Legendary comic book writer and Watchmen creator Alan Moore is no friend of Hollywood. He has notoriously spoken out against his own creations coming to the big screen, and now he is upset over how Paramount and MGM is using his deceased friend Steve Moore to sell their upcoming big budget summer adventure Hercules, which is based on the man's comic Hercules: The Thracian Wars . He's even going as far as to ask fans to boycott the movie, which is directed by Brett Ratner and stars Dwayne Johnson in the title role.
Steve Moore remains a tremendously influential writer and presence in today's comic book market, and while he created Hercules: The Thracian Wars, he received no payment from the film production. Because of that, he asked that his name be removed from the credits. Following his death, his name began appearing in advertisements used to sell the movie, and he has increasingly been used to promote the impending release of the film. It seems that Paramount and MGM were looking to capitalize on the surge of interest in Steve Moore since his untimely passing.
Alan Moore, who is of no relation but was a very close and dear friend, is outraged that the studios would stoop so low as to use Steve Moore's name to sell the film, calling it 'free advertising'.
Alan Moore talked with Bleeding Cool about seeing his friend before his death, and the man's concern over the adaptation. He also explained why Steve was not getting a credit on the movie.
[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."
Alan Moore continued to explain the situation,
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.
It was a little bit of free advertizing. The publicity surrounding a man's death. Now I'd have to look at my thesaurus and see if there are any words other than "vile" which I could use for that. But even in the low estimation in which I hold the greater part of the comic industry, that is a new low.
The comic book legend then asks fans to boycott the movie,
"I suggest that people simply look at the publicity for this film before and after Steve Moore's death. I would also ask that anybody out there who gives a damn about Steve Moore or his legacy not go to see this wretched film. It is the last thing that Steve would've wanted. And I cannot un-recommend it too highly or anybody involved in it. I think it is absolutely shameful, however, there are also more positive elements of Steve Moore's legacy."
THR reached out to MGM about the matter, and this was their responce:
"MGM licensed the feature film rights from Radical Comics and fulfilled all contractual obligations. Steve Moore was a legend within the comics industry, whose work we greatly admire."
What do you think? Will you boycott Hercules in honor of Steve Moore? You can read the full interview: It sheds more light on why the comic book creator was never paid.
Hercules was released July 25th, 2014 and stars Dwayne Johnson, Ian McShane, John Hurt, Rufus Sewell, Aksel Hennie, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Reece Ritchie, Joseph Fiennes. The film is directed by Brett Ratner.