One of my favorite writers of comics has to be Alan Moore: Watchman, V For Vendetta, From Hell, Batman: The Killing Joke and of course The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The man is certifiable, and his genius as a comic book writer is unparalleled. However, a filmmaker has yet to come along to properly translate his work to the screen. Not to say all film adaptations of Moore's work are bad; in fact, I like quite a few of them. They just have never been able to capture his particular quirks and tone very well. Moore, of course, will dislike anything any studio tries to do no matter what, but it would be great to have someone with some vision actually do it right.
As luck would have it, or if you are cynical, the money wheels at a studio started turning to try and actually remake this again. In May of this year Variety reported that Fox is remaking this with writer Jayson Rothwell. No cast or director has been named yet so I thought I'd take this opportunity to weigh in and give my thoughts on the matter. If you are listening, Fox, this may help you make a better movie than the Movie-That-Will-Not -Be-Named from 2003 and that subsequently ended Sean Connery's film career.
Now what would be our plot? This is also tricky as there are now about 15 issues from 1999 to the present, plus two graphic novels. There are about 8 or 9, depending on who's counting, members of the league that span from the 1600s and hops around every few centuries ending up in around 2009. The previous film tackled the first adventure and it's probably best to not be repeated. It involved The Great Detective, Sherlock Holmes', greatest villain Moriarty played by Richard Roxburgh - so I wouldn't suggest telling that story again. I also wouldn't suggest using the second story since it's basically a rehashed version of War of the Worlds which has been done to death over the years and would be difficult to put to film in my opinion. The real appeal of this property is the literary characters brought together in crisis much like the Avengers or Justice League but in Victorian London. Alan Moore said as much when asked to describe it. So I would say simply go with the original cast and possibly include Carnacki and Orlando and build on a crisis from that period, whether literary or historical. I personally would start with H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu since many of the monsters that appear is derived from Lovecraft. Combine the cult group in the 1910 volume that is focused on the Moon Stone. They bring forth a creature that the League must band together and destroy. Perhaps they can also explore a bit of the Blazing World run by Prospero (yep, of The Tempest), which is a surreal place not of this Earth. It could be confusing but intriguing.
DIRECTOR: This is going to be the hardest part of the entire production because I think that most directors would have a hard time with this subject matter. If you've ever read The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen you will realize that even though it follows a plot you may have seen before and has characters you know (if you read a lot of Victorian-era literature), it is unconventional in its approach. There is only one man who can make this film, Christopher Nolan. That's right, there aren't many mainstream director's who can dabble in difficult subject matter or genre and still make it palpable for mainstream audiences. If you can't get Nolan lets just be honest, it probably won't work. From Memento to Interstellar this guy has mastered the art of storytelling through cinema and he would make a very honest, kick ass, slightly fucked up version of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen that could possibly bring Alan Moore back into the cinematic fold. I would look to The Prestige, Inception, and the iconic Batman/Dark Knight trilogy. This guy understands the power of myth, he totally gets the period piece and he's extremely capable of creating a visual but complex world either in the real world or a dreamlike world, which is a large part of the League's overall story.