Film / The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

A 2003 film adaptation of Alan Moore's popular graphic novel of the same name, directed by Stephen Norrington and featuring a cast headed by Sean Connery.

It has the same basic premise and about half of the same characters, but is otherwise rather a departure from Moore's original. Joining the League in the film are Dorian Gray and Tom Sawyer, who is all grown up and a member of the American Secret Service. Due to the film character of the Invisible Man not being in the public domain, the screenwriters invented Rodney Skinner, who stole the invisibility formula and turned himself transparent in order to become a criminal mastermind.

Allan Quatermain (Connery) is recruited out of retirement in Africa, where he relocated after the death of his son, to lead the current generation of the League; Mina Harker, Dr. Henry Jekyll, Captain Nemo, Skinner and Gray are likewise recruited, while Sawyer joins voluntarily. The League believes themselves to be in a race against time to stop terrorists from destroying a peace conference, but the reality is a little different.

Jekyll and Hyde are a little different; Jekyll gets more screentime than Hyde, and he has to ingest a secret formula to release the monster. Oh, and Mina is now a widowed vampire instead of a divorced Badass Normal.


  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Quatermain is a Badass Grandpa who's every bit the Great White Hunter that he was when he was younger, but in the comics was introduced as a burned-out opium addict.
    • Here, Mina retains vampiric abilities from her past encounter with Dracula; in the comics she was a Badass Normal whose defining feature was her mysterious Dark and Troubled Past.
    • Dorian Gray, as compared to his portrayal in the original Oscar Wilde novel. In The Picture of Dorian Gray, there was never any indication that his condition did anything other than prevent him from looking older. In the film, he's not only explicitly immortal but also has a Healing Factor that makes him unbeatable in battle, healing any injuries instantly.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Cleverly subverted in with Griffin the Invisible Man. In both the comic and source material he was a sociopathic murderer. Since the movie was going for a Lighter and Softer approach, they made this into a twist; the Invisible Man in the film is revealed to actually be Skinner, a thief who stole some of Griffin's invisibility serum and was turned transparent like him. Thus the original character is left intact while the audience doesn't have to stomach having a rapist on the same team as the heroes.
    • Played straight with Captain Nemo, Mr. Hyde, and the British Intelligence in general. In the comics they were morally ambiguous at best, but the film presents them as more conventional heroes since, again, they were going for a more light-hearted style.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The whole Fu Manchu story arc had to be dropped because the studio couldn't get the rights to the character. The major characters' backstories are seemingly moved around (or not shown at all). And new major characters join the cast who were, at most, background characters or cameos in the original comics.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Dorian Gray and Tom Sawyer are added to the film.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Dorian Gray was blond in The Picture of Dorian Gray.
  • Adapted Out: Campion Bond, Mycroft Holmes, and Fu Manchu ("The Doctor" in the comics).
  • Affably Evil: The Big Bad has shades of this, even attempting a sort of friendship with The Mole.
    You could stay - share my dream.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Jekyll has a thing for Mina, something only shown through his voyeurism.
  • All There in the Script: Sawyer never gets his first name mentioned. When he first appears, he introduces himself as "Special Agent Sawyer of the American Secret Service," and for the remainder of the movie, all the other characters address him as Sawyer. His first name is used once in a deleted scene, which can be viewed on the DVD; going strictly by the theatrical release, unless you're Genre Savvy enough to work out his identity on your own, you'd never know he was Tom Sawyer.
  • America Saves the Day: The main reason for Tom Sawyer's inclusion; the studio requested that an American be added to the cast (which, as Young Gun shows, creates a huge anachronism). But in terms of the movie, Sawyer wasn't the only one who saved the world from having a world war.
  • Anachronism Stew: All over the place. In the first scenes alone, for instance, the British soldiers being attacked are straight out of World War I rather than 1899. And that isn't counting Nemo's automobile, which wouldn't look too much out of place in the 1920s-30s.
  • Anti-Hero: Skinner, Hyde and Nemo.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: During the Venice bombing, they needed Hyde's help but Jekyll declared that he never wants to turn back into Hyde ever again. Dorian asks, "Then what good are you?" - leaving Jekyll to contemplate his purpose without Hyde.
