SOLOMON KANE was from ROME? Hey, I've Read My Robert E Howard Books And He Didn't Come From ROME... oh... the HBO thing. Oh
Published at: Oct. 2, 2007, 5:40 a.m. CST by headgeek
Hey folks, Harry here. You know, I was on the road, somewhere in the Pacific Northwest when Michael Bassett (DEATHWATCH & WILDERNESS) announced he was writing and directing an adaptation of SOLOMON KANE from the brilliant pulp author, Robert E Howard (aka Private Pyle -- sorry bad joke) - This is one of those projects that if it's produced at the right level could very well be a genre-bending piece of geek heaven. Now - the idiots at Variety believe that Robert E Howard wrote SOLOMON KANE as a classic comic book. Well, let's see - SOLOMON KANE was a comic book in the seventies by Marvel. However, approximately 40 - 45 years prior to that stint in Marvel - it was a series of PULP stories spread out over various issues of Weird Tales in the late 20's & 30's. Then those stories were gathered in novels. Which are actual books without a lot of panels. But when CONAN became a huge hit thanks to Frank Frazetta and Barry Smith.... well Marvel optioned SOLOMON KANE to be a comic book - but contrary to what Adam Dawtrey writes in Variety, "a movie based on the classic comic book by Robert E. Howard," it isn't that. It's based on a series of PULP stories.
Now - what is SOLOMON KANE? First - he's a badass. He's a Two Gun Raconteur - a Swashbuckling Pilgrim that fights pirates, demons and anything else that'll get in his way. Technically, he's a Puritan. A 16th Century destroyer of Evil wherever it may hide.
Now - Stephen Sommers ripped off SOLOMON KANE's look quite a bit for VAN HELSING, but never fear, this won't come across as a retread, as Michael Bassett - who seems to like his films serious and badass... well, I think he's going to nail this.
And my first clue is this. He cast James Purefoy as SOLOMON KANE. Why do I love that so much? Well, if you watch HBO's ROME - he's Mark Antony - and James is 43 years old.... not a boy - but an actor with the face of a man. Someone that I can imagine being an adventurer from long ago.
Folks, I'm gonna pray this goes well - I hope to god that Michael Bassett launches this into the stratisphere. SOLOMON KANE is an absolutely awesome character - just look at the art - and go buy some of Howard's collected stories on SOLOMON KANE. They're unbelievably great! Let's just hope the movie is half as good! Ah - finally found the cover of the WEIRD TALES he originally appeared in. August, 1928 - Yes - That's the original Pulp look at him on the cover:
After writing the above article, I figured I'd drop Bassett a letter wishing him well on the project - we met at Sitges when he was there to premiere DEATHWATCH - and we've been in contact ever since. Anyway - here's what he wrote me back with - and yes - the below art is actually for the movie!!! Exclusive to AICN!!!
Thanks for the good wishes. I became a director because I wanted to make
fantasy movies so this is a huge opportunity for me and I'm determined to
make it amazing.
It's all down to character so the casting is everything and James is a great
foundation stone for me to build on. There are never any guarantees in this
insane business but you can be sure I'm going into it with the will and
determination to deliver a unique and darkly powerful heroic fantasy
adventure which also does full justice to REH.
Hope you like the image by Greg Staples.