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Here's a look at the Hughes Brothers' FROM HELL adaptation

Hey folks, Harry here, and man... I have to tell ya I'm pleased as a kid in a candy store after hours to have Don Murphy filling us in on his current slate of project. First, last week he clued us in on THE TRIPODS TRILOGIES, now he's giving us the inside story on where FROM HELL is. And it truly seems that Don here understands that comic books are indeed about more than just superheroes and funny animals (not that Hollywood has even discovered them yet), and is establishing a relationship with a comic writing god.. Alan Moore. Now if only somehow by the grace of the Almighty, Alan's comic WATCHMEN with the fantastic script by Sam Hamm were to be picked up again by Terry Gilliam. Sigh... A lost dream I know, but I can't help but to wish upon a star at least once a night. At least we have this work of Moore's being made. Well... here's Don..

FROM HELL- The true story of Jack the Ripper

Based on the 11 issue, heavily annotated comic book series by Alan Moore, the project was bought by Touchstone for JD Productions (my old company) in 1994! We had Terry Hayes (THE ROAD WARRIOR, DEAD CALM, FAHRENHEIT 451) work on two drafts and the studio (basically, Disney, remember) wanted Spielberg to do it, and there WAS interest there for a while but when it didn't happen they wanted Mel Gibson and there WAS interest there for a while, Mel being close to Terry and all (Australian bonding) and when that didn't happen we were told to go find a director, and we searched, and couldn't find anyone cool and then the Hughes Brothers, Alan and Albert, fell into our lap, and then Touchstone said GREAT, take the project back!!!! I was so excited because I thought these talented young guys doing a period movie was such a weird, cool idea I was psyched. And after Touchstone, THREE places wanted to pick it up, and we settled on NEW LINE which had made Menace 2 Society for the Brothers and Terry did an new draft and it was great and there WAS interest from Sean Connery for a while and then that went away, and then Premiere did a hatchet piece on New Line last year and the only person who they attributed a (benign) quote to was Albert Hughes, but that was enough for New Line to flip and we were homeless again, but wait, Fox wants it, and Terry Hayes does another draft and it falls short and then Fox starts to woo the Brothers for this MAN IN A PHONE BOOTH (just what it says - for the whole movie!!!) but then we iron out details and we have a deal. Sheesh, that made me tired.

Status- At Fox, Rafael Iglesias (LES MISERABLES) is rewriting, to be done in four weeks, then we cast it and make it, unless the Phone Booth thing gets in the way again.

STORY- Well, it's the JFK of Jack the Ripper movies with amazing historical detail, a flawed detective that nobody expects to solve the crime, an unlikely love story, and a conspiracy that goes all the way to Queen Victoria herself. Chief Detective Fred Abberline has worked his way out of Whitechapel when he is sent back in to work the Ripper case by his superiors, who are members of a secret society and hope that, thanks to his drug habit, he'll never solve the case. Four women have been marked for death because of secrets they know...... and Abberline finds himself madly in love with one of them. He consults the Queen's psychics, young Aleister Crowley, fellow policemen, and the Queen's physician Sir William Gull - who might know more about the mysterious goings on that he admits!. You got carriage chases, dark alleys, scapels, screaming women, secret societies, cheap sex, evil princes, widespread opium use, blood in the gutter - all the things that make films great. And, as seems to be typical in my films, no happiness at the end. Based on the comics series by Alan Moore (WATCHMEN, V FOR VENDETTA), the greatest comic writer whoever lived and these comics are his masterpiece, this film will get made if it kills me. The publisher Kitchen Sink ran out of cash so some issues are hard to find, but a collection is in the works.

There you go for today, Senor Knowles.

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