These days, every other movie that comes out is a movie about superheroes — either based off of a comic or a graphic novel. This is the norm now, and really, we aren’t mad at it. However, we are a little annoyed that people don’t realize that there are more films out there that are based on comic books or graphic novels.
Many fail to realize that there are rarely any original scripts out there anymore. Many of the films you are out there enjoying and loving are actually based on comic books or graphic novels that have been out for years. Some even longer than you have been born! No, we aren’t talking about X-Men, Deadpool, or Batman. We are talking about the films that no one would ever think was adapted from a comic book. Jonah Hex, Kick-Ass, The Losers, and even My Friend Dahmer. (Yes, the last one is about a serial killer.) Here are a few more you didn’t know were adapted from comic books.
Constantine may be familiar to you as that movie that received terrible reviews starring Keanu Reeves and Shia Labeouf. It originally started out as a comic book with Constantine making his first appearance in 1985 in the Swamp Thing comic. The character you know today is pretty much the same. He is cynical, breaks down the fourth wall, and rides the line between a good guy and a bad guy. So clearly, they kept most of the core values of the character. However, we all know that DC comics that turned into movies and TV shows are not always the greatest. We recommended reading some of the Constantine comic books because you get to understand the character a bit more, and you will get a better understanding of his backstory.
Hellboy has had two successful films starring Selma Blair and Ron Perlman. At first, the casting of these people for these roles confused us, but they turned out to do some justice to the demon child's story.
Now, there is a remake in the works starring David Harbour and Sasha Lane, so we can only hope that it is just as good—if not better—than the originals.
Even with a remake in the works, many people still haven’t realized that this story is not original; it is based on a series of a very popular comic book. Hellboy was meant to bring on the apocalypse, but he was raised by a man who used his powers for good rather than evil. One of the things we appreciate about the films is that they stayed true to Hellboy’s physical form.
8. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
The popular film Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World made fans fall in love with Michael Cera even more than when he was in Juno. But like Juno, many people believed that Scott Pilgrim and his story was the brainchild of a screenwriter. They are wrong. It is actually based on a comic book with the storyline pretty much staying the same. They also cast some pretty great actors to play the roles of Scott, Ramona, and her crazy ex-boyfriends. Since then, the comics have been re-released with new illustrations, a game has been made, and it launched the careers of a few mostly unknown people.
7. Ghost World
On the surface, Ghost World just seemed like a film about two girls who made friends with this creepy older man. Funny enough, that’s what it was. But in the comic book, their creepy old man-friend, known as Seymour, is not in the comic as a physical person. He is a combination of two minor characters.
The girls are both into this guy named Josh who ultimately ruins their friendship. There are seven comics, so clearly all of that was not going to fit into one movie. While the film had great success, many people didn't realize until years later that it was actually based on a series of comics. Since then, a special edition of the comic has been released along with a bunch of merchandise.
6. A History Of Violence
First of all, it took even me a long time to realize that A History of Violence was based on a graphic novel, so don’t feel bad. The graphic novel was released in 1997 and featured a simple man who does the unthinkable: He takes down a bunch of goons who decide to hold up his soda shop. He kills one and puts the other in intensive care. This leads to the people of his small town being shocked, but see him as a hero.
Unfortunately, his cover is blown when his face hits the news, and some old friends finally find the man who did them wrong so many years ago. It honestly sounds like the plot of a movie, not a graphic novel, meaning it was way before its time.
5. Sin City
Sin City is this raunchy, exciting movie about a town that is filled with evil, seedy characters and the few people who are trying to do good. It is dark and almost has a sinister vibe, but once you get deeper into the city and its characters, you realize that vibe is not what makes the story: it’s the characters and their internal (sometimes external) struggles.
The movie had a cast of pretty great actors and was just as successful as the graphic novel. Some of the more darker parts had to be removed because well, you know, some things are just not suitable for the film. I always suggest reading whatever the film is based on beforehand, but to be honest, both adaptations are entertaining in their own right.
4. Men In Black
Yes, that Men in Black. The one starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. The three (soon to be four) films did not steer away too much from the graphic novel. In fact, it was pretty head on for the first film. Of course, the writer and director of the second film took a bit of creative license, seeing as they now know the characters and the story needed to coincide with how the first film ended. Regardless, this is one of the more entertaining adaptations of a graphic novel or comic book. It essentially took on a life of its own and brought in a whole new fan base.
The fourth film is on the way, so if you are jonesing for weird aliens and CIA technology, read the graphic novel while you wait.
The Blade film series was met with great reviews. People loved Wesley Snipes as a half vampire, half human vampire killer. The anti-hero made his first appearance in the comics in 1973 as a supporting character, but he was so loved that he soon took on a life of his own.
In 1997, the film came out and a few things had changed. Instead of Blade being born in England in a brothel, he was a born and bred a Detroit native. Furthermore, his famous sword from the films didn’t have as big of a backstory in the comics, along with some of the really cool other weapons in the film. The film was so successful that it became a trilogy, however.
2. Big Hero 6
Big Hero 6 was a film that Disney turned into a kid-friendly movie. The comic debuted in 1998 and was a blatant response to the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. A group of superheroes were assembled to fight for the emperor. The comic crew consisted of “Hiro, a mini-Tony Stark of sorts; his Godzilla-morphing robot Baymax; Honey Lemon, a cross-dimensional secret agent; Go Go Tomago, an ex-con with a fiery temper—literally; and a couple familiar X-Men faces—Silver Samurai and Sunfire.”
The comic book was a bust, but the film was loved so much that there is now a TV series.
1. I Kill Giants
I Kill Giants, the film, came out in 2017 to some critical reviews and harsh online criticism — especially coming from those who loved the graphic novel.
The story was about a young girl who escapes her reality by diving into a fantasy world filled with magic and monsters. The fantasy world begins to seep into her real world, forcing her to protect the people closest to her (and the rest of the world) from the evil that's coming.
The graphic novel won a bunch of awards, so why not turn it into a film? The small production of the film barely made a dent even though it got somewhat of a favorable review on Rotten Tomatoes.