  • Artistic License Geography: At one point, the League are trying to prevent too much of Venice blowing up, so they drive around it in Nemo's automobile. This is impossible, since Venice isn't so much a city as a group of islands joined by numerous bridges, with admittedly plenty of walkways but no proper roads. It would be hard enough to get around it on a horse and cart, let alone the enormous car they have in the film. The film also expects us to believe that Venice has canals deep enough to hold the massive Nautilus.
  • Artistic License History: Besides the Anachronism Stew already noted, the depiction of Venetians celebrating carnival is erroneous - Napoleon Bonaparte banned the festival when he invaded Venice in 1797, and it wasn't reinstated until 1980, more than eighty years after this film is set.
  • Avoiding the Great War: The plot involves the mysterious Fantom supplying weapons for a world war, which he was orchestrating. The term "world war" is even mentioned for audience members who weren't paying attention.
  • Badass Beard: Nemo.
  • Badass Longcoat: Mina, Sawyer, and Quatermain wear dusters in the final battle while Dorian wears a long suitcoat.
    • Skinner wears a longcoat as well.
  • BFG: Quatermain's elephant gun, Matilda.
  • Bishōnen: Sawyer.
  • Blackmail: The reason Dorian agrees to be The Mole is because the Big Bad has stolen his portrait and will give it back if he cooperates. Interestingly for a villain, he actually keeps this promise. Even The Mole seems a little surprised by that.
  • Body Double: Of a sort. In Kenya, Quatermain's friend Nigel tells visitors that he is Quatermain; it allows him to have some fun while enabling the real Quatermain to avoid autograph hounds and those who just want to badger him about his adventures.
  • Bond One-Liner: Early on, Quatermain impales a would-be assassin on a rhino horn that's been mounted on the wall. A Union Jack flag that was hanging over it falls down and drapes over him
    Quatermain: Rule, Britannia.
  • Bowdlerization: While Hawley Griffin was a rapist and murderer, his replacement Skinner is merely a cheerful, mischievous sneak thief.
    • There's also the fact that in the books, Mina is both divorced from Jonathan Harker and The Leader of the team, whereas here, Allan Quartermain plays a very conventional male leader with Mina as a Femme Fatale vampire who is widowed rather than divorced. Also, in the comics, they engaged in a May-December Romance which was probably too much Values Dissonance for mainstream audiences.
      • However, Mina being presented as a widow rather than a divorced woman actually makes more sense with regards to her source material. In the novel Dracula, she and Jonathan Harker were Happily Married - and being a vampire, it's only logical that she would outlive her mortal husband.
    • Captain Nemo is also considerably more jovial and more of a team player, which is complete reversal from both the comic and Jules Verne's book in terms of personality. The film also foregrounds Jekyll, making Hyde out to be a (somewhat) more benign Superpowered Alter Ego who the doctor is able to control in the end.
    • Furthermore, the film has a more benign portrayal of British Intelligence, with The Reveal of Moriarty as M being a kind of surprise; in the comics, the latter was always a British Agent whose criminal activities were knowingly enabled by the government.
  • Britain Is Only London: The only part of the country shown in the film. Also, Skinner - despite being played by Scotsman Tony Curran - has a Cockney accent.
  • California Doubling: The Czech Republic, actually.
  • Canon Foreigner: Skinner is the only member of the League who is not directly imported from a Victorian-era novel. This is because Griffin isn't in the public domain, at least as far as movie rights goes, unlike the rest of the League's members. Similarly, there's M's Dragon Sanderson Reed (who also isn't from any preexisting source), a loose Campion Bond analogue.
    • Subverted with Gray, Griffin and Sawyer. None of them ever physically appeared in the comic, and they certainly weren't members of the League, but considering the premise of the comic, they definitely exist in the comic's universe. note  Furthermore, Griffin is mentioned as the source behind the invisibility potion, but not by name.
  • Captain Obvious: Everyone. Just about every character will say aloud something the audience can clearly see for themselves, or explain what they are doing instead of trusting the audience to figure it out.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • When the League members first enter Dorian Gray's house, Quatermain notices that one of the paintings on the wall is missing (leaving an obvious painting-shaped splotch). Anyone who knows the story of The Picture of Dorian Gray knows how important the painting is to Mr. Gray, but what isn't revealed until late in the movie is that the Diabolical Mastermind the Fantom stole the painting to extort Dorian Gray into working for him as The Mole.
