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#1 godzilladude

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 09:09 PM

SOLOMON KANE MOVIE
Follow director Michael Bassett's video diaries of Solomon Kane and post your own vlogs...
Click Here: http://www.artistlog.../michaelbassett



A SHORT NOTE FROM THE WRITER AND DIRECTOR OF THE NEW SOLOMON KANE MOVIE:

Hi,
As some of you may know, a film based on Robert Howard?s ?Solomon Kane? character has recently been announced. Since I?m the writer and director of this upcoming movie I just wanted to drop a quick note to all the Howard and Kane fans out there who might be either delighted or horrified that a movie is in the making.

I know how I feel when a favourite book/game/comic is announced as a movie; I?m happy that someone has finally realised how great it is and always cynical that the collective ?they? is going to screw it up somehow. This seems to happen more often than not but, regardless, I always start out optimistic. I hope you all do too on Kane.

Couple of things you should know that should set your collective minds at ease; firstly, the producers really do love Robert E. Howard and have been obsessive about trying to find the right story to introduce him to the wider film going world. Secondly, in me they have found a writer and director who loves the fantasy genre and wants be absolutely certain that I remain true to the essence of Solomon Kane. Certainly at this script stage, I?m sure I have something which really works and can?t wait to get it before cameras.

For me Solomon Kane is perhaps Howard?s most interesting and unusual character and for many reasons, possibly the hardest to bring to the screen. Kane?s sheer sense of resolve and inner strength is a tremendous challenge to convey both for me as a director and for the actor I finally choose to cast as this iconic hero. The danger is that because of this strength and formality in his ways it could lead to a rather mannered and inaccessible hero and I?m trying to walk a fine line so that we can somehow understand him without softening him into some reflective and weakened 21st century version of a hero. I want to absolutely capture a hero who has unwavering faith in his mission and his ability to follow through ? personally, I miss ?real? men in modern movies; taciturn, world weary and masculine heroes who are genuinely capable of doing what they promise. Kane, to me, is one such man and I?m determined to honour him.

What I thought I?d do with this first story, in what will hopefully become a series of films, is to back peddle a little bit from where Howard started us off with Kane and explore just why he is the man he is. So this first film is going to be an ?origins? tale of sorts. I had to create some sense of what could possibly drive a man such as Kane and I think you?re all going to be really excited by what happens to him. Then, once we?re up and running, it allows me the freedom to go on and tangle with some of Kane?s other adventures.

Of course, the big question is, who will be Kane? Truth is, I don?t know yet. The casting is so vital that I don?t want to rush this. You can be sure that the person I finally cast will be able to embody the real essence of Kane. I need someone with a really predatory power and inner anger that can burst forth at just the right moments. Not many guys out there can do that so making that choice is going to be tricky.

Anyway, that?s all for now. I?m not going to make any wild promises about how wonderful the finished film will be ? there?s far too much water yet to flow under that particular bridge - but I can assure you all that at least I?m starting this journey with the very best of intentions.

Oh yes, and as a little peek into some of the stuff I?m planning here?s a concept art image of Kane battling a mob of ghoulish creatures. The artwork is by Greg Staples, who I?m sure some of you will know if one of the very best fantasy artists working today.

Enjoy.

Michael J Bassett




Watch Michael Bassett's first Solomon Kane video diary at ArtistLog.com

#2 Kane

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 11:05 PM

I'm somewhat torn on this news.
One the one hand it sounds like everyone involved with this project wants to bring REH's Solomon Kane to the screen. Michael Bassett's write up and vlog indicate that he actually gets what the character is about and what makes SK tick.
On the other hand, I'm always worried when attempts are made to create something new for fictional characters. Even more when they try to make a character more accessible to the public. With a few exceptions it always seems that the characters get dumbed down or altered by the process. With the result being that the character shown on screen has little resemblence to the character from the original source material.
I primary worry for SK is that in creating his origin Mr. Bassett might have fallen back on the old standby of having a close friend, or loved one, killed by an un-natural creature. A cliche that I cannot see in Solomon Kane's past.
Instead, I feel that any origin story for the character needs to have SK willingly fall into the role of "God's Avenger" as a method of dealing with larger problems both internal and external.
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And force upon Mankind the Freedom he fears--
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#3 Croms Bones

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Posted 22 July 2006 - 12:30 AM

I think a SK movie is a great idea. Like the director, I think that SK is probably Howard's most compelling character... if the transition from book to film is done right, which is always the question, I think it has great potential.
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#4 SRW1000

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Posted 22 July 2006 - 03:22 AM

I received an email about the movie from Wandering Star Books (the folks behind the recent, spectacular hardcover editions of REH's works).

