TROUBLE CITY

FRANK MILLER'S SPIRIT IS WILLED

Movie NewsJeremy SmithComment

http://chud.com/nextraimages/spiritcover.jpgThough he's unproven as a solo director, comic book fans the world over have to be thrilled with the news that Frank Miller is finally set to begin shooting his live-action rendition of Will Eisner's The Spirit. Little is known about Miller's take on the character, who fakes his death to battle the underworld, but the project is moving forward, with Odd Lot Entertainment co-producing.

Since The Spirit is to modern day comic books what the forward pass is to professional football, I guess Miller is the best candidate for this gig: he's the only graphic novelist who's successfully segued from the drawing board to the big screen, and he was friendly with Eisner until the author's death in 2005. Miller also knows the Central City milieu better than most, as it's essentially based on the bygone, crime ridden New York City of the 1930s; it's also safe to say that Miller's aesthetic wouldn't exist without Eisner's noir-ish take on the ever-evolving metropolis.

I think Miller overstates the misery of urban life in order to indulge his visceral vigilante fantasies, but there's no denying his craft; I just hope he doesn't go overboard when translating Eisner, who was tough but far from cruel. There's no start date yet for this project, but we do know that Miller will go the green-screened, CG route ala Sin City. It also seems certain that The Spirit won't go before cameras until Miller finishes Sin City 2 with Robert Rodriguez, which pushes the probable release date into 2009.