Well this was inevitable. In the wake of Marvel’s Avengers series and just ahead of Warner Bros.’ Justice League “prequel” Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, 20th Century Fox is reviving its own “team of superheroes” property The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Based on the Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill graphic novel of the same name, the story finds Victorian-era literary characters such as The Invisible Man, Dorian Gray, Captain Nemo, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde teaming up to fight bad guys. Per Variety, Chronicle and Predators producer John Davis is onboard to produce this new adaptation through his Davis Entertainment banner.
Fox first attempted a feature film adaptation of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in 2003, with an ornery Sean Connery leading a cast that included Shane West as Tom Sawyer, a character the studio added in order to make the property more appealing to younger viewers. While planned as a franchise, the picture only grossed $180 million worldwide and the property never continued. Maybe not so coincidentally, it was also Connery’s last acting role before he retired.
As recently as 2013 Fox was attempting a small-screen iteration of the graphic novel, with Michael Green (Green Lantern) serving as showrunner and executive producer. Fox made a put pilot commitment but the show didn’t move forward to series.
The League seems primed for a new take and would be an excellent opportunity to let a talented filmmaker take an atypical approach to the blockbuster mold. Rian Johnson is already busy with Star Wars, but given his flirtation with helming a big-budget version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, I can’t help but think David Fincher would be an exciting choice to take the helm of this new League of Extraordinary Gentlemen reboot. But since literary characters aren’t as “hip” as traditional superheroes like Superman and Hulk, Fox may opt to go a safer route with the property.
We’ll see how this progresses from here, but what do you think readers? Who should direct a new version of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? Sound off in the comments below.