Doom and Gloom Loom Over the “Other” Howard Movie Projects
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
posted by Miguel Martins
This Cimmerian blog entry is a bit out of the ordinary. Following Damon C. Sasser’s recent post on the REH:Two-Gun Raconteur blog, fellow blogger Al Harron and myself both started to work on articles about proposed Howardian movies. Thus, instead of posting two blog entries with some overlap, we decided to revive the Auld Alliance and to provide a joint entry. Hence, this piece is a collaborative effort, co-signed by Alexander Harron and Miguel Martins.
The film purportedly based on REH’s mighty-thewed “Dark Barbarian” from Cimmeria has begun shooting in Bulgaria, but sadly, the positive news on the Conan project provided by Patrice Louinet tends to be drowned in a miasma of depressing, outrageous and otherwise unpleasant news. Damon Sasser was the messenger of doom last week, as he brought a number of upcoming Paradox projects to our attention.
Let’s start with the bad news which, sadly, outweighs the good.
Untitled El Borak Project
(Action /Adventure New Media Series)
Jason Bourne meets Lawrence of Arabia. Disillusioned after years of U.S. black ops, lethal CIA operative Francis Gordon disappears. Years later, he resurfaces as a mercenary for Afghani warlords and seeks to keep U.S., Russian, and British influence out of the region. In their quest for power, these nations bid for the services of shadowy gun-runner “El Borak,” once known as Francis Gordon.
We don’t know if a screenwriter provided this execrable blurb, or if the person who produced it is only working for Paradox’s website. The latter seems more probable. This film project is not listed on IMDB yet.
Damon has already said a lot of things which needed to be told on the upcoming “El Borak” and “Pigeons from Hell” “adaptations.” His thoughts on the former:
Okay, first of all you know you are in trouble when the blurb for a movie begins something like: “think Godzilla meets The Parent Trap.” Summing up the entire plot of a movie in this way must mean the money guys who are pitched these movies have the attention span of a gnat, which also calls into question the intelligence of those pushing the concept.
Second, the CIA wasn’t around during the time of El Borak’s adventures. It was created in 1947 and by that time Gordon would have been a senior citizen.
Thirdly “mercenary; shadowy gun-runner” to me spells “criminal element” and the El Borak I know is far from a criminal. He is a good guy adventurer, not shady at all. Also, it appears, Gordon has discarded his real name and become simply “El Borak.” So, assuming they cast Matt Damon in the role of El Borak, he will doubtless be a highly-skilled chop-socky jockey instead of a master swordsman and deadly gunfighter like the real El Borak. In other words, more of the same old watered down pap Hollywood has been feeding us for years.
Fourth, judging by the description, this mish-mash of a plot takes place during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan (1979 -1989). Also, the British left Afghanistan in 1919, so other than returning after 9/11, they have no real interest in the country. The whole premise of this movie makes no sense at all, which is par for the course.
Fifth, I’ve seen this move before – it’s called Rambo III.
What did you expect, Damon? Instead of being inspired by Robert Ervin Howard, they’re leaning toward a mix between a Delta Force installment and a spy movie. It was predictable…
Someone familiar with the history of the cinematographic adaptations/bastardization of Howard’s material already knows that if one thing is certain, it’s this trend. Bassett took more inspiration from Peter Jackson’s adaptations of the Lord of the Ring trilogy than from any REH yarn for his Solomon Kane pastiche; the leaked script of the new Conan film, presenting yet again an ultra-clichéd tale of revenge, last-of-his-kind story, bore more similarities to John Milius’ Conan the Barbarian than to any Howard yarn. The Curse of REH is once again palpable here.
Damon profoundly dislikes the “X” meet “Y” pitch. Right on, though if someone had written: it’s “The Man Who Would Be King” meets “Lawrence of Arabia,” it would have been slightly less worrying. Incidentally, if passing a judgment on a mere blurb seems harsh, it should be noted that the sole references of the people who wrote it appear to be other movies. Expecting mentions of writers, like for instance some of the Man from Cross Plains’ major influences as Harold Lamb, Rudyard Kipling or Talbot Mundy, would probably have been too much. You have to wonder if the person who penned this blurb has actually bothered to read the El-Borak stories or if she only went by a vague description.
