Karen's response to the news that Frank Miller will adapt and direct one of the most influential comics of all time was:
A) A blank stare.
B) A shriek so loud dogs started barking.
C) Reaching for the bottle of Baileys and not bothering with ice. Or, for that matter, a glass.
D) A, followed by B, followed by C.
I normally hesitate to judge works before they are even begun, but this is Miller, he of the WHORES WHORES WHORES, and I'm going to go out on a very sturdy, wide limb and suggest that the movie will not strike a great blow for the feminist movement.
The Spirit comic has a rather wonderful noir setting and some problematic treatments of minorities and gender inequality which can be partially excused because of the era in which it was written, and because Eisner did indeed seek to address those problems when they were pointed out to him. It involves lots of femme fatale villains and a feisty love interest for the Spirit, vivacious proto-feminist Ellen Dolan.
Does anyone believe that Miller, writing a movie for the post-modern age, is going to take the opportunity to criticise some of the less savoury aspects of the original text?
Or, as adroitly characterised by one friend, is it going to be: "Femme fatale" = "whores with lots of eyeliner." "Proto-feminist" = "whores with less eyeliner, and maybe they don't smoke."?
"I intend to be extremely faithful to the heart and soul of the material, but it won't be nostalgic. It will be much scarier than people expect," said Miller.
Oh, FRANK. I'm already scared.