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Do You Think Solomon Kane Could Work As A Tv Series ?


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#21 TheLordCrom

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 07:10 PM

At one time, I pitched this (if you could call it that) to a few people who would give me 10 seconds, some emails back and forth, etc... I was pushing an animated series for Solomon Kane and other 'Wierd Tales'.

I got nothing back. Not even a hint of interest.
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#22 mario

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 08:19 PM

Plus if you wanted to keep it strictly reh based ( he's got plenty of stories to keep an anthology going, you can do something like " The Weird Tales of Robert E Howard" ( though I personally prefer everyone get a shot)I just think it puts the focus on the story being adapted.Another way is to do a different author every season for example " the weird tales of robert e howard for one season, '''''of clark ashton smih for another ...hp lovecraft for a third and so on . As far as a solomon kane show alone,I dont think there's enough Howard only Solomon Kane , Conan , Kull, etc for any one series, but to see a show where you may get 2-5 Howard adaptations of any given story he published in weird tales per season, it puts the emphasis on getting the stories you do get more faithful, as it is being adapted directly from the pulp magazines.
I see that weird tales now has a new editor, and the owners are a group called nth entertainment or something like that. I thought I read on wiki ( w grain of saltlol) that viacom/mtv owns them and they were at one point gonna try and do a weird tales show.I wonder what the status is on that and what they were planning?

#23 RJMooreII

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 02:34 AM

And who would you like to see produce it? And Which Channel or Network would give it the best chance for success? :)

I think it would work best as semi-self contained episodes with only a general chronology, like Star Trek.
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#24 TiriusBanner

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 11:04 AM

What you must understand is that HBO managed to turn "A game of thrones" into a big hit because

1.) It was based on a hugely successful seried of books by G. Martin. Books that gathered an army of fans in few short years, more then Solomon Kane ever had even in it's prime.

2.) It appealed to younger males and older males, two out of four target demographics that TV and movie producers aim at.

Howard's Kane has none of that.

You see, the producers all view their audience primarily as:

-Younger males
-Older males
-Younger females
-Older females

Every movie or TV show must appeal to at least 2 of these 4 target audiences, or else no one would greenlight the budget needet to film it. Very simple.
A series of horror stories aimed at young men? Throw in a strong female hero/love interest for the ladies! TV shows about two handsome supernatural hunters? Throw in some hot girls for the boys!

I want to see a decent Solomon Kane TV series as much as I want to see Conan, but some compromise would have to be made. You simply can't make a "faithful" REH adaptation of Kane and hope for it to survive the pilot episode.

Decent origin story, past or present love interest, deeper and more likeable Kane, male hero/strong female sidekick combo, etc. :)

Edited by TiriusBanner, 20 September 2012 - 11:40 AM.


#25 Ironhand

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 11:12 AM

Interesting. But John Carter followed your rule, and flopped.
"Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man...!" - Conan, in "Shadows in Zamboula", by Robert E. Howard
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#26 constantine

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 03:55 PM

SK could make one good season easily, provided those who run the show try to stick close to the Howardian atmosphere (unlike the movie). If the ''The Pillars of the Earth'', filled with lame twists and loops, could make an impression, so can Solomon Kane.

#27 TiriusBanner

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 05:28 PM

Interesting. But John Carter followed your rule, and flopped.


It flopped because it was a bad movie. :D If it didn't follow those rules, it would never even be made. I can count many good flicks and TV series that followed those rules and became hugely successful. What I wanted to say in my previous post was that, should Solomon ever be made into a TV series, it would have to follow SOME of these rules. And Howard fans would hate it. Look, I'm not saying it should be a bucket of Hollywood cliches (after all, that's why Purefoy's "Solomon Kane" flopped). But it can't be made by REH fanatics either... You'd have to meet half way, so to speak... :blink:

I see a lot of "that's not what Howard would do" arguments here when discussing TV series and comic books. And I'm guessing it would be the same with Solomon. But guess what, Howard's Kane is simply NOT a good character to put on screen. If you read my Solomon Kane movie review, you'd know what I mean. Some changes would have to be made, and liberties taken with the character itself. Here's how I would do it, so you be the judge... :)

I'm thinking James Purefoy as Kane, Kate Beckinsale as a "strong female character", Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Le Loup (who wouldn't die after 1 or 2 episodes, but would be much more badass arch nemesis). For the first season, I'd set all the stories in Europe, 10 episodes max.

