Oscar-winning writer William Monahan signs to polish ‘Sin City 2’ for Rodriguez and Miller

I was in the room when Robert Rodriguez made his most recent public update on the status of “Sin City 2,” and he sounded fairly sure that they had the money and were ready to go, with some script work still to be done.

Now it looks like the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of “The Departed” is going to be the guy putting the final coat of paint on the script before it goes in front of the camera.  The idea that William Monahan is going to be the last guy in on “Sin City 2” is fairly exciting, and I wish Robert had made this announcement at Comic-Con, where it could have done the film some good, given it some heat.  This is newsworthy, and if they’re spending this kind of money, they’re serious about making the movie.

It was bizarre at Comic-Con, where Robert Rodriguez was in the big anchor spot in the middle of the afternoon on Thursday.  Traditionally, Comic-Con programs something major for that time so people start piling into the room two or even three panels earlier just to guarantee their seats.  If there was a “Dark Knight Rises” panel, for example, and they scheduled it for 4:00, you’d better believe people would claim seats for whatever was at 10:00 AM, even if it was a remake of “Ernest Goes To Camp” starring Dustin Diamond.  It’s just good programming.  So there was Robert in that spot with a mysterious panel.  All anyone knew ahead of time was that he was going to announce a new company called Quick Draw Productions.

That bait turned out not to be enough to keep people seated.  I was in the hall all day, and when the Film District panel ended, there was an exodus out of that place.  People just bailed.  The result was a room that was less than a quarter full.  When you’re looking out at Hall H from backstage, it’s terrifying.  You see like 7000 faces staring back at you, and I’ve walked out there when it was completely full.  But I would think the feeling would be substantially worse to walk out expecting that and seeing next to no one.  It’s got to be a splash of cold water.  I’ll give Rodriguez this, though… he never missed a beat.  When over 2/3 of the audience gets up and leaves before you start your panel and there’s no one waiting outside to replace them, it takes some serious self-confidence to walk out on stage in Hall H like nothing’s wrong.  Then again, self-confidence has never been something Robert Rodriguez has lacked, and he managed to roll with it, his excitement over his announcements making up for the lack of people to hear them.

When I tweeted some of the comments that Rodriguez made about his proposed “Sin City” sequel, many of you immediately responded with skepticism.  I get it.  He’s been talking about this for a while, and after a while, it goes from being “Hey, I’m sort of excited about that” to “Tom Arnold says ‘True Lies 2’ is happening” to eventually becoming “Mitch Hurwitz is writing the ‘Arrested Development’ movie right now.”  And at that point, any rational person checks out.

Still, if they’re getting close to greenlighting a “300” sequel at Warner Bros., and all recent news seems to indicate that’s the case, then anything is possible.  They’re hiring Monahan according to Borys Kit at Heat Vision Blog, and if the “300” sequel actually makes money, we’ll see another resurgence of Frank Miller adaptations, and maybe we see “Sin City 2”.  Rodriguez described the script at Comic-Con, saying it features three stories again, and that one of them is an adaptation of “A Dame To Kill For.”  One of the other stories in the film is an original Miller piece called “The Long Bad Night,” and the third, as-yet untitled storyline, will also be an original.  I wonder how much original material Monahan’s going to generate for the three different stories, especially that last still-untitled one.  Rodriguez talked about wanting to shoot the film in 3D, saying there’s an idea he has for the film that would use 3D in a way no one else has yet.

Like I said… no lack of confidence.

I’d like to see it.  I look forward to him making it, and I hope Monahan totally crushes this next draft.

In the meantime, Rodriguez has “Spy Kids 4” in theaters now.