Frank Miller Assures Us That The Spirit Won't Be Like Sin City
Frank Miller has been blogging about his adaptation of Will Eisner's The Spirit for quite some time over on the official website. Hopefully by now everyone has seen the first teaser trailer and is looking forward to seeing the actual film this Christmas. One of the biggest complaints I've heard, or rather, areas of confusion, regarding The Spirit is that it looks way too much like Sin City when it shouldn't. Now, it's not anyone's place to argue with Frank Miller's decisions, but the original comic didn't look that way and most fans seem to prefer a straighter adaptation of The Spirit than a Sin City-ized version. In Frank Miller's latest blog update, which can currently be found on SuperHeroHype, he sets the facts straight and assures us that it is not going to be yet another Sin City… or so he claims.
In regards to the Sin City comparisons, Frank Miller addresses this as best he can.
THE SPIRIT is, with every effort I give it, not a rusty, dusty old monument to the work of my beloved Mentor, so much as it is an extension of what I know to have been Eisner's central intent: to create something new, witty, and exploratory. That's what he did. That's what I'm doing.
It only resembles SIN CITY in that I am its director, and, well, yes, I have my ways and my proclivities. Luckily, I was able to discern three important proclivities I share with the Master. We both love good stories. We both love New York City. And we both love beautiful women.
Another complaint that has arisen has been with The Spirit's black outfit instead of the blue suits he wore in the comics. While this all just sounds like over-the-top complaints along the lines of flames on Optimus Prime, alas they are justifiable concerns that are worth mentioning. Enough so that Frank Miller himself is specifically addressing them. While his claim above that it won't be like Sin City isn't very solid (and we'll be the judge of that when we see it in December), his explanation for why he decided to change the suit to black is much more reasonable. In fact, I trust Frank Miller enough to make these decisions with the best interest of the film in mind and thus wouldn't argue with him.
Miller explains that in the early days of printing, which given The Spirit first premiered in 1940, the printing would only look the best if blue was used in place of black. Hence, blue was ideally used often for black and that in certain situations, including this one and Superman, the intention of Will Eisner was actually to have him wear a black suit.
In tests—and we did several—the blue made the Spirit look like an unfortunate guest at a Halloween party. Going to black brings back his essential mystery, his Zorro-like sexiness. It also makes that red tie of his look very, very cool. So I made the call, with all respect to Eisner's creation, and most importantly, to what I perceived as his underlying intention. It was an easy call for me to make. The Spirit dresses in black, and looks much the better for it. As I said, my desire was never to slavishly follow the rules of '40s printing into campy oblivion, but to reintroduce Eisner's creation, via modern technology, to our brave new world.
In the end, Miller assures us that The Spirit will be a full-color movie. On the contrary, he says Sin City is "is, visually, a playhouse for black and white." He adds that "THE SPIRIT is, and will always be, Eisner's SPIRIT. Anybody watching me on the set could attest that I very frequently drew a storyboard for a given shot first as I saw it, then as Will might've seen in—and, in every case, went with what I saw as Will's version." Like I said at the start, it is actually reassuring to hear Frank Miller address these specific concerns. I mean, just look at the history of films that he's been involved in - Sin City and 300. He always addresses the fans and it always turns out great.
The Spirit is both written and directed by legendary comic book author Frank Miller, who previously worked with Robert Rodriguez to direct segments of Sin City. The film is based Will Eisner's newspaper comic strip of the same name that originally debuted in 1940. The Spirit will hit theaters on December 25th, Christmas Day, later this year.