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Moriarty’s One Thing I Love Today! That Thomas Jane Photo Of JONAH HEX!

And here’s why. Right now, the floodgates are open. Comic books are as big a commercial force in the film industry as they’ve ever been. This week, I’m seeing HANCOCK, HELLBOY 2, and THE DARK KNIGHT. I’ve never seen three giant-sized comic book movies at press screenings in one week before. They’ve never released them this close together before. It was one per quarter at most, but right now, both HULK and IRON MAN are still on screens everywhere, and we’ve got three more heroes hitting the screen in the next few weeks. Crazy. And in the middle of it, Thomas Jane hears that the guys who did CRANK are going to be doing JONAH HEX, so for shits and grins, he and his friend put some make-up on him, and take some pictures of him as the character. When I wrote to ask him if the photo was real, he replied: “I geeked out and of course it leaked out.” He wrote back exactly a minute later: “Hey that rhymes.” I love this guy. Thomas Jane is for real. He’s a guy who knows he has a certain degree of clout in the business. A very small degree, but it’s some degree. He has a track record. He’s worth something to financiers because of that record. And that is creative power, pure and simple. And so he’s out there, setting up a comic book company, working with Steve Niles, busting ass on his own ideas, and still geeking out at the stuff that’s getting made out there. Just like the rest of us. He hears about JONAH HEX, his instinct is to put on the make-up and take pictures? Dude... that’s a fanboy. He’s not attached to the film. He wasn’t offered the role. That’s nothing official. That’s just a guy who happens to be The Punisher and The Mutant Chronicles and Boogie Nights and what have you. And he loves the character so much he dressed up like him. He geeked out. And it leaked out. I’m so jaded from seeing so many fanboy photoshops, people trying desperately to “trick you.” And from seeing the same ones two million times. So I look at things with a jaded eye sometimes. Like when I saw this particular picture. I thought it was a fanboy manip, like that damned Aaron Eckhart picture from THE BLACK DAHLIA that clearly shows William Finley in frame, but that people are sure is a Two-Face image. I didn’t think the film was far enough along for there to be any photos, so I assumed it was complete bullshit when FilmSchoolRejects published the image. No offense to them. It just didn’t sound right to me. I sent an e-mail to Thomas before going to bed. So did half the online community, evidently, since he’s always made himself completely approachable. Quite rightly, he got back to FilmSchoolRejects first to explain what happened. Good for him. I hope they at least consider him for the film, because a guy who loves that obscure a comic character enough to accurately dress up like him like that, who would want to do it... that’s exactly who you should have playing these characters. I liked Jane’s Punisher, and I’m sure he’d play a wicked Hex. Whether he does or not, though, I’m just glad a guy like Jane loves this stuff enough to actually try to get it right, to try to pick things really worth picking. So anyway... sorry... it's been a strange week schedule-wise for me. I'm trying to knock a few million dollars of my budget for BAT OUT OF HELL, and the summer season has pounded me with one screening after another, events all day, and meetings all the time, so there's almost no time to write about everything that's going on. I'm going to catch up tonight on some reviews before I have to catch a 6:00 AM flight to Portland to see what Henry Selick's working on right now. Be back in a few with my reviews of WALL-E, WANTED, and HANCOCK, all before I sleep tonight.

Drew McWeeny, Los Angeles

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