OT - Solomon Kane Movie
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Post Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:38 am 
 

This was emailed to me...probably because my name is on a number of Robert E. Howard websites.  I thought you might like to know:


SOLOMON KANE MOVIE
Follow director Michael Bassett's video diaries of Solomon Kane and post your own vlogs...
Click Here: http://www.artistlog.com/michaelbassett



A SHORT NOTE FROM THE WRITER AND DIRECTOR OF THE NEW SOLOMON KANE MOVIE:

Hi,
As some of you may know, a film based on Robert Howard's ‘Solomon Kane' character has recently been announced. Since I'm the writer and director of this upcoming movie I just wanted to drop a quick note to all the Howard and Kane fans out there who might be either delighted or horrified that a movie is in the making.

I know how I feel when a favourite book/game/comic is announced as a movie; I'm happy that someone has finally realised how great it is and always cynical that the collective ‘they' is going to screw it up somehow.  This seems to happen more often than not but, regardless, I always start out optimistic.  I hope you all do too on Kane.

Couple of things you should know that should set your collective minds at ease; firstly, the producers really do love Robert E. Howard and have been obsessive about trying to find the right story to introduce him to the wider film going world.   Secondly, in me they have found a writer and director who loves the fantasy genre and wants be absolutely certain that I remain true to the essence of Solomon Kane. Certainly at this script stage, I'm sure I have something which really works and can't wait to get it before cameras.

For me Solomon Kane is perhaps Howard's most interesting and unusual character and for many reasons, possibly the hardest to bring to the screen.  Kane's sheer sense of resolve and inner strength is a tremendous challenge to convey  both for me as a director and for the actor I finally choose to cast as this iconic hero.  The danger is that because of this strength and formality in his ways it could lead to a rather mannered and inaccessible hero and I'm trying to walk a fine line so that we can somehow understand him without softening him into some reflective and weakened 21st century version of a hero.  I want to absolutely capture a hero who has unwavering faith in his mission and his ability to follow through -- personally, I miss ‘real' men in modern movies; taciturn, world weary and masculine heroes who are genuinely capable of  doing what they promise.  Kane, to me, is one such man and I'm determined to honour him.

What I thought I'd do with this first story, in what will hopefully become a series of films, is to back peddle a little bit from where Howard started us off with Kane and explore just why he is the man he is.  So this first film is going to be an ‘origins' tale of sorts.  I had to create some sense of what could possibly drive a man such as Kane and I think you're all going to be really excited by what happens to him.  Then, once we're up and running, it allows me the freedom to go on and tangle with some of Kane's other adventures.

Of course, the big question is, who will be Kane?  Truth is, I don't know yet. The casting is so vital that I don't want to rush this. You can be sure that the person I finally cast will be able to embody the real essence of Kane. I need someone with a really predatory power and inner anger that can burst forth at just the right moments.  Not many guys out there can do that so making that choice is going to be tricky.

Anyway, that's all for now.  I'm not going to make any wild promises about how wonderful the finished film will be -- there's far too much water yet to flow under that particular bridge - but I can assure you all that at least I'm starting this journey with the very best of intentions.

Oh yes, and as a little peek into some of the stuff I'm planning here's a concept art image of Kane battling a mob of ghoulish creatures. The artwork is by Greg Staples, who I'm sure some of you will know if one of the very best fantasy artists working today.  

Enjoy.

Michael J Bassett




Watch Michael Bassett's first Solomon Kane video diary at ArtistLog.com


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Post Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2006 10:45 pm 
 

That is good news. It has been years since I read the Solomon Kane books. I was introduced to it by picking up the Centaur Press edition of Moon of Skulls in a bargain bin at Kmart for about 25 cents if I remember correctly.

That was around the time that I started playing D&D so it would have been 1977 or 78. I was impressed at the time by the depth of character and the dark overtones of the stories. I continued on with the Ballantine printings of the other Kane stories. I still have them stored in a box somewhere. I must dig them out in the next few months for some winter reading (when the Canadian snows are deep and 40 below centigrade = 40 below fahrenheit). :)

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Post Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2006 11:05 pm 
 

I have just one suggestion: Don't screw it up.  Kane IMO was Howard's most interesting character.  So many levels, a devout puritan adventurer that roams the world (Europe, North America, Africa) dispensing justice with his sword arm, pistol, and an African ju-ju man's witch staff.  He battles everything from pirates; the supernatural; and a debased race of flying creatures in one of the best stories Howard ever wrote (Wings in the Night).  I always thought Kane would work well as a series character, every week he would appear somewhere else, wandering like Caine in Kung Fu to destroy some evil across the world. Hopefully they won't trick up the character too much and give him a silly sidekick....

