Interview: James McTeigue (director of 'Ninja Assassin')
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Date Stamp: November 25, 2009
Thick: I think most people would agree that you made the best Alan Moore adaptation.
James McTeigue: Thank-you very much.
Thick: And I think that anybody who deals with any of his properties runs into problems getting his input. So did you actually deal with him at all?
JMc: He's a cantankerous old bastard, Alan Moore, and it doesn't stop him from selling the rights to his books to Hollywood. He doesn't like the adaptations that are done, and fair enough, that's his prerogative. Having said that about Alan Moore, he, like no-one else, knows how to put politics and science, and the graphic novel world, and comics, and philosophy together like not many writers can that are writing in his genre. He is one of the greats and deservedly so. If you take Watchmen that just came out, just the core idea of that is kinda genius. Or you take V For Vendetta, which was written as a reaction to the Thatcher-ite Period, it's pretty clever the way he put that all together. We had one conversation with him but, basically, that was him telling us how he didn't want to have anything to do with the film...but, good luck.
Thick: So, what did you think of The Watchmen?
JMc: I thought it was a brave thing for Zack to do. That is like the Holy Grail of graphic novels and to attempt it was extraordinary and what he did with it, I thought, was fantastic. Obviously, you can't fit everything that's in the graphic novel itself into the film and I know that he did the side thing with Tales of the Black Freighter. I think he did a really good job. It looks amazing that film.
Thick: They are going to put out a version where the Tales of the Black Freighter is properly spliced into the director's cut of the movie.
JMc: That will be cool to see because obviously that story is integral to the graphic novel, and how those two stories speak to each other. What is that film like nine and a half hours long? (Laughs)
Thick: I think the director who was most likely to get it off the ground before Zack was trying to do a mini series.
JMc: I really thought for a lot of years there it had the curse on it. You know, everybody tried and could never crack it. I think ultimately the technology caught up with it. When you have Dr. Manhattan as a big blue guy walking around on the moon, it's hard to do that before. I think he did a good job. He's a good film-maker, Zack.