Pigeons From Hell
Stephen King called Robert E. Howard’s tale “one of the finest horror stories of the 20th century.” Tonally like The Shining and The Others. When a construction crew is hired to renovate a dilapidated mansion in post-Katrina New Orleans, they become trapped when the basement collapses and releases an unspeakable evil. The mansion holds the grisly legend of its previous owners, an influential family who performed grotesque experiments on their servants before a revolt sent them into hiding. One of the construction workers becomes possessed and sabotages all means of escape. The group must then survive the night while being hunted by the wraith of the former owner.
While it is unclear what type of project “Pigeons From Hell” is, I assume it is a movie.
Okay, for starters they threw out 90% of the plot, leaving only the “dilapidated mansion” part. The traveling friends became construction workers and the “horror” moved from the upper floors to the basement.
This is actually sounds more like a famous New Orleans ghost story than “Pigeons From Hell,” so why not just tell that story and leave “Pigeons” out of the equation altogether?
Again, I’ve seen this movie before – it’s called Session 9.
Plus, was ‘modernizing’ the story by relocating it to ”post-Katrina” New-Orleans really necessary? Joe R. Lansdale already tried to give “a new take on it, a modern feel” to “Pigeons From Hell.” The answer to Damon’s (rhetorical) question might be: it’s easier to market a film based on a written work. There is a potential audience among aficionados of a printed œuvre and the credibility boost is not negligible, more so when the screenwriter and persons responsible for the project are not well-known –as it was the case for Michael J. Bassett when he was helmed to direct his Solomon Kane.
However, let it not be said that these are the only projects that don’t look particularly great.
Age of Conan: Hyboria!
Writer: Mike Fasolo – Comedy/Fantasy
Based on award-winning MMO game Age of Conan, irreverent comedy set in Conan’s world of Hyboria populated with barbarians, sorcerers, and mythical creatures. In lieu of employing traditional animation, we will manipulate the actual game engine graphics to showcase a look which has been embraced by millions of viral video fans around the world.
Mitra wept… Well, it speaks for itself. The late Steve Tompkins would have profoundly disliked to see yet another appearance of the dreaded “Hyboria,” though since the people from Funcom, keepers of this game’s “lore,” are still promoting this inaccurate appellation, it should not be surprizing that Paradox would use it here. This sounds suspiciously like the phenomenal (and genuinely funny) internet hit Red vs. Blue, an anarchic screwball comedy that is unquestionably the greatest thing ever done with the Halo Engine, as well as the popular South Park episode “Make Love, Not Warcraft,” featuring Age of Conan’s mightiest rival World of Warcraft. Age of Conan’s previous foray into popular culture was in The Big Bang Theory’s “The Barbarian Sublimation,” and while it deserves mighty kudos for referencing Robert E. Howard, one can’t help but think seeing pretty go-getter Penny transform into an unkempt slob through unhealthy playing habits can’t have been good for the game’s reputation.
Mike Fasolo’s current claim to fame is his work on Robot Chicken, which is essentially Family Guy stripped of any pretenses of a formal narrative, though using stop-motion animation instead of traditional animation. Fasolo has been thrice nominated for an Emmy, and the recipient of an Annie, so there’s a slim –slim– possibility that this could be something more than a further embarrassment to Howard’s legacy, though don’t count on it.
Dark Agnes, a swordswoman in 16th century France, flees her small town after killing her violent, arranged-marriage fiancé and journeys to find her true calling as a freedom fighter. Along the way, she meets up with a mercenary and aids him in his quest to recover a powerful amulet from the descendant of an evil witch who seeks to use it to destroy the land.
Dammit, it was going so well. Everything was there: it looked like it was going to be a twofer adaptation of “Sword Woman” and “Blades for France,” and it was alluring. Then… they rip off Red Sonja. What in Crom’s name are they doing? Why does every fantasy film have to involve a hoary old quest for a magical MacGuffin that could save or destroy the world? Why would the descendant of an evil witch want to destroy the land, when that would mean their own destruction? Why not arm Agnes with a fancy magical sword while you’re at it? Also, don’t forget to array her in ineffective armor mostly composed of breastplates which barely contain her pulchritude. After that, don’t forget to write a part for the inevitable and irritating comical sidekick. At that point, the list of all the idiotic prerequisites for a bad, generic fantasy movie would be complete.