Here's the text of the email:

A SHORT NOTE FROM THE WRITER AND DIRECTOR OF THE NEW SOLOMON KANE MOVIE:

Hi,
As some of you may know, a film based on Robert Howard?s ?Solomon Kane? character has recently been announced. Since I?m the writer and director of this upcoming movie I just wanted to drop a quick note to all the Howard and Kane fans out there who might be either delighted or horrified that a movie is in the making.

I know how I feel when a favourite book/game/comic is announced as a movie; I?m happy that someone has finally realised how great it is and always cynical that the collective ?they? is going to screw it up somehow. This seems to happen more often than not but, regardless, I always start out optimistic. I hope you all do too on Kane.

Couple of things you should know that should set your collective minds at ease; firstly, the producers really do love Robert E. Howard and have been obsessive about trying to find the right story to introduce him to the wider film going world. Secondly, in me they have found a writer and director who loves the fantasy genre and wants be absolutely certain that I remain true to the essence of Solomon Kane. Certainly at this script stage, I?m sure I have something which really works and can?t wait to get it before cameras.

For me Solomon Kane is perhaps Howard?s most interesting and unusual character and for many reasons, possibly the hardest to bring to the screen. Kane?s sheer sense of resolve and inner strength is a tremendous challenge to convey both for me as a director and for the actor I finally choose to cast as this iconic hero. The danger is that because of this strength and formality in his ways it could lead to a rather mannered and inaccessible hero and I?m trying to walk a fine line so that we can somehow understand him without softening him into some reflective and weakened 21st century version of a hero. I want to absolutely capture a hero who has unwavering faith in his mission and his ability to follow through ? personally, I miss ?real? men in modern movies; taciturn, world weary and masculine heroes who are genuinely capable of doing what they promise. Kane, to me, is one such man and I?m determined to honour him.

What I thought I?d do with this first story, in what will hopefully become a series of films, is to back peddle a little bit from where Howard started us off with Kane and explore just why he is the man he is. So this first film is going to be an ?origins? tale of sorts. I had to create some sense of what could possibly drive a man such as Kane and I think you?re all going to be really excited by what happens to him. Then, once we?re up and running, it allows me the freedom to go on and tangle with some of Kane?s other adventures.

Of course, the big question is, who will be Kane? Truth is, I don?t know yet. The casting is so vital that I don?t want to rush this. You can be sure that the person I finally cast will be able to embody the real essence of Kane. I need someone with a really predatory power and inner anger that can burst forth at just the right moments. Not many guys out there can do that so making that choice is going to be tricky.

Anyway, that?s all for now. I?m not going to make any wild promises about how wonderful the finished film will be ? there?s far too much water yet to flow under that particular bridge - but I can assure you all that at least I?m starting this journey with the very best of intentions.

Oh yes, and as a little peek into some of the stuff I?m planning here?s a concept art image of Kane battling a mob of ghoulish creatures. The artwork is by Greg Staples, who I?m sure some of you will know if one of the very best fantasy artists working today.

Enjoy.

Michael J Bassett


Here's a link to his website:

MICHAEL J. BASSETT's VLOG

Based on what he's posted, I"m still looking forward to the movie. I'm undecided on the "origin" aspect, but more importantly, I hope he doesn't shy away from Kane's strength of faith. That's an element we don't see explored in too many heroes these days, and is vital to the character.

Scott

#5 Strom

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Posted 22 July 2006 - 03:42 AM

Thanks for the post godzilladude.

