[adrotate group="10"]

Thespirit Giantsilken2
A few more posters from the upcoming Frank Miller-directed SPIRIT movie have been released, showing Scarlet Johansson, Sarah Paulson and Jaime King’s characters. Enjoy.
Spirit Jaime Teaser Print07

Spirit Sarah Teaser Print07

[adrotate group="10"]

46 COMMENTS

  1. Iron Man.
    The Hulk.
    Wanted.
    Hancock.
    Batman: The Dark Knight.
    The Spirit.

    Could 2008 be the greatest year for superhero movies we’ve ever seen?

    I was thinking about it today. I wanted these characters to come to the screen so badly as a kid. I remember the Bullpen Bulletins sometimes hinting to deals that never came to fruition and I’d think: why, why, why???

    If I went back in time now to my 14 year old self and told him it would be this good one day, he wouldn’t believe me. He couldn’t. It would be too much.

  2. I was reading some old Bullpens the other day and thought the exact same thing. I bet they felt frustrated too that they couldn’t convince Hollywood that these could make money. But I bet if you went back and told Stan, he would totally believe it.

    wow Sarah Paulson as Ellen is really really good

    -Master of the Obvious

  3. Gee…Nothing entices a moviegoer more like slapping big lettering over pretty starlets’ faces.

    Why not just tack on a “From the writer of ROBOCOP 2 & 3” line while you’re at it?

  4. Atrocious and completely un-Eisner.

    Fuck off back to funnybook land, Miller, and PLEASE collaborate with someone else for a while– you were most sane in the late eighties & early nineties when you had to tailor your dialogue to someone else’s art. Nowadays you’re nothing but bad ideas. You need another creator to help rein it in.

  5. I’ll concur with Ian — all three times! These posters miss the mark. Maybe it’s just as well that Will Eisner didn’t live to see this.

  6. Having seen the trailer at NYCC08, I now refer to this as “Frank Miller’s Spirit”.

    I wanted to voice my concern to Michael Uslan this weekend, but was too poilite.

    I’ll go see it, but with a critical eye.

    However, there is one saving grace: Adair’s Supposition: “No matter how wretched a motion picture adaptation of a literary property, the literary property will sell, as consumers will realize the literary property was interesting enough to be made into a multimillion dollar motion picture.”

    What this means is that quite a few people will discover the Eisner graphic novels, just as many people read The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

  7. “Keep the mask on…” … it is better this way.

    That is no longer a one-trick pony, it’s a three-legged donkey show!

  8. People I know often ask, “If you read and have worked in comics, why haven’t you seen “Comic Book X?”

    This looks to be a reason I can give as to why.

  9. I feel dumb for bringing it up without the link… but somewhere out there in the great land of the internet there is a place with all four of the women from the Spirit posters, and as you run the mouse over each a voice clip plays of each actress saying the line from their, uh, cheeks… and it kinda underlines the lack of Eisner in this film… the more you play with it, the more porno-y it starts to sound…

    errr… I’ll try to find that link again…

  10. I have met Frank Miller numerous times, and I really like him. I want that to be known before I say:

    I really, really hate these posters. It reduces the women to Denny Colt’s f*cktoys. They’re depressing.
    Having only met Eisner once, I don’t have any business saying he’d hate them. I know aged material presents a challenge in presentation to an audience that has never known the original, but I expected better.

    There’s no reason sexy, even racy, has to be puerile and ugly.

  11. whoa, when did the beat reply machinery become so grim? Yes it’s def. Miller’s interpretation (I was really mad about Octopus) but did we really expect anything different? Could you really see Frank Miller doing it in the blue suit?

    Someday they’ll do a Darwyn Cooke animated movie and the world will be at peace.

    I do think Miller is def. trying to make us think of something -else -with the text on their faces. It’s a little more XXX than racy, I agree, but it is text, so that’s a little Spirit.

    that being said, I liked them only because they gave one to Sarah Paulson who IS Ellen. big fan.

