Alan Moore on Superheroes, Comics and Making A Million Dollar Movie

Alan Moore has conducted an interview with Tom Grater at Deadline, to promote the screening of his long-awaited new movie, The Show, screening at the Sitges International Film Festival this week – and meant to be online now, though I confess, I can't actually find out how to access it. Any help? As ever, Alan gives good value and good quotes. Here are a few, but you can read the rest at Deadline.

Alan Moore on Superheroes, Comics and Making A Million Dollar Movie
Screencap from The Show trailer.

On the high price of comics.

Alan Moore: When I entered the comics industry, the big attraction was that this was a medium that was vulgar, it had been created to entertain working class people, particularly children. The way that the industry has changed, it's 'graphic novels' now, it's entirely priced for an audience of middle class people. I have nothing against middle-class people but it wasn't meant to be a medium for middle-aged hobbyists. It was meant to be a medium for people who haven't got much money.

Alan Moore on Superheroes, Comics and Making A Million Dollar Movie
Screencap from The Show trailer.

On the danger of superhero movies. 

Alan Moore: This may be entirely coincidence but in 2016 when the American people elected a National Socialist satsuma and the UK voted to leave the European Union, six of the top 12 highest-grossing films were superhero movies. Not to say that one causes the other but I think they're both symptoms of the same thing – a denial of reality and an urge for simplistic and sensational solutions.

Alan Moore on Superheroes, Comics and Making A Million Dollar Movie
Screencap from The Show trailer.

How the current pandemic may benefit new voices.

Alan Moore: You might hope that the bigger interests will find it more difficult to manoeuvre in this new landscape, whereas the smaller independent concerns might find that they are a bit more adapted. These times might be an opportunity for genuinely radical and new voices to come to the fore in the absence of yesteryear.

Alan Moore on Superheroes, Comics and Making A Million Dollar Movie
Screencap from The Show trailer.

On creating a new superhero for The Show.

Alan Moore: We have a kind of superhero character in The Show but if we get the chance to develop them more then people will be able to see all of the characters have quite unusual aspects to them.

Alan Moore on Superheroes, Comics and Making A Million Dollar Movie
Screencap from The Show trailer.

On his plans for a The Show TV… show.

Alan Moore: We hope that it's enjoyable as a thing in itself, but to some degree it could be seen as an incredibly elaborate pilot episode, we think there's quite an interesting story that we could develop out of it as a TV series, which would imaginatively be called The Show.

I've worked out about four-five seasons of potential episodes. We're showing that around to people to see how it goes, if there should be any interest I am prepared to launch myself into that.

Alan Moore on Superheroes, Comics and Making A Million Dollar Movie
Screencap from The Show trailer.

On how The Show was made for $1.17 million dollars.

Alan Moore: I noticed there seemed to be a lot of the investors gathering around Mitch in the early days of the film. When we finally got it finished we had a modest wrap party at a local restaurant, I thought it was a good-looking film for £3m, and then Mitch said, 'we didn't do that for £3m'… apparently just before the film was due to start shooting, some of the investors pulled out, they said it would take another year or two to raise the money again but someone said if I heard this had happened they would probably never see me again. They gave Mitch a chance to make it for £1m but were breathing down his neck to make sure he met all the deadlines. I believe we got it shot for £900,000, I don't think it looks like a £900,000 movie…

Alan Moore on Superheroes, Comics and Making A Million Dollar Movie
Screencap from The Show trailer.

On his home town, Northampton.

Alan Moore: The main good fortune was that we had Northampton at our disposal, perhaps the only good thing about having the town on its knees is that the council are absolutely desperate for anything that will draw any kind of financial attention to this collapsed hellhole. They gave us the freedom of the town.

The Show, written by and co-starring Alan Moore, directed by Mitch Jenkins and starring Tom Burke, Siobhan Hewlett, Ellie Bamber, Darrell D'Silva, Richard Dillane, Christopher Fairbank, and Sheila Atim premieres this week in the Official Selection for the 53rd Sitges Festival Internacional de Cinema Fantàstic de Catalunya and was also one of the Official Selection for the cancelled 2020 SXSW Film Festival.

Written by Alan Moore. A frighteningly focussed man of many talents, passports and identities arrives at England's broken heart, a haunted midlands town that has collapsed to a black hole of dreams, only to find that this new territory is as at least as strange and dangerous as he is. Attempting to locate a certain person and a certain artefact for his insistent client, he finds himself sinking in a quicksand twilight world of dead Lotharios, comatose sleeping beauties, Voodoo gangsters, masked adventurers, unlikely 1930s private eyes and violent chiaroscuro women…and this is Northampton when it's still awake. Once the town closes its eyes there is another world entirely going on beneath the twitching lids, a world of glittering and sinister delirium much worse than any social or economic devastation. Welcome to the British nightmare, with its gorgeous flesh, its tinsel and its luminous light-entertainment monsters; its hallucinatory austerity.

The trailer contains an edit of the track Bloodrush by Andrew Broder featuring Denzel Curry.

The Show is a followup on their five short films, collected as Show Pieces, and tells the story of Nighthampton, a hellish underside to reality populated by the dead, and creatures who could be gods, demons, or light entertainment music hall comedians. The festival describes it as "inhabited by vampires and masked avengers; and a black hole that lies just beneath the surface of this seemingly peaceful city. From the restless mind of Alan Moore comes this film that upends what we know as reality."

It's been eight years since I sat in St James Working Men's Club and saw the first screenings of Keeping Faith and Jimmy's End, Bleeding Cool has been covering these projects since we first got wind in 2010, when Alan Moore announced the project as a story that " concerns a Northampton writer and occultist who is trying to take over the dreamtime of everyone in the Boroughs, before extending his influence over the country and then the world." from its first storyboard image and Alan's original versions, to the spinoffs that were planned, such as Electricomicscomputer games, energy drinksradio shows and a social networkseeing the first films at St James End itselfcrowdfunding the finale, set visits to His Heavy Heartseeing the finished film, looking at the film festival circuit all over the placetalking to the cast, reporting from the filming the feature film, schedules that were abandoned, and the planned premiere at SXSW that had to be called off. And now… planning on (somehow) streaming from a Catalonian film festival.

 

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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