Saturday, November 27, 2010

BLOOD: A MOVIE

Director Marc Rosenbush is preparing to go into production on his movie version of Blood:  A Tale—the graphic novel I co-created with illustrator Kent Williams back in the late 80's—and he's just launched a website to promote the film.  If you don't know, Blood is an odd, eerie fever-dream of a story set in an odd, eerie fever-dream of a world.  As the title indicates, there are vampires in it, but, beyond the obvious fangs and blood, the story has very little in common with Bram Stoker and Stephenie Meyer.  In fact it's like nothing else I've ever written.  (When it first came out, my old friend, Vertigo head honcho Karen Berger, called it "an Ingmar Bergman comic book.")  When Marc R first expressed interest in adapting Blood for the screen, I was taken  by surprise:  it's the last story of mine I'd ever imagine being a movie; you might as well try to film my unconscious mind.  To his eternal credit, Marc has taken something I thought was unfilmable and turned it into a fascinating, well-crafted—and, yes, commercial—metaphysical horror script that stays true to the heart and soul of the source material.  Filming is slated to begin in the summer of 2011 and, if you sign up over at Marc's site, you'll be in on the creative process every step of the way.

Guess it's only a matter of time now till Marvel gets going on a big-budget Greenberg the Vampire movie.

Or maybe not.

31 comments:

  1. That's great to hear! Congrats, JM. I'm not familiar with this work, JM. It sounds like it'd be a challenge to interpret for any director or screenwriter, but it also sounds like you've read the current script and the magic words faithful "to the heart and soul of the source material" are there. Glad to hear that in particular!

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  2. Glad to see Blood is still going forward...I believe I met Marc along with you in Anaheim in April. I vividly remember not really understanding neither the story nor the beautiful Kent Williams art when the book first came out, but I knew I liked it and wanted to know more. Usually a sign of something being really good as far as my standards go.

    And if you can somehow work in Buffy and/or zombies into Greenberg (a book I like), Marvel will go for it! Maybe...

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  3. I've been very impressed with Marc Rosenbush's faithfulness to the source material, A. Jaye. He knows where to bend things to his cinematic needs without in any way diminishing the intent of the work. A rare quality.

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  4. You did indeed meet Marc R at Anaheim, Ken. (Good memory!) As for not understanding BLOOD when it first came out, I've always viewed that story as a kind of Rorschach test: I know what the story means to me, but any interpretation you bring to the table is just as valid.

    Gotta go now and start working on my new graphic novel, HOROWITZ THE ZOMBIE SLAYER. :)

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  5. All the best stories are not the spoon-fed ones...the audience having to contribute, having to bring some of their own experiences and interpretations into play, are what makes for a better story.

    Having said that, I'm thinking Horowitz The Zombie Slayer will go right thru the roof... ;)

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  6. I'm afraid it would go through the roof and then KEEP going, Ken -- right out of this universe, never to be heard from again!

    I agree about the audience having to bring themselves to any good story, but some definitely demand a little more -- and BLOOD is certainly one of them. Which is why I'm never surprised by anyone's reaction to it: love it, hate it or anything in between.

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  7. As part of the cross-promotion universe, I tweeted about the Blood website from my Twitter account (@robocreep) as well as the Twitter account of http://unseenfilms.blogspot.com/ (@unseenfilms), and both are now followers of the @bloodmovie Twitter account.

    Also, I read your Climbing Jacob's Ladder post this morning, and found it very inspiring...as well as a very interesting read. Tweeted that one just because more people need to read it. Thanks for sharing those stories.

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  8. A genuine pleasure, Ken -- and thanks so much for spreading the word. I have yet to Tweet -- and may never Tweet -- but I certainly appreciate the power of the form.

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  9. Both your post about the film, plus the link to the film's site itself, will be linked to in a post later this evening on Unseen Films. I'll send you the link in a comment after it goes up, if only to get some more of your followers to see the Unseen Films site. Those interested in Blood as a film might also have some interest in other things written up on the site (DB, with a little bit of help from me & some others) has put up over 450 posts (!) since the blog started back in Feb of this year. There was even a weekend in late July of films you suggested to me in Anaheim in April; http://unseenfilms.blogspot.com/2010/07/orson-welles-chimes-at-midnighta-bit-of.html

    The more word out about Blood the better!

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  10. Thanks again, Ken: you're a good man!

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  11. Wow, that's amazing! Congrats JMD! I remember reading Blood when it first came out...I need to find a copy and read it again.

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  12. Thanks for thinking so JM...you're a good writer, and a good person, so any small help I can offer is yours. Plus I just wanna see the damn film!

    Anyway, here's the Unseen Films post that mentions your blog & the Blood Movie website. To you JM, & all Creation Pointers (still don't think I like that...), feel free to check out the rest of the Unseen Films site, you may find something you might be interested in watching!

    http://unseenfilms.blogspot.com/2010/11/links.html

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  13. Thanks, Rob. Best bet if you want to read it again is the DC/Vertigo collected edition, which came out in the 90's. When Marvel/Epic collected it, back in the 80's, they accidentally swapped a couple of pages and made a surreal story even MORE surreal!