I'd start with "The Rattle Of Bones" as a pilot episode. Kane stumbles upon "The Cleft Skull" in Black Forest, where he meets Kate. They share a drink, tell each other's stories, and there we actually learn more about Kane and his past. He was a soldier, an inquisitor, got visited by devil's reaper, bla bla bla, whatever... as long as it's better then the comics! :P

After that we move to "Death's Black Riders" as Kane and Kate run away from "The Cleft Skull" together and stumble upon the beasts in the forest. Long story short, they run, return to "The Cleft Skull", defend against the monsters, and in the end set the tavern on fire, bones and everything.

Then we move to "Castle Of The Devil", where Kane meets Nikolaj after Kate goes her own way for a while. Kane and Nikolaj deal with the castle, escape, burn it down, whatever... Kane saves Nikolaj's life in the process, Nikolaj goes on his merry way, and then cue "The Moon Of Skulls".

After that, the season 1 ends with "Red Shadows", where Kane discovers that Nikolaj is actually Le Loup. Naturally, Kain is pissed because he realizes he saved a murderer's life, and kills his entire gang. Le Loup escapes to Africa, Kane pursues him. Curtains! ^_^

Edited by TiriusBanner, 21 September 2012 - 05:54 PM.


#28 constantine

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 04:38 PM

SK is good enough for the screen. Obviously, additions MUST be made to even film entire episodes, since certain stories are simply short. Personally, I would not like a recurring female character as she is out of place in the SK stories. And it doesn't have to be a multi-season production; one well made would be enough for me.

The problem, Tirius, is that fans and film makers nowadays don't meet halfway, unless the latter are real fans themselves. It is usually another thing altogether, hardly recognizable from the original, i.e. tremendous deviations.

Of course, if they can totally screw the Iliad in Troy, why would they respect Howard?

Still, at some point film makers/producers should make an effort to offer new perspectives to the public, instead of force-feeding it with the same stuff (often crap) time and again. Check the comments of del Toro for the cancelled Mountains of Madness movie.

#29 Lunatic

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 04:03 PM

Television series would perhaps make it easier to fit in core stories. Wasn´t pulp the television of the 1930´s? I thought SK the movie ended weird, but I kind of liked the movie anyways, so so.... A tv-series where he tracks kidnapped damsels all over the world would´nt that appeal?

#30 TiriusBanner

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 04:40 PM

I guess you're right, fans and movie makers would NEVER agree to meet half way. <_<

I know Kane has a lot of potential as a TV character, I just think he should be deeper and more developed, and have a decent origin story in order to work as a TV series. Howard's Kane is simply too shallow and undeveloped as a character, despite his potential. And that's what a TV character must NOT be. Ever! :huh:

My solution? Take Howard's Kane and develop him more, give him some personality beyond "crazy puritan", and an origin story. Purefoy's Kane had a good enough origin story, why not use that movie as a "prequel" and a basis for your TV series?

For example, "A Rattle Of Bones" is very short, so you can keep the original plot, and add some scenes where characters, say, talk by the fire, telling Kane's story... Why not? It would make a good pilot episode. :)

But like I said, Howard fans would have to loosen up a little bit, and give it a shot despite the fact that it may not be 100% accurate portrayal of Howard's Kane...

#31 Jessie

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 01:46 AM

I guess you're right, fans and movie makers would NEVER agree to meet half way. <_<

I know Kane has a lot of potential as a TV character, I just think he should be deeper and more developed, and have a decent origin story in order to work as a TV series. Howard's Kane is simply too shallow and undeveloped as a character, despite his potential. And that's what a TV character must NOT be. Ever! :huh:

My solution? Take Howard's Kane and develop him more, give him some personality beyond "crazy puritan", and an origin story. Purefoy's Kane had a good enough origin story, why not use that movie as a "prequel" and a basis for your TV series?

For example, "A Rattle Of Bones" is very short, so you can keep the original plot, and add some scenes where characters, say, talk by the fire, telling Kane's story... Why not? It would make a good pilot episode. :)

But like I said, Howard fans would have to loosen up a little bit, and give it a shot despite the fact that it may not be 100% accurate portrayal of Howard's Kane...



