Brett Ratner's HERCULES Screwed Over Comic Creator & Removed Gay Elements

Brett Ratner's HERCULES Screwed Over Comic Creator & Removed Gay Elements

Bleeding Cool interviewed Alan Moore and the legendary comic book writer used the opportunity to inform everyone Brett Ratner's Hercules screwed over Steve Moore, who is Alan's friend and creator of the graphic novel the film is based on.

Brett Ratner's upcoming Hercules film is based on Steve Moore's graphic novel, Hercules: The Thracian Wars, which was published by Radical Comics. Sadly, Steve passed away this past March. Steve, is perhaps best known for mentoring Alan Moore, teaching him the finer details of how to pen a comic book script. Over the decades the two became close friends and even collaborated on several projects. Now, Alan Moore is speaking up for Steve, letting everyone know how Steve was mistreated in his final years. Steve had expected to be compensated for his Hercules comic being optioned optioned into a big budget Hollywood film, but that never happened. Plus, many story elements from his thoroughly researched tale were removed, such as Hercules' male lover. When Steven realized he wasn't getting paid and his story was being mangled he made one final request - not to use his name to promote the film, but that request was not honored either.

Hannah Means-Shannon: What’s your take on how people have reacted to the passing of Steve Moore and what still needs to be done to secure his legacy? Are there works that might not be done yet, out there yet, or released yet?

Alan Moore: [Regarding] unfinished business that relates to Steve: A couple of months before Steve died, I know that I was down at his house and he was expressing great indignation. He had just heard that a film was to be made of his series for Radical Comics, The Thracian War. Now, Steve had had quite a few problems with Radical Comics in producing the comic book and there were compromises that he had been assured that he would not have to make which he had, in fact, been told to make. So that relationship wasn’t an entirely happy one. But he was very happy with his scholarship on that series. It was impeccably researched. There wasn’t an element of it that wasn’t supported by something from Greek mythology or Greek history.

But on this occasion when I went down to visit him, he was quite cross, because he had just heard that there was a movie to be made out of this. And he said, “I’ve just written them an angry e-mail asking why I wasn’t consulted in this and when I can expect the something like 15,000 dollars”, which was the paltry amount which Steve thought was the amount that it said he’d be getting in his contract. He was cross about this, and he said, “I haven’t heard back from them. There’s just a deafening silence, so I’m going to pursue this further”.

When I went down to see him a couple of week later, I said, “So, did you get any response from Radical about your e-mail?”. He said, “No, I didn’t. But I went away and dug out the contract, and it turns out that no, they don’t have to consult me and they don’t have to pay me the 15,000 dollars. That must have been in some earlier version of the contract as opposed to the one that I signed. So, I’m not getting anything out of this. The only thing I am glad of is that apparently they’re not putting my name on it. Because it sounds like it’s going to be idiotic shit”.

He said that he had someone related to the project phoning him up, some lawyer, asking him when he’d created Atalanta. And Steve said, “No, actually, she is a prominent figure in the mythology of the period. I didn’t create her”. And so on for other aspects of it, Steve was having to say, “No, the Thracian War actually happened”. Which was painful to Steve, just that degree of ignorance. And I know exactly what he means. I’ve dealt with comic book industry lawyers asking if Queen Elizabeth I’s alchemist was still alive today. Anyway, Steve was saying that this film sounded like it was going to be a complete abortion, that they’d dumped characters such as Hylas. That’s understandable in that Hylas was Hercules’ boyfriend. And that’s perhaps not what The Rock wants to bring to his tale of his Hercules. So, Steve wouldn’t be getting any money from this. The only consolation was that his name wouldn’t be going on it.

When Steve died, I noticed with some bitter irony that one of the people sending in messages of consolation was Dave Elliott. In his dealings with Steve over the Hercules books, in Steve’s opinion (and I have no reason to doubt Steve’s opinion), there had been duplicity in telling Steve one thing, promising him one thing, and then later saying, “Oh no, we never had that conversation”. This had infuriated Steve to the point where he’d told the publishers at Radical not to let Dave Elliott have anything to do with him again, that he should be kept away from Steve Moore and any projects Steve was involved in. And yet, we had these fulsome reminiscences about how great it was to have been somebody who worked with Steve Moore.

I also noticed that in one of the several newspaper obituaries for Steve that we had over here, I think the one in the Independent, that it was a very, very good obituary, but for me it was only really marred by one thing. It was saying that it was the money that Steve had received from this Hercules movie that was being made of his work that had enabled Steve to work upon personal projects such as his Selene book [his final work of Classical scholarship] in the final years of his life. Now, Steve didn’t get a penny from those bastards for the film. What was enabling Steve to live in those final years of his life was the money that his brother Chris had left Steve when Chris died of Motor Neuron disease about five years ago, after Steve had looked after Chris in the final stages of that terrible illness.

And that, I thought, is a misunderstanding that needs to be corrected. I then found out that regarding the film company, there were  amongst the condolences for Steve, a couple of plugs for that film. They had not, before Steve’s death, seen fit to mention his involvement with the original story. Like I say, that was his only consolation, that his name was not going to be linked to this ignorant dreck. However, after Steve’s death, you could see that someone had thought, “Oh, there’ve been a couple of obituaries in the press and there’s quite a lot of talk about this. We could perhaps get some publicity for our film. It’s not like we’re going to have to pay him any money”. So they started to put Steve’s name upon the credits.

