The Spirit

Jan. 22, 2009 | 5:36 p.m.

FIRST LOOK: ‘The Spirit,’ reincarnated

I talked the other day to Michael Uslan, the Hollywood producer and a persistent presence on the comic-book scene for decades. One of the truly nice guys in the business, Uslan told me without a trace of irony that he recently faced "absolutely the most terrifying thing" in his long creative career — daring to pick up the baton of Will Eisner’s "The Spirit." I interviewed Uslan and his co-writer, F.J. DeSanto, who have collaborated on a promising three-issue arc that revisits some of the key mythos of the masked man, and I’ll be putting that interview up on Hero Complex as we get closer to the Feb. 11 release date of the first issue. (And, yes, Uslan does talk about Frank Miller’s film adaptation of "The Spirit" and addresses some of its harsher critics.) In the meantime, here’s a […]
Dec. 23, 2008 | 12:26 a.m.

Gabriel Macht looks for his heroic moment

I ran into Gabriel Macht — literally– last week at the premiere of "The Spirit." We were both in the lobby of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre walking briskly in different directions when we collided. He smiled and gave me big slap on the back — the guy seemed to be glowing, he was so excited. We had met last summer when I was the moderator of "The Spirit" panel in Comic-Con International in San Diego and then we met up recently for a cup of coffee and an interview that we conducted while hiking through the Hollywood Hills. That interview resulted in the story below, which is running in the Los Angeles Times tomorrow as a lead-up to the opening of "The Spirit" on Christmas Day. Once upon a time, superhero roles were considered career-killers. But not anymore, not with Christian […]
Dec. 12, 2008 | 7:55 p.m.

‘The Spirit’ movie that could have been

For every movie that makes it to the screen, there are a thousand projects that fall to the wayside. Later this month, "The Spirit," finally, hits theaters after plenty of failed attempts. Steven Paul Leiva was a key figure in one of those failed attempts and in this guest essay for Hero Complex he talks about the film that could have been. This photo below shows Leiva, Brad Bird and the late Will Eisner at the comics icon’s White Plains, N.Y., home in 1981. Frank Miller’s film version of Will Eisner’s innovative 1940s comic book, “The Spirit” opens on Christmas Day.  It will be stylistic and hyper-visual, a hoped-for perfect melding of film and “sequential art,” a term coined by Eisner.  What it will not be, however, is revolutionary.  Comic book movies are now the meat and potatoes — not […]
Nov. 02, 2008 | 3:54 p.m.

Frank Miller and ‘The Spirit’ of Will Eisner

EXCLUSIVE The big Holiday Sneaks issue of the Los Angeles Times Calendar section hit the street today and it’s got amazing stuff in it. (It will probably be selling on EBay for $20 in a few weeks for the “Twilight” coverage alone.) The editor of the special section, Elena Howe, sent me up to the Bay Area a few months ago to get the lowdown on “The Spirit,” the Christmas Day release that will mark the solo directorial debut of Frank Miller. Here’s the story I came back with (although you can expect to see at least two more articles in The Times and more posts here at Hero Complex; I have a lot left in the notebook). –G.B. SAN FRANCISCO — No comic-book creator has seen his work brought to the screen with more reverence than Frank Miller, whose […]
July 30, 2008 | 5:35 p.m.

‘The Spirit’ of Eisner and Lionsgate

I had the honor of interviewing Will Eisner once. I was a student at the University of Florida and, after being named the editor-in-chief of the large and powerful campus newspaper there, I decided I would reward myself with a splashy vanity project. So I gave myself three full pages of space and devoted them all to a profile of Eisner, who was living further south, down in Tamarac, at the time. This was almost 20 years ago now but I still remember how Eisner — after I told him that I was a student — began to speak with such passion about teachers, schools, the years of life spent learning, the entire aura of a focused campus life. These were the days, by the way, when the aging artist flew up to New York every week to teach at […]
July 27, 2008 | 2:07 p.m.

Comic-Con: ‘Spirit’ star Jaime King guest blogs

Jaime King portrays Lorelei in the Frank Miller film “The Spirit,” due on Christmas Day. She sent us this post from her BlackBerry as she wandered the showroom floor at Comic-Con. Comic-Con is awesome! It makes me wish I was 15 again when I would have the balls to wear a Leia slave-girl outfit. This place is HUGE! With a lot to do and see. Quite frankly, I would have been very happy being a selfish hog all huddled up in the Lucasfilm booth playing the new video game “The Force Unleashed” for 12 hours. But I was nice nice and surrendered that desire and gave up the paddles to all of the excited 12-year-olds that want to check it out. I moved on to my daily routine of attempting to convince director Dave Filoni to let me do a […]
July 26, 2008 | 12:50 a.m.

Comic-Con: ‘The Spirit’s’ Samuel L. Jackson explains ‘BadMoFoKos’

Samuel L. Jackson explains what “BadMoFoKos” are, pays homage to L.A. comics haven Golden Apple, and decides who would win in a battle between the Octopus and Jedi Mace Windu. – Denise Martin
July 26, 2008 | 12:25 a.m.

‘The Spirit’ of Comic-Con: The hyper-real Samuel L. Jackson, Frank Miller

Samuel L. Jackson just delivered the best line of the day at Comic-Con: "Aw c’mon, toilets are always funny!" That was the payoff line in the wild fight scene from "The Spirit," which for a few minutes at least, appears to meld the physics of Wile E. Coyote with the vivid noir of "Sin City." The fight scene is in a junk-strewn mud flat between Jackson’s character, the villain called The Octopus, and the title hero, portrayed by newcomer Gabriel Macht. They whack each other with cinder blocks, then a crow bar and then the hero takes a savage blow to the crotch from a giant spanner wrench. Then, in a scene that looks better than it sounds, the Octopus slams a toilet down over the hero’s head, pinning his arms to his side. The movie, by the way, is […]
July 20, 2008 | 6:05 p.m.

Do you have a spirited question for Frank Miller? Or Samuel L. Jackson?

I’m going to moderate the panel on "The Spirit" film down at the International Comic-Con Friday (July 25), and I’d like to open up the Hero Complex comments board to any fans who want to post some suggested questions. There’s a lot of excitement about the panel and I know firsthand that there are some surprises planned by Frank Miller, who makes his solo directorial debut with the film, and his close partner in the project, producer Deborah Del Prete. The hour-long panel begins at 2:45 p.m. at Hall H. In addition to Miller and Del Prete, attendees at this point include cast members Samuel L. Jackson (who portrays the Octopus), Gabriel Macht (Denny Colt/the Spirit) and Jaime King (Lorelei Rox). (No, Scarlett Johansson and Eva Mendes are NOT part of the panel, due to scheduling issues. It’s just as […]
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