Frank Miller comic book film adaptations 300 and Sin City remain two of the more unique additions to the genre, for their heightened representations of, respectively, the Hollywood swords and sandals world and archetypal Noir setting. Perhaps appropriately, both properties will return to theaters this year, first with 300: Rise of an Empire this Friday and later Sin City: A Dame to Kill For in August.
The trailer for the Sin City sequel is now online, ahead of its premiere on the big screen attached to prints of Rise of an Empire, no doubt.
Miller, as he did on the previous installment, co-directed Sin City: A Dame to Kill For with Robert Rodriguez. The list of returning players in front of the camera includes Mickey Rourke (Immortals), Jessica Alba (A.C.O.D.), Bruce Willis (RED 2), and Rosario Dawson (Trance), while the roster of newcomers to Basin City counts 300: Rise of an Empire‘s Eva Green, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Don Jon) and Josh Brolin (Labor Day) among its ranks.
Rodriguez and Miller’s second Sin City movie features narrative material that takes place before, during, and after certain events depicted in its 2005 predecessor. Miller’s A Dame to Kill For graphic novel is the basis for the central storyline here, while the story featuring Rourke’s Marv – “Just Another Saturday Night” – was adapted from Miller’s Booze, Broads & Bullets short comic story collection. Finally, Miller wrote anew the film’s two additional plot threads, titled “The Long Bad Night” (the Levitt segment) and “The Fat Loss” (the Alba segment).
Previously, Rodriguez claimed that the visual approach and imagery (which was shot with 3D in mind) in A Dame to Kill For adheres even closer to Miller’s violently splashy black and white ink illustrations in the latter’s Sin City source comics than the first movie’s cinematography did. Based on the teaser footage, that does seem to be the case here: dashes of color mixed with stylized heavy shadows and monochromatic flourishes – so when Nancy (Alba) dances onstage, her hair virtually resembles a hand-drawn picture now.
As for the new story material, well, that’s a bigger question mark. Both the “A Dame to Kill For” and “Just Another Saturday Night” narrative threads are among the better-received Sin City comic storylines, but Miller’s recent output – in both the graphic novel and film medium – have left something to be desired, as he’s long descended into self-parody. Will a return to Basin City on the big screen help Miller (and Rodriguez, whose recent movies have also disappointed) get back his creative mojo? Well… here’s hoping for the best.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For opens in 2D and 3D theaters on August 22nd, 2014.