Special Edition Podcast

Special Edition – Whiteout

Show Notes

Conor Kilpatrick and Ron Richards go into the cold to check out the movie adaptation of Greg Rucka and Steve Leiber’s graphic novel Whiteout and they emerge not ready to blast it, but not ready to praise it either.

Running Time: 00:18:29

Whiteout is the story of the U.S. Marshal who valiantly defends Antarctica from alien invasion… or at least that’s what the trailer seems to imply.

I myself was under the impression that this was the film adaptation of the acclaimed series by Greg Rucka and Steve Leiber about a murder investigation at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. I could be wrong, though. I wasn’t involved in the production.

This film has been in production for years. I believe we first talked to Steve Leiber about it at Wonder Con two years ago and with each successive interview with Greg Rucka he told us the release date had been pushed back. That’s not usually a good sign, but what can you? I’ve never had a movie made from the book I haven’t written so it is entirely possible that this is proper procedure.

I think Whiteout‘s got an outside chance to do well this weekend at the U.S. box office. There’s nothing else out there right now that is really lighting the world on fire.

Are you going to see it? Of course you are! (Maybe) So let’s talk about it!

If you haven’t seen the movie yet be forewarned — there be SPOILERS ahoy! So don’t scroll down any further if you are sensitive to that kind of thing.



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  1. I will not be seeing this. The comic experience is so unique and special I have no need for a movie. While I’m on my high horse, I will not be seeing Surrogates for the same reason. Maybe I’ll go but a Rucka book I don’t have to support him instead. haha

  2. ^ typing after a few drinks is not recommended

  3. Geez, just checked Metacritic and the reviews were pretty damning. I wasn’t going to watch this anyway (still haven’t read the books) but now I have absolutely no reason to.

  4. Went to rotten tomatoes and it was at 4%. Read a couple reviews then went back and it was at 3%….

  5. Ouch.  Ordered volumes one and two on Wednesday.  I love Kate Beckensale.

  6. this movie is supposed to be pretty ass. I read CBR’s review and it sounded like an abomination.

  7. My initial reaction isent a good one.

  8. I think most of the moving going public will go see something else. Teens may check out Sorority Row, adults the new Tyler Perry movie I can Do Bad All By Myself and geeks/cool people will go see 9. I’ll be at 9 this weekend…

  9. Sadness prevails.

  10. I’m sorry the buzz on this is so bad.  It could have been an amazing movie.

    At least it will probably sell copies of the book, as it goes from zero name recognition to a little name recognition.


  11. Pretty bad stuff. Posted my review on my site just now.



  12. No thanks.

  13. It’s down to 2%.

  14. The trailer’s not so good, and for all her beauty, Beckensale has all the personality of a slab of sheetrock.

    There’s too much else out thats good. 9, Inglourious Basterds, Extract, even District 9 is still out if you haven’t seen it yet.

  15. I’ll wait for the DVD.

  16. Man, this is depressing. It could have been great.

    I talked a little bit about it with Greg back in January. Some comments on the film and the new series here: http://claywriting.blogspot.com/2009/03/hell-you-say.html

    The last thing he had to say was this: " I haven’t seen the final cut. What I have seen is visually beautiful. But this is not Whiteout as written. It’s people taking those characters and that story and telling a story that’s suitable for screen. My final defense is that Chandler defense: the book’s still here."

  17. Proof of how anything can be fouled up.  I pretty much knew this was destined for complete fail territory after that abomination of a trailer.  The book is so damn good… why try and alter it that much?

  18. I have no desire to see this in theatres.  Great book though.

  19. I hope it’s not another Wanted

  20. I’d still like to see it, but if the buzz is this bad… sadness.

    However, I do want to point out that the poster that Conor added above is WAAAAY better than the trailers I’ve seen. Seems to be a much better representation of the book. And no alien invasion implied. 



  21. @brianmaru: thanks for the review. I think I’ll go see 9 instead.

  22. Oh the remake of ‘The Thing’ is out today! That is up there with some of my favorite horror movies.

    Wait what? Oh this is the comic book adaptation of Greg Rucka’s Whiteout? Huh….None of the trailers seem to imply that.

    I just laughed to tears when I saw Rottentomatoes.com on this. Now I am (currently) talking to gobo about numbers and why the reviews matter more then the score. Which he’s right, numbers are just numbers and they don’t mean anything. But looking at the reviews for this and it’s quite clear: This is a bad film.

    It’s getting worse reviews then ALL ABOUT STEVE for christ sakes!

  23. Rotten Tomatoes back down to 2%! Yikes! I want to see this, loved the Graphic Novel, but come on. Like I have said from the beginning, Beckinsale is too pretty to play Stetko (that’s not necessarily a complement to Beckinsale).

  24. Ok, I was going to try to do this, I was.  But I just read a review that made me realize that they replaced the female spy (the Tara Chace like character) with a male character.  I think that may be the last straw.  Possibly they’re blending the plot of the original Whiteout with Whiteout Melt, but the interplay b/t the two women was my favorite part of the original story.  Hmm.