    One more: I teach a comics class and we had this one kid who really got into Iron Man, wrote his huge last research paper on the big storyline with Stane, really went crazy with it and loved it. A. So I was dying to hear what he, this new fan of the world, all sparkling and bright, thought of the new movie, so I emailed him.

    He didn’t like it. That it totally changed the ending from the comics and needed to have more drinking and more Rhodey and he hated the secret identity reveal.

    I felt really bad to have had a hand in the genesis of another fanboy, but like Torsten eloquently said, I think the primacy of the source material — whether post- or pre- — seems to always win out.

    Brad

  12. From the webcomic Shortpacked, shortly after Miller’s involvement in this project was announced:

    “But… but The Spirit isn’t about whores!”
    “Correction: It *wasn’t* about whores.”

  13. Btw: I read the posters as the GIRLS saying those things and was a little taken aback when I read the comments; I didn’t get any impression of sexism, and actually found the text quite tastefully sexy. A hot girl in glasses saying “on your knees then”? Nice. And the teaser trailer wasn’t bad when I went and looked. Yes, very Sin City (which I loved), but at least it isn’t like 300 (which I loathed). I think it’s safe to say I’ll at least reserve judgment until seeing the actual movie. And the trailer’s interesting enough to say I will. :)

  14. Wow. Overwhelmingly negative.
    Damn straight.

    I especially agree with Rich. I feel sort of relieved the great Will Eisner is no longer here to see this ugliness that Miller and co. have somehow distilled from the wonder that was The Spirit. Shame on all of them.

    But other than screwing up The Spirit, I think they’re all very eye-catching.
    (Even if they do look just like Sin City 2 if it were set in the 40’s.)

    Also, that logo isn’t nearly as legible as they think.

  15. I took 20 minutes to play with one of these in Photoshop, so I can say they are actually sexy without the ugly fonts crawling on the faces. VERY sexy.

    Seen Sin City. Hated the posters, hated the movie. Even in black and white, white does not look like blood.

  16. I very much doubt – having designed dvd key art and planned over 60 marketing campaigns — that this is Miller’s work. Often this material gets shuttled over to the design house who reads the script, reviews the stills and comes up with something the studio thinks is hot….

    Then MAYBE the director is consulted on how it looks and is presented.

  17. Looks like The Spirit will be the “Red Sonia” to Sin City’s “Conan The Barbarian.” (I’m referring to the movies of all listed of course, not the comics.)

    That said, man, I haven’t seen such unanimously venomous loathing and pre-judging hurled at something in a long time. Quite a change from the 80s and 90s when Miller could do no wrong.

    And the posters certainly do look like porno shots as I’m sure was the intention. That Ellen one looks straight out of porno with a finger having replaced the penis in photoshop. Poor Will Eisner…

  18. I’m sorry, but God, what a cesspool of negativity.

    When will you learn? When the hell will you learn? How many films do you all need to bitch about, slag, whine over, diss and criticize, only to discover that the final product is damned entertaining?

    Early photos don’t matter. Posters don’t matter. Previews don’t matter (if you don’t believe me, how many films have you seen where the preview kicked ass and the film then sucked?). A rumor that your second cousin’s college roommate heard from a guy who was an extra on the set for a day doesn’t matter. Hell, take it from someone who’s read film scripts: Even reading the script doesn’t matter.

    It is absolutely ridiculous to draw conclusions about a movie until you have seen the movie. Until such time as you have, it is a waste to expend energy and aggravation over it, and frankly, you just make yourselves come across like the cliched notion of the impossible-to-please, perpetually cranky, uberdemanding. Simpsons-esque comic book fan. It is, frankly, embarrassing.

    I see the posters and think the actresses look good. I see the tag lines, shrug, and figure it’s some PR person’s idea of what audiences will find provocative. Maybe he or she is right, maybe he or she is wrong. Don’t know, don’t particularly care. Nothing matters until it’s on the screen, period.

