Saturday 29 July 2017

The curious origin of Atomic Blonde

I have to watch Atomic Blonde, if only to work out what the hell is going on.

You see, I was already interested. It looked like a John Wick movie starring Charlize Theron beating up tons of dudes and then kissing ladies on the mouth. I can absolutely get behind all the concepts in that sentence, especially Charlize Theron as a female John Wick.
Then the reviews hit and I discovered it was an adaptation of The Coldest City written by Antony Johnston with art by Sam Hart. That's one of my favourite graphic novels ever. The graphic novel is a John leCarré-style spy thriller set in the last days of partitioned Berlin. The main character, MI6 operative Lorraine Broughton, is tough in a fight and resourceful but she's no John Wick and as for kissing ladies on the mouth... well, its been a couple of years since I last read it but I don't remember it.

I'm not even being a purist here: the film they seem to have made looks like a fun film and if nothing else I am genuinely curious about how they got from this book to the concept I'm seeing in the trailers. Of course, this is assuming the trailers are representative of the finished product which isn't always the case and if you have even a second of Charlize Theron a) fighting a bunch of dudes and b) kissing a lady on the mouth, then you're going to want to put that front and centre of the advertising. I can't blame anyone for that.

Still, an interesting potential case study and also perhaps a limit case scenario for my previous pious insistence that I don't mind changes to the source material if it makes the story a better fit for the medium its being adapted to. 

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