    • Anyone who watched the movie carefully enough saw all of the actions of The Mole which were later revealed to be his tricks to obtain the League's super powers and Nemo's technology. But in case you missed them, there's a brief montage of them during The Reveal.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Allan Quatermain spends a scene teaching Secret Service agent Tom Sawyer how to shoot his elephant gun, counseling him on taking his time and feeling the shot. This is vitally important at the climax, when this skill is needed to take down the escaping Diabolical Mastermind.
  • Clueless Mystery: Quatermain works out the true identity of the Big Bad, but there's never any indication given of how. The only clues come in the form of his secretary calling him "Professor," and The Dragon calling him by his real first name (which is a very common one).
  • Cold Sniper: Subverted with Quatermain. He's not exactly "cold" and he is one of the good guys, but he's a grumpy old man.
  • Composite Character: The Fantom. With his name spelled with a "F" and his penchant for global terrorism, he appears as the pulp villain Fantomas. Yet he wears a mask resembling the Phantom of the Opera, which Quatermain lampshades. Likely this is because the Phantom is much more widely known by today's audiences than Fantomas.
  • Cool Car: Nemo's "Automobile" which was mostly a souped up 1950s style convertible.
  • Cool Boat: The Nautilus.
  • Cool Sword: Nemo's scimitar.
  • Curse Cut Short: During the car chase scene in Venice, Sawyer takes control of the wheel and has to avoid falling debris at one point, giving a loud yell of "WHOA!". The way he moves his mouth afterwards indicates the next word Sawyer used would have started with "sh".
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check : To Nemo and the bad guy. This world certainly has a lot of technology entering it long before it ever did in our real world
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Mostly with Quatermain due to the many deaths of the people he knew, particularly his son.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Dorian; Quatermain; the Big Bad gets in a bit of this too.
    • And Skinner.
      • We'll be at this all day.
  • Death by Adaptation: Quatermain. He did eventually die in the 2012 story arc Century: 2009, but he was still alive in the comics when the movie was released.
    • On a side note, Ishmael dies by Dorian shooting him with a golden gun. In the comics, Ishmael lives until 1925.
  • Determinator: Well, how else do you explain Tom Sawyer knowing how to drive a car?!
  • Diabolical Mastermind: The main villain is the Fantom, a wealthy arms manufacturer with highly advanced technology (which he forced a group of kidnapped scientists to make for him) and a desire to start a world war to drum up business. In reality, the Fantom is James Moriarty, the brilliant criminal mastermind from the Sherlock Holmes stories, who wants to analyze the League's super abilities and reproduce them in a form that can be given to others.
  • Disaster Dominoes: The bombs in Venice set off the domino-style collapse of one building after another.
  • The Dragon: Dante, the Fantom's right-hand henchman. (If you're not sure who that is, he's the one who drinks the ridiculous amount of Jekyll's potion during the final battles.)
  • Dramatic Curtain Toss: On Dorian Gray's portrait.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: After performing a Mugged for Disguise on one of the Fantom's mooks, Secret Service agent Sawyer joins them and ends up saving the League from being butchered.
  • Enemy Rising Behind: Mina during her fight with Dorian Gray.
  • False Flag Operation: British and German troops have been covertly raiding each other to seize one another's scientists. It was all actually the Fantom, engineered to falsely accuse the British and German governments and set them at odds with each other.
  • A Father to His Men: Nemo and his crew.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: The League (minus Dorian) before infiltrating M's Mongolian compound.
  • Final Speech: Ishmael manages to live long enough after being shot to reveal Dorian as the traitor.
  • Flat "What.": Quatermain after M aka Moriarty informs him that he would be in the League.
    M: I must say, the delight is mine, meeting so notable a recruit to this newest generation of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
    Quatermain: League of what?
  • Foreshadowing
    • Both The Fantom's ring and the door to M's office are emblazoned with the emblem of the Masons, a subtle hint made long before the reveal.
    • As the Fantom makes his escape from the first battle, one of his henchmen shouts at him "Run, James!"
