ComingSoon.net/SuperheroHype.com attended the panel discussing the live action version of Will Eisner’s The Spirit comic book at Comic-Con 2005. Since they are only in the early stages of pre-production, they didn’t have a lot of news about it. There’s no director, star, or production designer yet.
Producer Michael Uslan, the producer of Batman and Batman Begins, stated that he was sought out by Eisner, who passed away on January 3rd, to produce the film a number of years ago. Uslan said that he intendeds to do it “the right way”, as comic book geeks like to say. He added that Eisner told them he wanted a “Spirit” movie that emphasized the adventurous, film noir, Hitchcock-ian “Spirit” rather than the humorous aspects of the character. He wanted him portrayed as a real guy in a real city, not a superhero that saves the world. Uslan made a point to say that Eisner always strived to make the character contemporary as he wrote it in the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s. Uslan gave the impression that they’d try to make The Spirit a contemporary character in 2006.
Producer Deborah Del Prete emphasized that the look was important. Sin City was mentioned over and over as an example of a film they wanted to emulate as far as nailing the look and style of the original source material. Del Prete, who happens to be a big comic and Superboy fan, also produced Green Street Hooligans starring Elijah Wood.
Comics writer and Smallville writer Jeph Loeb said The Spirit was one of the first comics he was ever hooked on and that he pushed to get the chance to write the film.
The Spirit is a masked detective, believed dead, who fights the criminals of Central City from his cemetary base. Eisner’s character appeared in comic strip and comic book form for decades, which have been collected and reprinted in hardcover form by DC Comics in recent years.
Source: Superhero Hype!