    And just in case you’re wondering, I have not read the script, have seen no previews, have no contact with the film whatsoever. I am, however, the guy who–years ago at a convention–said during a panel that I was reserving judgment on the Burton/Keaton “Batman” until I actually saw it in the theaters and was nearly booed off the stage as a result. The fans were that convinced it was going to be a campy film a la Adam West. And then a few years later I overheard some fans discussing “Batman Returns,” declaring that if it wasn’t Tim Burton directing and Michael Keaton starring, it was going to suck.

    Stop being cliches and wait for the film. Embrace the concept of informed opinions.

    PAD

  19. I do like the Jaime King poster, the little dots on her skin are fascinating, the hair is bit weird.. But I think the “head”line works on that one. The other two poster headlines are tacky and also tacky.

    Peter David, I think it is okay for us to be underwhelmed by these images and express that to each other. By now, we’ve seen many Spirit poster concepts. Some work, some don’t.

    Many of us will see this movie. I consider the dismay to be coming from our hopes that the Spirit, a character near and dear to our hearts, will survive the journey to the big screen. And maybe like a John D MacDonald character, survive the ordeal beaten and bruised, but able to fight another day.

  20. “Peter David, I think it is okay for us to be underwhelmed by these images and express that to each other”

    Might I point out that the very first comment is “This movie is going to suck ass!”, a sentiment which is echoed by others. Hardly a group of folks sitting around confining comments to the images.

    The point of advertising posters is to provoke interest in the movie, period. To make people passing them in a theater stop, make a mental note of the name of the film they’re promoting, and then go on about their business. If they accomplish that, they’ve done their job. It just seems pointless to me to hold them up to any sort of extended scrutiny, and downright ridiculous to make pronouncements about the film based upon them.

    PAD

  21. “I consider the dismay to be coming from our hopes that the Spirit, a character near and dear to our hearts, will survive the journey to the big screen.”

    And just for the record, I have no idea what that means.

    A noted author once had a film made of a novel of his, and the film was widely acknowledged to be ghastly. Yet he seemed sanguine about it. Friends said to him, “Aren’t you upset about what they did to your book?” His response was, “What are you talking about? There’s my book, right there, on the shelf. It’s whole and intact. The movie didn’t do anything to it.”

    Here’s a wild idea: if the movie isn’t a pure version of Eisner’s Spirit, so what? It remains just that. A version. Nothing is going to overwrite what already exists. The day the movie comes out, Denny Colt’s ensemble isn’t going to magically transform from blue to black in all the previous color strips that have already been collected. And if the purchase of the movie rights generated a big check for the estate of Will Eisner, I have no problem with that. And if the film works in its own right, does extremely well, and generates more money for the Eisner family, I’m fine with that, too. And if it prompts even one movie goer to pick up some “Spirit” collections which in turn generates royalties for the Eisner family, then I think that’s okey doke.

    Anyone here have a problem with Will Eisner’s surviving family members seeing some serious money as a result of Eisner’s work? Anyone here have a problem with new fans being brought into the fold because they saw the movie and seek out the originals as a result?

    Maybe it will be a lousy movie. Maybe it will be a good movie. And if it’s the latter and it’s not a perfect recreation of Eisner’s Spirit, so what? Who needs recreations when you’ve got the original, safe and sound and on the shelves?

    PAD

  22. With all due respect to Mr. David, but he is missing the point here. I believe the reason why people are so upset about this is not that it may or may not be a sucky movie, mainly because pretty much everybody understands Sturgeon’s Law applies to all of pop culture.

    It’s the fact that it’s Frank Miller.

    Yes, THAT Frank Miller who claims that this IS Will Eisner’s SPIRIT.

    THAT Frank Miller who famously didn’t deal with ANY movie studio, didn’t even want to deal with Rodriguez, because he didn’t want to have ANY of his stuff changed for the big screen. No. No. No. Not with Frank. He wanted to preserve his work’s INTEGRITY.

    THAT Frank Miller, who claims he is for the protection and the rights for every artist, for the INTEGRITY of the work.

