Why Isn't This A Film? - Turf

What have we got here then?

Turf is the first comic from UK media and TV personality Jonathan Ross, recently made infamous by the Andrew Sachs prank phone calls fiasco but generally known as host of Film 2010 and Friday Night With Jonathan Ross, amongst other things. It is illustrated by Tommy Lee Edwards.

OK fine. What’s it about?

Set in 1929 New York, Turf focuses on the attempts of a group of vampires to overrun the ruling gang lords and take the city for themselves. Guiding us through this maze is moral compass, Susie Randall who is, in true noir style, an investigative reporter for 'The Herald'. There's also an alien.

Interesting. Is there something more?

Well yes, as we said, there's an alien. It's not clear how he fits in to it yet.

Save me the trouble then – is it any good?

It's a very interesting read indeed and Ross himself has talked of it as being, 'an intelligent popcorn movie. Lots of action, lots of setting, lots of cool ideas, but with an emotional heart to it' which we would agree with. The setting is meticulously developed, character is not forgotten at the expense of action and there are 'layers' built up around what could have been stereotypes (is one of the mob bosses good or evil for example; do all the vampires want to kill?).


Well... there's an alien. Did we mention that? Granted, it's not clear entirely what he's doing yet but it seems like overkill: the story appears to be working just fine without him and it hints that Ross has thrown all of his geekiness at this in the hope that something sticks. It's also very dialogue heavy, occasionally making you wish someone had told Ross to just let Edward's illustrations do the talking for at least part of it. But, this is only issue one of six, so lets not prejudge it.

What are its chances of being made as a film?

Oh, absolutely brilliant, near to a certainty. Ross' wife is Jane Goldman who scripted the recent adaptation of Kick-Ass. Between them, they have a huge amount of industry contacts and it would be more surprising if this didn't happen, rather than hearing it formally announced. Their friend Matthew Vaughn (who directed Kick-Ass) is already circling.

But who'd star in it?

With Vaughn and Goldman almost certain to be attached at some point, don't be surprised when the inevitable story about Aaron Johnson being 'set to star' surfaces. In all fairness, he'd actually make a very good Stefan, the younger and more impetuous of the two vampiric Dragonmir bothers. There's plenty of character roles here too; a charismatic mob boss (a Bobby Cannavale or Giovanni Ribisi perhaps), a star-power leading lady, capable of pulling off a 1920s aesthetic (Renée Zellweger) an alien (ET is free) and a corrupt police officer (Michael Rooker) are all required in staring roles.

Will it be any good?

The initial setup for the story is very promising and Ross has obviously written it with one eye on a film adaptation so it should convert well. We feel we may be over-egging this but, right now, we can't see the alien working.

Anything else I should know about it?

Issue One is out now but has sold out completely after becoming the most pre-ordered comic to date. However, you can still get copies from eBay and look out for issue two which should be in shops this month.

Why Isn't This A Film? is a regular Film Intel feature which takes a book (you know... one of those things with pages in, doesn't project on to a screen, makes small rustling noises), comic, video game or graphic novel and assesses its adaptation prospects. One day this feature will get something right and we will win something major and valuable. Possibly.


  1. You have been tagged in the 7 movie facts game. I'm sorry.

  2. Nicholas - very kind of you, thank you very much but I am crap at meme. Whenever I get asked to participate in one I find myself writing absolute offal and will therefore continue to attempt to avoid them until dragged kicking and screaming to do so.

    Simon - I am really enjoying it I have to say. Just put my order in for #2, #3 and #4. Was not expecting it to be this good.

  3. The story gets even better! I've seen layouts for #2. It plants some more seeds of the story. Expect the action to notch up... Eddie is a pretty tough guy and can take some abuse. Lets hope the movie happens!

  4. I'm certain it will Anon. Placed my order for #2 #3 and #4 the other day. Looking forward to them immensely. Thanks for stopping by to comment.