I was somewhat underwhelmed to read in Empire this month about alleged tensions on the set of the film The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (as I insist on calling it) between Sean Connery and director Stephen Norrington. After 7 pages, it emerges that this consisted of little more than not getting on very well and Norrington on one occasion goading Connery to punch him, which Connery declined to do. Oh, and one of the stages got flooded. Ho. Hum.
It is particularly unfortunate that we only get to read one side of the story: Connery is certainly a bona fide movie star, but he has always seemed to be quite precious about it (okay, I admit it, I just don’t like his politics).
But the real problem with this article, and the reason for this rant now, is that it doesn’t touch on either the ongoing travesty that is Hollywood’s inability to “get” Alan Moore (the best thing that can be said about “LXG” – as they like to call it – is that it isn’t quite as godawful as From Hell) or the legal battle that Moore faced when some no-mark sued him for plagiarising his never-before-heard-of yet vaguely similar screenplay. That’s a far more interesting story.
It’s also a missed opportunity not to mention the Black Dossier, the latest League comic which is currently unavailable in the UK due to several potential copyright issues.
Alan Moore is a funny one. In a recent article in the Megazine, Alan Grant describes Moore as a “character developer” as opposed to a creator. This seems like a gross insult to the man until you realise that it happens to be true. Name an Alan Moore classic comic and the chances are it is derived from something else. There are exceptions – V for Vendetta, Halo Jones, DR and Quinch – but most of his best work has been based on other people’s creations.
None of that is to deny his genius. But it does make one wonder why he is so extraordinarily precious about his own intellectual property.