Updates on Frank Miller's Ronin From Director Sylvain White
by Alex Billington
February 17, 2010
Way, way back in '07, before 300 had even opened, it was discovered that Sylvain White (director of only Stomp the Yard at the time) had attached himself to an adaptation of Frank Miller's Ronin, which was exciting at the time because everyone wanted to know what the next awesome Frank Miller movie might be (and this was before The Spirit). Well, we haven't heard all that much since then, but Sylvain White did give us an update last September talking about the design of the movie and how awesome it'll be, but no update on its status. However, SuperHeroHype finally caught up with White and got a good update on its progress.
Will White be getting back to Ronin soon? "Yeah absolutely," he told SHH. "That's something I had to let go of for a period of time while I was directing The Losers but I'm back here in Los Angeles and as I'm finishing post-production on The Losers, I will be diving back into the development of Ronin. I'm just working along with the studio executives developing the story elements and they're attaching a writer in the spring to do a new pass on it." That's great to here, but if we may ask, what's taking them so long? Thankfully it's because White's got plenty of appreciation for the graphic novel. He goes on to talk about being careful adapting it:
"It's a very complex graphic novel and it needs very careful attention. Of course to make a movie of that scale, you need a lot of money to pay it justice, especially with the incredible visuals that Frank Miller has in it, but at the same time, in order to get a lot of money to make the movie, it has to have enough commercial appeal, so I'm trying to balance those two things together to make the movie accessible but still smart and throw with all the great ideas and grand ideas that it has. Conceptually, it's such an amazing property, so I think it's strong appeal in that sense, and even for people, I think visually in the trailer, people will be gravitating towards that kind of subject matter and that kind of character, it's amazing."
I'm loving the way he's pitching this, sounds like a challenge, but he's working hard to figure it out. "I'm taking my time with it," White said. "If I'm able to stay on it and develop it the way I want, I just want it to be done right. I don't want to rush it or anything like that. I want the right writer on it and it to be done carefully." Couldn't have said it any better. This guy definitely knows what he's doing and what he needs to do in order to pull this off and I like seeing that. But it will take time. He keeps saying, "If they give me the time to do it, I will take it to do it right." But how much longer will it take? We don't want to wait forever.
White says he's "been in contact" with Frank Miller recently, since it is his graphic novel after all. "The producers, which is Gianni Nunnari and Hollywood Gang, have been very collaborative and obviously have worked with [him] because they did 300, so the link is there. We're just sort of at an early stage where we're trying to structure the story and balance… Some people rush and do it quickly and you end up with bad adaptations." And no one wants that! It sounds like they're moving in the right direction, but it won't be ready anytime soon. For now, we'll let White finish The Losers and get back to this later. Sound good?
I really hope Miller and White can nail this one, seeing as how The Spirit was straight gah-bige. And this is coming from a die-hard Frank Miller fan, too. "The Dark Knight Returns" adaptation for '11! lol
Big Boss on Feb 17, 2010
Amazing to think that after all this time, Millers masterpiece Dark Knight Returns has yet to be given a film treatment. Several of the Batman films have been influenced by it in small ways here and there, but that's it. I'm still holding out some glimmer of unrealistic hope that Burton, Keaton and Nicholson will be brought back for a proper DKR adaptation. The actors are at the right ages to fill the roles now, and Burton's surreal and oddball sensibilities could handle the story perfectly. This revolutionary work contains flying cabbage patch dolls rigged with bombs, an impossibly senile President Reagan, the Joker fighting Batman in an amusement park funhouse (a scene practically tailor made for Burton, I would think), horrifying mutant kids running around Gotham, and a Superman who has a pet eagle, for no other reason than to hit readers over the head with symbolism. People tend to forget how cynical, satirical and just plain weird DKR was. The same goes for Burton's Batman...
scott on Feb 17, 2010
I hear ya, scott. In my opinion, that would transition beautifully into a third Batman film. Let's hope these number-crunching, toy pushing big wigs share our sentiment! lol
Big Boss on Feb 18, 2010
@ 2 & 3 totally agree with you,the dark knight returns is frank miller best graphic novel,2nd best graphic novel ever(watchmen,being no.1).sin city & 300 where also very good adaptions of his work,hopefully ronin turns out the same.also i would love to see the frank miller run on daredevil being used for the daredevil reboot,i know alot of the original film was based on this run but it was done shit.
