We live in an era filled to the brim with comic book adaptations, with a new superhero movie every few months as opposed to every few years. The bigger Marvel and DC film franchises like The Avengers and the Justice League thrive upon their comic book origins while bringing in new fans of the characters, which then leads fans back to the comics in a mutually beneficial cycle.
However, there are just as many comic adaptations that are released without an overt connection to the source material that many fans don't realize or forget were comics before they were films. Today we are going to look at 10 movies that everyone forgets started as comics, which might give fans the opportunity to enjoy the original and sometimes very different versions of these stories.
10 SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD
Cult-hit indie director Edgar Wright brought Scott Pilgrim vs. The World to theaters in 2010, though despite the manga-influenced aspect of the film, it might not be immediately recognizable as a comic book adaptation. Wright based the film on a series of graphic novels by Canadian cartoonist Bryan Lee O'Malley and took the name for the movie from the second graphic novel.
Some of the other titles in the series include Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness, Scott Pilgrim vs. The Universe, and Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour. While the film follows the same basic premise, the six-book series features a number of differences across an expanded story that will give cinematic Scott Pilgrim fans much more from the characters they love.
9 30 DAYS OF NIGHT
The horror genre features a surprising number of comic book adaptations, which should be no surprise considering the success of Blade in 1998, another film whose comic origins were largely unknown by the casual film audience. Vampire comics are especially easy to bring to the big screen, giving the continuing popularity of the bloodsucking undead.
2007 saw the theatrical release of 30 Days of Night, which was based on the comic of the same name from Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith. The comic series proved to be incredibly successful and built a large world inhabited by their own unique style of vampires, offering horror fans a deeper look at the 30 Days of Night universe than the film offered.
The 2013 film R.I.P.D. enlisted stars like Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges to tell the story of the Rest In Peace Department, an organization working for heaven tasked with keeping humanity safe from the dead. Fans might have been aware of the comic book connections, given film critic Roger Moore's scathing review of the film as "the worst comic book adaptation since Jonah Hex."
Unfortunately, the film failed to land with audiences and was pushed aside as a supernatural M.I.B., which is definitely a disservice to the original Dark Horse comic series from Peter Lenkov and Lucas Marangon. The series offers a different and expanded story similar to the film, with a lot more heart and less derivative characters than seen on the big screen adaptation.
7 THE CROW
The cult-hit film The Crow first hit theaters in 1994, though its production and release were marred with tragedy given star Brandon Lee's accidental death during filming. The Crow was a dark action tragedy that somewhat limited its theatrical audience but became a cult hit through its unique story of rebirth, revenge, and retribution.
Of course, that "unique story" was actually written by James O'Barr and released by Caliber Comics in 1989, with a sequel that O'Barr planned as a second film called The Crow: Dead Time following in 1996 after the success of the film. A number of sequels and new stories have joined the numerous film sequels and TV series over the years as well.
6 GHOST WORLD
Ghost World was released in 2001 from director Terry Zwigoff, and quickly became a quirky favorite of the generation's youth. The dark comedy skewed the classic coming of age tale by taking an all too real look at best friends Enid and Rebecca as they grow past adolescence into a new adult world, whether they like it or not.
The film's screenplay was actually co-written by Zwigoff and creator Daniel Clowes, whose anthology comic Eightball featured the first appearance of Ghost World before being reprinted as its own book. Clowes' work has earned him numerous Harvey and Eisner awards, and even an Oscar Nomination, so don't miss out on his highly acclaimed graphic novel.
5 I KILL GIANTS
I Kill Giants is one of the more recent films on this list, having hit theaters in 2017. The film features a young girl named Barbara Thorson, who is forced to fend off fantastical threats like giants that only she can see. Of course, things aren't always what they seem, and the audience was forced to deal with the harsh realities of Barabra's fantasies in the end.
The original comic by Joe Kelly and J.M. Ken Niimura was highly regarded as one of the best comic releases of the year, and enticed fans of both American comics and Japanese manga that further increased the comic's popularity and led to the subsequent cinematic adaptation, which was produced by Guardians of the Galaxy star Zoe Saldana.
4 KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE
Director Matthew Vaughn followed up his last foray into superheroes (X-Men: First Class) with 2014's Kingsman: Secret Service, which took the classic British spy premise and revamped it for the modern day. The film proved to be hugely successful and spawned a franchise that includes the sequel The Golden Circle and an untitled Kingsman prequel, which is currently in production.
The film was conceived during discussions between Vaughn and comic creator Mark Millar, who had previously teamed with superstar artist Dave Gibbons for The Secret Service in 2012. Later re-released under the Kingsman brand following the success of the movie, The Secret Service was followed by two sequels that were not related to the films - The Big Exit, and The Red Diamond.
It can be hard to believe that some fans forget Kick-Ass started out as a comic, considering the creation of the film and the comic occurred at almost the same. Mark Millar and Mathew Vaugh's first collaboration saw Millar and John Romita Jr's Kick-Ass comic written concurrently alongside the screenplay from Vaughn and Jane Goldman.
This led to a very interesting form of companionship between the comic and the film, though there are many differences between Vaughn's cinematic version and Millar and Romita Jr.'s highly celebrated comic series. The film received a sequel in 2013, and the comic series saw two sequels, Hit-Girl spin-offs, and even a new face under the mask of Kick-Ass.
Kate Beckinsale starred in the 2009 film Whiteout, which takes place in Antartica during a heavy winter storm while a Deputy US Marshall investigates a dead body at an isolated research station. The film's harsh winter weather played a big role in the film as Beckinsale investigated the murder and dealt with a masked killer.
Whiteout's harsh weather was even better illustrated in Greg Rucka and Steve Lieber's original graphic novel, which was done in black and white to better showcase the stark setting. Whiteout was followed by the comic sequel Whiteout: Melt, which also provided some story elements for the cinematic film.
Frank Miller has created some important and widely recognized comics over the years, from his iconic run on Daredevil to his original dark world of Sin City. When Sin City was adapted into a film there was almost no doubt that its origins came from a comic book given Miller's unique art style, though that can not be said for all Miller adaptations.
300 is a perfect example, as the film has grown well beyond the scope of the original graphic novel from Miller and Lynn Varley. While some of the Miller connections are apparent in the film due to director Zack Snyder's take on the source material, the cinematic 300 greatly overshadows the comic book leaving many casual fans unaware of the true origins.
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