Graphic novelist and professional grump Alan Moore does not like most things, up to and including film adaptations of his or anyone else’s work. So when he called for a boycott of the upcoming Hercules, starring Dwayne Johnson as the titular hero, I was perfectly prepared to pass the item by without giving it much attention. However, Moore’s reasons for the boycott are not in the grumpy and paranoid realm, for once. He’s doing it for his now-deceased friend Steve Moore (no relation), the man who wrote the original comic books on which the film is based.
The crux of the matter is this: Steve Moore received no payment when his comic Hercules: The Thracian Wars was picked up for film treatment. He therefore asked that his name not be used to promote it. Seems like a more or less fair deal, right? Well, Steve Moore passed away earlier this year, and suddenly his name is being used on the Hercules promotional material.
Predictably, this has angered Alan Moore, who was friends and sometime co-workers with the late Steve Moore. Steve Moore was angry himself about his treatment at the hands of the film industry and not being paid for his contribution, even though his contract did not guarantee him any such payment. For Paramount and MGM to then turn around and begin using Steve Moore’s name and legacy as “free advertising” (as Alan Moore puts it) for Hercules seems to be adding insult to injury.
Alan Moore granted a lengthy interview to Bleeding Cool on this topic, but here’s what he said in terms of his personal feelings about this issue:
It was a little bit of free advertising. The publicity surrounding a man’s death. Now I’d have to look at my thesaurus and see if there are any words other than “vile” which I could use for that. But even in the low estimation in which I hold the greater part of the comic industry, that is a new low … 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.
MGM released a statement apparently in response to Moore’s comments:
“MGM licensed the feature film rights from Radical Comics and fulfilled all contractual obligations. Steve Moore was a legend within the comics industry, whose work we greatly admire.”
“Contractual obligations” – now that’s cold. While I’ve been moderately excited about Hercules, I have to say that this put a fly in the ointment. While this kind of marketing practice is not unusual in Hollywood, it still seems very crass. If Alan Moore’s statements are true – and there’s no reason to suspect they’re not – I might very well think twice about seeing Hercules on July 25.
Source: Bleeding Cool