    • Minor one, but when Quartermain mentions he met Dorian at a university, Mina assumes that Dorian was a child when he met Allan. Allan corrects her, stating that he was the child - subtly foreshadowing Dorian's immortality to those that never read or watched his story.
  • Friendly Sniper: Sawyer becomes one through Quatermain's tutelage.
  • Fun Personified: Skinner gives the impression of being this.
    • Which is a bit jarring, considering his counterpart in the comics was a psychopathic murderer and rapist.
  • Gentleman Thief: What Skinner proclaims himself.
  • Good Guns, Bad Guns: You know Gray is a rotter when he shoots Ishmael... using a Luger! Also, the villains' automatic rifles resemble Steam Punk AK47s, while those carried by Nemo's men look like Sten guns.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: In this version, Mina's vampire bite scars are just the traditional two little pinpricks rather than the massive and disfiguring scars she had in the comic.
  • Groin Attack: Quatermain to one of the Fantom's mooks in Africa; later, Mina to The Mole during their fight, the latter with a knife.
    Dorian: If that had been permanent, I'd have been very upset.
  • Growing Muscles Sequence: Jekyll changing to Hyde, then Dante when he takes an overdose of Jekyll's serum. Though mid-transformation, Jekyll more closely resembles the Elephant Man.
  • Hand Signals: Nemo uses them to direct his men while invading the Fantom's factory/fortress.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Mina, after she sleeps with Dorian and he reveals himself as the traitor.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: He may prefer a less provocative title than "pirate," but Nemo will choose his trusty blade over any sidearm in a fight.
    Goon: Draw your pistol!
    Nemo: I walk a different path...
    Throws his scabbard at someone, spin-kicks some guys, then cuts people the $%&# up.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Hyde almost makes two. He survives them both, however. Skinner also survives the one he almost makes, although he does end up very badly burned.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Moriarty forming the League in the first place, which Sawyer points out in a deleted scene.
  • I Call Her "Vera": Quatermain's trusty elephant gun, Matilda.
  • I Have Your Wife: The Fantom forces the cooperation of the scientists who are helping him by holding their wives and children in prison cells.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Quatermain implies this when he initially refuses Reed's invitation to join the League back in England, citing hardships he experienced during his many years in Africa, including the many deaths he witnessed. Most of them were people he knew back in his adventurer days, including his only son.
  • Immortality Inducer: Dorian Gray's portrait, just as in the original novel.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: Nemo while fighting the mutated Dante. Despite the sheer speed of his slices, he's unable to damage the thug.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Quatermain and Sawyer with the rifles, although the former has a hard time doing in his senior years. The former also has good aiming skills with knives.
  • In-Name-Only: The comic book is a Victorian era Crisis Crossover, whereas the movie is an Alternate History Steampunk sci-fi thriller whose characters just happen to be lifted from books. Movie!League makes Quatermain the leader/hero instead of Mina, as well as adding Dorian Gray and Tom Sawyer (who weren't even mentioned in the books), replacing Psycho for Hire Hawley Griffin with an invisible Gentleman Thief, turning Quatermain from a burned-out opium addict to a Badass Deadpan Snarker, and making Mina a vampire.
  • Instant Marksman, Just Squeeze Trigger: Quatermain gives this advice to Tom Sawyer.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Quatermain and Sawyer
  • Invisible Stomach, Visible Food: At one point Skinner helps himself to a glass of scotch which is visible inside him as he's drinking it.
  • Invisible Streaker: Skinner
  • Ironic Echo: "Eyes open, boy. I can't protect you all the time."
  • It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans: It just happens to be Carnival in Venice when the League arrives...even though Napoleon banned carnival when he invaded the city more than a century before the film starts.
  • It's Personal: Sawyer's reason for joining the League. The detailed explanation was cut from the film but is shown in deleted scenes on the DVD. The Fantom killed Sawyer's partner, a childhood friend. This agent is unnamed in the film, but he's obviously Huck Finn. The novelization states this outright.
  • Just Between You and Me: Lampshaded.
    Big Bad: Now some of you will pause to ask; why I'm letting you know all this? What fool reveals his strategem before the game is over? It is over - for you. Because my voice isn't the only sound being made. While I've rambled on, a secondary layer of inaudible sound higher than humans can heard — audible only to dogs, lower animals - is being heard by crystal sensors dotted around your vessel.
