I got a favor to ask…

I just got this as a comment here and I’d like to actually devote a full post to it, as it’s the most polite and honest one like this that I’ve received here.

“I know well the Dylan Dog comic books and I read the plot of your movie. It has nothing in common with the original Tiziano Sclavi story (except the name, the job and the clothes of the main character). If you called your character Mr. Smith nobody could think to Dylan Dog.
So, why do you say that your movie is the adaptation of Dylan Dog?

-Alessandro Neri, chiropratica.blogspot.com

Alessandro, I understand completely that some changes had to be made between the book and the film adaptation of it, but I hope, if you read this blog carefully, you will find that there are very good reasons for most of the changes.  Unavoidable reasons in most cases that meant the difference between having a movie and not having a movie.  We honestly believe that we’ve remained very true to the spirit and character of Tiziano’s character, which, with all due respect, you cannot get out of the short synopsis that have been released publicly or the few photos you may have seen.  Let me give you a parallel.  If you go to imdb, you’ll find the following summary: “When wealthy industrialist Tony Stark is forced to build an armored suit after a life-threatening incident, he ultimately decides to use its technology to fight against evil.”  Is that an accurate accounting of what the movie ultimately was?  If you were an Iron Man fan and you read that, would you be excited to see the movie or would you have thought they had dressed some guy like Iron Man and called it that?  Would you assume, based only on that, that it would be a faithful adaptation of the character you loved in the books?

I truly appreciate you and everyone else who is so very passionate about Dylan and I understand because I love him nearly as much as you all do.  (And I only say “nearly” because I’m not Italian.  :-))  Will we ultimately provide you with a faithful adaptation of the book?  I hope so.  We’re all doing our best, but none of us know.  We hope so and at the very least we’ll be able to say we did the best job we possibly could under the circumstances.  I would ask you give us the same hope and benefit of the doubt. You haven’t read the script, you haven’t seen the performances and you haven’t seen the months, and in some cases years, of work people have put into this project.  You’ve read a synopsis online somewhere.  Once you’ve seen it and if you hate it then, feel free to write me and I will humbly, genuinely, and personally apologize for letting you down, because that’s the last thing I want to do for you or any Dylan fan.  But, please, don’t judge us until you have the full “picture” (pun fully intended).

I’ll say again that I’m really, really glad so many people feel so passionate about Dylan.  I just hope, when the movie finally airs, that everyone out there will see that we’re some of those same people.

-Dan Forcey

Development Exec/Former Stunt Guy/HH (Humbly Hoping)

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24 Responses to “I got a favor to ask…”

  1. homerswisdom Says:

    Thanks for coming out as a Dylan Dog fan :)

    Your post does bring up a question for me though: What are the unavoidable circumstances that required change, beyond the obvious adaptation ones between print medium and motion picture medium?

  2. Vgerland Says:

    It is sad that some people are already trying to judge this movie on some either pre-conceived notions or false reports. I have to wonder what plot she is referring to. Perhaps it is the one you already said was very old and has since been revamped with input and the blessings of the Dylan Dog creators.

    I still think perhaps a short teaser video would go a long way to diffusing the naysayers. Take a look at what the people behind the Scott Pilgrim movie are doing. The fans of that comic seem to be excited about everything.

    I am a new Dylan Dog fan so I am not invested with him as others are and I can not wait to see this movie. From every thing I have read hear and elsewhere I fully trust the creative team that is bringing this 2 dimensional cartoon to life. Bring it on.

  3. deadofnightmovie Says:

    Homerswisdom (Or may I call you Brian?),
    I was referring to things like Groucho becoming Marcus and the white bug having to be black. These are the kind of decisions we had to make that literally came down to: is this an important enough detail to not do the movie if we can’t have it? (And, quite literally, trying to keep either one of these two examples true to the book would have meant we could not have made the movie.) We made concessions like these because we thought what makes Dylan so special is the character himself, a very complex and interesting person, not what color car he drives. I hope that answers your question?

  4. Stargazer Says:

    “..if you read this blog carefully, you will find that there are very good reasons for most of the changes. Unavoidable reasons in most cases that meant the difference between having a movie and not having a movie…I would ask you give us the same hope and benefit of the doubt. You haven’t read the script, you haven’t seen the performances and you haven’t seen the months, and in some cases years, of work people have put into this project.”

    Well put. Personally, I Can’t wait to see this movie. Yup, I’m very hopeful. I guess only time will tell.

