10 Movies You Didn’t Realise Were Based On Comic Books
As we prepare ourselves for Sin City 2’s release on Monday, we’re checking out the movies you might not have realised were based on comics…
By Gary Ogden
Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For is out on August 25th and, as we all know, it’s based on a comic book. It's basically like watching a comic book on screen. Loads of films are based on comic books – you've got your Batmans, your Spider-Mans, your Avengers – but what of the films that you thought were original ideas?
They don't exist. Chances are you're watching a film based on a comic book, even if you didn't know it. Here are 10 films you didn't realise were based on comics. Unless of course you did, and in that case, well done.
Road To Perdition
This one's about a hitman and his son who go off on a quest for revenge (like most father-son relationships, then). Tom Hanks stars alongside Daniel Craig and Paul Newman – this is a high calibre cast for a movie based on a comic book. But then not all comic books are full of muscle-bound lug heads in spandex, are they?
A story about an attractive young woman returning to her home town where ALL the men now fancy her doesn't seem so suited to comic-strip form (there aren't any aliens in it), but it gained a great deal of popularity when it appeared as a serial in the Guardian, back in 2005. It works nicely as an amiable comedy movie, and the casting of Gemma Arterton was spot-on. Also, someone gets killed by a load of cows, which is of interest to those that like that kind of thing.
30 Days Of Night
This pant-soiling horror flick about scary vampires is an underrated classic, trust us. The premise concerns a bunch of bloodsuckers that descend upon an Alaskan town that's just entered a 30-day polar night (does what it says on the tin). That basically means it's dark for 30 days, so not the best time to have a bunch of Draculas in your garden. They've aped the look and feel of the comic down to a T too; they look almost identical.
A History Of Violence
Here's another critical darling that it's hard to believe came from a comic. The story of a man who leads a hidden life that all comes back to haunt him in the form of eye scars and broken noses – it's like an Oscar-worthy Taken. It differs quite a bit from the graphic novel, but the main characters are essentially the same. Fans of the book weren't too happy with the changes, something which screenwriter Josh Olsen should have realised – NEVER CHANGE A COMIC BOOK OTHERWISE THE INTERNET WILL HATE YOU.
You wouldn't believe it, but the comic that the kids' film The Mask was based on was about as politically incorrect as you could imagine. Violence, sex, swearing – you name it. The story is essentially the same – someone puts on a mask and they turn into a green nutcase, but in the comics, that green nutcase had an extreme propensity towards huge guns and extreme violence. The original script was also in this vein, but once Jim Carrey became attached, they took out out all the offensive stuff. Shame.
Men In Black
Now three films deep, The Men In Black franchise began life as a comic book released in 1990, before being adapted into the Will Smith vehicle we know it as today. The comic and movie share essentially the same blueprint – a secret government organisation of men in black suits (tin) who protect the earth from dodgy extra-terrestrial activity. As per usual with this type of thing, the comic was a lot darker and more violent, but the kiddies don't take too kindly to mass murder and destruction so they had to lighten it up a bit for the movies.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
You all know that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles phenomenon didn't start with the movies, but did you know there was a comic book before the TV show? It was originally based on a joke – a doodle the co-creators made, before realising there may be a bit more mileage in the idea. From there they turned it into a comic book, which was decidedly more violent and adult than the TV series and movies. As always, once people saw dollar signs, the turtles were diluted (although to be honest, that didn't make them any less awesome).
Do you remember a time when Jean-Claude Van Damme was a regular fixture in the cinemas? No, you probably don't, but such a time did exist. And Timecop was his biggest hit – a futuristic tale of, well, a cop, who can, erm, travel through time. It was all based on a single comic that appeared in an anthology of stories back in 1992, and it only took two years before the Van Damme version came out. It was slightly different, but still concerned a time-travelling policeman, although he didn't have a Belgian accent or do the splits. Which is obviously an extreme disappointment.
Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington starred in this buddy action movie from last year about two blokes on the run from a scary drug cartel. Well guess what? Yes, you guessed correctly! It's based on a comic book! Both are full of twists, turns and PIAOW PIAOW PIAOW, and both are good. Although we'll probably go for the movie version, because it's got Denzel Washington in it, and as we all know anything with Denzel Washington in it is better than anything without Denzel Washington in it.
V For Vendetta
Comic book writer Alan Moore's been pretty vocal about his dislike for Hollywood, mainly because of his disappointment in the first two adaptations of his work – From Hell and The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. So when the Wachowskis decided they wanted to adapt V For Vendetta, he wasn't best pleased. As a result, he requested his name be removed from the project and he refused to watch it. Which is a shame, because it's actually really good – much better than those other two duds anyway. You know what? We bet he's watched it and he's just telling everyone he hasn't...