I agree. The problem with fans is that we tend to be very single minded. We want straight adaptations or nothing! (some fans anyway) If all we did was adapt Howard's work we would have a very short run of Solomon Kane TV series.

#32 constantine

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 05:02 PM


I guess you're right, fans and movie makers would NEVER agree to meet half way. <_<

I know Kane has a lot of potential as a TV character, I just think he should be deeper and more developed, and have a decent origin story in order to work as a TV series. Howard's Kane is simply too shallow and undeveloped as a character, despite his potential. And that's what a TV character must NOT be. Ever! :huh:

My solution? Take Howard's Kane and develop him more, give him some personality beyond "crazy puritan", and an origin story. Purefoy's Kane had a good enough origin story, why not use that movie as a "prequel" and a basis for your TV series?

For example, "A Rattle Of Bones" is very short, so you can keep the original plot, and add some scenes where characters, say, talk by the fire, telling Kane's story... Why not? It would make a good pilot episode. :)

But like I said, Howard fans would have to loosen up a little bit, and give it a shot despite the fact that it may not be 100% accurate portrayal of Howard's Kane...



I agree. The problem with fans is that we tend to be very single minded. We want straight adaptations or nothing! (some fans anyway) If all we did was adapt Howard's work we would have a very short run of Solomon Kane TV series.


I really think the problem is not us fans, but inept and arrogant film makers. And I would be horrified to see the movie used as a prequel. This was NOT an adaptation or anything remotely close to the creator's work, but something very different altogether.

I'm not expevting 100% accuracy. But I DO want to see Solomon Kane and sword-and-sorcery stories on the screen.

#33 Ironhand

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 06:31 AM

I really think the problem is not us fans, but inept and arrogant film makers. And I would be horrified to see the movie used as a prequel. This was NOT an adaptation or anything remotely close to the creator's work, but something very different altogether.

I'm not expevting 100% accuracy. But I DO want to see Solomon Kane and sword-and-sorcery stories on the screen.

I can't think of any writer whose stories and characters are subject to such distortions from the get-go. Sometimes extremely popular characters get pastiched into unrecognizability only after initial, faithful movies earn great popularity. But this is a chance that Conan and SK were never given.

Edited by Ironhand, 01 November 2012 - 07:05 AM.

"Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man...!" - Conan, in "Shadows in Zamboula", by Robert E. Howard
"... you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?"
"I was," grunted [Conan]. "I was one of the horde that swarmed over the hills. I hadn't yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires." - "Beyond the Black River", by Robert E. Howard

Read my Conan screenplays at The Scrolls of Ironhand (in particular my transcription of THE FROST GIANT'S DAUGHTER in Act II of "The Snow Devil") at
http://www.scrollsof...d.us/index.html or at
http://www.delicious...ic=ConanProject

#34 jonanthebarbarian

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 09:40 PM

Give it to Renassaince Pictures and put it on AMC. It might not work out among regular audiences, but I would still love to see the pilot :D

#35 crossplain pilgrim

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:22 PM

The biggest problem Solomon Kane would have as the star of a series is that he is basically a loner. From time to time he acts with a partner, or picks up a lady in distress, but by the end of the story he walks or rides away alone. You may have noticed that individual heroes are an endangered species on the tube these days. If you look at the characters of the most popular action shows on contemporary American network or cable TV, they are all pretty much members of teams that work together with an underlying family dynamic.

I read an interesting article not long ago in which the author stated most of the programming directors for the major channels are women. Women outnumber men as viewers. Take away sports and there are few shows these days aimed at the alpha male ego. The family dynamic is very important to the female audience, or so stated the author of the article. It takes a village these days. If you look at some of the more popular TV shows they all revolve around teams rather than an individual hero. Think about the original CIS shows, NCIS, Criminal Minds, Burn Notice, just to name a few. All of these shows have continuing story lines that are based on the interactions and personal relationships of the team or “family” members.

Solomon Kane just wouldn’t be Kane in a group setting. The dark majesty of the solitary, indefatigable avenger would be fatally watered down with a Kane who was the father-like leader of a gender-equal, multiculturally diverse team of demon fighters with shocking personal issues.

