Marvelman / Miracleman to the Big Screen?

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30 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    From the article: "Alan Moore's name used to have cachet in Hollywood for getting movies made, but not one of Moore's works has actually been made into a good movie."That's a pretty subjective and arguable statement, isn't it? Sure, the LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN film stunk on ice, and great liberties were taken with FROM HELL. I, for one, quite liked the V FOR VENDETTA film; and (although I haven't seen it yet) a few folks have had nice things to say about WATCHMEN, even though it hasn't turned out to be a blockbuster.Andrew Laubacher

    • Russ Rogers says:

      I agree, I rather liked V for Vendetta and Watchmen. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was an awkward film, on the whole, an embarrassment. I haven't seen "From Hell" to judge. I think there might be Hollywood Producers and Directors interested in other Moore books. But Moore has made it clear, he doesn't want anything to do with Hollywood, so not many are going to go knocking at his door.Gaiman, on the other hand, is a Hollywood star child. He's not only had several successful movies made from his original writing, he also had a had in the Grendel animated movie. I think folks have found him congenial and easy to work with.One thing the article didn't mention: When Moore entrusted Gaiman with his 30% stake in Miracleman, I thought Gaiman gave half of that to artist Mark Buckingham. Now, if Gaiman got control of the other 70% (that supposedly McFarlane bought for $50,000) in a swap of characters (and I guess that's still under dispute), wouldn't Buckingham still have a 15% share? Unless Buckingham has made Gaiman and his representatives also represent him. Or Gaiman aquired Buckingham's share. Question: Does Buckingham still have an ownership stake in Miracleman?

  2. mike weber says:

    Ah, Todd McFarlane. Ever the epitome – nay, the ACME – of ethics and fair dealing!

  3. Russ Rogers says:

    I've tried to make sense of the Miracleman, Gaiman, McFarlane fiasco before. I thought that this was settled, I thought Gaiman had traded his rights to the Spawn Characters for McFarlane's rights to the Miracleman characters. Maybe McFarlane made that deal and then immediately reneged by filing the claim on the trademarks. But, if Gaiman controlled Moore's 30% share and McFarlane somehow controlled Eclipse's 70% share, then after the swap Gaiman would control 100% of the rights that Eclipse had to the character. Now, I'm not sure if that also took care of Mick Anglo residual rights or claims on the characters. But the whole thing is humorously complex.Now, the last time ComicMix did a story on Miracleman was on April 1 title, "He has come again…." The Miracleman logo was displayed with the caption, "Well, you wanted to know what else we'd be publishing in the book deal… and we thought today would be the perfect day to tell you."…The link in that story was to one about ComicMix's new deal to publish print editions of some of their comics with IDW.…Ha, ha, ha. Happy April Fool's Day!I'm sorry I'm being a Maven, but this is what we do. In an April 2 article, April Fools Day 2009 Round-Up, you listed the articles ComicMix had published on April Fools Day. It was cryptically stated, "Amazingly, one of those five articles is true. You'll find out which in less than a month."…So, now it is April 30 (less than a month), and Glen Haumann has not become a nude model. I know, I've searched the Internet for the pictures! The other stories presented that day seemed equally ludicrous. BUT here comes an article about Miracleman just before the end of the month, not attributed to Glenn, Mike, Robert or any other individual ComicMix staff member, this is coming from ComicMix Staff. There is also a "top comics editor" who is speaking without attribution. Could that editor be Mike Gold? Is it fair to quote yourself in a news article if you don't attribute either the quote or the writer?If I were trying to generate interest in Miracleman for Hollywood, it would be easier IF the comic were available some place and had a growing fan base. It would be nice if somebody with the rights to the old Eclipse material could republish it, say on the Internet, and then maybe find a respected and connected print publisher to handle the reprints. It would be especially cool if Gaiman would at least finish out the story line he started 20 some years ago.So, the question is, will ComicMix and/or IDW be publishing Miracleman in some form? Will this include new material created by Gaiman, the Gaiman and Moore stuff originally published by Eclipse and/or the 50s material by Mick Anglo?

    • Glenn Hauman says:

      You looked for the photos? I'm not sure whether to be flattered or not.As far as any photos or drawings that may or may not exist of me– well, as you might suspect, they probably aren't safe for work and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has enough to do this year. Besides, if I post them now, you won't believe anything that's in the article above. Of course, I only said one article is true. There could be more than one.

