In Saturday's Q & A session at the Northampton Guildhall, Alan Moore was asked about the films made from his comics and whether he would ever consider writing his own screenplay. Moore spoke very entertainingly about his contempt for the movie industry and then surprised everyone. He has written a screenplay, and it's quickly built momentum into something that sounds HUGE.
As readers of Dodgem Logic #2 will know, photographer Mitch Jenkins took a striking series of portraits of performers at a Northampton burlesque review. He decided to film a 10-minute short featuring the dancers for his showreel and, wanting to help out a friend, Moore offered to write a shooting script. It was called "Jimmy's End".
As soon as word got out that Moore was writing something for film, people quickly got interested. Jenkins and Moore were approached by Warp Films (producers of Shane Meadows' This is England and Chris Morris' Four Lions), who offered to fund a feature version of the film.
These discussions grew to accommodate the idea of spinning off a TV series from the film, in the manner of This is England '86. Moore said that initially he'd been dubious about how the story could be extended in this way but had now figured out a longer ongoing narrative.
Laconically, he described the premise. The story 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. Amidst chuckles from the crowd, Moore insisted that the series would expose his megalomaniacal tendencies once and for all!
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of this project is the intention to create a really immersive fictional world. Apparently there's a young animator producing work that will feature on TVs in the background of scenes, and there'll be a soap opera that the characters follow called (rather wonderfully) Wittgenstein Avenue. Also, Moore's story involves an online game which British software developers may wish to develop!
Alan Moore has frequently said that filming Watchmen was pointless, since he had written it specifically for the comic book medium. I can't wait to see how he adapts to the formal demands of film and TV. I'm sure the results are going to be unique, eccentric and very exciting!