Sadly, it appears that this is going to follow Gerald W. Page’s lackluster completion of “Mistress of Death,” which ended on a truly pathetic note, where the woman who could “drink, swear, march, fight & boast like any man” is reduced to cowering and wailing in the arms of a man! If they have to do this, then they could at least make Agnes more proactive and less the sidekick of John Stuart, the real hero of Page’s account. Whenever re-reading “Mistress of Death,” it’s always best to stop before “Stuart led the way,” so as to avoid seeing “I whimpered like a child” attributed to Agnes de la Fere.
Why must pasticheurs adhere to previous pastiches, even in new adaptations? Dark Horse did the same thing when they adapted the Yaralet Fragment into “The Hand of Nergal” despite the titular hand and god (way to work in a deus ex machina, Linwood Vrooman Carter!) having nothing to do with Howard’s original manuscript. Funcom felt that characters created by Lyon Sprague de Camp and his acolytes, like Juma, integrally belonged to their “Conan universe.” Places and clan names from John Maddox Robert’s Cimmeria found their way into Loren L. Coleman’s “Kern” series. If you’re going to adapt the unfinished Dark Agnes story –instead of trusting Howard and going by the yarns he completed, but that would be too much asking– why can’t you just do your own thing?
Al would be profoundly depressed if he had to pen an “Accept No Substitutes: Dark Agnes” post for one of his very favourite Howard characters; Miguel, equally disturbed by this blurb, would likewise not be thrilled to compose an “Agnes de Chastillon Film: quite as bad as feared” blog entry for The Cimmerian.
It should be noted that Dark Agnes is no longer listed on IMDB. Denise Di Novi, a person whose apparent involvement in this project –as with the development of the Kull film– aroused some hopes earlier does not now appear anywhere as a producer of any movie based on Howard’s characters. IMDB is not always accurate, but it could also mean that this project has been postponed…
Aiming for an ever-elusive “generic” audience by filming movies reduced to lowest common denominators often results in films that nobody wants to see. Howard’s creation was original, feminist, independent and inspiring. It was ahead of its time, in direct contradiction to the false belief that Howard’s stories were only about clichés of damsels-in-distress rescued by iron-thewed (and dull-witted) men. With a complex person like REH, nothing was ever that simple. Agnes de Chastillon spurred enthusiastic comments from the Great Queens of Swords C.L. Moore (“I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed “Sword-Woman”) and Leigh Brackett, who penned the introduction of the Zebra volume The Sword Woman in 1977. Watering down Agnes (like Page did) and/or reducing her to a mere “generic fantasy chick #45″ would be stupid beyond words.
We’ve already had to put up with people thinking Howard was responsible for the chainmail bikini-clad warrior woman who only gained her powers from a supernatural gift after being gang-raped; or those who thought that Conan was a former slave fond of fur underwear with an Austrian accent who grew muscles by pushing (aimlessly) a wheel for a decade; now we have to deal with those who believe that Solomon Kane was an evil man fighting minions of the Judaeo-Christian Devil to save his own soul; don’t mess up Dark Agnes as well.
Crippled man, James Allison, finds out his recurring dreams and delusions are not merely figments of his imagination, but are actual memories from his countless past lives. He’s been reincarnated for centuries and now vividly remembers all of his adventures. In the past, he was always a warrior who battled an evil force. In present day, he realizes he’s had the same enemy throughout time and knows he must now fight this enemy in his current form. As we jump between past and current lives, James Allison finds he can summon every skill from the past and use it in the present to defeat his nemesis. Award-winning comic book writer Kurt Busiek created a complete mythology for this project. The first graphic novel, Bloodstar, was based on Robert E. Howard’s “James Allison” mythology.
Are you kidding? Regular readers will be aware that Kurt Busiek’s work on Conan is not viewed highly at TC. Busiek’s otherwise excellent adaptation of “The Tower of the Elephant” was marred by elements of his ludicrous Hyperborea arc, “Born on the Battlefield” turned the Cimmerians into Braveheart-style Scottish peasants, and the less said about “Storyteller” the better. However, at least he was confined to comics: now we have a feature film with his pastichery? Was this one of the reasons Truman was brought in to replace him on Dark Horse‘s Conan, so that Busiek could work on this?