    • Christopher Back says:

      I spent a quite a bit of money on the Ecplise Miracleman TPBs and if IDW (or any other publisher) would reprint the series in the highest quailty I would buy those TPBs or hardcovers in a second.

  4. Vinnie Bartilucci says:

    Marvelman is the single character with a more mess of a legal history than the THUNDER Agents. A nightmarish melange of greed, lies and stupidity, backed up with just enough legal protection to make a lot of the more outlandish claims just barely credible. It started way back with the fact the no one is 100% sure that Dez Skinn even had a contract with Anglo. As Alan Moore said years later, "Dez has certainly left his mark on the business, but hopefully it'll wash off".The mishegas Watchmen's rights became is NOTHING in comparison to this. Your average Hollywood lawyer would run screaming from the meeting, suggesting the building it was held in be burned down just to be safe.Bear in mind, all of this is based on the fact that the book MIGHT be worth money. There's no hard evidence that it WOULD be worth money. If Todd eventually got the rights and had Image people do the book, it would almost certainly not be nearly as tantalizing as if Gaiman were writing it. There's a point where the potential profits the book could generate would never equal the amount spent making it happen – I wouldn't be surprised if that point has passed…unless a film was made.As far as I know, the only person to be spending money trying to get the rights is Todd. Any money Neil Gaiman has spent has come from settlement money gotten from Todd from the assorted other suits he's won, so he's essentially suing Todd with Todd's money. The wiki page has a pretty good rundown of the whole mess – Let's put it this way. Anyone who REALLY wants a run of this book can obtain one. And oh my is it worth it. I was there when it first came out, so I'm covered.

    • Christopher Back says:

      I think why Gaiman's name is being thrown around is because of Alan Moore has basically told Hollywood off and that he is not going to help them make movies on any his work. Gaiman on the other hand is willing to work with Hollywood. Also I hate to sound like a nag but can some of the people writing the articles please remember to use the space bar.

      • Glenn Hauman says:

        Spaces are a known bug with a new iteration of our software. We're working on it.

  5. Tym says:

    The article is detailed but flawed. Alan Moore radically reimagined Marvelman for UK's Warrior magazine in '82. He resumed it by request for US's Eclipse in '85. Miracleman is revered so deeply because of Alan's final arc, taking realistic superheroes to their brutal and quasi-fascistic zenith, so unflinchingly it can't be surpassed. It's the fruition of WATCHMEN, inspiring "Matrix: Revolutions", the great Kingdom Come, and every half-stepping DC event series since (e.g., WWIII). Miracleman=Moore, period. Neil's work is a fine postscript of the aftermath. "From Hell", "V For Vendetta" and "Watchmen" are 'good movies', if imperfect. They also made their money back. (And Alan's name isn't a film draw because he withdraws it in creative protest, while the general public doesn't know who he is). Though "Mirrormask", "Stardust", and "Coraline" weren't big blockbusters, you didn't write Gaiman off as a box draw so glibly as you did Alan. Focusing on recent events with Gaiman makes sense; dismissing Moore out of context and out of hand is seriously mistaken. Neil earned the respect you gave him, but that applies to Alan as well. Pages from MM#25 were actually published in "Kimota: The Miracleman Companion" by George Khoury (2001).Unless they adapt Moore's finale faithfully, no one should support this theoretical film. Or Todd McFarlane in general. Viva Alan y Neil!

  6. BobH says:

    Last Eclipse issue of Miracleman: 1993Current year: 2009So from 1993 to now is "more than twenty years"? Is that the New Math? Or the metric system?There are other major errors in your history of Miracleman/Marvelman (did you really write a history of the character that doesn't mention Garry Leach, Alan Davis or WARRIOR?), which frankly casts doubt on the vague new information you present. I suggest you check out what's written about the situation in PRINCE OF STORIES, last year's book about Gaiman's work by Wagner, Golden and Bissette, which among other things mentions the company which purchased Anglo's rights, and Gaiman's comment about them.