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Post Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2006 11:26 pm 
 

MShipley88 wrote:Of course, the big question is, who will be Kane?  Truth is, I don't know yet. The casting is so vital that I don't want to rush this.

It'll be Tobey Maguire.

This is the same industry that gave us a semi-literate Austrian weightlifter for Conan.

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Post Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 4:01 am 
 

Dude....you didn't like Arnold as Conan?  I thought he was perfect....and Arnold pretty much matches the description of Conan from Howard's own work.

I wrote the guy above an email in which I basically said that "They" have absolutely no respect for the fantasy audience....and that "They" will probably wreck whatever he makes.

I suggested using actual color in an actual world rather than a nonsense, Tim Burton amber or gray-scale world (like Van Helsing, for instance).

I also pointed out that a Puritan is a Protestant Christian...not a New Age Eastern Religion guru or the now entirely cliche Catholic-Priest-Who-Wants-To-Change-The-Church.

I advised against using several other stock characters including macho chick, comedy sidekick and the kid....all of whom would immediately drop his movie into the the bargain bin at Food Giant.

I also advised him not to save the earth, hug the trees or learn about tolerance together.

But let's face it...Kane will be played by The Rock and his helper will be either a Wayans brother or an oriental-martial arts-metaphysics-chick.  The plot will be about how Satanic Republicans want to keep aborigines from preserving their culture and be intolerant to lesbians in the rain forest.  

The Rock...as Solomon Kane...will solve most problems using ropes and harnesses that are later edited out by computer...intermixed with rap music and modern catchphrases.  Oh, and Damon Wayans will play an escaped slave shaman named M'basa.

"They" have no respect for us.

Mark  :x

PS:  All or most of the Solomon Kane properties are now in the public domain and a number of Solomon Kane stories can be found online.


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Post Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 4:56 am 
 

MShipley88 wrote:Dude....you didn't like Arnold as Conan?  I thought he was perfect....and Arnold pretty much matches the description of Conan from Howard's own work.

Couldn't stand him. On a list of 50 actors I would have chosen to play Conan, I rank Arnold about 71st.

The rest of your post is spot-on, though. If "they" get a hold of Solomon Kane, it will be Nicolas Cage as Kane, David Arquette as his loopy sidekick, and Jessica Alba as Princess Sweetbreasts. The plot will involve Kane bringing a very generic brand of Christianity to a remote part of Africa, while saving Pricess Sweetbreasts from a band of pagan lesbians at the same time. It will all be very politically correct, though.

"They" suck.

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Post Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 9:35 am 
 

I had only heard of Kane a time or two. I looked him up via Google and read some about the character. From what I gather, he dresses like a sterotypical pilgrim ('Welcome to Thanksgiving, my indian friend!' kind of pilgrim), carries a rapier, a powerful voodoo staff and a flintlock, roaming 16th century Earth fighting evil. Wow...

Seems to me any compotent actor could play him (what I mean is he has no distinctive body type... Vin Diesel or The Rock would be worthless underneath the frock he wears). Did Howard describe him as tall or muscular, or is he more of an 'everyman'?

Looks like I'll be heading to the used bookstore tomorrow. I've been looking for something to read. :) Thanks Mark.

Kim

PS If Jessica Alba was in a movie playing a character named 'Sweetbreasts' and the movie included pagan lesbians, I'm there dude...


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Post Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 9:46 am 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:Couldn't stand him. On a list of 50 actors I would have chosen to play Conan, I rank Arnold about 71st.

The rest of your post is spot-on, though. If "they" get a hold of Solomon Kane, it will be Nicolas Cage as Kane, David Arquette as his loopy sidekick, and Jessica Alba as Princess Sweetbreasts. The plot will involve Kane bringing a very generic brand of Christianity to a remote part of Africa, while saving Pricess Sweetbreasts from a band of pagan lesbians at the same time. It will all be very politically correct, though.

"They" suck.


One problem with Kane is that he is unrelenting gloom.  No producer would back a movie with the main character a dour puritanical figure of justice....Kane doesn't crack jokes while killing pirates or monsters.  So count on the loopy sidekick.  One solution would be to focus on another character/couple sort of like Pirates of the Caribean, with Kane being the Jack Swallow peripheal character.  Giving Kane a love interest or cute kid to pal around with would be ridiculous.
   The absolute perfect story to adapt would be Wings in the Night. Lots of horrific, gory battle scenes, takes place in Africa so you have an exotic locale, and in this story Kane actually bonds with people (the doomed villagers) who you could make sympathetic and politically correct (it takes a village) before butchering them all.  Plus, you would give actors like Samuel L. Jackson and possibly the Waynans brothers some work as they seem to be in every other movie shown in Hollywood these days.....
  And of course the writers could leave one token kid/baby alive at the end for Kane to bond with as he continues his wanderings.

