I really didn’t think Hollywood could get under my skin any longer. I thought I had built up a psychic barrier against the insane amounts of bullshit that issue from it. It seems, however, that they have found the weakness in my armour.
They are shitting all over Allan Quatermain. H. Rider Haggard’s awesome Victorian hero of King Solomon’s Mines and a collection of other novels and stories is being turned into intergalactic hero of the future .
No, I’m sorry, that’s not enough.
What. The. Fuck?
Listen, I have no problem with adaptations. Sometimes, you’ve got to change things in a movie because it wouldn’t work visually, it would be too expensive to film, or the literary work is too long and you need to tighten it up. I get that. I understand that. This isn’t adapting. This is taking a name and attaching it to something totally different.
Imagine if George Lucas had written Star Wars (as in A New Hope), but instead of Obi-Wan Kenobi, he made the character Sherlock Holmes. Oh, and Darth Vader? In this version, it’s actually evil King John. Now there might be people who would think “awesome!” I am not one of those. Sherlock Holmes belongs in late Victorian England. Allan Quatermain belongs in Victorian Africa.
Why not simply call the movie something else? There’s no connection—not even the most tenuous—to the character or his setting. Heck, even Quatermass would make more sense—at least he is a science fiction character. When Sergio Leone re-made Yojimbo and moved it out of Shogunate Japan, he changed everyone’s names and called it Fistful of Dollars (and made an awesome movie, by the way). When Walter Hill wanted to movie it to Depression-era America, he didn’t call it Fistful of Depressing Dollars, he called it Last Man Standing.
Heck, there’s reason to believe Yojimbo itself was inspired by Dashiell Hammet’s Red Harvest!
I would really like to know why Hollywood has to do stupid shit like this. It can’t be name recognition. Seriously, how many of their preferred demographic have a clue who Quatermain is? That is, unless their preferred demographic are fans of the awesome comic League of Extraordinary Gentleman (which maintained Quatermain in his natural habitat) or the shitty adaptation “LXG” (which, shitty as it was, still didn’t turn the group into intergalactic superheroes of the future).
Yes, I am aware that in general, Hollywood is run by the 3 As, accountants, agents and assholes. That still doesn’t excuse this shit.