    • Mike Gold says:

      Dez Skinn, mentioned by name, was the publisher of Warrior. And, at one time or another, Comix International and Mad's UK edition. And other stuff. The article mentioned there have been several artists.The history of Miracleman / Marvelman is, indeed, broader than all this… and I'll bet you it'll get broader still. There will be a huge piece about it somewhere, maybe lots of places, once there's an end to the trauma. If there's an end to the trauma.

  7. Keith R.A. DeCandido says:

    From box office: $182,024,410 Budget: $150,000,000Profitable, though that budget doesn't include the metric ton of marketing. Then again, the DVD sales ain't in yet, either…V for VendettaWorldwide box office: $132,511,035Budget: $54,000,000Profitable just on the domestic grosses alone…From HellWorldwide box office: $74,558,115Budget: $35,000,000Profitable (though only just)League of Extraordinary GentlemenWorldwide box office: $179,265,204 (yes, really)Budget: $78,000,000Profitable thanks to foreign market (those furriners really will watch anything…)So this "Alan's name is box office death" nonsense regarding Alan Moore is just that — especially since it's not like Alan's name is actually on any of them….

  8. Mike Gold says:

    Actually, theater owners get almost nothing off of the ticket price during the first week or two, and on a perceived "blockbuster" they actually get nothing that first week. That's why you've got to take a mortgage out to buy popcorn and a soda; that's where theaters make their money. And why we have all those huge multiplexes: fewer staff per ticket sold and per bucket of popcorn sold results in lower overhead and greater profits.Even so, quite a few major theater chains have either closed lots of screens or gone blooie over the past several years.

  9. WHR says:

    If I understand correctly when Dez Skinn originally allowed Alan Moore to write the Marvelman storyline in Warrior, Skinn never obtained the rights to use the character in Warrior in the first place. I think there is even a statement made by Skinn after the entire Marvelman/Miracleman think blew up that he never bothered to contact Mick Anglo or even check into what property rights might still exist from L. Miller and Son Publications, the publishing company that originially commishioned Anglo to develop Marvelman after their shipments of Captain Marvel back issues ran out in the UK due to the lawsuit over Captain Marvel and Superman. He basically hoped that Marvelman had entered the public domain after so many years of being unused. This would make any deal that he worked out with Eclipse Comics to be invalid. Also, former Eclipse executives have stated that they never had property rights to the character, only publication rights to the stories that were obtained in the deal with Skinn. This would mean that even if Todd bought Eclipse free and clear he only bought whatever deal that Eclipse had to publish stories to the characters, similiar to what Image does with creater owned titles that transfer in from other companies (like "Bone"). I think a judge even stated when Gaiman started pushing the lawsuit again with the funds he made from doing 160…2 for Marvel Comics that if Todd had property rights to anything it was only to a specific image of how Miracleman was drawn while being published through Eclipse and not to the entire character concept or the name. And I love the idea the Marvel Comics has the outright authority to lay claim to any and all things with the word "Marvel" in the title. You would think that any judge with any sence would through that lawsuit out before it even got to court.

    • Vinnie Bartilucci says:

      Skinn has told at least four different versions of the story about how he got (or didn't) the rights to Marvelman, and they all contradict each other. That's part of the reason the rights are in such a mess. There's many people who think todd is defending rights he doesn't own for that very reason.It's going to take a LOT of money and mollycoddling to sort it all out. I don't forsee it happening. Personally, I'm rather amazed that DC hasn't entered the fray, claiming very correctly that the character if just a ripoff of Captain Marvel in the first place. I'll bet it's too late now as the character has been in existence unchallenged for decades now. Read the back issues, enjoy them, and move on. "And I love the idea the Marvel Comics has the outright authority to lay claim to any and all things with the word "Marvel" in the title. You would think that any judge with any sence would through that lawsuit out before it even got to court. "Not at all – they own the trademark to the name marvel, and anyone using the word in the title of a book can legitimately be said to be confusing (on purpose or no) customers, especially if it's a comic book. It's similar to how if you tried to open a fast food place called "McDonaldson's" you'd almost certainly get a letter. (Anyone remember "McDowall's" from Coming to America?)Now for a while there, Marvel was trying to come down on every book using the letter "X" in the title, and that might have been reaching a bit. Put protecting the name of the company is perfectly reasonable, and changing the name was the right thing to do.