Well said Kane & Crom's Bones. Both of your comments echo some of the same concerns - and hopes - I have too. Currently, there is a discussion on the Conan on Film Forum concerning what the new Conan movie screenplay should be as far as an original adaptation, merge a collection of Howard stories together, use a original story with new material or have a completely new story. Sounds like Michael's script will contain new material but will it then adapt an original REH Soloman Kane story or will this be a completely new story trying to capture the REH Kane? If it contains an adaptation, which one? Can you tell us or give us a hint Michael?

Will Michael be stopping by this Forum? As the official Robert E. Howard Forum this is the place to find the fans that he is referring to in his message. I hope he does come by and keep us informed and provide some insight and info on the movie. That would be very cool.

The concept art is very cool:

Posted Image

Anyways, I'm very excited about this movie and thanks to Michael for the letter and all his effort to make this happen.

Edit: I merged the two threads together and moved the thread to the Solomon Kane Forum. Thanks to SRW1000 for the info as well.

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#6 terryallenuk

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Posted 22 July 2006 - 11:20 AM

I've dropped Michael an e-mail to see if he'd be interested in joining us .

Terry

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#7 War Song

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Posted 22 July 2006 - 03:55 PM

Hmm. Interesting news tidbit. Overall, I'm eager to watch the Solomon Kane film -- regardless of its quality or faithfulness to the original stories.

Secondly, in me they have found a writer and director who loves the fantasy genre and wants be absolutely certain that I remain true to the essence of Solomon Kane.

This is an odd statement. I had always considered the Solomon Kane stories to be historical fiction with a strong fantasy undercurrent. This statement seems to be put the emphasis on fantasy instead.

What I thought I?d do with this first story, in what will hopefully become a series of films, is to back peddle a little bit from where Howard started us off with Kane and explore just why he is the man he is. So this first film is going to be an ?origins? tale of sorts. I had to create some sense of what could possibly drive a man such as Kane and I think you?re all going to be really excited by what happens to him.

R.E. Howard wrote several tales and poems that outlined what drove Kane, i.e. The Homecoming of Soloman Kane. Seems peculiar that Bassett has to "create some sense of what could possibly drive a man" when such an impetus is already semi-explained in the aforementioned stories.

Edited by War Song, 22 July 2006 - 03:57 PM.


#8 jackx

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Posted 22 July 2006 - 04:49 PM

I'd wager that a man driven by self-righteous religious zeal, madness and a thirst for revenge and who is, at the same time, not a 21st century "anti-hero", is not going to go well with the mainstream audience...
The way it is worded, it is odd, but the way that I ultimately interpret it is as "what could possibly drive a man and be understandable and acceptable for the audience".
Kane is a mad zealot and fanatic, and even if that were acceptable as the motivation of the character, how would you convey it without dwelling on it incessantly?

I agree on the "fantasy" though, Kane for me is historical fiction coupled with horror, not "fantasy", but then, that term can mean a lot, and if you just pick a broad enough definition, you can fit the SK stories into it as well.

All that said, I'm currently undecided on whether this is good news or not... if the budget is big enough, we'll hopefully get some excellent combat/fight scenes that I'll gladly watch again and again as soon as it is out on DVD, but beyond that, I'm not expecting much from this film (or any film, for that matter. If I want a good story, I can always read a book, which leaves films to just fill the gaps that a book can't cover).
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#9 terryallenuk

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Posted 22 July 2006 - 06:21 PM

From the Burbank Weekend of Horrors convention

http://www.fangoria....ure.php?id=2376

Not to be outdone in the action-oriented field, Bassett states that his next production is a
$15-20-million fantasy based on CONAN creator Robert E. Howard's character
Solomon Kane, which is scheduled to go before the cameras later this year in
Eastern Europe. (No word on how many British actors Bassett will cast in the
production, as he says that American distributors feel that "U.S. audiences
don't like English accents.")

Terry

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#10 Majere

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 05:09 AM

No word on how many British actors Bassett will cast in the
production, as he says that American distributors feel that "U.S. audiences
don't like English accents.")

Terry

Who comes up with this crap? U.S. audiences don't like English accents? And here I thought James Bond was a major film franchise, and that there were a plethora of leading men with English accents, including Sean Connery, Hugh Grant, Clive Owen, and Pierce Brosnan; coupled with aussies Mel Gibson, Russell Crowe, and Hugh Jackman. But jeez, if American distributors feel American audiences don't like accents, then it MUST be true. Idiots.