When you think about it, the closest character on cable TV to Solomon Kane is Dexter Morgan. Dexter is the lone avenger for today’s audience. Yet, even this relentless serial killer has a family and friends with heart-rending issues that continue from show to show. Yet, he’s still a solid family guy who can be sensitive and caring when he isn’t cutting up the bodies strapped to his table. Still, I just can’t see anyone pitching Solomon Kane to a network programming director in a way that would result in a series that any of us would recognize as Solomon Kane. Sigh.
A wild moon rode in the wild white clouds,
the waves their white crests showed
When Solomon Kane went forth again,
and no man knew his road.

"Solomon Kane's Homecoming"

#36 deuce

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:56 AM

The biggest problem Solomon Kane would have as the star of a series is that he is basically a loner. From time to time he acts with a partner, or picks up a lady in distress, but by the end of the story he walks or rides away alone. You may have noticed that individual heroes are an endangered species on the tube these days. If you look at the characters of the most popular action shows on contemporary American network or cable TV, they are all pretty much members of teams that work together with an underlying family dynamic.

I read an interesting article not long ago in which the author stated most of the programming directors for the major channels are women. Women outnumber men as viewers. Take away sports and there are few shows these days aimed at the alpha male ego. The family dynamic is very important to the female audience, or so stated the author of the article. It takes a village these days. If you look at some of the more popular TV shows they all revolve around teams rather than an individual hero. Think about the original CIS shows, NCIS, Criminal Minds, Burn Notice, just to name a few. All of these shows have continuing story lines that are based on the interactions and personal relationships of the team or “family” members.

Solomon Kane just wouldn’t be Kane in a group setting. The dark majesty of the solitary, indefatigable avenger would be fatally watered down with a Kane who was the father-like leader of a gender-equal, multiculturally diverse team of demon fighters with shocking personal issues.

When you think about it, the closest character on cable TV to Solomon Kane is Dexter Morgan. Dexter is the lone avenger for today’s audience. Yet, even this relentless serial killer has a family and friends with heart-rending issues that continue from show to show. Yet, he’s still a solid family guy who can be sensitive and caring when he isn’t cutting up the bodies strapped to his table. Still, I just can’t see anyone pitching Solomon Kane to a network programming director in a way that would result in a series that any of us would recognize as Solomon Kane. Sigh.


Pretty spot-on, CP. Welcome back! :D

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#37 VonKalmbach

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 07:23 AM

The biggest problem Solomon Kane would have as the star of a series is that he is basically a loner. From time to time he acts with a partner, or picks up a lady in distress, but by the end of the story he walks or rides away alone. You may have noticed that individual heroes are an endangered species on the tube these days. If you look at the characters of the most popular action shows on contemporary American network or cable TV, they are all pretty much members of teams that work together with an underlying family dynamic.


You could maybe run Kane as the perpetual outsider/stranger, even if not a complete loner. I'm thinking along the lines of a sixteenth century High Plains Drifter type, who wanders into a town/situation full of secrets and troubles and mops up all the demons and men of blood, and walks off into the sunset before the credits roll.

“Do you try to write like the guys who write for the magazines you write for?” Clyde asked. “Hell, no,” Bob was emphatic about that. “I let them try to write like me.” - From One Who Walked Alone by Novalyne Price Ellis

 

“I'm learning all I can about the technique. There's where the true pleasure comes in, in any profession, learning the basic rules, the conventions, the technique... Some people are interested only in the finshed article. Not me. When I am interested in anything I want to see it in its crudest state and watch it evolve.”

 

"I want to know where I came from and why and what relation I hold to the rest of the universe."

 

Robert E Howard


#38 crossplain pilgrim

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:47 PM

I think that's a better scenario for a theatrical flick than a series, VonKalmback (your avatar is a great REH character, BTW). The western angle got me to thinking of the TV series "Justified." There you have a show with the team dynamic, but it is clear that Marshal Raylan Givens will never fit in. He remains, as you mentioned above, an outsider. I think someone might be able to work something out with Solomon Kane along those lines, but it still wouldn't be REH's Kane.
A wild moon rode in the wild white clouds,
the waves their white crests showed
When Solomon Kane went forth again,
and no man knew his road.

"Solomon Kane's Homecoming"

#39 VonKalmbach

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 09:15 AM

Hey, your own avatar is cool and iconic Crossplains Pilgrim.