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:13 am 
 

I've never read a Solomon Kane story so I dont know the first thing about the character.  But I'll bet a beat up B2 that the character will be portrayed by one of the following actors:

Jason Statham
Clive Owen
Hugh Jackman
Colin Farrell
Christian Bale

If they want to do it right though, it will be a complete unknown like Brandon Routh in Superman Returns.  But you know how stupid Hollywood is.  We'll probably get Keanu Reeves.  :P

  


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Post Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 5:06 pm 
 

Kingofpain89 wrote:Clive Owen

I actually watched Inside Man last night, and I gotta tell you ... I think Clive Owen would make an excellent Kane.

One important note, though: no stubble! Clive is well-known for his perpetual stubble, and that just won't cut it as SK. Other than that, I'd green-light him in a second ... he's got a certain air of gravity about him that would be perfect for Kane.

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Post Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 8:43 pm 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:I actually watched Inside Man last night, and I gotta tell you ... I think Clive Owen would make an excellent Kane.

One important note, though: no stubble! Clive is well-known for his perpetual stubble, and that just won't cut it as SK. Other than that, I'd green-light him in a second ... he's got a certain air of gravity about him that would be perfect for Kane.


I think he is a pretty darn good actor myself.  I thought he was great in King Arthur and he was also good in Derailed and Sin City.  I've got Inside Man coming in a couple of weeks from Netflix.  I am definitely looking forward to seeing it.

Now that I started thinking about it.  Keanu Reeves wouldnt be nearly as bad as Ben Affleck.  God please dont let it be Ben Affleck.  :P [/b]

  

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Post Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 9:29 pm 
 

Oh geez!

I forgot to warn the producer about the other certain death plot device:

The church-leader-who-is-actually-the-badguy plotline.  This guy is first cousin to the other incredibly tired character, CIA-guy-who-is-actually-the-badguy.

Oh no!  IT'S ALL A SETUP!  How could we not have predicted this utterly predictable plot twist?   :x

What we'll get is a "thriller" with a mystery that is about as hard to solve as a Scooby Doo episode.

God, how little they think of us!   :evil:

And....another thought about Kane.....

The Solomon Kane stories have strong elements of horror.  We should be frightened by a Solomon Kane movie.

Four things to remember when writing a horror movie plot:

1)  Anything meant to frighten a teenage girl does not qualify as frightening, no matter what they told in film college.  Try your script out on males...preferably a five year-old and a forty year-old.  If neither of them acts even vaguely frightened then your movie sucks.  Start over.

2)  Zombies are the least frigtening thing in the world.  They are not even sort of frightening...Army of Darkness was a comedy!  If you think a dessicated corpse popping out of a closet is frightening then you should go back to filming infomercials because you are an idiot.

3)  Gore is not frightening.  In fact, gore is yawn-inducing.  It doesn't even scare elementary school children...except for the girls (see above).  If you think Gore is frightening then you were probably the one idiot in the high school haunted house who really thought his hands were actually being dipped in intestines rather than cold spaghetti...because you are an idiot.  

4)  Angels and demons are not frightening.  Even Arnold has made a movie where he kicked a demon's ass.  Hell, even Eddy Murphy has made a movie where he out-witted a demon.  Hell, even Keanu Reeves can defeat demons.  HELL even BEN CROSS can beat a demon.  Buffy must have slain, like, eight million of them.  Absolutely no one is scared of demons...except the guys wearing suits in the front office...because they are idiots.  Go read The Dunwich Horror and The Lurker in Darkness.  THEN try writing a movie.

Mark   8)


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Post Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:52 pm 
 

Kingofpain89 wrote:I've never read a Solomon Kane story so I dont know the first thing about the character.  But I'll bet a beat up B2 that the character will be portrayed by one of the following actors:

Jason Statham
Clive Owen
Hugh Jackman
Colin Farrell
Christian Bale

If they want to do it right though, it will be a complete unknown like Brandon Routh in Superman Returns.  But you know how stupid Hollywood is.  We'll probably get Keanu Reeves.  :P


Actually, Bale wouldn't make a bad Kane. Kane is described as wiry, all that walking across the Earth depriving yourself of food, water and sleep doesn't lend itself to bulging biceps.  