  5. ‘“When wealthy industrialist Tony Stark is forced to build an armored suit after a life-threatening incident, he ultimately decides to use its technology to fight against evil.” Is that an accurate accounting of what the movie ultimately was? “‘

    Well said.
    I’ve read a lot of rumored scripts or write ups about comic movies that turn out to be nothing that compares to what the actual movie turns out to be. (Usually in a good way)

    For instance, I am a huge Hellboy fan, and while I am extremely loyal to the comic universe, I understood that Del Toro’s version would be utterly his vision of what Hellboy is on the bigscreen, it’s become his own universe (with Mignola’s blessing) and I love the characters on screen in a different way.
    I have no need to to compare them to the comic characters saying things like: “Abe should have psychic abilites!” or “Liz and HB don’t shouldn’t like each other romantically.”

    These were huge steps away from the characters I grew to love, but still as movies I was extremely impressed with what Del Toro accomplished.

    Honestly if you adapt a comic book 100% to screen, where is the shock, the suspense, oh man that was amazing? if you know exactly what happens in the next panel/scene.

    People, film makers, artists if you will, I think should be allowed to show their own vision of the characters (within reasonable limits) and be able to create something that is unique and hopefully increases the fan base and interest in these characters.

    I expect the same things from what you guys are doing with Dylan Dog.

    Spread the Dylan love.

  6. Xabaras Says:

    I understand the doubts some fans have, because I’m one of them. I’ve been reading DYD for almost 20 years, and there are a lot of different episodes in the series. The episodes most of the fans rank as the best (or at least the ones I consider the best), have an atmosphere that is difficult to transport to the screen.

    Mostly those are the episodes written by the great Tiziano Sclavi, a person who had his share of demons in his life. Dylan Dog comics are “mature readers recommended” not only because of the gore and horror, but because of a certain dose of cynicism and heartbreaking view of the world, which the comic inherited from it’s maker. That’s why it became such a shock when the series became a phenomenon. Although the comic is rated action-horror-comedy, there is something in between, something that only a hardcore fan can understand.

    You can’t understand it by reading the first issue (the same episode that is the first published story by Dark Horse comic), and several others, but you can feel it in some of the classics printed in between ’87-’00.

    There are petty differences (and I for one think that a black bug, instead of a white one, will be better suited for a noir feel that the director was aiming for in this film), but those differences do not represent the basic life of the comic (on Groucho and the white bug – in episode DOPO MEZZANOTTE – AFTER MIDNIGHT in English, Groucho doesn’t appear untill the last page and the bug breaks down on page one. It’s one of the classics.)

    Most of all it’s in Dylan’s character (the film version of DYD we can’t judge until we see it for ourselves) and that little something I wrote about (and it’s mostly about how things go down in the end – the point of it all).

    I am really looking forward to this film. I dreamed about DYLAN DOG – THE MOTION PICTURE for a very long time. I hope that it represents the character from the series, and of course it will be an action packed film (most people fear it being a Hollywood-action-tough-guy-sexy-girls-big-guns-macho Dylan Dog), but it can work if done right (remember no.12? It was inspired by THE TERMINATOR. And that was one hell of an action-horror film).

    So fingers crossed it will be a successful film and a true representative of a great comic book. Based on the work and love put in by the film staff and all the people involved, I can’t think of why it wouldn’t.

  7. Here in Italy we love Dylan, it’s a kind of religion for someone of us…

  8. Well, it’s not as much about Groucho and the VW as much as it is about moving the plot from London to New Orleans, there being no news whatsoever about Bloch and Xabaras, no known female lead or background characters… Maybe there will be a reference in the film about all of these, maybe there won’t be, and this negative possibility is what drives fans crazy. You used a comparison with Iron Man, so I will use a comparisons with Superman and Spiderman.

    Making Dylan Dog without Xabaras as the main villain is the same as making a Superman film without Lex Luthor. Also, making Dylan Dog without Bloch is the same as making a Spiderman film without Aunt May :) well, more or less.

    Oh, and certainly you could have used one the better known female characters – if not Morgana, then what about Anne Never, Kim etc? The one you have now does look like the generic Dylan Dog / horror chick but as a fan I have no attachment to her whatsoever, which makes it harder for you to get me into the film.

    Going back to Groucho, Marcus could have easily been Groucho without the moustache and glasses – he still could be but since there has been little PR to suggest this, doubts are 100% reasonable.

    Finally, based on the IMDB page, I know none of the characters in the film apart from Dylan Dog. If it wasn’t for this blog, that IMDB page would have been enough to kill this film for me. In fact, prior to this blog, I thought the red shirt and the VW were out of the picture as well…

    So, my advice: as soon as you wrap up shooting and start post production, press pedal to the metal to show the fans that you have translated the comic from the pages to the screen in the right way. Focus on what fans KNOW. Light effects based on covers do NOT do the trick, they just buy time, and you know it. Otherwise, there is a real possibility you will lose big chunks of the European market, and if you truly love this project as much as you do, it will hurt on a personal level, too.