Everyone knows the legend of Hercules and his twelve labors. Our story begins after the labors, and after the legend. Haunted by a sin from his past, Hercules has become a mercenary. Along with five faithful companions, he travels ancient Greece selling his services for gold and using his legendary reputation to intimidate enemies. But when the benevolent ruler of Thrace and his daughter seek Hercules’ help to defeat a savage and terrifying warlord, Hercules finds that in order for good to triumph and justice to prevail… he must again become the hero he once was… he must embrace his own myth… he must be Hercules.
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yossarian - 7/17/2014, 1:47 PM
Of course this movie was going to suck. Did anyone think it would be good?
Blanka1212 - 7/17/2014, 1:47 PM
Whaaaat? Alan Moore bitching about something?? Get out!
yossarian - 7/17/2014, 1:48 PM
It sucks he can't keep his name off of it though.
Doopie - 7/17/2014, 1:53 PM
Hollywood screwing someone over? Never heard of this before
yossarian - 7/17/2014, 1:54 PM
I'm going to call the Bizarre Foods guy and have him come over to eat the GF's cooking.
NovaCorpsFan - 7/17/2014, 1:54 PM
Alan Moore is never happy with anything and thinks that just because he writes [frick]ed up comics with his supposedly massive mushroom induced imagination, he's better than everyone else. He's more of a prick than Mark Millar.
EhMaybeSays - 7/17/2014, 1:55 PM
Any comic writer with the surname Moore always gets screwed over by filmmakers. Moore can be a bit annoying with his rants but this time he actually has a point.
thebamf - 7/17/2014, 1:56 PM
And...we expected something else?
FightingCommander - 7/17/2014, 1:56 PM
I'm not one to challenge Alan Moore's research, but I don't think Hylas was ever Hercules' boyfriend. Maybe he's confused him with Iolaus, the character in Kevin Sorbo's show, too. (Would've made the show that much more interesting, as they did with Xena and her sidekick.)
kevberg - 7/17/2014, 1:59 PM
Actually, it pains me to say this, If you read Alan Moores ACCOUNT, he openly says Steve didnt really pay attention to the contract he signed or have a lawyer properly address the contract.

A lot of the problem stems from Radical Comics.
Doopie - 7/17/2014, 2:03 PM
I love Alan Moore's books but I do think he can be a bit of a prick. He plays it both ways at times - he is unhappy for people to use his creations and change and bastardise them but is willing to use other people's work towards his own stories - just look at The League or Lost Girls. The creators of those properties might well be spinning in their graves at what he has done to their characters. He has had a number done on him by Hollywood several times over the years but is it any different to what he himself does?
MexicanSexyman - 7/17/2014, 2:12 PM
Is Alan Moore ever happy, all he does is bitch and complain like a fanboy.
WeddingTux - 7/17/2014, 2:21 PM
"I’ve dealt with comic book industry lawyers asking if Queen Elizabeth I’s alchemist was still alive today." and then they asked if they should pay him in straw, for which to spin into gold.
RexDartEskimoSpy - 7/17/2014, 2:26 PM
Moore makes some very valid points. Too bad they're overshadowed by all the lunatic ravings he's become known for. Alan Moore could say "Water is wet," and the world would respond "Whatever you say, you hairy old madman."
WeddingTux - 7/17/2014, 2:55 PM
Will Sasso was BORN to play 'Hylas'

Haff - 7/17/2014, 3:09 PM
Alan Moore strikes me as the kind of bloke who'd be complaining on Christmas morning.
Odin - 7/17/2014, 4:11 PM
After readin that I can come to only one assumption; Einstein was right, human stupidity is endless.

It would be interesting to meet Alan Moore, just to see what writer/wizard/Rasputin inpersonator is really like.
BANE5000 - 7/17/2014, 5:53 PM
Its Brett Ratner, u shouldve know u were gonna get screwed :]
Nomis - 7/17/2014, 7:17 PM
Alan More may be radical and a jerk at times, and very, very, weird, but he always tell the ugly truth about Hollywood and comic book industry.
WYLEEJAY - 7/17/2014, 7:24 PM
I understand that he's jaded cause the way the industry works, but, well he knew that when he signed the contract. Read before you sign. Hire a lawyer. Im a creator pursuing publication, and I understand that if a big company publishes my story I lose creative control. Cause they would never give me a contract to sign that lets me keep creative control. Thats why im looking at Kickstarter. Keep my characters and make the decisions. Moore needs to get on with his life. He can be such a douche nozzle.
WYLEEJAY - 7/17/2014, 7:27 PM
@Nomis. Yes he does speak the truth, but he cant really be mad at anyone but himself. He signed his characters away.
SusanFuentes - 7/17/2014, 10:53 PM
Did anyone here even read the article?
Moore isn't complaining because they removed Hercules' boyfriend from the comic, so that title is very misleading, he is complaining because they are taking advantage of the original creator's name in death and use it to market the film even after he said he didn't want to be associated with it.
OcciferPing - 7/18/2014, 12:34 AM
Come on it's Ratner. It's expected he would do this.
McGee - 7/18/2014, 12:46 AM
Gay Sex is a myth.

I know this because I tried it with my roommate in college.

We just ended up having a sword fight.
osideous - 7/18/2014, 7:57 AM
@Susan no he's complaining because his friend was screwed out of money and consultation. Alan Moore can be as mad as he wants his friend was screwed. Steve Moore should not have signed it, without reading it and having a lawyer present.

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