For those who haven’t heard, it looks like Sylvain White will be jumping from one graphic-novel-to-film adaptation (The Losers, currently in production) to another. Sylvain recently shared some details of his vision for Ronin, based on the graphic novel written and drawn by Frank Miller, who also wrote the legendary Batman: The Dark Knight Returns graphic novel and was the creator and co-director of the Sin City graphic novel and film, respectively.
White had a lot to say to Steve Weintraub over at Collider, including the following quote, which addresses the ubiqiutous “how are you going to honor the source material” issue:
“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.”
Sounds good to me. As far as the style of the film and the approach to it’s marketing, White explained:
“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.”
There is much, much more to this interview, of course – head over to Collider if you’d like to check it out.
Ronin was published by DC Comics between 1983 and 1984 and follows a reincarnated Ronin (a.k.a. a samurai without a master) through a futuristic dystopian New York City that is suffering, unnervingly, from an unspecified catastrophic economic collapse. The Ronin’s quest is to destroy the demon who imprisoned his soul for about 800 years.
Miller is well known for his dark, film-noir style comic book stories and graphic novels. To avoid confusion, this project has nothing to do with the 1998 espionage thriller in which Robert Deniro subtly pushes full coffee cups off tables to test the reflexes of his paramilitary associates.
White got his break with some some award-winning short films, including The 25th Frame, and then moved on to directing groundbreaking videos in the U.S. and abroad, earning him an MTV Music Video Award nomination in 2001. His ticket to the big time came with the acclaimed (and stylish) 2007 dance flick, Stomp The Yard.
No details yet as to when Ronin is to be released. SR’s Kofi Outlaw had a lot to say in regards to how much a graphic-novel-to-film adaptation should replicate the source material, but do you think these types of movies should merely use the novels as a jumping off point? Or try to recreate the comic book on the big screen?