  25. stop being a bunch of butt-hurt, whiners.. see it before you judge it. keep the book seperate from the movie.

    why does everything from comics have to be EXACTLY like the book? Ghost Dog : way of the samuari.. I almost like the movie more then the book.

    comeon people. this is why the general public don’t take us seriously. the collective nerd FREAKS OUT when the source material is changed, even if you haven’t seen what they’ve done with that.

    Now, with that said, this could be a not-so-good movie, even if it wasn’t based on a comic.  Be that as it may, I haven’t seen it, and I will render judgement when I do.


  26. Reviews exist for a reason, and when they’re uniformly negative that tells me something.  Also, when I find out that the adaptation removed my favorite element from the book, that is going to factor into whether I decide to see it.  I’m not saying I know the movie is bad, without having seen it, but I do have to evaluate whether it’s worth my time and money.

  27. Occasionally I see a movie that is widely panned but I love it. Gerry for instace.

  28. That poster looks like something out of Fargo.

  29. I was excited to see it, but the overwhelming– oooverwhelming!– majority of reviewers I trust have not one kind word to say, so I will be skipping it. Yes, I guess that constitutes judging it without seeing it. I’ve never been shot, either, but I can tell it hurts.

    I don’t want to see the phrase "butt-hurt whiners" again, either.

  30. Too bad.  I was really never convinced that the art style that made the book so striking would translate well to the big screen, though.

  31. Fairily easy to make a post here without being spoiled (so long as you minimize the window). Still haven’t read the graphic novel, I suppose I better so I can criticize and nitpick like everyone else.

  32. Well it jumped up to 7% on RT. So now it’s not the worst film of the year critically reviewed.

    Also, josh said something interesting on twitter that’s gonna make me giddy for the podcast 🙂

  33. Even Rucka seemed to be skating around just saying that he didn’t like it on the AroundComics podcast.

  34. Too bad the movie is getting so panned because the books are so great.  Oh well, at least the books still hold up, and are classics in the comic realm.  The production cycle of this movie almost damned it from the beginning.

  35. I will catch it when it hits the dollar theatre by my house. I find it hard to believe that this is worst than Wanted or Punisher War Zone. When a movie stays on the shelf as long as this one it is never a good sign.

  36. This is what happens when Dominic Sena touches your stuff.

  37. This was directed by the same person who did ‘Swordfish’ and ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’.

    Why didn’t anyone warn us ahead of time?

  38. The acting in this movie is not going to be much better with Beckinsale and Macht. The only good thing going for this movie is Tom Skerritt.

  39. I saw this, I was really disappointed even beneath my low expectations.  None of the characters really had a personality — I don’t blame the actors, really, there just was no focus for them.  And there’s an interrogation scene that seems to endorse torture, in a completely noncritical way.  To make this worse (a) at the end of the scene the *character who was tortured* basically comments about how badass the character doing  the torturing was and (b) it’s used as a shortcut so that the characters don’t actually have to be smart during the investigation.  This was the moment when it went from just kind of mediocre to offensive.

  40. Whoa this is a quick ep

  41. Having listened to the podcast, I do think it’s fair to say this wasn’t horrible, just very mediocre.   I can’t really think of any reason that I’d recommend for anyone to see it, though.

  42. Great podcast. Even if it’s ‘medicore’ I will not watch this.

    I wonder how josh felt about it?…

  43. I got the sense Josh wasn’t interested in seeing it, but I would be interested in his opinion if he gets around to it!

  44. Sorry to double post but I just realized:

    You gave the same type of grade to this film as you did with Wolverine Origins. That film was a peice of shit (tied with GI JOE for the worst film of the year with me) So…..yeah just gonna hesitate on that grade. lol

  45. WOLVERINE’s grade has lowered considerably since it came out.

  46. @conor: The jacket really got to you guys huh? 🙂

  47. My opinion is that if I never see this, that’ll be fine with me.

  48. @josh: So what…..A-?

  49. @Josh wow, no interest?  not even just to support Rucka?

  50. Rucka already got his check. There’s not a comic book writer out there whose work I have promoted more.  I have the book.  There’s no point in paying to see an adaptation that’s barely mediocre by the best of standards.

    I’ve never seen LXG either, but you’re not going to find a bigger fan of the book. Well, you might, but those people are crazy fans.

  51. @josh: Wow so you didn’t even see it. Probably a smart move anyways.

  52. @Gabe. I heard an interview with Rucka and even he didn’t seem to be wholeheartedly supporting the movie. I feel sorry for him.

  53. Rucka gave a very politcal, but non-political sounding take on his feelings about the movie on Around Comics.  It was deft.  But if it was great, he would have said, "It’s great!"

    If I ever have a shitty movie adaptation of something I do, I’m going to steal that technique.

  54. Was the song in the beginning Capn Jazz? Or Mineral?


    Oh yeah love the book, not going to see the movie

  55. The Losers is going to suck hard too. Joel Silver and Akiva Goldsman are involved. 

  56. Why don’t we try seeing a single frame of film before outright declaring that it is going to suck. Once anyone on earth has seen any single thing, then, by all means, fire away. In the meantime, I’d rather not spit venom at the imaginary movie.

  57. Wow I must have been high when I posted my comment. Obviously, not either of those bands. Jesus.


    Anyway, My parents saw this film and they said it was okay althougn my dad asked to borrow the comic because I told him it was better.

  58. I watch the movie yesterday…that’s it

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