You're right that it would be hard to fit a High Plains Drifter style of plot into a single episode, what is essentially 45 mins of screen time. But I do think there is something almost mystical to Kane, which reminds me at times of the protagonist in High Plains. He does strike me as a 'walks off into the sunset' kind of guy once his work is complete.

“I come out of the sunset and into the sunrise I go, wherever the Lord doth guide my feet." - Solomon Kane, Blue Flame of Vengeance.

Or in the case of BFoV, he walks off into the sunrise...

REH's style is very visual and cinematic. Many of his stories could simply be edited a bit and filmed almost directly as written. Blue Flame of Vengeance for instance would make a great episode. The God in the Bowl (as an example from the Conan yarns) strikes me as almost a stage play in atmosphere - could very easily make a fine theatrical version of that without much ado.

Edited by VonKalmbach, 26 November 2012 - 10:14 AM.

“Do you try to write like the guys who write for the magazines you write for?” Clyde asked. “Hell, no,” Bob was emphatic about that. “I let them try to write like me.” - From One Who Walked Alone by Novalyne Price Ellis

 

“I'm learning all I can about the technique. There's where the true pleasure comes in, in any profession, learning the basic rules, the conventions, the technique... Some people are interested only in the finshed article. Not me. When I am interested in anything I want to see it in its crudest state and watch it evolve.”

 

"I want to know where I came from and why and what relation I hold to the rest of the universe."

 

Robert E Howard


#40 crossplain pilgrim

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 10:52 PM

Hey, VonKalmbach! I absolutely missed your response and I do apologize for the lapse. I have been thinking about "The Blue Flame of Vengence," after reading your post. It is one of my favorite Kane stories. It's the only SK yarn that I can think of that does not have a supernatural element. It would make a wonderful, atmospheric film that could be done on a modest budget. Of course, what we are discussing here is a possible TV series. I still believe the chance of watching Kane galloping across the tube is a long shot. You have the "loner" problem discussed previously, not to mention the need to appeal to the sensibilities of the contemporary audience. However, one has to keep hope alive. Based on what I know of American cable programing and the apparent viewing tastes of today's younger audiences, this is how I would approach a series.

First, it has to be a British/U.S. co-production. That means the Brits make it and the Americans put up the cash. The Brits, God bless them, just have a better feel for the material IMO. Not to mention all those great British character actors that show up on the U.S. cable series with such welcome regularity. The irony here, of course, is REH was an American and a Texan, at that.

I would go with a historical show. Set it in Elizabethan England. Remember "The One Black Stain?" I'd have Sir Francis Drake introduce his trusted lieutenant Solomon Kane to the Elizabethan court. (Kane and Drake have patched things up.) You can only imagine the disdain that Kane has for Elizabeth's sycophantic couriers. Being Kane, however, he is deeply loyal to his Protestant queen and country. Now you can bring in a boiling stew of court intrigue set against the impending Spanish invasion. It solves the problem of continuing characters with personal issues. Everyone is cynically out for themselves, and stabbing each other in the back when they aren't having sex face to face (this is, after all, a cable show).

Elizabeth needs a zealot Protestant avenger to root out what she is sure is a nest of Catholic traitors who are aiding the Spanish. Drake knows just the guy. But as Kane progresses in his investigations and narrow escapes, he begins to realize that there is an ever greater danger. There's a high born English aristocrat who is secretly a Satanist, playing both the Catholics and Protestants against each other. He's charming, cunning, and he occasionally uses the black arts to win the day (or in this case, the night). His ultimate goal is to create hell on Earth. Literally. Now you can blend in some REH supernatural elements. Think of all that fog shrouded English countryside and mystic villages. (Could Kane's Bess be out there somewhere?) Kane can operate as our familiar loner when he is on the trail of evil doers, but he also has a large continuing cast with which to interact.

I think a show along these lines would provide everything you need for a cable series these days. A continuing story line. Amoral characters with complicated lives. Historical personages of which even today's historically illiterate viewers have at least heard. Supernatural elements. Gratuitous bloodletting and torture. And, if any network programming chief is interested, it would feature one of the most fascinating and intriguing action heroes in all of fiction. I'd watch it.

Edited by crossplain pilgrim, 08 December 2012 - 11:27 PM.

A wild moon rode in the wild white clouds,
the waves their white crests showed
When Solomon Kane went forth again,
and no man knew his road.

"Solomon Kane's Homecoming"