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Now what was that I was just saying about non Marvel and DC properties getting a second look—or in the case of From Hell, a third look. The masterpiece by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell that followed the saga of Jack the Ripper in fascinating detail was already made into a movie starring Johnny Depp. But now it’s back in development as a TV show:

Now here’s where it gets interesting. Don Murphy, who producer not only the From Hell film but the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen film, is producing, with Children of Men’s David Arata (Children Of Men) writing a script. And then:

When the current resurgence of event series started, Murphy thought that would be a great way to handle the material properly, giving the story time to play out and doing it justice. He reached out to Fox Group chairman Peter Rice who was an executive on the movie. Rice loved the idea and the project was set up at Fox TV Studios whose then-topper David Madden had worked with Murphy in the past. Arata was brought in as writer and the drama was sold to FX, with FX Prods. coming on board to co-produce with FtvS. Murphy is executive producing with Susan Montford, via their company Angry Films, along with Arata.


What’s the interesting part? It is the LOEG adaptation above all that set “the Original Writer” Alan Moore’s heart against any film or TV adaptations—Moore was forced to testify in a copyright infringement lawsuit, an event he found deeply repugnant. It is also safe to say that the amount of love lost between Murphy and Moore is such a negative quantity that it could form a gigantic black hole that could suck the entire universe right into it.

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All of which is to say that expect Moore not to have anything to say about this and to get exceedingly cranky when asked.

BUT, you may recall that League of Extraordinary Gentleman was announced last year as a “put pilot”—meaning it would have to be made and shown or Fox would have to pay a sizable fee—and where is that? Not another peep heard.

All of that said, in case you need to be reminded, From Hell is a true masterpiece of comics, Moore’s phantasmagoric view of true life historical detail and artist Eddie Campbell’s deeply felt expressionist art combining with one of the greatest mysteries of all time to make an unforgettable story. If you haven’t read it, remedy that right now!

5 COMMENTS

  1. I never followed how FROM HELL became a film in the first place. I always thought that Moore and Campbell owned the rights outright, and Moore has made clear many times that he does not care for cinematic adaptations of his work, no matter whether well-done or not. I always assumed that he was speaking of both things he owned and did not own; that was the sense I got from his comments.

    I suppose it could be that Moore’s contract with Campbell allowed Campbell to sign off on film adaptations if he wanted, perhaps completely without Moore’s involvement. I’m sure I saw Moore state that though he refused to take money for the WATCHMEN movie licensed by DC Comics, he Moore did not philosophically oppose Dave Gibbons taking money from the movie-makers.

    OK, since I wrote the above, I found a brief reference asserting that Moore did participate in selling FH to moviemakers, in part because he thought they’d never be made, or so he said.

    Anyone got more details?

  2. Still waiting for Alan Moore to explain why the revelation behind the Jack The Ripper murders in From Hell is identical (not just similar) to the reasons for the Jack The Ripper murders in the 1970s Sherlock Holmes film Murder By Decree.

  3. It’s been what, over ten years since the movie, and Fox still has the rights? Is that a common type of deal? Is it like Marvel’s deals with Sony and Fox, where they can retain the film rights indefinitely as long as they intermittently keep the property in production? And do Moore and Campbell get any money from a new series?

  4. James, you must not have read FROM HELL, then, because Moore acknowledges therein his source for the discredited theory (that he himself does not believe) as JACK THE RIPPER: THE FINAL SOLUTION by Stephen Knight – which predates MURDER BY DECREE by three years.

  5. The most fascinating part of “From Hell” is the epilogue, where Moore and Campbell explore the history of the many theories. (Although, I don’t believe they mentioned “Wolf in the Fold”.)

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