SAN DIEGO, DAY 2: James Robinson Talks Film And TV

Sat, July 21st, 2001 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Rob Worley, Columnist

Comic and screen writer James Robinson led a Comic-Con panel in which he talked about his long run on Starman and his transition from writing comics to working in films.

Robinson revealed that he's developing the Robur show for the

Jacobson Company. Robinson described the program as being a futuristic sci-fi series with some similarity to Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The show involves, "fictional archetypes based on established characters, rather than definitely classical characters like The League," Robinson said. "It's a little bit more bizarre and strange in its own way."

The writer said that Foundation Imaging, the makers of the

Starship Troopers animated show, may be involved in the production.

Robinson is also working on a military crime show for Jacobson, that is currently a higher priority that Robur.

The creator also talked about the difficulty of adapting The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen for the big screen. Robinson wrote a script for the film which now has Stephen Norrington (Ghost Rider),

which was panned by online reviewers for its departures from the comic. "The problem is if you divorce yourself from how much fun it is to read that comic, it isn't really a movie," he said. "It takes four issues to really get them going. Then they immediately go after Fu Manchu and then they meet betrayal and it's all over."

In addition to changing the pace of the story, there were Hollywood pressures that necessitated other changes. The producers of the movie were reluctant to use an Asian villain. The edgy characters (which Robinson sums up as "two psychopaths, a drug addict, a sort of sexually ambivalent vampire girl and you've got Captain Nemo") were also seen as unsympathetic. Likewise, Tom Sawyer was added to the mix to satisfy the studio's desire for a younger character to join the older team.

In other movie news, Robinson reports that he recently took a turn behind the camera, directing the independent film Comic Book Villains for Lions Gate.

The movie chronicles a darkly comic battle between two comic book shops over a recently discovered collection. Donal Logue, Michael Rappaport, Cary Elwes, D.J.

Qualls, Eileen Brennan and Danny Masterson are among the cast members. The film is budgeted at $2 million - $3 million.

 
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