      • WHR says:

        I agree that this litigation will not be solved any time in the near future. I do believe the it will be settled eventually but it will take a lot of lawyers and a lot of money thrown at it before it is said and done. I also agree that the future sucess of the story and the title is based on Neil Gaimen returning to the book. If the rights do eventually end up with Todd, I sincerely doubt that we will ever see Neil write a Marvelman/Miracleman book again. In my opinion, if that happens, Todd will have wasted a large amount of money and time on obtaining the rights to a character that will not have a financial return for him. Now I won't shead a tear for Todd but that's just my personnel feelings. I'm not sure I agree with the idea that since Marvel Comics holds a trademark on the title "Marvel" that this would automatically give them grounds to start a lawsuit over the use of a character named Marvelman. Showing significant difference between two characters with the same name has settled lawsuits in the past. DC and Marvel both have characters named Spider-Woman but there is significant difference between the concepts of the two characters. This might go to court but an arguement could be made that the company named Marvel Comics and a comic character named Marvelman have enough significant difference that there would be no confusion about ownership. This is even more ture when looked at from the stand point that all new Marvelman comics that would be published by a company outside Marvel would have the company logo on the front cover.

        • Vinnie Bartilucci says:

          "I'm not sure I agree with the idea that since Marvel Comics holds a trademark on the title "Marvel" that this would automatically give them grounds to start a lawsuit over the use of a character named Marvelman."That's as may be, but Eclipse chose to err on the side of caution and avoid poking the dragon with a stick. Pretty good move. It's not like there was this massive fan base who was going to get annoyed that they changed the name.Don't forget, they also own the trademark on "Captain Marvel", a name admittedly better connected with a book the Distinguished Competition was publishing (and that's another story), but also a character who shares some minor similarities to Marvelman, and again, considering how long and resource-draining lawsuits tend to be, it's better to avoid them.Marvel is not above suing for similar titles. In addition to all the books with "X" in the title that got C&D letters (Including Valiant's X-O Manowar, a book with no connection to mutants at all), they also sued Defiant over the title "Plasm" because it was too close to a recent but short-lived Marvel UK title "Plasmer".

  10. Tom Fitzpatrick says:

    Well, as interesting as this debate is, as seeing a Miracleman movie being made or Gaiman & Buckingham returning to finish off Book 5 and 6, with reprints of all Miracleman issues: would be moot so as long as McFarlane keeps the litigation going.I'm sure the idea of Miracleman movie or comic making money for anyone but McFarlane would rankle him.

  11. Neil Ottenstein says:

    I really would not want to see Alan Moore's Miracleman arc turned into a movie. While the comics made for gripping reading, I think it is too intense and brutal to see on the screen.

  12. Rich Johnston says:

    The percentage stuff is all out of whack. I managed to confirm that of the publishing rights from the Warrior publication (which now look like they are percentages of nothing) are currently divided 60% to Gary Leach (Alan Davis passed his rights to Gary), 30% to Neil Gaiman (Alan Moore passed his rights to Neil, who also represents Mark Buckingham) and 10% to original publisher Dez Skinn (who received a payment for a similar share in "V For Vendetta") – Eclipse were not sold 70% – and Alan Davis states he never had any agreement with Eclipse.What actually appears to have happened is that Miller did not go bankrupt, as was presumed, instead closing up shop. So no rights were transferred to the character.Plus, no one is going to make a film of Moore's scripts. If he controls them, that won't happen. If Neil controls them, that won't happen.

    • BobH says:

      Actually, Moore's most recent statement on the matter seems to indicate he's fine with an adaptation based on his scripts, provided his name isn't used and his share of the money goes to Anglo. Or to quote him:"Don't put me name on them, and give all the money to Mick Anglo."Alan Moore, speaking to Pádraig Ó MéalóidAnd I'd assume that if for some convoluted reason Gaiman has any say in what can be done with Moore's scripts, he'd follow Moore's stated preferences.