    Final paragraph: there is GOOD compromise and there is BAD compromise. Until there is other evidence, people will naturally assume the latter. I know from my experience that the drive to create something sometimes leads to a perversion of the original idea, and I really hope this is not the case with the film. I still support the production; Routh looks quite OK like Dylan Dog (he could have never been as perfect as Rupert Everett in Cemetery Man), but there is little else to chew on nowadays, so… take care until the next post :)

  9. Indagatore ´dell incubo Kobisnica Says:

    “I truly appreciate you and everyone else who is so very passionate about Dylan and I understand because I love him nearly as much as you all do. (And I only say “nearly” because I’m not Italian. ) ”

    I am also not Italian, but i lovelovelove Dylan Dog! Reading your blog, I am more and more sure that the movie will be great. Basta. :)

  10. I have to say, the honestly, I had never even heard of ‘Dylan Dog’

    i lucked into of all things a craigslist add that had, again, very brief description, even SHORTER

    something like

    ‘Vampire movie filming in New Orleans needs extra’s”

    then link to the casting company etc.

    So at this point, all I knew was ‘oh someone doing a vampire movie in new orleans.. really? how original.. i got nothing better to do’

    i’ve lived in new orleans for the past 7 years and been a goth LONG before that..

    so i filled out the casting app.. got an email back that gave me again, brief description of the movie, and the scene I was in, BUT a really great link (NOt IMDB) that talked about it. I don’t have the email handy.. but anyway

    it was a short, fun , simple scene on canal street, the Only thing wardrobe added was a ton of shiny cross necklaces. Everything else was mine

    I have to say…

    your so right in your ‘drama free’ blog.. the only raised voices i heard.. was the director.. ‘Cut’ ‘Action’ etc. LOL

    The actors, the crew, the sound and lighting team were absolutely awsome.

    In my very light research, I feel, that they had great attention to detail, as far as the look and feel went.

    granted my part was very very small, just simple ‘brush by’ kind of scene, but i was treated like it was quite important, and the actors and director were very complementary, and after I was finished, lol I returned the necklaces, and headed out to my usual goth club hang outs.

    I may be very very low guy on the metaphorical film totem, but if they ever need a natural goth/vamp of new orleans, i would work with any and /or all of eveyone i met that night again

  11. Here in Italy dylan is a kind of god

  12. Stargazer Says:

    @Ivica Serdarot: “I still support the production; Routh looks quite OK like Dylan Dog (he could have never been as perfect as Rupert Everett in Cemetery Man),”

    Well, I have never seen Cemetery Man, and I’m also a newbie reading the Dylan Dog comics, but to me Brandon Routh looks perfect as Dylan. I hope he also nails the character. It depends a lot on the script and the director, of course, but I’m very confident that he will do a good job. :)

  13. AntoBlueberry Says:

    Dan, the post from Alessandro probably stems from reading the script review that was published on Comicus.it.
    We both know that the review was of the old draft, that really showed a Dylan that in dialogues, habits and manners wasn’t exactly the same one of the books. And here you gave assurance that Kevin rewrote the script to make the Dylan we’ll see on the screen closer to the one on paper.
    Still, the lack of Groucho and Bloch, the American setting are bound not to let fans be completely trustful in the movie until they’ll be able to see it.
    And you know you can’t please everyone.
    After years during which they said that you couldn’t make a faithful Watchmen adaptation, lots of people accuse Snyder of being too faithful. Some moron, like David Poland, even said it would have been a better movie without Doctor Manhattan.
    Regarding the IronMan synopsis, well reading it you had the feeling that they had the origin story right. it didn’t give you the feeling of the fun tone of the movie, but it was clear it was a faithful adaptation.

  14. @Ivica Serdarot: “Oh, and certainly you could have used one the better known female characters – if not Morgana, then what about Anne Never, Kim etc?”
    I don’t know how many Dylan’s stories were pubblished in USA, but here the Dylan’s girls are more than 268…..

    “Making Dylan Dog without Xabaras as the main villain is the same as making a Superman film without Lex Luthor.”
    Xabaras is not the most famous villain in Dylan’s stories … here in Italy the last story when he appears is the number 241 … There are many other more famous villain.

  15. indagatore dell´ incubo Kobisnica Says:

    @tph

    Well, Xabaras is indeed not Dylan´s nemesis #1, that´s someone else: the death! :)
    Well, you seem to have good knowledge about the comics, so you sure know, that Xabaras is very important to Dylan [see italian #100 :)].

  16. Dan, thank you to reply to my question in this way with a post.
    But I’m sorry, I still don’t see what your Dylan Dog and the original Sclavi’s DYD have in common.
    I’m OK that a film adaptation has to be a personal view on something that already exists, but I agree with Ivica Serdarot saying that London is not New Orleans (the Superman movies are not in Paris, they are in Metropolis like the comic books) and any character in the comic books is in the movie (except for Dylan). OK for Groucho (for the rights problems that we know) but the others?
    I don’t think you have to do like Sclavi and the other authors, with their particular writing style and citationsim, but some “detail” should keep even in an adaptation…

    tph, Xabaras is THE villain in DYD, like the Joker for Batman. no doubts.