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#11 Kane

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 05:25 AM


No word on how many British actors Bassett will cast in the
production, as he says that American distributors feel that "U.S. audiences
don't like English accents.")

Terry

Who comes up with this crap? U.S. audiences don't like English accents? And here I thought James Bond was a major film franchise, and that there were a plethora of leading men with English accents, including Sean Connery, Hugh Grant, Clive Owen, and Pierce Brosnan; coupled with aussies Mel Gibson, Russell Crowe, and Hugh Jackman. But jeez, if American distributors feel American audiences don't like accents, then it MUST be true. Idiots.

-M-

Really! I mean, look at how badly the Harry Potter films did in the States. It must have been those pesky accents that made the kiddies and their parents stay at home. :blink:
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#12 Kortoso

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 06:39 PM

Of course, Solomon Kane is a colonial, is he not? Although I can see how Horrorwood would change his ethnicity...

#13 PainBrush

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 12:50 AM

Solomon Kane was an English Puritan , so it only makes sense to use an actor with an American accent . doh !

- I'm kinda worried about the need to explain & justify Kanes motives & origins . The best part of Howards best characters is that he doesn't dwell on any of that crap - he just throws you headlong into an adventure with a madman - who 'might' reveal some of his past in some brag or boast - or another character might mumble something about it under his breath - you don't NEED to know what makes Solomon kane tick - he just ticks !! I'll be optimistic about it anyhow - it's damn well ripe enough time for a Kane movie - & whasisname sounds like he's a true fan but I hope I don't have to take my fart-whistle with me to the theater when this one comes out !!

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#14 Majere

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 02:30 AM

Really! I mean, look at how badly the Harry Potter films did in the States. It must have been those pesky accents that made the kiddies and their parents stay at home. :blink:

Totally agree. But again, we are wrong. Because if Hollywood says we hate accents, then it MUST be true.
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#15 Majere

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 02:38 AM

Solomon Kane was an English Puritan , so it only makes sense to use an actor with an American accent . doh !

- I'm kinda worried about the need to explain & justify Kanes motives & origins . The best part of Howards best characters is that he doesn't dwell on any of that crap - he just throws you headlong into an adventure with a madman - who 'might' reveal some of his past in some brag or boast - or another character might mumble something about it under his breath - you don't NEED to know what makes Solomon kane tick - he just ticks !! I'll be optimistic about it anyhow - it's damn well ripe enough time for a Kane movie - & whasisname sounds like he's a true fan but I hope I don't have to take my fart-whistle with me to the theater when this one comes out !!

This is a great post, and I totally agree. I don't think they should waste time trying to come up with an origins tale that REH never provided in the first place. Just knowing that Kane is a possessed, nearly insane puritan bad-ass trying to right the wrongs of the world is all we need to know. I don't know how many of you have seen the film Battle Royale, but probably the most magnetic and fascinating character from that film was Kazuo Kiriyama, and we didn't know jack about him, other than the fact that he signed up to kill his classmates for fun. Add to that the fact that he never even says a word throught the entire film! Mystery works, and it works well. It's just a shame Hollywood thinks american audiences are complete dumbasses who have to be spoon fed the same cliched, recycled plot devices over and over. Rant over.

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#16 TheLordCrom

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 02:18 PM

Solomon Kane was an English Puritan , so it only makes sense to use an actor with an American accent . doh !


If he wanted to be more true to life. Kane should not only speak in an english accent, he should speak in an Old English Accent.

Try pronouncing each and every vowel (no silent vowels) in this sentence as a long vowel (i.e. all the a sounds as in Crate, E as in spleen, etc...) "What do ye here? Long fallen at my side" It sounds cool as crap doesn't it. Although it would probably be almost impossible to listen to for 2 hours...


