A League of Extraordinary Gentlemen reboot is in the works from Twentieth Century Studios and Hulu. They are hoping to have a more successful crack at Alan Moore’s popular comic book series, which features classic fantasy and horror characters, than the 2003 movie attempt. Justin Haythe is writing the screenplay.
The League is made up of iconic characters from Victorian literature, including Mina Murray (based on Mina Murray/Harker from Bram Stoker’s Dracula), Captain Nemo (from Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea), Allan Quartermain (from King Solomon’s Mines), Dr Jekyll, and the Invisible Man. Professor Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes is one of the villains featured in the series, and events from HG Wells’ War of the Worlds also appear.
This is, of course, not the first time that a Victorian mash-up such as this has been attempted in TV and movies. The critically-acclaimed television series Penny Dreadful (2014-2016) also featured Mina and her father Malcolm Murray, Dorian Gray, Victor Frankenstein, Dr Jekyll, and a wolfman character (Ethan Chandler). Penny Dreadful is an example that such an ambitious crossover can work.
Universal infamously attempted to launch a Dark Universe with The Mummy starring Tom Cruise in 2017, which featured Russell Crowe’s Dr Jekyll. Javier Bardem was supposed to play Frankenstein’s Monster and Johnny Depp was going to be The Invisible Man. This never came to fruition, but it is spinning off into something much more interesting instead.
The League of Extraordinary Gentleman became an ill-fated film in 2003 starring Sean Connery (Allan Quartermain), Stuart Townsend (Dorian Gray), Peta Wilson (Mina Harker), Jason Flemyng (Dr Jekyll), and Naseeruddin Shah (Captain Nemo). It was critically-panned and prompted Connery’s retirement from acting.
After the recent successful HBO series Watchmen, and the NBC TV series of Constantine, there is hope that people are starting to adapt Alan Moore’s books more successfully than perhaps in the past. The material of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is all there – it should be hard to mess that up.
While we wait for more news on the League, check out our guide to the best monster movies.