Transforming graphic novels from colorful, intensely detailed pages to the big screen is a difficult feat. Graphic novelist Alan Moore, after learning of director Zack Snyder’s intention to turn his novel “Watchmen” into a movie, stated, “There are things that we did with ‘Watchmen’ that could only work in a comic, and were indeed designed to show off things that other media can’t. I increasingly fear that nothing good can come of almost any adaptation, and obviously that’s sweeping.” Indeed, Moore is not alone in his “graphic novels should stay graphic novels” approach, and Snyder’s (“300,” “Sucker Punch”) 2009 film received some negative reviews.
However, 2005′s “Sin City,” a film based off of graphic novelist Frank Miller’s crime thriller comic book series, proved an exception to the rule. Perhaps it was because Miller was brought on as a co-director and wrote the screenplay. Maybe it was fellow directors’ Robert Rodriguez (“Desperado,” “Spy Kids”) and Quentin Tarantino’s (“Django Unchained,” “Pulp Fiction”) work on the film. Maybe it was the star-studded cast of Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Clive Owen, Rosario Dawson, Mickey Rourke, Benicio Del Toro, Brittany Murphy and Elijah Wood. Whatever the reason, the film translated like a moving graphic novel, intense and dramatic with exaggerated coloring and in-your-face developments. Somehow, otherwise corny dialogue and sound effects added believable drama to this story following an aging police officer (Willis), a disfigured, lovestruck warrior out for revenge (Rourke) and a headstrong prostitute (Dawson).
Fans of this cult classic were overjoyed upon hearing of a sequel in the works to cover more of the comic series. “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” is set to be released Oct. 4, 2013, and Miller and Rodriguez’s direction promises similar filming styles as the first. Alba, Dawson, Owen, Rourke and Willis will be reprising their roles and will be joined by newcomers Josh Brolin (“No Country for Old Men,” “Gangster Squad”), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (“The Dark Knight Rises,” “Looper”) and Ray Liotta (“Goodfellas”).