Ha, I wish I had 14 million to do a proper movie instead of the few grand I spent on my fan film.
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#17 PainBrush

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 06:46 PM

This is a great post, and I totally agree. I don't think they should waste time trying to come up with an origins tale that REH never provided in the first place. Just knowing that Kane is a possessed, nearly insane puritan bad-ass trying to right the wrongs of the world is all we need to know. I don't know how many of you have seen the film Battle Royale, but probably the most magnetic and fascinating character from that film was Kazuo Kiriyama, and we didn't know jack about him, other than the fact that he signed up to kill his classmates for fun. Add to that the fact that he never even says a word throught the entire film! Mystery works, and it works well. It's just a shame Hollywood thinks american audiences are complete dumbasses who have to be spoon fed the same cliched, recycled plot devices over and over. Rant over.

Yeah - that's what I meant exactly - part of the fun in most movies that 'work' or are 'good' is figuring out or just plain speculating about the characters who don't appear onscreen with a resume' . I was trying to think of some movie that I could even compare to a Solomon Kane story & as much of a movie nut as I am - besides maybe a couple old Hammer & A.I.P. horror movies like 'The Conqueror Worm' & such , & 1 or 2 old obscure Euro movies - I can't think of any more recent (in the past 20 years) movies that have that eerie feel like in the Kane yarns . Maybe 1 - & it sure as hell wasn't that cheesy-a$$ VanHelsing -Solomon Kane Hollywood rip-off that felt more like a cartoon than a movie - "Le Pacte Des Loupes - Brotherhood of The Wolf" - we were talking about it some months back here on some topic thread that faded away - I recently saw it again & it''s fresh in my mind .

The characters have no introductions - they just walk onscreen into that meadow in the rainshower like a couple real bad-a$$es & start whipping the dog-dookie out of the muddy robber-rapists & you have NO IDEA who the hell they are & in fact don't even really see their faces . You don't learn anything about them except for bits & pieces as the movie unfolds & it was a genuinely creepy Solomon Kane feeling atmosphere like you don't know what to expect , - if things are natural or supernatural & if the characters are maybe in over their heads . The oddball pairing of a French Trapper & an American Indian kicking butt back in the old-world is really trippy & adds even more mystery to the guys & what possible history they might have endured together . Even though they show up swinging - you don't even find out till a while later that they were actually 'sent' rather than just showed up to clean up the town & it's troubles . The movie is genius & feels more like a Howard story than any other movie I can think of . Not to say that I hope that guy doing Kane mimicks Brotherhood - & I hope he leaves out the martial arts haha , - but he could sure get a good idea from watching it of how to capture that mood .

Edited by PAINBRUSH, 25 July 2006 - 06:56 PM.

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#18 Kane

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 07:03 PM

Yeah - that's what I meant exactly - part of the fun in most movies that 'work' or are 'good' is figuring out or just plain speculating about the characters who don't appear onscreen with a resume' . I was trying to think of some movie that I could even compare to a Solomon Kane story & as much of a movie nut as I am -

IMO, the Clint Eastwood films directed by Sergio Leone come close to fitting the bill.
The character appears, does his thing, and rides off at the end of the movie. Small hints are dropped here and there, but never enough to give us a complete picture of the characters background.
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And force upon Mankind the Freedom he fears--
And dead gods I will again defy?"

#19 Kane

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 08:45 PM

Here's a little bit of information that makes me cringe,

Simply titled 'Solomon Kane', the film will be based on the Robert E Howard epic about a mercenary who owes his soul to the devil but hopes to redeem himself by fighting evil in the name of good.


You can read the entire article here.

I hope that the above quote was written by someone who does not know the character. Otherwise it could mean bad things about the upcoming film.
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And force upon Mankind the Freedom he fears--
And dead gods I will again defy?"

#20 PaulMc

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 09:05 PM

Here's a little bit of information that makes me cringe,

Simply titled 'Solomon Kane', the film will be based on the Robert E Howard epic about a mercenary who owes his soul to the devil but hopes to redeem himself by fighting evil in the name of good.


You can read the entire article here.

I hope that the above quote was written by someone who does not know the character. Otherwise it could mean bad things about the upcoming film.


Let's hope it's a midunderstanding.

Why, why, WHY does Hollywood insist on putting stuff into characters that isn't needed? Here we are, Kane fans, and WE'RE not asking for a b.s. backstory. Why isn't it enough that he is driven by powers even he doesn't understand?

I find it ironic that they want to add character to a character who already has plenty of character, while at the same time they churn out multi-million dollar movies with characters as flat as paper!

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