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The Ark

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I'm not an automatic fan of comic book adaptations, but some of them over the years have been very good films. X-Men, Batman Begins, the ones that seem to give up trying to tell comic book stories but are still bred from the comic universe -- those are the ones that are worth watching, because they are simply good entertainment. They could be film feature originals for all anyone knows or cares, because they fit the mold.

Some try to be visual representations of comics and end up violating a number of important cinema rules in order to remain consistent and faithful to the source material.

The effort and interest are notable, but there are some pretty good reasons for staying inbounds. Primarily, there is this fine line that we walk in creating a fantasy where the audience can happily be lost for an hour-and-a-half without going so far that their own sense of what's possible jerks them out of the fantasy.

You don't ever want that to happen, and the more often it happens -- this is the important part that most comic fans don't understand -- the more critics and testscreeners and the first public audience that sees the movie are going to tell their colleagues and friends that it "isn't realistic" and not worth going to see.

That's a death sentence. You can't bring some of the unrealistic stuff in comics to the screen if it's going to end up costing the film its credibility and box office sales.

Comic fans will, by and large, go to a theater to see an unfaithful adaptation. That's a given. But they aren't the target audience, the population at large is. Sacrifices must be made to make the film acceptable and appealing to that group mind.

Yes, it's giving too much, and yes, it's selling out somewhat, but smugness at sticking it to the man to do it "right" doesn't pay the bills.

With that, we have the latest in adaptations (beyond even Wolverine, Magneto, and Young X-Men, with Dark Horse title The Ark. Is it just me, or are these tending increasingly towards science fiction & fantasy these days rather than straight fantasy?

Since I'm a writer, I automatically give cred to productions that defer to writers. Columbia has the good sense to allow the original comic author to write the screenplay for this adaptation, and his TV credits mean he knows what he's doing already and won't have to deal with the learning curve of writing scripts.

Mark Verheiden has written for and been a long time Co-Exec for Battlestar Galactica and Smallville. According to Sci Fi Wire, "The Ark mixes the story of Noah's ark with a UFO crash." This has potential, some keep an ear out for this, but don't expect it until next year at the earliest.
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The text of this article is Copyright © 2006,2007 Paul William Tenny. All rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Attribution by: full name and original URL. Comments are copyrighted by their authors and are not subject to the Creative Commons license of the article itself.