DEADPOOL,MERC WITH A MOUTH on Feb 18, 2010
the spirit may have sucked but keep in mind that miller is not directing this!! AND this is one of his earlier works where he was experimenting with the comic medium hardcore!!! Ronin is pretty complex and confusing at times and epic in scale, I only hope this guy can pull it off, on a positive note, there are so many bad comic adaptations out there that you can learn so much of what NOT TO DO that this shouldnt fall into those same mistakes (Keeping fingers crossed) and I would also love to see the Daredevil reboot be closer and more faithful to franks initial DD run!! on another note, I would die for a DKR adaptation, but NO BURTON!! he like cameron are great visual artists but I feel like both of their story telling falls short and wouldnt do DKR justice..
Lando Calrizzle on Feb 18, 2010
HAVE ANY OF YOU GUYS EVEN READ RONIN ??? It kicks Dark Knight's FACE IN . I'll take your mutant punks, funhouses, and spikey boots and RAISE you one cybernetic psychic kid w/ a telepathic connection to a Samurai from feudal Japan - who battles (I'm not making this up) a parasitic Living Technopolis , that's being manipulated by his old nemesis - a demon Samurai who haunts the kid in his dreams. Mutant hobos resurrecting the dead, a secret agent black chick who has a thing for ancient ninjas ... I'm serious - go read it! It's THAT good! It would take as rare a talent to bring that to screen as it would AKIRA. It's on THAT scope, and THAT level of awesomeness. DC has never put anything out nearly that awesome before or since. Maybe what Miller needs to do is his own created characters again, instead of bastardizing the Dark Knight to flout his Hollywood Terror fantasies. BRING ME RONIN, if ONLY to sell more copies of RONIN the Graphic Novel!
Django on Feb 20, 2010
Just keep Frank Miller the fuck away from it. The guy's on a downward spiral to Hell. And TDKR isn't his best written work. The second half is sloppily written and convoluted. Year One is his best Batman work.
SlashBeast on Feb 20, 2010
@ SlashBeast Agreed - Batman Year One is a phenomenal work on any level. I wonder how much of that had to do with Dave Mazzuchelli - but then again it's tone resembles his Daredevil: Born Again books, which are possibly the best work of his career. I agree. Dude's gotta move outta Hollywood. It's gone well past his head! Note: When talking about RONIN, Miller said he was inspired by Moebius, for the look.
Django on Feb 20, 2010
Also agreed, Year One is a masterpiece, but DKR sort of overshadowed its popularity at the time. The thing about Year One is it's a very small story, it centered more around Gordon than Wayne/Batman, and has a quieter, and more realistic tone to it than DKR. A straight-forward crime story, a completely different animal than DKR, but just as great. Year One would certainly be an easier film adapation, too.
scott on Feb 20, 2010
Miller and Mazzuchelli were a brilliant team back in the day. Born Again is another almost hidden masterpiece. I like it much better than his earlier Daredevil stuff, which for some reason seems to be more revered by his fans. In a desert island scenario, I'd have Born Again, Year One and DKR over any other of Millers work. Maybe throw in the first Sin City story for good measure.
scott on Feb 20, 2010
Lol, scott, must be a sales plant with your pimping out TDKR. Go be a sales whore somewhere else.
Governor on Feb 22, 2010
Lol, yeah, scott is a whore, pimping TDKR with his synopsis and shit. Lol, go eat a fat dick.
SlashBeast on Mar 3, 2010
You guys are really, really dumb.
scott on Mar 6, 2010
^ LOL! You cum-sucking whore!
Glass on Nov 22, 2010
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