League Joins the Pack

As James Bond, Sean Connery was in a league of his own. But in his latest big-screen outing, he is teamed with some of the most amazing figures of 19th Century literature. Twentieth Century Fox’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen arrives in North American theaters today, joining fellow big-budget, effects-laden efforts Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl in the race for box office gold.

Directed by Blade helmer Stephen Norrington, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, or LXG in the hip, abbreviated form, is based on a comic book by Alan Moor and Kevin O’Neill. The storyline puts fictional adventurer Alan Quartermaine (Connery) in league with Dr. Jeckyll, the Invisible Man, Dracula heroine Mina Harker, Dorian Gray, Captain Nemo and other infamous characters from the pages of fantastic fiction classics by the likes of Bram Stoker, Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain and Oscar Wilde.

Helping to realize the ambitious project are effects teams from Cinesite, Cinema Production Services, ComputerCafé, Custom Film Effects, Double Negative, Paul Franklin, Eyetronics, New Deal Studios, Pixel Liberation Front, Pixel Magic, Tippett Studio, and Edge FX. Terry Glass serves as special effects director for the film.

LXG opens amid tough competition. Arnold and T3 will be fighting to retain the No. 1 spot at the box office as Pirates drives toward victory with full sails. The Johnny Depp supernatural swashbuckler made an impressive $13.5 million on its mid-week bow, scoring the eighth highest Wednesday opening in history and surpassing both Terminator 3 and Terminator 2.