    If it were somebody else, I am pretty sure that this would not get any attention at all.

    If he’d had the balls to do an ORIGINAL work, this wouldn’t even be part of any discussion. But Miller has been very vocal on a LOT of those issues over the past 30+ years, and with every piece that is released, every photo, every poster, every snippet of a clip, the impression that Frank Miller only cares about artistic integrity and being faithful to somebody’s work when it’s… Frank Miller.

    And it is going to bite him in the ass, because the fact is that we are now living in an age, where these things matter.

    Like it or not, they matter to a lot of people (not to me personally, because I believe the Spirit is primarily of interest due to Eisner’s groundbreaking work on layout, story sequencing etc, not necessarily due to the awesomeness of the character itself)

    And that, I believe, is the reason people are being vocal about it. Of course, not the general movie-going public, because they don’t know and thusly do not care about any of this. But those folks who have been following Miller around for a while during his comics career, eh, they are a different thing… to them, Miller’s become … uh… what was that word again? Ah, yes… a hypocrit.

  23. I have to say I agree with Bill Cunningham and PAD. Let’s not give Miller too much credit here. He’s still working through a studio and a distributor, both of whom are marketing this as “by the creator of ‘Sin City,'” so it isn’t a big surprise that’s all we’re getting a color movie pushed at us in almost black-and-white images that’re pulpy as hell.

    Reading the movie site’s blog, I like Frank Miller’s justification for changing the suit to black (both historical and visual). And just because his media image has gotten a little out of his control doesn’t mean all he is is a cropped haircut and wacky vest. He’s a guy who knows that this movie will stand or fail on his story and direction. Hopefully the fact that his movie succeeded and was praised for its faithfulness to the source is something he keeps close to his heart (probably in one of those ba-jillion vest pockets).

    Besides, this movie has the same problem a Sandman movie would have, only exacerbated. To be REALLY faithful to Eisner, a Spirit move should feature 70-80 minutes of criminals, cops, and victims and maybe 20 minutes of Spirit in the shadows.

  24. Thomas, I wouldn’t call Miller a hypocrite simply on the basis of his having said this is “Will Eisner’s SPIRIT” (assuming he personally said so, and not some ad-campaign).

    It’s one thing to have “integrity” where your own original projects are concerned, because You The Author know what you would have done with an adaptation and why it does or doesn’t toe the line.

    But when you work on someone else’s project, it’s inevitable that there are going to be differences in interpretation. Miller’s SPIRIT looks like an ill-advised melding of two very different talents, but you know what? Cooke’s SPIRIT is not Eisner’s SPIRIT either. More respectful to Eisner’s tone, sure. But I’m sure there are still differences from What Eisner Would Have Done, and those differences don’t undermine Cooke’s integrity.

    While it’s right to express concern, no less than being concerned over Michael Keaton’s ability to play a superdude, Peter’s right to say we shouldn’t rush to judgment.

  25. “THAT Frank Miller, who claims he is for the protection and the rights for every artist, for the INTEGRITY of the work.

    If it were somebody else, I am pretty sure that this would not get any attention at all

    And that, I believe, is the reason people are being vocal about it.”

    And I believe you are mistaken.

    First of all, I cannot believe you seriously think that if it were somebody else, it would not get any attention. It doesn’t matter if a film is being made by a comic book great or someone who’s never even read an issue of a comic before. Fans will go ballistic at the slightest provocation. What draws the attention are the characters and, more importantly, the fans’ obsession with the characters.

    Second, the vast majority of postings don’t mention Miller at all. Third, a number of the postings that do mention him actively express dislike for his previous work, rather than the “Frank Miller has let me down!” mindset that you’re ascribing.

    Third, you’re going right back to my original point: Making judgments as to what the final film will be like based upon a handful of images and a teaser trailer. Until there’s an actual movie to judge, everyone is just spinning their wheels.

    PAD

  26. “Fans will go ballistic at the slightest provocation. What draws the attention are the characters and, more importantly, the fans’ obsession with the characters.”

