Trouble with the Movie Version of Robo-Animal Comic We3

Three lab animals - a dog, cat and bunny - are given robotic implants so they can talk, fight, and become the ultimate super-assassins for evil government types. With the help of a kind scientist, they break free and try to escape what the cat calls their "stink bosses." That's the cool, heart-rending tale behind comics great Grant Morrison's We3, with gorgeous illustrations from Frank Quitely. Now recent news about the planned movie version has us worried.

Morrison's comic is basically Watership Down for turn-of-the-century biopunks - a serious story about a merging of animal and artificial consciousness that gets at something fundamental in humanity. But a huge part of what makes the comic work is the art. The animals, created out of Quitely's stylized curves, look surrealistically like missiles or tanks. And their adventures bloom with lurid, unreal reds: Of blood, of fire, of sunsets. And eye-watering greens.

And yet producer Don Murphy told Shock Til You Drop that the movie is going to live-action. By which he must mean photorealistic CGI, which seems to me the wrong way to approach a tale whose look has to be as stylized as possible. I hate to sound like a kneejerk fan, getting all mouth-breathy about how the original is being desecrated. I don't care if the original is desecrated, as long as what results is cool in its own way. I just think this tale can't stand the jump to live action without major tweaking. Maybe, if "live action" means something like the pseudo-live action of a Frank Miller flick, it will work.

Trouble with the Movie Version of Robo-Animal Comic We3

Even more potentially disturbing is the director. Shock Til You Drop reports:

Even though the film is going to be live-action, we brought on the lead director of Kung Fu Panda [John Stevenson]. He's attached to direct We3. We're doing it as an R-rating. It's not going to be cutesy. There's killer rabbits and stuff. We're in the process right now of trying to figure out where we're going to make it.

Stevenson's known best for a cute animal comedy whose tone is precisely what We3 turns on its head.

Stevenson may hit it out of the park, though - I'm hopeful about that R-rating. And Grant Morrison adapted the comic for screen himself, which is also a good sign.

Stevenson Attached to Direct Comic Adaptation We3 [via Shock Til You Drop]