Sylvain White Updates His Adaptation of Frank Miller's Ronin
Sylvain White, director of the upcoming film The Losers as well as Stomp the Yard before that, sat down with Collider recently to talk a bit about a project he's been attached to for a while, the adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novel Ronin. His views on adaptation are mostly refreshing, especially considering the obsessively faithful adaptations of Miller's work we've seen from the likes of Zack Snyder of late. For those who don't know, Ronin takes place in a dystopic future New York where Ronin, a samurai, is reincarnated. Here's what White had to say regarding his proposed shooting style and how he plans to tackle Ronin.
"What's great and what for me works in the graphic novel, aesthetically-speaking, is the design of Aquarius… the design of New York. So I would pay homage to him more in the production design versus the actual frames. The frames in 'Ronin' are some beautiful frames, and some I would go with, but what's beautiful to me about 'Ronin' is the production design and the character design and the colors that are used. I think framing - you can frame things with much more depth and beauty on film than you can in a graphic. Replicating frames… that's a different language.
You want to always stay true to the graphic novel, but you're watching a different medium. You never want to remind the audience that they're watching a graphic novel or something from a graphic novel source. You just want them to watch a great movie. And if they know it's based on a graphic novel, awesome. And if you make the fans happy because you paid good tribute to the source material, awesome. I don't think you make fans happy by just replicating frames. What they want to see is that you stayed true to the story, true to the characters and true to the design."
I know that's exactly what I always hope for from an adaptation of any source material - whether it be a novel, video game, or comic book. Make a great film first, a faithful adaptation second. Though, White did go on to say something that, while not altogether surprising, deflated my hopes a bit for this.
"It's a big-budget, big blockbuster take on it. I'd love to do it in 3D. I think it'd be ridiculous and amazing."
Well, he's got one of those adjectives right - it would be ridiculous. What will 3D add to the film, Mr. White? (Beside an increase in ticket prices and pain medication sales.) Perhaps he'll be able to answer that question at a later date, but Ronin: The 3D Experience is moot at this point (it's so far out). Otherwise, this younger director has some really great things to say about adaptations in general and a refreshingly clear vision for Ronin. As of now, the dark, futuristic sci-fi story is lined up for White, but is still in active development. It was first announced back in 2007 after 300 proved to be a huge success. Anyone out there interested?