    I personally would agree with that assessment, as could be evidenced by the first X-Men movie and the re-design of their costumes. I remember quite some people being ballistic then.

    “Second, the vast majority of postings don’t mention Miller at all. Third, a number of the postings that do mention him actively express dislike for his previous work, rather than the “Frank Miller has let me down!” mindset that you’re ascribing.”

    I wasn’t, however, just referencing the latest posts here, but the general reaction on many boards, including movie boards over the past couple of months.

    “Third, you’re going right back to my original point: Making judgments as to what the final film will be like based upon a handful of images and a teaser trailer. Until there’s an actual movie to judge, everyone is just spinning their wheels.”

    ’tis a fine argument you present here, but a very limited one, because the gist of the argument comes down to: “the stuff you see here is not going to be the thrust of the movie.” If that is indeed the case, then Lionsgate has a tremendously bad marketing department. Could you be right? Of course you could be. I highly doubt it, though, mainly because Lionsgate has had a rather decent marketing for most of their product.

    I disagree with your assessment and you with mine :) Civilised, we are.

    Like I said, personally, I don’t care either way. I judge the potential product on what I have seen, and not on the basis of “this is Will Eisner or not”.

    But this is just for me personally. Taking out ANY other factors: I find the posters boring. I found the teaser trailer to be insufferable (AND boring), and I will do what I always do when somebody puts out something that doesn’t give me a reason to buy: I will save my money and spend on a product that I think I might like. ’tis my right as a customer, y’know?

  27. I think it IS safe to say that either the marketing on this movie is grossly misrepresenting the product, or that the product is grossly misrepresenting the source material. If The Spirit is like an urban Indiana Jones, why in God’s name would they promote it like it’s Blade Runner? Can people who love the source material question this judgment or will that too incite the Wrath of PAD? Seriously Peter, did you just break out the hoary cliche of the Comic Book Guy? Are you next going to beat on your chest and call everyone “babymen”? If fans don’t like what they see, they have every right to say so. If that bothers you so much then you just missed the entire point of the Internet.

    Miller’s name was made on someone having the vision to faithfully translate his work to the screen, but he can’t do the same for the most respected name in comics? Say what you will but Eisner fans have been given little choice to believe otherwise.

  28. Peter, if every time I eat green peppers I don’t like them, what makes you think the next time I eat them I’ll like them? It’s the same with Miller and this movie. I thought Sin City and 300 were terrible movies, so those peppers would taste nasty to me if I eat them again. You can make a informed opinion on past experiences you know.

  29. It’s not like these posters are the first bad sign. (No pun intended.)
    That first awful poster of Denny Colt drawn by Miller was staggeringly hideous.

    I think fans are being so vocal about their alarm because they love Eisner’s creation AND out of the hope that IF this thing IS the trainwreck we fear then perhaps it’s not too late for those in control to do some tweaking.

    Personally I’m not pre-judging anything other than the posters.
    And the trailer didn’t bother me nearly as much as the posters, so maybe there’s hope…

  30. Peter David is right — We should stop wasting our time making judgments about a film that isn’t even out yet and get back to more productive efforts…such as discussing why SHE-HULK has been mostly disappointing since Dan Slott left.

    Me, I’m thinking there are too many “Jen sitting around in jail” scenes. How about you?

  31. I agree with Peter David and Gene Phillips.

    I always wanted to write that.

    I think the idea of Frank Miller doing a Will Eisner movie is hilarious, and I look forward to seeing the final result. It may be awesome, it may be retarded, it may be awesomely retarded. Who knows?

    Even if it’s the worst movie ever made and I end up wanting to stab my eyes out with my soda straw, I think I’ll survive the experience. What’s at risk exactly? It’s OK if Hollywood wants to make movies I don’t like — I’m a really not-attractive demographic. Is it the historical legacy? Anyone who has their opinion of a great work changed by a bad movie of the comic likely never would have read the comic, and probably wouldn’t have understood it if they had.

Comments are closed.