Part of the power of those tales is that Allison is crippled and housebound, yet he is simultaneously consoled and tormented by the memories of past lives, where he was a man of mighty proportions and storied adventures. Apparently, this film is going to jettison that tragic element so that Allison can conjure up his skills to battle some hitherto unseen and unmentioned nemesis. Whoever thought eliminating the contrast and the tension between James’ former heroic lives and his crippled present self is a fool. Part of the appeal of the character and possibly the most poignant aspect of these tales (along with the heroic deaths and sacrifices of some incarnations) come from this contrast. Is this James Allison or The Wheel of Time? Is James Allison the time-traveling equivalent of the Eternal Champion? These stories were written à la Jack London, now they would become ‘Moorcockian’? The idea of someone using skills earned through several lifetimes has been well used in some Science-Fiction stories, as was the case with the Trills on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine –but it isn’t a James Allison story. One of Robert E. Howard’s important themes is the passing of things, be it races, kingdoms, civilizations, individuals –to the very shape of the earth. And this bleak, touching message would be eliminated, now that the crippled Texan can use skills learned in the past instead of being confined to a sick-bed? Bassett and Milius both willingly ignored Robert E. Howard’s pivotal “barbarism vs civilization” theme, one in favor of a done-to-death, Good vs Evil, redemption story, the other to narrate the zen-influenced character development of a pseudo-samourai. Has no filmmaker any clue regarding the themes explored by the Bard of Cross Plains? Or do they simply don’t care?
The worst is that there is a great story that could be told with the James Allison stories… just the way they are. “The Valley of the Worm” and “Marchers of Valhalla” are perfect as it is, grand and epic. “The Garden of Fear” would be fine too. An anthology film with the Taduka Fragment, “The Tower of Time” and “The Guardian of the Idol” could work if you just filmed them in succession, since the stories provide a perfectly acceptable bridge. There’s no need to turn this into Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem or Assassin’s Creed 2 as written by the man who brought you Astro City.
Untitled John Kirowan Project
John Kirowan, scholar of the supernatural, travels the world soaking up knowledge of the occult and cursed artifacts. Ultimately sickened by his findings, Kirowan renounces this world, only to get caught up in supernatural occurrences beyond his control. Kirowan must deal with these dangerous new mysteries, despite trying to rid himself of the paranormal world forever. In the vein of Supernatural and Fringe.
Yet again we return to the “hero renounces the life of adventure and violence, but has to return to it because the plot demands it” that we already visited upon Solomon Kane. All it does is eat up time and provide gratuitous tension that nobody believes for a second, and we have to sit and impatiently wait for the hero to see the light and return to his destiny. It’s artificial, overplayed and Robert E. Howard did not use it, precisely because it’s unbelievable. How could Kirowan hope to escape the supernatural world when he knows full well that there is no escape from the horrors lurking in the dark corners of the earth? In a world inhabited by ‘Cthulhoid’ monstrosities, such a flight from cold, bleak, cosmic horror is not in the cards. Since Howard’s characters are more proactive than (most) of HPL’s, they have only one option: to fight, even against hopeless odds.
Paradox actively promotes comparisons to Supernatural, the story of two gunslinging ghostbusters who travel across America ridding the world of evil and naughtiness. Can you imagine what would happen if Paradox openly compared Solomon Kane to Van Helsing in their promotional material? That’s pretty much what would happen here: anyone unversed concerning Kirowan and Conrad might consider a film or television series with the two (how could you have a Kirowan film without his buddy?) as plagiarism of the Winchester Brothers. That sort of misapprehension is proving to be a common phenomenon with Howard-related movies. Earlier, some people on the IMDB boards accused Solomon Kane of ripping off the Lord of the Rings films (sadly, it had some truth in it). People could soon be accusing El Borak of being a Jason Bourne knockoff, or Dark Agnes as Red Sonja.
Still, there is hope that references to Supernatural and Fringe –television series, not films– could mean this is a series itself. In that way, the horrible premise could merely be used for the pilot, and follow up with some actual adaptations of stories! This could be much more exciting, since of all the Howard translations into a non-comic visual medium, Thriller’s “Pigeons from Hell” came the closest to an honest-to-Crom adaptation. Thus, we could look forward to “The Black Stone,” “The Haunter of the Ring,” “The Dwellers Under the Tombs,” “The Children of the Night,” “Dig Me No Grave” et al in hour-long adaptations akin to The Outer Limits. Maybe they could be two-parters or feature-length episodes. If this is a film treatment, and if there is indeed a screenplay hidden somewhere behind all the nonsense, then the solution seems simple: burn this scenario or use it as toilet paper.
Kull of Atlantis
Kull is about a fearless warrior, an exile and sole survivor of fabled Atlantis who wins the crown of Valusia, only to find it as much a burden as a prize. With its fascinating mythology including the destruction of Atlantis, supernatural creatures, and phenomenal battle scenes, Kull is a great opportunity to create a huge world.