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Post Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 11:08 pm 
 

MShipley88 wrote:Oh geez!

I forgot to warn the producer about the other certain death plot device:

The church-leader-who-is-actually-the-badguy plotline.  This guy is first cousin to the other incredibly tired character, CIA-guy-who-is-actually-the-badguy.

Oh no!  IT'S ALL A SETUP!  How could we not have predicted this utterly predictable plot twist?   :x

What we'll get is a "thriller" with a mystery that is about as hard to solve as a Scooby Doo episode.

God, how little they think of us!   :evil:

And....another thought about Kane.....

The Solomon Kane stories have strong elements of horror.  We should be frightened by a Solomon Kane movie.

Four things to remember when writing a horror movie plot:

1)  Anything meant to frighten a teenage girl does not qualify as frightening, no matter what they told in film college.  Try your script out on males...preferably a five year-old and a forty year-old.  If neither of them acts even vaguely frightened then your movie sucks.  Start over.

2)  Zombies are the least frigtening thing in the world.  They are not even sort of frightening...Army of Darkness was a comedy!  If you think a dessicated corpse popping out of a closet is frightening then you should go back to filming infomercials because you are an idiot.

3)  Gore is not frightening.  In fact, gore is yawn-inducing.  It doesn't even scare elementary school children...except for the girls (see above).  If you think Gore is frightening then you were probably the one idiot in the high school haunted house who really thought his hands were actually being dipped in intestines rather than cold spaghetti...because you are an idiot.  

4)  Angels and demons are not frightening.  Even Arnold has made a movie where he kicked a demon's ass.  Hell, even Eddy Murphy has made a movie where he out-witted a demon.  Hell, even Keanu Reeves can defeat demons.  HELL even BEN CROSS can beat a demon.  Buffy must have slain, like, eight million of them.  Absolutely no one is scared of demons...except the guys wearing suits in the front office...because they are idiots.  Go read The Dunwich Horror and The Lurker in Darkness.  THEN try writing a movie.

Mark   8)


Once again, the writers/producers/directors need to read Wings in the Night before putting ANYTHING to paper.  Not just the best Kane story, it's one of Howard's best tales ever, and as much a pure horror story as he ever wrote.  There are a few scenes in there that are so over the top they are almost too grim for today's splatterpunk standards.  The "bad guys" in this story, the flying demons, are a pure, unredeemable, alien horror as are seldom found in today's tales (they are entirely unsympathetic, an  evil which is a revelation in today's politically correct times).  Kane's reaction to the horror (he actually goes insane for part of this story), his meticulous plotting to destroy the evil, and his grim, horrible and yet immensely satisfying revenge is shattering. Stories like this separate writer Howard from a host of fantasy/horror imitators/pretenders in the 20th century.
  Whatever form the Kane movie takes, I think Wings in the Night should be part of the equation.

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 11:17 pm 
 

For a discussion and resources on R.E. Howard's public domain status:

http://www.robert-e-howard.org/AnotherThought4ws02.html


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Post Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 11:19 pm 
 

MShipley88 wrote:Oh geez!

I forgot to warn the producer about the other certain death plot device:

The church-leader-who-is-actually-the-badguy plotline.  This guy is first cousin to the other incredibly tired character, CIA-guy-who-is-actually-the-badguy.

Oh no!  IT'S ALL A SETUP!  How could we not have predicted this utterly predictable plot twist?   :x


Have you noticed lately that the above two situations are SUCH cliches that writers are actually trading on them to trick you?  I just watched a Law and Order type show the other day where a priest was a suspect, I was so conditioned to expect the so called "twist" I was actually surprised when the guy was innocent.  Likewise, in Robert Crais' latest thriller, he plays on the "CIA guy is actually the bad guy" (actually, its police detectives in this case) you are actually fooled when it's revealed it's not the cops, OR the FBI agent that you suspected all along, but a completely different character....
 Cliches have truly come full circle when they begin to be co-opted by those who MADE them cliches in the first place.....

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 11:24 pm 
 

MShipley88 wrote:For a discussion and resources on R.E. Howard's public domain status:

http://www.robert-e-howard.org/AnotherThought4ws02.html



BTW, hopefully all Howard's works will soon become public domain...no one currently making money off them is related in any way to the original writer, and over the decades many have subverted his works for their own desires.  It's about time a dedicated fan or fandom publish the Complete Howard in original form, something that has yet to happen, but I hope to see before I die.

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