Anyone who knows anything about Robert Rodriguez or Frank Miller can tell you that the pair, in there own separate mediums, are innovative rebels unwilling to compromise their visions for mass consumption. Thankfully, in collaborating with one another, compromising was never an issue that needed to be explored as was proved today when they presented a ten-minute rough cut of their film Sin City, which is based directly on Miller’s comic books of the same name, to 6500 lucky attendees at the San Diego Comic Convention.
When all was said and done, viewers were left with little doubt that Miller’s spectacular style translates well into motion picture. Do take into account that Sin City is not a Hollywood movie, but instead a flawlessly crafted reenactment of the tomes that inspired it. The preview itself, based on the short story “The Customer’s Always Right”, was virtually a frame-by-frame study on Miller’s layouts. This was a huge sigh of relief for fans who doubted that the film could flow with the same rhythm readers have grown to appreciate.
Rodriguez, as it turns out, was not the first filmmaker to approach Miller about adapting Sin City, but after being burned by Hollywood more than once Miller was not eager to put his baby into the hands of a studio that would water down everything that made the book so intoxicating for readers. Thanks to his tenacity however, Rodriguez was able to bend Miller’s ear just enough to convince him to give it a shot, and with that the film was unofficially in production.
Pulling in a favour from actor Josh Hartnett, who starred in the director’s underrated film “The Faculty,” Rodriguez pushed out a rough cut to show Miller what Sin City could be. Needless to say, that’s all it took. Very quickly, other names came up, including Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Benicio Del Toro, Jessica Alba, and Rosario Dawson; and in all cases the actors were very excited to be a part of the film.
Though not as recognizable as other comic book-cum-movie currently making headlines, Sin City is the most faithfully executed adaptation. In addition to the dialog, which is almost word for word, Sin City is full of perfectly cast characters that, through the used of prosthetics where needed, interact perfectly with digital sets behind them.
From what was shown, Rodriguez and Miller have created a film with such amazing visual design that it was no surprise the all-star ensemble cast jumped at the chance to work on the ground-breaking project. From the scar on Hartigan’s (Willis) forehead, to Gail’s (Dawson) costume, to Marv’s (Rourke) excessive use of bandaids (read the book), Sin City took the ball and ran with it. Anyone doubting this needs to see nothing more than the Yellow Bastard played by Nick Stahl compared to the comic version to see this is perfect.
The film, for the most part is a combination of three Sin City books: ‘The Hard Good Bye’ (renamed from simply ‘Sin City’), The Big Fat Kill, and That Yellow Bastard. Even though the film has to be cut down to flow as one feature film, Rodriguez promises that the DVD will also feature the complete, longer versions of each story.