Create a huge world?
It already exists. It is Robert Ervin Howard’s pre-Cataclysmic, alternate version of our earth’s prehistory.
Evidently, the person who wrote this blurb has not read Howard’s essay The Hyborian Age – or simply doesn’t care. In it, the Thurian civilization was wiped out in the Great Cataclysm while the Atlanteans survived, not the other way round!
They just can’t help it, can they? We have two adaptations where Conan is the last of the Cimmerians–or at least the last of his tribe–and now we have Kull as the last Atlantean? What an incredible display of imagination! Already, we have Conan as The Last Cimmerian (until the film comes out and says otherwise, there’s no reason to hope they make a point of making it only his tribe), messing up the idea central to Howard’s mythology that the Cimmerians were the ancestors of the Gaels, who, after their move southward and their conquest (and the Nordheimers’) of a significant portion of the world, would contribute to the ancestry of the Goths, Anglo-Saxons, Cymry, Cimbri, Scythians, and historical Cimmerians — as per The Hyborian Age essay. Now we are to believe that Kull, too, is The Last Of His Kind. At least with Conan’s sexual appetites matching Don Giovanni‘s, it’s not a big stretch to believe that he could sire an entire ethnos single-handed, in a Genghis Khan writ large hyperbolic sorta way. But Kull? The philosopher-king who’s noted for his marked lack of interest in women? Are we expected to believe that he could repopulate the entire Atlantean race in time for their Stone-Age wars with the Pictish Empire? Or are we supposed to somehow forget about all that pesky backstory? Then there’s the fact that this is all set during or after the sinking of Atlantis. This just compounds the matter.
Is this a summary of Matthew “Ninja Assassin” Sand’s screenplay? If yes, then there’s only one suggestion worth repeating to the executives: destroy his piece. Ask this screenwriter to take his inspiration from Howard or hire someone else. Arvid Nelson’s comic already mocked the character’s nature and played hell with the Picts. Now it’s gonna be the Atlanteans, for the sole purpose of telling yet another Last-of-His-Kind story? All the stupid screenwriters and their brothers will one day firmly imprint upon the movie-going public that Robert E. Howard was obsessed with this kind of premise…as with crucifixion scenes. As with Dark Agnes, this project has vanished from IMDB. Given what we read above, it could mean a good thing: this movie might never exist.
Untitled Vikings and Monsters Project
In the vein of Pirates of the Caribbean, Irish pirate, Cormac, roams the North Sea and raids countries of the British Isles with his commander, Wulfhere the Skull-splitter and his band of Danish Vikings. Decades after the fall of the Roman Empire, at the onset of the Dark Ages, they battle and plunder with ease until they discover an ancient evil which is hell-bent on destroying the world.
“In the vein of Pirates of the Caribbean.” Now this is just getting silly.
Instead of making a rip-roaring adventure based on “Swords of the Northern Sea,” we get a Dark Ages riff on one of the more obnoxious Bruckheimer franchises. One wonders if they’ll make Cormac a quirky, punch-drunk eccentric modeled after a popular rock musician. And then we see the “ancient evil hell-bent on destroying the world” again. Again. What’s wrong with the Cormac stories as they are? Cormac is a sly, sympathetic rogue, Wulfhere a jolly yet deadly giant, and any of their completed stories would be great flicks. What’s this about yet another beastie who sets out to destroy the planet, even though that would mean destroying themselves?
Still, it isn’t all bad. If we try to be optimistic (despite appearances) there are three adaptations that just might be decent, in that the outlines don’t fill one with outrage, and could point to something halfway good.
Sci-Fi /Action /Fantasy
Esau Cairn, a hot-tempered Texas brawler, faces a murder rap after killing a crooked political boss, but finds escape in a secret device that transports him to the alien planet of Almuric. There, he battles his way to honor among savage tribes and gains a reputation for courage and toughness to rival the mightiest of warriors. His valor is tested when he ventures to the horrific land of Yagg, where the seductive winged queen Yasmeena rules an empire of terror from her dark citadel filled with monsters and magic…
Do our eyes deceive us? Are we really reading a plot outline that resembles the source material upon which it is based? Valka, it feels good to be excited for a Howard adaptation! True, there’s every possibility that the adaptation will still make divergences, but Crom’s Devils, as it’s written here, the film’s actually adapting the story! Everything you see there is found in the original novel: that’s a whole league better than any Robert E. Howard film to date. The success of Avatar and the upcoming John Carter film may have been responsible for renewed interest and could possibly lead to adequate– that is, huge– financing for an Almuric project.
