20th Century Fox is still licking its wounds after the ill-received first film attempt at adapting Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's Victorian steampunk fantasy, The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, in 2003, but it's valiantly regrouping with a second cinematic assault on the iconic comic book material.
First announced last year and rumored in reboot mode for longer than that, Fox announced new details on the project as it inches closer to becoming a reality. A sci-fi adventure saga teaming Captain Nemo, Mina Harker, Dorian Gray, Dr. Jekyll/Mr/ Hyde, The Invisible Man and Allan Quatermain in a rambunctious Victorian yarn spanning the Europeon continent may sound familiar to Penny Dreadful fans but fell flat when director Stephen Norrington's (Blade) dark and dreary adaptation hit theaters a decade ago, complete with the absurd character of Tom Sawyer slapped in for the benefit of us illiterate American audiences. The potential for an engaging The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen franchise is definitely possible, with a second volume of stories released by the creative team in 2002 centering around a retelling of the H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds novel with Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter tossed into the mix.
Here's Fox's update on their latest effort to get this story right:
John Davis is on board to produce through his Davis Entertainment banner. Jayson Rothwell (Silent Night) has been hired to write “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.” Ira Napoliello and Matt Reilly are overseeing the remake, based on Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s graphic novel of the same name, centering on Victorian-era literary characters such as Captain Nemo, the Invisible Man, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde teaming to fight a common enemy.
No director, casting choices or filming start dates have been announced. With literary mash-up shows like Showtime's Penny Dreadful proving very popular, the time could be right for another stab at LXG with more respect for the original story and the recent leap in special effects technology allowing for a MUCH better Nautilus submarine. Are you banking on a better result with Fox back in the cinematic saddle on Moore and O'Neill's swashbuckling superhero comic, or are you having nightmares of Fantastic Four all over again?