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  14. Thanks again, Ken. I popped over to Unseen Films earlier today and read the reviews of CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT and THE INTRUDER. Good stuff!

    Don't like "Creation Pointers," eh? Well, I'm certainly open to alternatives.

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  15. Maybe I should reread BLOOD. I recall not much caring for it when I first read it, then again, I also recall not really understanding it either.

    But just like I didn't care for THE LAST ONE when I first read it (and now love it), BLOOD may be one I'll enjoy now.

    In other news, I picked up CHAOS WAR: THOR #1. I enjoyed it.

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  16. "Creation Pointineers"?

    Congrats on the movie news. I'll have to pull out my copies of the series and re-read it soon.

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  17. Congrats Marc. The little teaser looked cool. I haven't read Blood in a while and it made me want to reread it at least. I can't wait till it comes out. (I think I have the old Epic version with the mismatched pages, but I usually can figure it out.) For those who haven't read it, just go get one and read it now. It really is a great story.

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  18. Glad you enjoyed the Thor story, Kyle: I think all the pieces really come together in the second part.
    As for BLOOD: if you decide to give it another go, please let me know what you think.

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  19. How about "Creationists," Bob? No, wait. That one's taken.

    Thanks for the good wishes. Hollywood being Hollywood, it's always a tortuous journey from page to screen: here's hoping BLOOD has a smooth ride.

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  20. Thanks, Eruch. (Hmmm. That name sounds awfully familiar. Have we met?)

    The funny thing with the Marvel/Epic Mismatched Version is that, given the dream-like nature of the story, some people never even noticed the switched pages!

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  21. Looking forward to issue two of Thor.

    When I get a chance to reread BLOOD I'll be sure to let you know what I think.

    Speaking of letting you know what I think, parts two and three of my THE LAST ONE review are up.

    Part Two: http://kyleurban.blogspot.com/2010/11/review-last-one-part-two.html

    Part Three: http://kyleurban.blogspot.com/2010/11/review-last-one-part-three.html

    In regard to my issue 6 review, that's all that felt right to give for the review. No matter how I tried to write more, none of it felt proper.

    Plan to reread the trade as a whole, in one sitting, before I do part four, the over all view/thoughts on the series.

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  22. Thanks, Kyle. I'm going to hop over and read your blog right now!

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  23. Kyle, thanks for taking the time to write, so eloquently, about THE LAST ONE on your blog. Your understand of the story is right on the money. Considering that LAST ONE was a series that pretty much flew under the radar when it came out -- and even when it was reissued -- it's very gratifying to know that it's touched you and stimulated some interesting thought. Thanks again.

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  24. Oh, man! This is GREAT news, JM! And I agree, "Blood" is probably the last series of yours I'd expect to see filmed ... but if done right, what a film it will be, rich & thoughtful & stirring all sorts of memories & emotions deep within the viewer's psyche.

    I've always especially loved that opening section in Part Three, set in the "real" world -- as I've said before, touching on some painfully accurate midlife material, among other things. Who can't identify with the passage of time, the fading of dreams, the struggle to find new meaning as the apparent limitations of existence become all the more pressing?

    I can see it as a film with something of the tone & look of, say, "The Fountain" -- if I had to make an initial guess, anyway. It's definitely something I'll want to see, as "Blood" is probably one of the 2 or 3 works of yours I've returned to the most over the years.

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  25. I think THE FOUNTAIN is a good touchstone, Tim. It's a delicate balance getting a story like this done in just the right way -- and I look forward to seeing the film evolve. Thanks for checking in!

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  26. You're quite welcome. Thanks for checking it out. I'm sure there are a number of things that if I reread now that I'd like them where once I didn't, and vice-versa.

    Definitely glad I gave it another shot.

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  27. Thanks, Kyle. BLOOD is a project of mine -- probably the only one -- where I really can't be attached to, or bothered by, people's reactions to the story. It's so odd, so idiosyncratic, so much a dreamscape wide open to individual interpretation, that I completely understand why some people would love it and others loathe it. (And everything else in between.)

    That said, I look forward to hearing what you think.

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  28. Congrats, JMD, on the chance to see your vision make it to film. Perhaps when BLOOD hits theaters, we'll see several of your works on display at book/video stores. BLOOD is another one I need tp pick up, though I can't imagine it being more surreal than MOONSHADOW.

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  29. The difference between them, David, is that MOONSHADOW is a fairy tale, BLOOD is a fever-dream.

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  30. A fever-dream? Sounds intriguing.

    BTW, I voted on my all time favorite comics creators at CBR today. I'd tell you who made the top slot, but it's a secret. A horribly kept secret!:)

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