If Ever I Were to Squeal Like a Little Girl, It Would Be Now

One of my very favorite books on our overstuffed bookshelves is my signed first edition of Neil Gaiman's Stardust. He is without question my favorite author, and sometimes that one is my favorite book of his. Of his solo work, anyway. Good Omens is one of my very favorite books ever, but he co-wrote that one with Terry Pratchett.

Anyway, the point of this is that director Matthew Vaughn, who made the excellent Layer Cake (starring before-he-was-Bond Daniel Craig and well worth a watch if you're looking to fill a slot on your Netflix queue) has made a movie of Stardust. The trailer is now up at Yahoo! Movies.

It looks thoroughly and completely awesome. There is now a movie coming out this summer that I want to see even more than Spider-man 3, which is saying something.

Yeah, I know I was ranting just the other day about nerds clamoring for the movie adaptation of Watchmen. There are some key differences here, though.

First, I believe Watchmen, an enormous, sprawling, complex, multi-layered story, to be essentially unfilmable. Stardust, on the other hand, is a quite straightforward and simple fairy tale/adventure story, and eminently filmable. I recall thinking the first time I read it what a great movie it would make.

Second, the fanboys want a Watchmen movie that looks exactly like the source material in every way. If the director deviates from the source material in the slightest, they'll flip out, ranting and raving on the Ain't It Cool message boards about how Zack Snyder is "raping my childhood" and other such hyperbolic absurdities. You may think I'm exaggerating, but you should see some of the things they're saying about Michael Bay's upcoming Transformers movie. Yes, there are grown-ass men in the world who are completely obsessed with the details of a big screen adaptation of a cartoon about robots who transform into cars and airplanes and shoot at each other, and would like to see Michael Bay drawn and quartered because Optimus Prime transforms into the wrong kind of semi truck and Megatron transforms into a tank instead of a handgun.*

But I digress. The point here is that I'm interested in the Stardust movie not because I want it to be an exact and literal transposition of the novel onto the movie screen, but because I want to see Vaughn's version of it. If it's not completely faithful to the novel and still good, then it's a win-win (a la Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies). If the movie's no good at all, well, too bad, but it doesn't have any effect on my enjoyment of the novel. I won't call for Vaughn's head on a stick or anything. I'll just be a little disappointed, that's all.

* I wouldn't mind seeing Michael Bay drawn and quartered, myself, but it has nothing to do with his treatment of the 30-minute toy commercials of my childhood. I mean, did you see Pearl Harbor? Or Armageddon? Dude's got far worse crimes to answer for than fucking up the Go-Bots.