As fans of bloody sexy French goth comics Requiem can hardly wait for the sixth volume to come out in English, Pat Mills, the British writer of that politically totally incorrect horror story, visualized by Olivier Ledroit, expressed his wish for a movie to be made, with his fans on social media.
Too demanding for anime
Making anime would be much much cheaper, but any artist except for the original one would surely be ridiculed by fans, as tricky substance Mills has created sparked Ledroit's most intimate artistic appetites, which in turn produced masterpiece without a pair. Indeed, the brave sexy form he created for Mills' Hell not only became the most beloved European comics (2007), but the original artwork also turned out to be the most profitabile pieces for art dealers.
Solution for visuals: Americanized body shapes
What could go wrong with movie or tv series, one might ask? Gothic animated series Castlevania already runs on Netflix, and it wouldn't pose too much trouble to put some undies and bras on heroines which normally appear au naturel, as expected in a final place for sinners with no sense of shame. As American cinema chains and broadcasters would otherwise probably opt to skip it if it's too controversial, these modifications would be necessary, unless the producers would reach to Chinese sponsors as with Ghost in The Shell. The power of American film industry showed it's claws both with distribution problems and averse critics engine when movie Ghost in The Shell was made,
and similar effect was also seen with recent slop of spectacular European sci-fi Valerian in American theaters...So it's definitely not to be taken lightly. Probably it would be necessary for cast to have Americanized silhouette, meaning artificially oversized breasts and bottoms, so the underwear censoring nipples and pubis of originally slender females envisioned by Ledroit doesn't erase their erotic component...
That is something Ledroit has tried in his newer artwork for steampunk comics Wika, and it appears it is functioning well, making it somewhat manga-styled thanks to that change in shape of females.
Real issue: Politically incorrect content
The other problem for filmmakers regarding Mills' striking story is political cynism, characteristic for 2000AD publishing house Brit has founded back in the 1980-es.
He is irrepearable leftist, in an old-fashioned way, and happily shares if fans can get to read his pieces for peanuts somewhere. That was most efficient with Requiem, as the prices of it's volumes in English started to skyrocket recently, with Volume Five being sold for 600 euros recently: two months later the piece appeared in electronic form,on Comixology, for seven dollars only. Of course such high price is ridiculous, when all that is needed is for a publisher to issue more copies, instead of hiding few pieces in the basement so they could sell them for their weight in gold when the time comes.
It is volumes 10 and 11 in French, so who can read it should get that version...and Google Camera Translate could also help with understanding.
But, his “traditional leftism” also means open criticism for clergy, seen in cast of sadistic werewolves as previous inquisitors, and Mother Terror - leader of pirates 'who was a nun that tormented the poor while she used the charity to fund her own comfortable lifestyle'. Female characters are enjoying sado-mazo and wonder around in their birthday suit: can politically correct
and 'modern left' culture machine digest these details? All we see from them is more characters wearing headscarves and such. Some right-wing sponsors are also out of the question, for one of main characters in Requiem is that huge frog-like transvestite, the leader of Pirates - which happens to be a hellish incarnation on J. Edgar Hoover, former chief of FBI, known for persecution of communists in the USA during the Cold War era. This monstrous character could also disturb politically correct, as the obese monster demands from his subjects to worship his/her 'beauty', which can be seen as certain fat-shaming, another very incorrect attitude in today's standards.
Jew and nazi love story
So let say in the movie J.E. Hoover doesn't demand from others to admire his “beauty” - we are still left
with hot Jewish heroine Rebecca, who was a victim of her nazi-lover's actions during their earthly lifetime.Further development of the story shows their relationship was passionate sado-masochistic liasion, with both of them enjoying every single bit of it – until Requiem steps out of line and allows his fellow nazis to take Rebcca to the death camp.
Love relationships between Jews and nazis is controversial, but it appears none of the involved parties denies it, despite it leaving bitter taste in their mouth when they talk about it...
But the very fact that piece features Jewish character, and exclusivelly as a victim – that could provoke politically correct Hollywood, which might respond with demands for introducing Palestinians into the story.
During protagonists' lifetime they were allied with the Third Reich, so it's possible these voices go silent after all.
Samurai-vampires and monstrous king Arthur
There are other, but minor 'offensive' content, such as zombies screaming chants against Enya's music, victims of vampires portrayed as enjoying their role, and suicide victims being tormented by child murderers for eternity... Triple-personality monster made of scientist, pilot and president responsible for atomic bomb on Japanese cities...
Samurai-vampire, a war criminal who tormented Chinese in previous life... Oh, and Brits could also raise their voice against portraying their favorite king Arthur as a mad bloodthirsty monster in service of drug dealers whose mission in life is imperial colonization. The only part of the world where a piece like that could be screened without causing uproar could be Russia, as for the moment it appears the only Russian character is a girl who shot Requiem in the head when he was raping her... Until we recall the character of Russian vampire Lady Hlodoror, responsible for starving Ukrainians to death (and then killing J.E. Hoover). The movie could maybe be safely aired in China, as it's people are only mentioned in the story, and as a victims of Japanese war criminals... At least it appears to be like that so far. Except victim was an opium dealer and a pimp in his earthly existence.
Surely fans would love to know if the Requiem's story over with newest album issued in France?
Brave director needed
We don't want to ask Pat Mills if he'd continue writing the story as not to give him give him ideas, but we surely call for some genius director to check out the piece... If obscene life of incestuous and bloodthirsty Borgias could have been safely adapted to tv audience by Showtime, with Jeremy Irons accepting the role – maybe there is a chance for breathtaking biting story on some of the controversial moments and characters in human history.
Showtime's series Rome also didn't hesitate to show all the sexuality and blood-thirstiness of the ancient society. As for directors - Guillermo del Torro comes to mind, as he has both aesthetic sensibility needed for it as seen in Pan's Labyrinth, but he also has a good instincts for walking on the edge without crossing the line of pornography, needless violence or too much offense as shown in Hellboy. Or perhaps Takashi Miike, Japanese director who would not shy away from extreme cinema, and operates in freestyle arena of Japanese cinema. That's something Requiem desperately needs. Miike just finished Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure - a live action adaptation of Hirohiko Kitakubo’s manga, but he normally makes three to four movies in one year, so surely has the energy needed for such a demanding piece as Requiem.
Alejandro Jodorowsky also comes to mind, as he would also not shy away from controversy, but can he control himself and not insert his Tarot and shamanism new age spirituality into the piece? Doubtful.The owner of the movie rights is French publisher Glenat, which recently took over the title from Nickel and plans to republish old volumes. So far they didn't answer our question if they had some inquires about the movie rights, or if they plan to start some initiative on their own...
But we will update as soon as we get the info.
Steampunk movies wanted!
What we do know for sure is that there is not enough steam punk movies, despite genre having a strong fan base...
And some of the movies which attempted to break into it were major flops... For example, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was so bad the Sean Connery decided to retire after that, Wild Wild West with Will Smith was dreadful, and French movie Adele Blanc Sec was just boring...
The only successful steam punk movies were Del Torro's Hellboys, which brings us back to the Mexican director who appears like the safest bet.
Maybe he could do it under pseudonym, if he is afraid his name would be related to controversial stuff?
Too much is at stake, and the only one who doesn't give a shit what others think is extravagant, energetic Miike... He could actually like the story on Requiem, if somebody would be kind enough to translate it to him, as he personally doesn't speak English. Who knows if he is into French maybe?