Tuesday, December 21, 2004
SEAN MCKEEVER TALKS ELEKTRA
Elektra, the movie starring Jennifer Garner and spinning out of Daredevil, won't be reaching theaters until Jan. 14, but comics readers can get an early glimpse at the film in Elektra: The Movie, the upcoming official Marvel Comics adaptation.
The Continuum caught up with the book's writer, Sean McKeever, on Monday, and he talked about turning the comic-book movie back into a comic.
The Continuum: How did this gig come about?
McKeever: I had reached a bit of a lull in my workload. Mary Jane was on hiatus, and Mystique had been canceled, so I was pitching some stuff, and waiting on approval with some other stuff. My pal in sales, David Gabriel, had clued editor Nick Lowe in that I was twiddling my thumbs, so Nick gave me a call about the adaptation, and I said, "Sign me up." I love it when work finds me, instead of having to hunt for it all the time!
The Continuum: How privy were you to the movie script? The actual film?
McKeever: I got to work with what was supposedly the final draft of the screenplay. I say "supposedly" because there were some small changes asked for by Fox that contradicted the draft I had in tiny ways. All I got to see of the film itself was the first-look feature Fox had on the official site, the same as everybody else with an Internet connection.
The Continuum: How difficult is it to adapt something like this?
McKeever: It was actually quite easy. The hardest part was figuring out what has to go, and how you can maintain the tone and themes of the story without that material. And that wasn't too hard because Nick, editor John Barber and The Person At Fox were really great about allowing me to cut out elements that made the story far too claustrophobic for a 48-page comic book.
And then you add an artist like Mike Perkins to the mix and it becomes a total breeze. He's really something, great with layouts and the mechanics of comics, plus his style's just really appealing. I see big things in his future.
The Continuum: What's the format of the book?
McKeever: It's coming out in two versions. There's a 72-page squarebound book, and then there's a 136-page collected edition. The smaller one, from what I've read, is supposed to include some stills and interviews of people involved in the film as backup material, which is a cool idea, I think. The big one contains the adaptation, plus a couple Frank Miller Daredevils and Peter Milligan and Mike Deodato's Elektra #-1. That's some really nice company, there.
The Continuum: You seem to be writing a lot of female leads. Is that something you enjoy?
McKeever: I like to write any interesting characters, whether they're guys or gals, you know? But if publishers and editors want to hire me to write women characters, then that's cool, because comics have such a history of, you know, "bad girls" and this pseudo-exploitative stuff. I'm happy to write women who are people first.
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