Since it’s been revealed there will be a new League of Extraordinary Gentlemen film, I have been really excited. I’ve always been a huge fan of Alan Moore, and League is one of my favorite comic books of all time. It occurred to me, however, that a movie is not the best format the Franchise. The structure of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is actually best suited for a TV rather than a film adaptation.
The entire concept of the comic is a world where fiction is real, Where all the stories we grew up reading actually take place in a shared universe, where everyone knows about each other or has actually met each other. Jess Nevins, who wrote the annotations for the League comic books, described it as a crossover event series in a world without superhero comic books. Because of this concept, the world is huge, and the audience needs to feel the size and depth of the world. Everything was a reference to something. Television would allow the writers to keep the spirit of Moore’s comic by adding plenty of easter eggs. This approach would do justice to the bigger universe where the story takes place.
The format of the comics also leads itself to TV. The first two volumes are self-contained stories and would correspond very easily to two seasons of a TV show. The writers could elongate each issue into one or several episodes for a 12+ episode series. Adding flashbacks that reimagine the events of the original source material would be a fun way to flesh out further the characters and plot. Flashbacks would also help create the huge world that the comics take place in.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen has six members, all of whom are important characters who deserve their share of screen time. Moore also added many background characters who were themselves main characters in well-known fiction. Character screen time and plot development often compete for time in a movie, where writers need to decide which characters can best move the plot along. Television does not have those kinds of time constraints; more time can be devoted to each character. Hopefully, we will see a TV adaptation in the future.