  17. @tph

    Hey, don’t take the following address in the wrong way, I’m not being aggressive in any way, but I am being a bit defensive :) So here it goes…

    I am not from the States, but Macedonia where Dylan Dog has been quite popular since 1986, and I’ve been collecting DYD comics since 1994 (I had some before 1994 but they all vanished in a flood).

    Regarding the girls, you’re way off the mark. Given all the irregular editions, I’d put it somewhere between 400-500. Still, there are four girls that have really marked the series: Morgana, Kim, Lillie and Bree; and I would also add Anne Never since she’s very popular but without any real impact on continuity as far as I know. However, my personal favorite would be Marina from “Il lungo addio”.

    Then, regarding Xabaras: I don’t know how long YOU have been following the series but I think he has been appearing as consistently as the Joker in Batman and slightly less regularly than Lex Luthor. Yes, there have been some huge gaps here and there and usually he’s just a cameo, even off-screen at times BUT everything in the series leads back to him. The only other person that can claim the position of the main villain is indeed, Death, and Dan, if you don’t show Xabaras, at least show Death – otherwise any claims on being faithful to the comic would be rendered moot.

    Finally, since I’m hosting a radio show, I’d like to announce that next Friday (5 June), I’ll devote an episode to Dylan Dog :) Most of the music will come straight off the comic pages. I’ve one problem though. “Devil’s thrill” is a piece for violin and I cannot find it played on clarinet. Does someone have it by any chance? Anyone?

  18. Stargazer Says:

    And who says that Xabaras, or other important villain, won’t be in another DYD film (if the series continues)?

    What I want to know is if Dylan will speak with a English accent..

  19. Vgerland Says:

    Gee, Sorry Dan. It is like they didn’t even read your post or the one a while back. Just know there are a lot of us anticipating this movie and waiting to see it before we try and judge it.

    From what I’ve read here and elsewhere I feel confident the movie will honor the Dylan Dog character and perhaps bring him to an even highler level of popularity around the world. I would think the fans would want that.

    Now can we just move on and change the subject. I still want some dirt or as lease some fun news about the film or what is coming next.

  20. Vgerland, everyone wants this to be a good movie and for it to do well at the box office. Also, the people that are most negative about “what they know of the film so far” are the ones that are most in anticipation of the final product. When the film finally kicks off, if it is any good, these will be the people who will spread word-of-mouth. Oh, and they did read every single word. I did in any case.

    So, you feel confident about the film as it relates to the comic. Well, most people that know the comic don’t feel so confident and as I have stated before it’s the PR’s job to change this, which cannot be done with generalizations such as “honoring the Dylan Dog character” but with very specific information that people consider important (you know, characters and such). And all of this is supposed to happen before the movie comes out, OK? If the promo material, Dan’s posts or whatever don’t convince me to buy the tickets and the DVDs, well even if it’s Oscar-worthy material (and in the make up department, it could be!) it simply won’t matter, and the series will not continue and the producers won’t have another chance at correcting anything they’re doing wrong right now.

    So yeah, this post will be less interesting as time goes by, but the issue will remain, and Dan most certainly knows this.

  21. za-lamort Says:

    I think the problem is that the screenwriter should be italian, or at least somebody who know exactly what Dylan Dog is. Not only an horror comic.

  22. Vgerland Says:

    Dan

    The people at Dylan Dog need to consider what more they can do to help settle all of these questions the die heart fans are voicing. What are you doing wrong or not letting the fans know that Edgar Wright and the Scott Pilgrim people are doing right because the posters over there are all excited with what is going on.

    Dylan Dog is new to me and probably to most of the Routh fans. We just want a good movie and don’t carry the weight of pre-concieved ideas but it would certainly be nice if these questions could be put to bed sooner rather than later. I have always hated the whole ‘the red is too dark’ crap and other issues around SR, but is it distracting. I would hate for the same types of issues to follow this francise as well.

  23. deadofnightmovie Says:

    Wow, quite the interesting discussion going on here. Basically, I was asking in this post for the benefit of the doubt and got a fairly across the board “no” from the Italian fans. You should see some of the…less than flattering posts that I deleted. I particularly liked the one that called me an idiotic American stuntman that had no business having anything to do with their beloved Dylan. Ain’t the movie business grand? :-)

    Honestly, though, guys, I understand and take no personal offense at that “no”. I know Dylan is a much beloved character and I’m glad that people have such strong opinions and feel so close to him.

    I guess it’s just a matter of hoping people like it when it is out.

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