The first look image for Alan Moore’s “The Show” has been revealed, and it’s everything we hoped it would be. Here’s everything we know about the visionary author’s first feature film, starring Tom Burke and currently shooting in Northampton.
He created entire worlds with his imagination. He revolutionised the way superheroes are perceived and redefined an entire genre. He decided that comic books should be read by teenagers and grown-ups alike, and gave us complex stories that attracted a wider, more adult audience and ultimately ended up having a major influence on our culture. From V for Vendetta (1989) to From Hell (1999), from Watchmen (1987) to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2000), his stories have inspired us, moved us, made us think and given us some of the most iconic and beloved characters in comic book history. His heroes are flawed, multi-faceted and profoundly human, his stories combine a clever narrative style with stunning aesthetics, and his message is on point and all-too-relevant. Many describe Alan Moore as the most acclaimed and influential comic book writer of all time, and we couldn’t agree more.
The visionary writer has never been a fan of film adaptations of his comics, and we can’t blame him: his comics were never meant to be turned into films, as their unique narrative style can’t possibly be replicated on a screen without turning his clever concepts into something else entirely. But the author/performer/recording artist/activist/magician (that’s right!) didn’t let this prevent his imagination from creating something for us to watch. In 2014 he joined forces with director/photographer Mitch Jenkins and gave us Show Pieces, an anthology of short films that, according to its official website (where you can also buy/watch the film), tells “the first part of an extensive new story” written by Moore and Jenkins.
Four years have gone by, the new story has a name and is currently shooting in Northampton, Moore’s hometown and source of inspiration for the new, unsettling world he has created for us. The Show is the story of a man “of many talents, passports and identities” whose search for “a certain person and a certain artefact” leads him to a haunted midlands town that turns out to be just as strange and dangerous as he is. When it’s awake, this new version of Northampton is a world of “comatose sleeping beauties, Voodoo gangsters and masked adventurers”, but it’s when the town goes to sleep that the real show begins. An alternate reality takes over and we are plunged into a world of “glittering and sinister delirium much worse than any social economic devastation”. “Welcome to the British nightmare”, the official synopsys reads, “with its gorgeous flesh, its tinsel and its luminous light-entertainment monsters; its hallucinatory austerity. Welcome to the Show”.
When asked to outline his vision for the project, Moore spoke of his intention to create “an immersive and addictive world with no throwaway dialogue and no throwaway characters, a world where every character is memorable, distinctive and attempting to steal the whole show for themselves, just as we do in real life”. He decided to combine “some very old-school approaches to film” with “some very modern ideas and technical capabilities”, in order to make “a piece of radical and progressive cinema that was also ridiculously sumptuous, involving and entertaining”. Judging by the very first image of the film (below) – released by producers EMU Films and Lex Films and featuring Alan Moore himself literally sitting on the moon, we believe him.
The Show stars Tom Burke (War and Peace, The Souvenir, Only God Forgives), Siobhan Hewlett (Show Pieces), Ellie Bamber (Nocturnal Animals, The Nutcracker And The Four Realms), Sheila Atim (Girl From The North Country), Richard Dillane (The White Princess, The Last Post) and Alan Moore himself. Director Mitch Jenkins is also a close friend of Moore’s. They have been working together for ten years, and one of Jenkins’ highlights of taking part of this project was “breathing life into these amazing characters that Alan (Moore) has created”.
The Show‘s production is currently underway, and a release date hasn’t been set yet. Its production is being handled by EMU Films and Lex Films, and Protagonist Pictures will be in charge of its worldwide distribution.