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7 Movies You Didn't Know Were Based on Comic Books

It's easy to tell a movie is based on a comic book when people are flying and wearing spandex, but comics aren't all about superheroes. The art form encompasses many different genres, and many movies have been adapted that don't advertise their comic roots. A perfect example is the new movie 2 Guns, which looks like your typical action movie until you read the fine print. Here are comic book movies you might not have known were comic book movies.

1. 30 Days of Night (2007)

Josh Hartnett; 30 Days of Night
This horror movie about an Alaskan town where vampires attack during a prolonged polar night started as an unproduced film script. It took a detour when it was adapted into a three-issue comic book mini-series in 2002. The comic was so successful that it led to the feature film.

2. From Hell (2001)

Inspector Abberline (Johnny Depp); From Hell
This movie starring Johnny Depp as a Victorian detective investigating Jack the Ripper, and uncovering a conspiracy of Freemasons seems like your standard (if not a little outlandish) historical thriller. However, the film is based on a mini series by Alan Moore. The original comic is even more out there than the movie.

3. Ghost World (2001)

Rebecca Doppelmeyer (Scarlett Johannsen), Enid Coleslaw (Thora Birch); Ghost World
This cult movie about teenage girls who ditch college to mock pop culture and other people struck a chord with teens and adults who remember their teen years. It certainly doesn't feel like a comic book movie, but it is. The movie was adapted from a graphic novel published in 1997.

4. Aliens vs Predator

Yes, Aliens and Predator were both movies, and it seems natural to bring them together in one movie. However, it took a comic book to achieve it first. Dark Horse created the first AvP with their mini series in 1989. The popularity of the comic series led to the interest in the property that led to the final movie.

5. Red (2010)

The movie about a group of retired, elderly secret agents actually started as a limited comic book series by Warren Ellis. The series centered on one agent, but the movie expanded greatly on the official story.

6. Virus (1999)

A lightning bolt beams an alien computer virus onto a Russian ship. The virus takes control and begins turning everyone on board into freaky cyborg monsters. Sounds like a standard horror movie or video game, but it started life as...do I even need to say it? Yeah, published in 1992.

7. A History of Violence (2005)

Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen); A History of Violence
This gritty crime drama featured Viggo Mortensen as a seemingly normal owner of a diner who kills two robbers. It was nominated for two Academy Awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay. That's because it's actually based on a graphic novel published in 1997.

Were you surprised by any of the movies on this list? What other movies were you surprised to find were comic adaptations?

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  1. I didn't realize that Alien vs Predator was based on a comic book. I'd also blocked out Virus from memory. Happy to say I did know the rest.

  2. That would be why "A History of Violence" was so awesome.

  3. Alex J. CavanaughAugust 9, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    Ghost World is the only one that surprises me.

  4. I did know that about most of them. I suppose Alien vs. Predator is a little surprising. Though didn't they also have Predator vs. Batman and Alien vs. someone--Superman maybe? I think that was back in the 90s when they'd just do anything to try to sell some comics. Not at all like today...

  5. Ah ha, I was right, it was Superman vs. Alien. Though I guess there was a Batman vs. Alien one too.

  6. I'm counting the days until I get to go see 2 Guns! I love anything starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, two of my favorite actors. I watch 'Shooter' every time I run across it on the tv guide.

    Nice post, I didn't realize many of these movies you've listed were based on comic books. Thanks for sharing this.

  7. I think I heard about Ghost World, but the others I had no idea about.

  8. Virus would have been the only one I missed in my survey of comic book films last year. Good catch!

  9. I never heard of virus. The rest I knew, except "A History Of Violence," which was a great movie, even if it did begin the trend of Viggo Mortensen appearing naked in movies, movies which for some reason appealed to my wife, Sweetie, even though she is not usually a fan of action or crime dramas. Those movies, she liked though. It was probably the writing.

  10. I had read that Oblivion was based on a graphic novel that never was finished. I don't know if that counts, but it's close.

  11. i sort of researched this awhile ago... you have won! great stuff...

  12. There was also 'American Splendor'. Or is that too obvious?


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