Outspoken comics creator Alan Moore has made headlines over an upcoming movie, which would typically mean he's denouncing said movie. Yup. This time it's Hercules, a film that he personally has nothing to do with.
Bleeding Cool reports that Alan Moore isn't decrying an adaptation of his own comic works. This time he's defending the work of long-time friend Steve Moore (no relation) whose Hercules: The Thracian War comics inspired the Bret Ratner-directed movie Hercules, which is due to hit theaters this Friday. Steve Moore passed away earlier this year, and so his dear friend Alan Moore has decided to speak up about how the comic writer was mistreated in the book's adaptation.
His request to fans boils down to boycott. Alan Moore explains:
"I would also ask that anybody out there who gives a damn about Steve Moore or his legacy not go to see this wretched film. It is the last thing that Steve would’ve wanted. And I cannot un-recommend it too highly or anybody involved in it. I think it is absolutely shameful, however, there are also more positive elements of Steve’s legacy."
Alan Moore says that Steve only found out about Hercules a few months before his death. That's pretty wild since Hercules: The Thracian War distributor Radical Comics sold the rights back in 2009. Alan notes that Steve had had a number of conflicts with the company over the years, and fumed to his friend, "I’ve just written them an angry e-mail asking why I wasn’t consulted in this and when I can expect the something like 15,000 dollars…I haven’t heard back from them. There’s just a deafening silence, so I’m going to pursue this further."
However, Steve soon discovered his contract with Radical Comics promised him no involvement or money if a movie should be made adapting his comics. As Alan Moore puts it, "The only consolation was that his name wouldn’t be going on it." Steve was relieved, as he heard the film was taking major liberties with his dedicatedly researched comic.
But when Steve died last March, Alan was shocked to see the Hercules movie mentioned in several of his obituaries. He goes on to accuse the filmmakers of exploiting Steve Moore's death for "free advertising." He concludes:
Now, I know that when before I have suggested that the comics industry may have treated Steve Moore less than fairly, or even less than humanely in the past, this has excited a flurry of complaints that I am surely old, paranoid, and crazy, which I may well be. However, in this instance, I suggest that people simply look at the publicity for this film before and after Steve Moore’s death."
It's worth noting that it is unclear in Alan Moore's interview with Bleeding Cool if he blames Paramount Pictures directly for the treatment of Steve Moore in this matter, or even if Paramount was aware of Steve Moore's dissatisfaction with the project and his part in it. Alan never mentions director Bret Ratner, and only mentions Dwayne Johnson in passing, regarding the exclusion of the character Hylas (described as "Hercules' boyfriend") from the plot. Mostly, it seems Alan Moore is outraged by Radical Comics, which did have contact with the late Steve Moore, but chose to largely ignore his concerns and complaints.
Will you be boycotting Hercules because of Alan Moore?