ending of 'Bridge to Terabithia'

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Here at EW, we’re reminiscing about the pop culture moments that we still can’t get over — no matter how much time has passed.

Fact #1: A great book you read as a kid will always affect you more deeply than a great book read at any other age.

Fact #2: Katherine Paterson’s Newbery Award-winning Bridge to Terabithia happens to be one of the greatest, saddest, most unforgettable children’s books ever written.

Fact #3: During a summer when Jeff Bridges’ long-in-the-works adaptation of The Giver actually seems to be gaining traction and theaters are finally showing a movie based on a Judy Blume book, it’s only natural to think about other kids’ classics that have made it to the big screen — bringing me back to Terabithia, which received its own overly CGI’d adaptation back in 2007. (The film starred baby Josh Hutcherson, pre-Hunger Games — check out his Bieber hair and chipmunk cheeks!)

All that is a long way of explaining why I found myself musing about Terabithia today — more specifically, about its ending, which has been responsible for more sobbing grade-schoolers than anything this side of Where the Red Fern Grows. (Spoiler alert: The red fern grows on top of dead dogs.) READ FULL STORY

'Fifty Shades' of No: Actors who will NOT star in 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

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Step one: Novel sells millions of copies. Step two: Novel gets optioned for adaptation into a feature film. Step three: Everyone in Hollywood and their third cousin tries to get a part in said film.

Unfortunately, producers of publishing behemoth Fifty Shades of Grey might have a little bit of trouble trying to cast some of the top young actors in Hollywood today. Due in theaters on Aug. 1, 2014, casting rumors upon casting rumors upon casting rumors have floated around, but with a quick interview or tweet, most of the rumors have gone kaput within a second. So maybe some actors don’t want to play the domineering Christian or the pure Ana, not even for the potential of well-paying sequels.

Let’s relive some of the dismissals that Fifty Shades has had to face thus far: READ FULL STORY

This Week's Cover: The 100 All-Time Greatest... everything!

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Every week, Entertainment Weekly gives you tips on the latest, greatest ways to spend your limited time and money. With our new special issue, The 100 All-Time Greatest, we take on nothing short of entertainment history. This is a keepsake issue to inspire (and, yes, enrage) you for a long time to come. You’ll find the 100 best movies, TV shows, albums and novels ever, as well as the 50 greatest plays of the last 100 years and more.

We decided early on not to react to anybody else’s list — and not to try to make “statements” we didn’t really believe in. If we decided that Casablanca was the best movie of all time, then it would be number 1, whether or not people had said it before. By the way, Casablanca is NOT the best movie of all time, but it comes in at a still-impressive No. 3 on our list.
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Anne Rice defends Paula Deen, refers to 'lynch mob culture'

Things haven’t been going great for Paula Deen the last few days: She’s been dropped from the Food Network, QVC is “reviewing the relationship,” and her biggest defenders so far have been her sons — and their examples left a lot to be desired. But Deen has got at least one public figure in her corner: Anne Rice. The vampire author took to her own Facebook page to defend the chef, but her comments (first discovered by Jezebel) are likely to just cause more controversy.

After first posing the question to her readers by saying, “What’s happening with Paula Dean? Is it fair? I never heard of her until today, and wow, this looks like a crucifixion. Opinions, thoughts welcome….aren’t we becoming something of a lynch mob culture?” Rice then decided that the “opinions, thoughts” needed were her own, and had quite a bit to say in the comments, including, in part, “…This woman is just what you said. She’s an old southern lady, and she never made these unwise remarks of hers to a black person. We have no evidence at all that she has ever personally insulted or injured any black employee or friend.” READ FULL STORY

Richard Matheson, author, screenplay writer, and science fiction legend, dies at age 87

It is ironic that one of the books author Richard Matheson, who has died at the age of 87 according to publisher Tor/Forge, is best known for is 1956′s The Shrinking Man. While that novel related the tale of a person diminishing away to virtually nothing, Matheson’s influence on the science fiction genre continues to grow more than a half century after the book’s publication. Just last week saw the release of World War Z, a film which owes a huge debt to George A. Romero’s classic 1968 film Night of the Living Dead and hence to Matheson’s similarly revered 1954 tome I Am Legend, to which Romero paid extremely generous homage in his film. Maybe too generous, according to Matheson himself. In 2007, the Allendale, N.J.-born writer told me with a chuckle about the time he met Romero for lunch. “The first thing he said to me, putting his arms up as if I was abut to strike him, [was], ‘Didn’t make any money from Night of the Living Dead,’” Matheson recalled. “‘Homage’ means I get to steal you work. He’s a nice guy, though. I don’t harbor any animosity toward him.” (Romero later confirmed this story:  “I confessed to him that I basically ripped the idea off from I Am Legend. He forgave me because we didn’t make any money. He said, ‘Well, as long as you didn’t get rich, it’s okay.’”)
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