IGN (US), March 3, 2004

Moore vs. Constantine?

A scooper called "Bristlehound" advised IGN FilmForce – as well as Ain't It Cool News – of an alleged troublesome development concerning Constantine, the Warner Brothers adaptation of the DC/Vertigo comic book John Constantine: Hellblazer. According to this source, Constantine creator Alan Moore has turned his back on the feature film version.

Some fans have been upset by the changes and choices made by the filmmakers, not the least of which was transforming blond Brit John Constantine into black-haired American Keanu Reeves. And unlike the comics, Constantine takes place in Los Angeles rather than England.

The filmmakers have countered these criticisms by saying their aim is to be truer to the spirit of the comic book rather than to its details. But we're told that Alan Moore doesn't agree with them. Really, really doesn't agree with them.

Bristlehound advised us that, upon reviewing the script and casting of Constantine, "Moore has done the unthinkable. He's washed his hands of the entire debacle. That's right – he's instructed (DC Comics) to not credit him as the creator of the character. And putting his money where his mouth is, he has instructed that the royalties that he was splitting with his co-creators goes exclusively to the artists (Rick Veitch and Stephen Bissette). ... Often we hear about an artist upset that his creation has been butchered but this is the first I can recall where the creator asked that both name and money be rejected."

Our scooper claims that "Moore is apparently so upset at the desecration done to Constantine by producer Lauren Shuler Donner that he is stating that he will never support a film project based on his work again." They also allege that DC Comics prexy Paul Levitz "is running around trying to get Moore to change his position" and that the "bad PR this move could create in the geek community is of grave concern to Warners and DC."

As of publishing time, neither Donner's office nor DC Comics had returned our calls for comment, although several representatives we spoke with said this was the first they'd heard of it. A Warner Brothers source, however, advised us that they deem the matter a "non-issue" as Alan Moore has always divorced himself from the film adaptations of his work.

Indeed, Alan Moore has thus far had nothing to do with any of the films based on his creations. With The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, for example, Moore advised the Sunday Herald last July that "the film has got nothing to do with my work, it has a coincidental title to a book I've done and they've given me a huge wedge of money. No problem with that."

Filmgoers and Moore fans can decide for themselves what they think of Constantine when it opens September 17th.

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