First look at Frank Miller’s ‘The Spirit’

UPDATE! We received a content removal notice in relation to the image we posted for this. Apparently these pics were are unauthorized and unapproved. So, that happened.

We’ve got our first glimpse behind the scenes of Frank Miller’s upcoming film, The Spirit.

It looks like it’s being shot in the same style as the film version of Sin City — heavy on green screen environments and most likely deeply stylized colors. I’m just guessing on the colors, I really don’t know about that. But clearly, Miller loved the way that Sin City looked and he’s going in that direction with The Spirit. I loved the way it looked, too, so I really can’t blame him.

The only thing that (somewhat) concerns me is that it looks like it’s a grittier, darker version of The Spirit than I’m used to. Frank has said as much in interviews. Now, granted, the only Spirit that I’ve read was Darwyn Cooke’s version but I’m guessing that Will Eisner’s The Spirit is not that far off from Cooke’s. I’m not saying that I’m necessarily against a gritter version of Denny Colt, just that it’s going to be a bit jarring. But, a darker, pulp version could be a lot of fun.

It appears, from the pics, that The Spirit’s mask is painted on. So… yeah, that’s new.

Still, the film has a good cast and I’m interested to see how Frank Miller does without Robert Rodriguez co-directing. Despite my reservations, I’m looking forward to the film.

Thanks to niceguyeddie for alerting us to the pictures.


  1. This looks intresting. I’m not sure what I really think about it yet. So I guess I’ll have to wait until I see it. Although, as much as very happy to see Dan Lauria again, I haven’t seen him in anything since The Wonder Years, he doesn’t strike me as a Commissioner Dolan. I always pictured Robert Duvall. Dan Lauria would probably be a pretty good Harvey Bullock. Either way I’m sure he’ll be great.

  2. I’ve read a fair chunk of the Eisner Spirit books (not all… oohhh not even close.)  And I’m not familiar with gritty Spirit either.  I’ve only read quirky Spirit, Eisner is different then Cook… but yes definitley quirky.  But the man is wearing chucks and has a painted on mask.  Is it possible we’re overestimating how dark it’s going to be?

  3. i am sure adout this darker vrison of the Spirt. I would feel much better adout it if it was Eisner or cooks vrison. But any superheroe movie is worth a shot. 

  4. I just hope Miller isn’t making a DKR movie minus pointy ears.

  5. Uh, oh. Also, doesn’t help that the release date is during that graveyard of movie month’s known far and wide as "January". Uh, oh.  

  6. Er, Dick Tracy II anyone?

  7. Hmm…I think the weird villains and all the crazy guns seem a little out of place.   And what’s with the painted mask?  That thing would come off in a rain storm.  What’s the point then?

  8. @ultimatehoratio – Hey, DICK TRACY was awesome!

  9. @Conor – Indeed it was. Warren Beatty = The Man!

  10. i could be less excited.  I doubt I’ll see this in theaters, unless I hear really good thing. 

  11. Maybe the mask is painted to be digitally fucked with later?

  12. Wow he did the one thing I was hoping he wouldn’t do.  /cry

  13. "I’M THE GODDAMN SPIRIT!" Whoops, sorry, thought I was looking at stills from ALLSTAR SPIRIT.

    A little early to cast my vote, Miller and Mendes are going to the NY Comic Con in 2 weeks, and I don’t think there’s even a trailer yet, they’ll be unvailing a new teaser poster. Casting looks alright, but where’s my man Ebony?


  14. Wow, looking forward to this, even if headlines with MILLER and SPIRIT in them are a reciped for panic attacks. Not sure I’m sold on the lead, but whatever… Hoping the CG will afford some of the far-out luxuries of Eisner’s graphic presentation. Should be very interesting to see some of the post…

  15. I think some of those shots don’t do the movie justice. So far I’m still in much anticipation, I’ll make judgements when I see the trailer.

    You have to admit the shot of him crouched on the bricks looks pretty damn awesome. Miller knows how to frame a good pose.

  16. I have a lot of reservations about this movie.  I have a couple volumes of the Archives of "The Spirit" and it’s definitely more Dick Tracy than anything Miller has done.  I guess I would just rather see something more, please don’t hate me, in the ‘spirit’ of the original source material and not just another Sin City film.

    Is anyone else sad we’ll never Brad Bird’s version of the film?  I know he had written a screenplay for it a couple years back. 

  17. I never read this, but any film that gets compared to Dick Tracy is A-ok in my book!

  18. @Connor

     It may very well be awesome.  Been a long time since I’ve seen it.  I remember it at least being okay.  It’s one of those forgotten movies.  Nobody ever talks about it.


    Hopefully Miller will tone down the corny monologues that made me wince in Sin City.  Wouldn’t bet money, though.


  19. I love the Spirit Eisner’s and Cooke’s but I just think Frank Miller thinks he is hot sh$t now. Since Sin City and 300 where big hits. I don’t think Frank has what it takes to be a director. I think fame has got to his head.

    I don’t think we ever see Sin City 2 and 3 anytime soon if he is going to make it by him self.

  20. Awesome looking, I was in when I read Frank Miller and saw the awesome posters.

  21. I always thought the monologues were kind of the backbone of Sin City. Just my opinion though.

  22. @ultimatehoratio


    exactly. I like Sin City but the monologues were really starting to get annoying. It kinda showed me that sometimes Monologues work better in comics than in movies. 

  23. 52878org is right, Frank Miller thinks he is a lot better than he is, since the first sin city book, 15 years ago he has been recycling the same stuff. All Star Batman is not really very good, it is just ok, but really it is a missed opportunity and a waste of Jim Lee’s art. Gotham re-made as Basin City is bad enough but to give the Spirit the same style of make-over is a real bad idea. The spirit is just not a gritty character. When will hollywood learn thet comic book movies are better when they stick to the source material closely. (This is why SIn City 1, and Batman Begins were great and why Superman Returns and the Hulk disappeared up their own asses)

  24. I’ve never been excited for a live action Spirit.  That’s just a detective movie.  But I’m really not excited for a grim and gritty Spirit which isn’t in keeping with the Eisner comics at all.  Could be a good movie but why base it on the Spirit?


  25. That removal notice is total b.s. apparantly Frank Miller still hates us

  26. Apples to oranges, I know, but I think after reading Cooke’s stellar run on the book, a Frank Millerization of the character is the last thing I’m looking for in any sort of medium, be it film or comics. Maybe if it was a few years removed from Cooke’s wrap-up I’d view it as more of a "welcome return" but as it stands now, I can’t so I’m overly excited for the film and these Dick Tracy/Sin City/Kill Bill mash-up photos haven’t done much to change my mind.

  27. Frank Miller hasn’t produced anything worth paying attention to in years. It baffles me that people still think of him as the creator he was in the late 80’s and early 90’s. The man can’t write anymore, as evidenced by DKSA, All Star Batman, and his most recent Sin City efforts. I’m expecting nothing short of a exploitative, misogynistic trainwreck.

  28. @ultimatehoratio

    I was thinking Dick Tracy as well… only with a mix of The Crow…. hmm… This could suck.  The FX on this movie could save it… lets hope they are very stunning.

  29. There are a few photos that really do seem to capture a bit of the old Eisner flare. But there are also a number that seem a bit more Miller. I’m not really excited to see the mesh of those two sensibilities, and I’m not quite sure why the Spirit has to be the vehicle for it. I’m definitely a very cautious wait-and-see on this.