  13. Renee says:

    From what I can see Alan Moore has done the right thing by Mr Anglo and turned loose his scripts so that the man can benefit financially from them. I think it is appalling that all these people have made money (via comics and figurines) whilst Mick Anglo was actually conned. And who was it actually made good his unwitting part in this farce? Alan Moore…and who was it bleating on about Copyright infringement, who fought to retain Marvelman and who has yet to acknowledge his involvement in the MM saga?…never mind pass a struggling fellow artist a paltry sum for his part in the pilfering?Now that Alan Moore has given his blessing and it seems his MM creations may go ahead he is being rubbished online whilst Neil Gaiman is being polished on his pedestal..who is behind this? That is what I'd like to know…"Alan still has a bit of a following" this article is so biased in favour of Neil Gaiman it is blatantly obvious what is being attempted here…Alan Moore is a cult figure with a huge following and anyone with a remote connection to the comic book industry could confirm that..I note that most of your commentators on this subject are anonymous which is rather dubious in itself..The comment re Neil Gaiman being "Unwilling" to get involved in any MM project until the rights are settled and the original artists are "Taken care of" is interesting as he knows the rights are settled and has known for a long time. The question is now that he knows the "Holy Grail" is up for grabs will he attempt to bury it should it evade his grasp?"Mick Anglo and these claimants posturing as Mick Anglo successors?" what exactly does this mean? Are you saying that anyone Mick Anglo enters into partnership with are not genuine business partners and are therefore dubious? would this include his family? As far as I can see Mick Anglo has entered into a business partnership that has fought to prove his ownership of MM..and hopefully to see his character be brought to life once more (and with his blessing) and for him at long last to be able to reap the rewards that he was conned out of so many years ago.

  14. isn't worth the says: PM – Ligten upUnbeknownst to me – apparently the full Alan Moore comic series of Miracleman scanned and posted to the web. These books i'm told are seminal, however they are out of print and due to legal wranglings I have never read them myself. Now here someone took the time, put them up there for all to see and what happens?…. tmlThis is Neil Gainman, fine he's a good writer – I won't argue that – he isn't worth the salt off Alan Moore's nuts, but he can write well enough compared to other average writers. Now Mircleman is Alan's triumph – he did the 15 issues that supposedly changed the industry. Alan pitied Neil and gave him legal rights and Neil went on to write 9-10 more issues. Now the whole legal thing is screwed up, the books are out print so people adapt and publish them themselves -WHY the FUCK would this guy send a cease and desist letter – for something which isn't even his baby – for something that was given to him – why not just let the alan moore fans – read the books – appreciate the words – the pictures – isn't that what its about, instead of hanging on, hiding behind copyright laws and lawyers – c'mon!Neil you are sorry excuse for an artist- KENNETH F. LEVIN AND ASSOCIATES ATTORNEYS AT LAW July 31, 2003TO: captainATtransmission3000.comDear Captain,Neil is on a whirlwind tour for his latest books (3!) both this month and next (160…2, Endless Nights, and Wolves in the Wall); as you may know, I'm Neil's lawyer on the MiracleMan litigation, and he asked me if I could respond to your nice email. First, it needs saying that the passion of you and of so many others (including me) for the MiracleMan coda of material is the primary motivator for this litigation – as you know, Neil's avowed purpose is to get the material back before the public in beautiful format, and at an affordable price. And as you may also know, if Neil nets any money from this, it's all already promised to charity. When it comes to acting based on principle, just because it's, well, because it's just the right thing to do, Neil is one of our heroes. And deservedly so.Now. Much as we appreciate the sentiments of your idea, it's a really bad idea, and would do much harm to the cause. First, much of the rights issue has already been decided: Alan Moore DOES have the copyrights to his work (the writing of Eclipse's MM 1-16), as does Neil for MM 17-24. Mark Buckingham owns the copyrights for the books he did with Neil, and various artists share copyrights on Alan's work. The question is now down to some trademark questions, and on that it is also now clear that Neil has at least 30%, and Gary Leach has most all of the rest (unless Eclipse really did have them, which I doubt, in which case Todd McFarlane may have an interest). But the point is that your publishing them on the web would do two things: (1) it dilutes the value of the copyrights for subsequent sales when they do get republished – and they will – which means charity will get hurt, and (2) it's a clear copyright violation, directly hurting the very people whose work you profess to admire, and flying in the face of the various artists' rights principles we're fighting so hard to protect. So I really need to ask you cease and desist now, with all due respect and appreciation for your good intentions. I realize that this means some people will have to wait a while for the stories to be in front of them in affordable form. But trust me, when they are, the wait will have been worth it.Again, Captain, thanks for your support…Best wishes,-Ken F. LevinCC: Neil GaimanAppear it will stay so for