A new adaptation of the graphic novel From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell is coming to FX as a miniseries. This will be the second live-action version of the book,which imagines the Whitechapel Murders as told from the perspective of Jack the Ripper, exploring the angles of royal conspiracy, human psychology, and even Freemasonry. The adaptation is being done by David Arata (Children of Men, Spy Game, Brokedown Palace).
Originally serialized from 1989 to 1996, the collected From Hell runs 572 pages and includes 42 pages of endnotes that explain and expand on details of the story. Because of its length and complexity, 20th Century Fox’s 2001 movie adaptation restructured the story so significantly that Wikipedia describes the film as “loosely based on the graphic novel.” Don Murphy, who produced the 2001 movie, is returning to executive produce this new version for FX. (N.B.: the Fox Entertainment Group also owns FX). According to Deadline, Murphy always envisioned the book as a drama series. His other production credits include Natural Born Killers, the film adaptation of Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and the Transformers franchise.
Alan Moore is a self-professed wizard whose works–such as Promethea, V for Vendetta, and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen–frequently contain references to Aleister Crowley, Austin Osman Spare, Victor Neuburg, kabbalah, and magic. He also wrote the foreword to Phil Baker’s Austin Osman Spare: The Life and Legend of London’s Lost Artist (Strange Attractor Press, 2011), and readers anxiously await the release of his grimoire The Moon and Serpent Bumper Book of Magic and his million-word novel Jerusalem. His Watchmen made Time magazine’s top 100 English-language novels published since 1923.
I wonder if the FX adaptation will show us young Aleister Crowley and William Butler Yeats, both of whom make cameos in Moore’s novel?