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Frank Miller Wants to Direct Hard Boiled Himself

by
April 21, 2008
Source: MTV

Hard Boiled

All eyes are focused intently on Frank Miller's adaptation of Will Eisner's The Spirit currently, but that doesn't mean we can't also keep our eye on what's next after that. In addition to Frank Miller's graphic novel Ronin, apparently Hard Boiled is on the slate to get adapted, too. However, Miller has taken such a liking to directing recently, that he wants to direct the Hard Boiled movie himself! Where does that put Sin City 2? Who knows, but at least we might have Hard Boiled up next after he finishes The Spirit. MTV talked with Miller over the weekend at the New York Comic Con and got some new details out of him.

Hard Boiled was once setup under Zodiac director David Fincher, but alas that's no longer the case. Instead, Frank Miller and producer Deborah Del Prete are looking to adapt it. Frank's even got an idea, saying "I've got a really unusual way I want to do it." Please tell me it's something different than both Sin City and The Spirit. And if you're wondering why Frank is being selfish and trying to direct so many movies on his own, we'll let him explain it.

"I'm in love with directing," he gushed. "I've found a way to expand my career. Comics and directing are really two sides of the same coin. That's what Robert Rodriguez taught me…good drama is good drama."

The Hard Boiled graphic novel, unrelated to the John Woo movie of the same name, is a three-issue miniseries that was first published in 1990 by Dark Horse Comics. Although I'm not too familiar with it, MTV says "it's been called one of the most violent comic books ever created" about "an insurance investigator who unwittingly discovers that he's actually Nixon, a psychotic assassin/tax collector who's also a cyborg and future savior of the robot race." Sound like an awesome film for someone like Frank Miller to direct? I think so!

The project has actually been in development hell for quite some time. It was originally announced in 2001 with Fincher attached to direct and Nic Cage to star. Seven years later and it's finally made an appearance again, this time under Frank Miller himself. I hope that means this may actually get off the ground but there's certainly no promises. They're only "talking about it" and nothing has been put down on paper yet. Does this sound like the kind of movie you'd want to see?

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  • Hmmm. I half love it and half hate it. As of now it sounds pretty decent but it could easily be turned into a disaster if not done right.
  • Big Frank probably wants to make sure there's no liberal propaganda in adaptations either. Still, as long as it isn't Nic Cage, who knows? Might be fine. The Spirit trailer, against all odds, looks decent (well, until Sam Jackson chews, digests and excretes scenery throughout).
  • nha
    Am i the only one who thinks Miller should stick to comics? I have very little hope for Spirit.. the teaser was poor and well, given his attitude, I wonder if he's got what it takes to survive Hollywood.
  • Having the original writer involved would definitely be a good thing. However, it would be a crime of him to not have the man responsible for the visuals, Geoff Darrow, involved significantly. The Wachowski's got much of their visual inspiration and concept drawings from him for The Matrix. For me the thing that made Hard Boiled so awesome was the crazy amount of density in every image. If Miller makes it look anything like Sin City or The Spirit, which I think he's got the judgment to not do, it would be terrible.
  • where does this leave Batman: Holy Terror. He needs to get back to comics, ASAP.
  • NotyomommasCat
    I would love to see this story told in the same form as the original Heavy Metal. It would work soooo well.
  • Djo
    I called it in the Spirit Blogs: Miller's drawing skills are seriously suffering as of late, but that doesn't make so much of a difference if he's accepted his role as a Storyboard artist second to none. He clearly has a fantastic sense of pacing and cinematic, stylized visuals- so I say go ahead, expand your career and head into directing. If Miller's comics were showing a remarkable arc toward something great, I'd say stick to comics. But it's almost as if he's getting bored by them - look at the first Sin City installments, leading to the last ones (which still aren't bad- the drawing's clearly suffering, though) and then DK2. Are you kidding me??? In my opinion, Hard Boiled and Give Me Liberty are the finest things he's ever done. So long as Geof Darrow is on hand for Hard Boiled (he had conceptual design credits in Matrix and the Fifth Element, I believe... I only hope that Miller would be REALLY hard on Cage to get the character right. Challenge him to do something he's never done before, or at least hasn't shown us in a while. The key line is: "Names Nixon... I'm a tax--aahahhhhhH!!!! Nixon...I'm a Taxx--AAHHHHHHHH!!!!" "Name's Nixon. I'm a tax collector." I could see Cage delivering it- just cut out every ounce of Ghost Rider ham and work the Shit out of him! Could Rosario Dawson play Martha Washington? My vote is yes, but if they really want someone 100% black, I'd go with Thandie Newton or even the STELLAR (and ironic) Kerry Washington.
  • avoidz
    I'm gonna have to seek out this graphic novel now and give it a thorough going over 😉 (Back in 1990, I was getting my hands on all The Amazing Spider-Man books I could find.)
  • taylor
    i didnt read the other comments, i just want to say the book kicks some real ass (not quite as much ass as ronin in MY opinion...) and has major movie potential- which unfortunately, doesnt say much because a lot of things (especially comic books) have major movie potential and get FUCKED
  • Nixon
    PLEASE DO NOT HAVE CAGE AS NIXON!!! You can have Madsen, or Willis, or Rourke......but NO CAGE! That's just not right.....
  • Lineo
    Not Cage! Please no. I like Cage alright but he is just wrong for Nixon. I would rather it was played by a talented nobody who fit the part but if it has to be a big-name star then yeah, Willis, Rourke, Someone older and bulkier and balding if I remember correctly. It could be an awesome movie if done well and I think if anyone could do it well it would be Miller and Darrow. One of my favorite old comics. If you haven't read it then do so. A great series too because there is so much detail in every frame that you can enjoy looking through each picture long after having read the whole story. I hope they can do that with the movie. So that there is so much crazy shit going on in the background of every scene. Just insane levels of dense detail to the multitude of objects and events packed into the periphery along with just as much detail among main elements of the story so that it is hard to tell where the foreground stops and the background starts. Then we could watch the movie a third time and still be finding insane new things happening among the details.

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