Of course, this is one of the only cases where fidelity to the source material might not be as wonderful as one would think, since if we got a 100% faithful adaptation, that means everything written by The Unknown Posthumous Collaborator would appear–including the wishy-washy final chapter. It would be nice if the only Howard adaptation to achieve total fidelity was a completely unambiguous Howard tale, as opposed to one that has a significant percentage written by unknown hands, but these two Howard fans are sick to death of the Kull the Conquerors, so let’s take what we can get. If we see some of the best elements from Almuric –Esau’s flight from civilization, the battle for supremacy, the exotic creatures, the conflicts between the Ghori– that’d more than make up for the ending.
Highly-stylized action/thriller. High Plains Drifter with the visual appeal of 300 or Sin City. A mysterious Stranger lands a job as deputy of the boom town of Heavenly to help protect it from a gang called the “Vultures” who are robbing and killing any and all prospectors who try to leave with their gold. When the Stranger discovers that his boss, Middleton, is the secret leader of the Vultures, he’s recruited into the scam. Stranger is not without scruples and when murders and double crosses pile up, he must decide whether to remain involved with the gang or let his pistols dispense their own brand of justice.
Obviously, this is “Vultures of Whapeton.” Now, you could raise an eyebrow over “highly-stylized” with “the visual appeal of 300 or Sin City.“ One can either be hopeful if this means that the power of the original story is allowed to shine through, or a pessimist, and think that an aesthetic so over-the-top as 300‘s has nothing to do in this kind of western. The capitalized “Stranger” can either be a cause of concern, since we know the character’s name, or a relief if this is a further hint that they’re trying to aim for the Clint Eastwood-esque feel suggested by the mention of High Plains Drifter. “Vultures of Wahpeton” is probably one of Howard’s finest western stories, certainly one of the most celebrated, and the twists and turns of the narrative and complex protagonist make it ideal for cinematic adaptation. With the recent popularity of Deadwood and the precedent of morally-ambiguous westerns like Unforgiven seeing a small revival in 3:10 to Yuma and others, Vultures will fit right in.
Warrior (aka Bran Mak Morn)
A mythical king of ancient Britain forges an alliance with supernatural troops to contest the unstoppable forces of the Roman Empire.
Sounds like “Worms of the Earth.” Being desperate to find something good, we’re willing to ignore the fact that they don’t seem to be using Bran Mak Morn or a Howard story for the title, in favour of “Warrior” –let’s hope that’s just a working title. “Forging an alliance with supernatural troops” might sound a bit too much like Hellboy 2: The Golden Army and others. The pessimistic might fear a complete subversion of the original story’s plot. Instead of the titular Worms being harbingers of not just the Romans’ doom, but that of the Picts –and Bran Mak Morn’s very soul– these could end up like a pale imitation of the Army of the Dead in Jackson’s Return of the King. Thus, instead of being integral to the tragedy and horror of the story, it turns into a deus ex machina of the most odious kind. Such washes away even the toughest Orc-stains! Now let’s hope that it is only a slip of language, and that the supernatural army is indeed composed of the Worms that even the heart-ripping sorcerer Gonar fears (and advises his king not to summon).
So overall, there is much to be skeptical about. There’s sufficient precedent to raise the concern that all the REH film adaptations may end up as disasters. However, it’s possible to hope that at least some –even one– of the eleven Howard-inspired projects will end up at least alright. Its sickening to watch the trainwrecks of Howard film adaptations go by in slow motion, while we REH fans can only watch, aghast.
This was Damon C. Sasser’s conclusion:
So the $64,000 question is will these concepts become movies? Perhaps, but this is one moviegoer who is holding out for the real deal. Something tells me I am going to be holding out until Delhi the cow comes home.
A ghastly curse looms over Howard’s writings. A true fan (of any writer) would tell you that no filmmaker can do his favorite author’s works justice… the Curse afflicting the writer of Cross Plains, more powerful than Rotath’s or the Sea-Witch’s, seems to be that, until now, none has even bothered to try.
But come on! The Curse has to be broken some glorious day. There’s eleven Howard adaptations in the pipeline. Eleven. At least one of them must turn out alright.