A few months ago, Fox announced its plan to deliver a new adaptation of Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill’s acclaimed comic The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The announcement was met with puzzled glances and rolling eyes, mostly because the first attempt to adapt the film was a disaster, but an intriguing new bit of news about the project means we’re paying a little more attention now.
When asked about the reboot during the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour this week, producer John Davis told Collider that the new film will be something that the original comic definitely isn’t: “Female-centric.”
“Just by going back to the roots and making it authentic to what the fan base was really excited about. It’s female-centric, which I think is interesting. I love female characters, point-of-view characters in action movies. I thought Mad Max was great. I think you can always find a fresh way of doing something and going back to the basics. What is that people love? What is it that made them love the property in the first place?”
Readers of the original League comics, and viewers of the film, will know that there’s only one female character in the original League: Wilhelmina “Mina” Murray from Dracula, so a female-centric version of that story is a little difficult to imagine. Then again, the history of the League, as laid out in all of the comics, does feature other female characters from throughout pop culture history, including Mary Poppins, Emma Peel, Virginia Woolf’s sex-changing character Orlando, and even Maria, the female robot from Fritz Lang’s film Metropolis. The history of the League dates back to at least the 1600s in the comics, so there are also plenty of opportunities for Fox to bring in other female characters if they can land the rights. Perhaps Irene Adler from the Sherlock Holmes stories could join in the fun, or Jane Porter from the Tarzan stories, or even the creator of Frankenstein herself, Mary Shelley.
Whatever this project turns into, it’s encouraging to see that Fox is thinking outside the box, and that the studio is really considering women this time around. It might not be the League we remember in the end, but considering how the first film turned out, that really might be a good thing.