The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is a comic book series initially created and written by Alan Moore, with illustrations by Kevin O’Neil, that was published and distributed beginning in 1999 by America’s Best Comics (an imprint of WildStorm/DC Comics founded by Moore). With the initial concept behind the series being the establishment of a pseudo Justice League populated by popular characters of Victorian literature (specifically from England), the series quickly evolved into a means by which a myriad cast of characters from many different types of fiction could be brought together under one roof.
The series has since spawned three volumes of published work and a spin-off trilogy, in addition to being the subject of a 2003 feature film adaptation of the same name starring Sean Connery. The 2003 film, however, was a creative mess and a financial flop that caused Moore to turn his back on Hollywood indefinitely, though that hasn’t stopped 20th Century Fox from planning a reboot.
Collider, while attending the 2015 Television Critics Association awards ceremony, interviewed League of Extraordinary Gentlemen producer John Davis about the reboot of Moore’s original independent property, where it regards his and Fox studio’s plans. In conversation, Davis commented:
“Just by going back to the roots and making it authentic to what the fan base was really excited about. It’s female-centric, which I think is interesting. I love female characters, point-of-view characters in action movies. I thought Mad Max was great. I think you can always find a fresh way of doing something and going back to the basics. What is it that people love? What is it that made them love the property in the first place?”
If these plans mentioned by Davis come to fruition, we might get a more nuanced cinematic interpretation of Moore’s work than ever before; George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road is a great starting point to pull from for thematic inspiration, at the least. As for the female character roster: Mina Murray from Bram Stoker’s Dracula will certainly be included in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen reboot (given her importance in both Moore’s first comic book and the 2003 film), while a character such as Virginia Woolf’s gender-changing Orlando (also featured in Moore’s comics) could also be included.
It’s worth noting that while the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen reboot may be “female-centric”, that doesn’t mean the film will feature more female than male characters. Showtime and John Logan’s Penny Dreadful TV series, which bears a distinct resemblance to League in the way it weaves together the stories of various iconic literary characters, frequently highlights its female characters (in particular, Eva Green as Vanessa Ives), yet most of the show’s main characters are, in fact, men. It depends on how accurate those Mad Max comparisons are, in this case.
Wherever plans go for the proposed League of Extraordinary Gentlemen reboot moving forward, it certainly can’t get any worse than the 2003 film adaptation. Maybe this time around, the female characters (in particular, Miss Murray) – however many there end up being – will be allowed the space to shine alongside such memorable figures as Captain Nemo, Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, Allan Quatermain, and so forth.
We’ll keep you posted regarding any future developments about The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen reboot.