What do Wong Kar-wai's The Grandmaster and David Lowery's Ain't Them Bodies Saints have in common?
They've been recut for release at the suggestion of Harvey
Scissorhands Weinstein. That and they both have tie-in comics that have just been put online to read for free.
The Grandmaster comic is hosted by Vice – thanks to wongkarwai.net for pointing me towards it – and is available to read as a motion comic, when read in a browser on a computer. The comic is basically a stripped back, shortened and more simplified version of the film. I'm sure Harvey loves it.
It does feature some rather lovely artwork though and is certainly worth taking a look at.
The Ain't Them Bodies Saints comic is not simply a simplified retelling of the film but actually a prequel, based on the screenplay by Lowery and adapted by Matthew Southworth with Eric Skillman. It's a neatly told short story but unfortunately I've not seen Ain't Them Bodies Saints yet so can't speak to how well it does or doesn't fit in with the film's story. You can read the prequel comic at EW, where it debuted.
I'm not sure I fully understand this trend for comic tie-ins to films, especially when, like The Grandmaster comic, they are simply a shorter version of the story in the film. Perhaps they will encourage people to look at comics differently though, those that think they're simply about people in tights. That would be one positive I suppose.
Ain't Them Bodies Saints is out in American cinemas now and The Grandmaster will be out on the 23rd of August.