Forget ”Spider-Man 2.” Following the lead of ”Ghost World” and ”Road to Perdition,” some of the most interesting movies in the Hollywood pipeline are being adapted from relatively obscure comics. “Bulletproof Monk,” for example, is new in theaters, and rumor has it that David Fincher (“Fight Club”) is interested in directing Frank Miller’s ultraviolent “Hard Boiled.” While that project may never make it to the big screen, EW.com has the lowdown on six that will:
In theaters Now
The comic Gotham Chopra (son of Deepak) edited this three-issue series which follows a young, aimless Tibetan man living in San Francisco on a life-long search to find the mythical Bulletproof Monk that saved his family’s ancestors from invading Nazis.
The movie The script is only loosely based on the comic. The character of the Monk has been expanded to allow Chow Yun-Fat to play more of a leading role. The tale revolves around a young man (Seann William Scott) who learns to fight from martial arts movies and discovers his spiritual destiny with the help of the mysterious Monk and a young woman named Jade (Jaime King).
Verdict Go to see Scott fight, stay to see Chow be funny.
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
In theaters July 11
The comic At the end of the 19th century, Mina Murray Harker (a character from Bram Stoker’s ”Dracula”) gathers fictional figures like Allan Quatermain, Captain Nemo, and Dr. Jekyl to protect the British Empire from notorious literary villains. The book by Alan Moore (“From Hell”) may have some readers wanting to reach for the CliffsNotes, but there’s enough violence, intrigue, and adventure that it really doesn’t matter if some of the highbrow references slip by.
The movie Directed by Stephen Norrington (“Blade”), the adaptation stars Sean Connery as Allan Quatermain and Peta Wilson (of TV’s cult hit “Nikita”) as Harker. The characters Tom Sawyer (played by Shane West) and Dorian Gray (Stuart Townsend) have been added to broaden udience appeal.
Verdict Unless this is a ”From Hell”-sized bomb, expect to see more Alan Moore adaptations in the future.
In theaters August 15
The comic For more than 25 years, Harvey Pekar has been writing this autobiographical comic that describes, among other things, his mundane job as a clerk at a Cleveland V.A. hospital and his account of his battle with lymphoma (in “Our Cancer Year,” cowritten with his wife, Joyce Brabner).
The movie The unusual blend of scripted scenes (in which Pekar is played by Paul Giamatti and Brabner is played by Hope Davis), animated sequences, and documentary footage of the curmudgeonly writer and his wife captures the unorthodox spirit of Pekar’s storytelling.
Verdict Pekar’s grumpiness proved so irresistibly entertaining that the film won the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.