Frank Miller knows you’re concern about his big screen adaptation of Will Eisner’s The Spirit character, and he’s got something to say to you — SHUT UP! No, just kidding. Frank Miller actually goes to great lengths to dispel fears that he’s changing up Eisner’s The Spirit too much for contemporary times, or that he’s getting too much into the “Sin City” style. In a new blog entry that SuperheroHype has been given a sneak peek at, Miller takes the concerns he’s heard about his handling of the Spirit, and addresses them.
Some excerpts from Miller’s blog below — you can read the rest of it at SuperheroHype.
Firstly, about the changing of the blue hat, mask, and suit to all black:
Comic books have long traditions based on the limitations of pre-digital printing. Among these are traditions from the old newsprint-run-through-letterpress approach (yes, comics have been—and still do–follow tradition that dates all the way back to Gutenberg!). Bad printing on pulp paper is why it was necessary for every superhero to have his emblem printed on his chest, and that everything that’s black be printed in blue. Hence Superman’s preposterous blue hair. And the Spirit’s blue hat, mask, and suit.
In tests—and we did several—the blue made the Spirit look like an unfortunate guest at a Halloween party. Going to black brings back his essential mystery, his Zorro-like sexiness. It also makes that red tie of his look very, very cool. So I made the call, with all respect to Eisner’s creation, and most importantly, to what I perceived as his underlying intention. It was an easy call for me to make. The Spirit dresses in black, and looks much the better for it. As I said, my desire was never to slavishly follow the rules of ’40s printing into campy oblivion, but to reintroduce Eisner’s creation, via modern technology, to our brave new world.
And about “The Spirit” being “Sin City 2”:
And THE SPIRIT as some sort of SIN CITY REDUX? No, SIN CITY, that one’s my own baby, folks, and it looks the way it does for its own reasons. THE SPIRIT is, and will always be, Eisner’s SPIRIT. Anybody watching me on the set could attest that I very frequently drew a storyboard for a given shot first as I saw it, then as Will might’ve seen in—and, in every case, went with what I saw as Will’s version.
To drive the point home, THE SPIRIT, despite any accidental impression left by that kickass teaser-trailer, is a full-color movie. SIN CITY—and I hope to make of it a movie trilogy all its own, come Hell and high water—is, visually, a playhouse for black and white.
You can follow Frank Miller’s “Sin City” production blog here.