The Front

THE INSIDER Who’s getting up to what

I If you're not at all interested in comic books. stop reading now. Insider has heard that Steven Spielberg's Hollywood studio DreamWorks has acquired the film rights to Sleepless Knights. a science fiction thriller written by Grant Morrison. the Scottish superscribe of comic books. Morrison. who came up from the pages of 2000 AD comic to write Batman: Ark/7am Asylum. one of the most highly regarded graphic novels ever, is penning Marvel Comics' top-selling title. New X-Men. as well as The Filth. Sleepless Knights concerns a time travel experiment that goes terribly wrong.

I Guillermo del Toro is down to direct Sleepless Knights. Del Toro is something of a comic fan himself. If. like lnsidei. you were lucky enough to catch him at the Edinburgh International Film Festival last August. you'll be aware that the filmmakers sketch books for films in deveIOpment look very much like comic books. And. of course. del Toro has already directed two adaptations of comics. Blade and the recent Blade 2. and the Mexican movie-maker is working on a big screen version of Mike Mignola's cult horror comic He/lboy.

I Sleepless Knights is being produced by Scotland's Susan Montford. who interested del Toro in the film while they were working on At the Mountains of Madness. an adaptation of the horror novel by HP Lovecraft. Montford's co-producer on Sleepless Knights is an American named Don Murphy. Murphy. like del Toro. is an avid fan of comics. He recently produced From Hell. the screen version of Alan Moore's investigation of the Jack the Ripper murders. Murphy is also currently working on an adaptation of another Moore comic novel. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

I That last project c0uld be something special. The League. . . is essentially a superhero team adventure. but one set in Victorian Britain. The team comprises well- known literary characters Captain Nemo. the Invisible Man. Alain Ouartermain. Dr Jekyll (and his alter egoi and a young woman named Harker who goes out with a dodgy nobleman from Eastern Europe who do battle on behalf of her majesty the queen With a devilish doctor from the Far East (Fu Manchu). And behind the scenes the heroes are directed by a shady figure known as Campion Bond who. yep. shares the same heritage as this age's James. The only casting so far announced is that of Campion Bond. and that’s right. Sean Connery has taken the role.

10 THE LIST «1 18 Jul 2007

tat Time to get excited. then. if comics and movies of comics are your thing. And they should be. The X-Men and Spider-Man movies proved comics could be the source of big. successful Hollywood blockbusters. whileGhost World proved comics and comic creators cOuld be the source of top- quality tilmn‘taking. Since then. Hollywood has greenlit a whole slew of comic book-originatexl moVies. Coming to a cinema near you in the next year or so are the blind Superhero acrobat Daredew/ l played by Ben Affleck). The Hulk (directed by Ang Lee). X-Men 2 and Men in Black II. Meanwhile. Ghost World's writer Daniel Clowes and director Terry Zwigoff are collaborating on another adaptation of a Clowes comic. Artschoo/ Confidential. under the patronage of actor—turned producer Drew Barrymore. And finally. Linda Carter is to be replaced by American TV star Gretchen Egoll as Wonder Woman in a blockbuster produced by Hollywood liard- ass Joel Silver.

‘As long as young people feel they have got no hope

THE QUOTES but to blow

themselves up,

you are never going to make progress.’

Cherie Blair shows insight and sensitivity to the Palestinians.

Can't see a bloody thing

‘What other problems do you have besides being unemployed, a moron and a dork?’

John McEnroe turns on the charm.

‘Friends who live in the Old Town complain that they can buy a kilt or a sporran with ease, but not a piece of fish or fresh vegetables’

Edinburgh '3 inner-city strife exposed in The Herald.

‘At what time does it start raining here?’

A Spanish visitor signals the return of the tourist season.

‘The most interesting thing about Jonny is that I still haven’t seen his teeth.’ Scotland on Sunday disses the ever- vulnerab/e Big Brother.

‘Regret is a useless emotion’ Paul Both, poet.

‘Don’t worry, you’re the biggest band in the world, even when you’re rubbish.’ Oasis" manager inf/ates their sense of artistic integrit y.

‘When England play anyone at football, I suspect that I, along with all fair-minded Scots, support the police.’ The view from the Scottish terraces.

I So to a comic of a different kind. One time Perrier winner Jeremy Hardy has a sterling reputation for improvisation. One of his stand-up chums recalls the time Hardy was faced by a drunk in the audience. After his incoherent grunts had continued for some time. Hardy looked him in the face and said: 'Martin. it's over. why do you keep torturing yourself like this?‘ He got a standing ovation. More fast thinking for Hardy on his recent trip to Edinburgh. HaVing renounced the Edinburgh festival and anything to do with it. the funnyman has not been seen in these quarters for many a long year. So having been booked in for two nights at the Traverse Theatre. be naturally headed straight for the Grassmarket. assuming he was playing to 100 people in the decrepit old West Bow building that was evacuated in 1992. Lord knows how he found his way across to Cambridge Stzeet and an audience more than twice the size.

'In government I was always everyone's bete noire. Now I am everybody's darling.'

Ann Widdecombe comes to terms with her public persona.

Well near/y.

.;~_I darling