Alan Moore—Watchman creator, anarchist, and vocal critic of adaptations of his work—is once again voicing his distaste for Hollywood. This time, however, he’s doing it on behalf of his recently deceased friend and fellow comic book creator, Steve Moore (no relation). In a new interview with Bleeding Cool, Alan calls for a boycott of Brett Ratner’s upcoming Hercules. The Dwayne Johnson film is an adaptation of Steve Moore’s The Thracian War comics, but Alan claims Steve didn’t receive any payment for the film treatment. He explains that, while Steve thought he’d signed a contact giving him at least a “paltry” $15,000 for the film rights, he’d actually signed a version that didn’t require the studio to pay or even consult with him.
Alan adds that Steve was “quite cross” about the whole thing, especially as the film made significant changes to the source material—notably cutting Hercules’ boyfriend Hylas. As Alan recounts, those behind the project were also consistently confused by which aspects of the comic Steve had invented and which had been pulled from Greek mythology. That “degree of ignorance” proved “painful” to Steve, whose one consolation was that his name wasn’t going to be used on the film. However, Alan claims all that changed after Steve died in March, and filmmaker tried to get a “little bit of free advertising” from the increased attention to Steve’s career, something Alan deems “vile.”
Recognizing that this kind of outspoken criticism has become old hat for him, Alan acknowledged his public perception, before making one last impassioned plea for people to avoid Hercules at all costs.
Now, I know that when before I have suggested that the comics industry may have treated Steve Moore less than fairly, or even less than humanely in the past, this has excited a flurry of complaints that I am surely old, paranoid, and crazy, which I may well be.
However, in this instance, I suggest that people simply look at the publicity for this film before and after Steve Moore’s death. I would also ask that anybody out there who gives a damn about Steve Moore or his legacy not go to see this wretched film. It is the last thing that Steve would’ve wanted. And I cannot un-recommend it too highly or anybody involved in it. I think it is absolutely shameful, however, there are also more positive elements of Steve’s legacy.