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Frank Miller’s blog on The Spirit

Frank Miller has a new blog where he is writing about his upcoming film The Spirit.

Based on the newspaper strip created by Will Eisner, Miller is writer and director of the film, which stars Gabriel Macht as The Spirit and Samuel L. Jackson as his nemesis, The Octopus.

It also stars Scarlett Johansson, Eva Mendes, Sarah Paulson, Stana Katic, Dan Lauria, Jaime King, Paz Vega and Louis Lombardi.

Miller says of the movie:

Much has been the fuss in the comics’ blogosphere about my SPIRIT movie—much justified, much hoped for, and much to my delight, that there has been a fuss at all.

Some comics readers are terrified that THE SPIRIT will be a retread of my SIN CITY. Others quarrel over the change of the SPIRIT’S traditional blue hat, mask, and jacket, to black.

These are understandable concerns for any lover of Will Eisner’s masterpiece. I take this opportunity to address these concerns. With glee, I take this opportunity.

THE SPIRIT is, with every effort I give it, not a rusty, dusty old monument to the work of my beloved Mentor, so much as it is an extension of what I know to have been Eisner’s central intent: to create something new, witty, and exploratory. That’s what he did. That’s what I’m doing.

It only resembles SIN CITY in that I am its director, and, well, yes, I have my ways and my proclivities. Luckily, I was able to discern three important proclivities I share with the Master. We both love good stories. We both love New York City. And we both love beautiful women.

He also addresses the blue suit issue:

Now, about that blue suit. Comic books have long traditions based on the limitations of pre-digital printing.

Among these are traditions from the old newsprint-run-through-letterpress approach (yes, comics have been—and still do–follow tradition that dates all the way back to Gutenberg!).

Bad printing on pulp paper is why it was necessary for every superhero to have his emblem printed on his chest, and that everything that’s black be printed in blue.

Hence Superman’s preposterous blue hair. And the Spirit’s blue hat, mask, and suit. In tests—and we did several—the blue made the Spirit look like an unfortunate guest at a Halloween party.

Going to black brings back his essential mystery, his Zorro-like sexiness. It also makes that red tie of his look very, very cool.

So I made the call, with all respect to Eisner’s creation, and most importantly, to what I perceived as his underlying intention. It was an easy call for me to make. The Spirit dresses in black, and looks much the better for it.

As I said, my desire was never to slavishly follow the rules of ‘40s printing into campy oblivion, but to reintroduce Eisner’s creation, via modern technology, to our brave new world.

Check out more at his blog.

The Spirit is set for release in December.

> IMDb entry for the film
> Find out more about the original comic book character