    Gray: Sensors attached to bombs. Bomb voyage!
  • Lighter and Softer: Definitely is this when compared to the original comics.
  • Local Reference: The inclusion of an American (Sawyer).
  • Meaningful Funeral: The finale.
  • Mirror Monologue: Jekyll, frequently. Subverted in that the mirror talks back.
  • Mistaken Identity: "Wrong Quatermain!"
  • The Mole: Dorian Gray is really working for their enemy the whole time.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Dorian Gray, being played by Stuart Townsend. Tom Sawyer may also count.
  • Mugged for Disguise: Secret Service agent Sawyer was following the League. He saw the Fantom's mooks following them, knocked out a straggler and took his costume.
  • Mugging the Monster: "Get back or the vampire gets it!"
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In one scene, a poster telling of "Volcanoes on Mars!" can be seen in the background, a nod to the plot of the second volume of the comic. In another scene, there's an advertisement for an upcoming carnival that features "Dr. Alan Moore" and "Dr. Kevin O'Neill".
    • If you look close enough at Nemo's automobile, you can just barely make out two tiny metal statues of Ganesh attached to the hood of the car as ornaments. This may be a subtle nod to the graphic novel, where the steering wheel of the Nautilus was a metal statue of Shiva, with his arms as the spokes of the wheel.
  • Neck Snap: During the fight in Dorian Gray's mansion, Captain Nemo does this to one of the Fantom's mooks.
  • Never Bring a Gun to a Knife Fight: As Nemo demonstrates, he doesn't need a gun to kick your ass.
  • Not His Sled: The Invisible Man is heavily hinted to be a traitor, but this turns out to be a Red Herring; the real traitor is Dorian Gray.
  • Offstage Villainy: Nemo and Hyde. The movie doesn't have Kick the Dog moments for either of them like the comics. They come across as relatively decent people with no qualms about killing their enemies and, in the case of Hyde, a lust for violence that still doesn't stop him from doing the right thing - in fact, he's the one suggesting plans to save everyone - despite characters often talking about how detestable they are.
  • Oh Crap!: Hyde, when Dante drinks a large amount of Jekyll's potion.
    Hyde: (sounding almost sad) Not the whole thing...
  • One to Million to One: Mina can split up into a swarm of bats at will, travel some distance, and reform into a human again.
  • One-Winged Angel: Jekyll and Dante who turns into a huge, towering behemothnote  after drinking too much potion.
  • Parental Substitute: Sawyer's relationship with Quatermain.
  • Passing the Torch: Quatermain's last words to Sawyer. "May this new century be yours, son, as the old one was mine." In a possible double meaning, this also foreshadows America taking over from Britain as the dominant world power in the Twentieth Century.
  • Pimp Duds: Dorian, especially his cane.
  • Pinned to the Wall: Dorian Gray is run through with a sword so firmly he ends up pinned to the wall and unable to pull the sword out. Due to his near Complete Immortality, this doesn't do anything more than annoy him. Until Mina shows him his painting, that is.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Mina is said to be a chemist, and is even introduced as such by M when he's rattling off the members of the League. She uses her chemistry skills exactly once in the entire movie (to identify some magnesium phosphorous left behind by a spy camera on the Nautilus), and it's rather obvious that she was recruited for her vampiric superpowers—making it somewhat baffling why the writers even bothered to establish her as a chemist at all. note 
  • Playing Possum: One of the Fantom terrorists before he tries to take Mina hostage. Suffice it to say that he meets with a gruesome fate.
  • The Power of Friendship: What seems to be fueling the League after Sawyer's Rousing Speech.
  • Prevent the War: The League is assembled to find out who is inciting the powers of Europe to go to war, and stop their plot.
  • Punny Name: The Big Bad.
    Quatermain: The Fantom? Very operatic.
  • Quickly Demoted Woman: Mina's position as leader of the League in the comics is handed off to Quatermain instead. A possible subversion, however; she becomes the most powerful member of the cast, an immortal vampire.
    • She could be considered Second-in-command, or even the new leader following Quatermain's death.
  • Rapid Aging: Dorian Gray after seeing his portrait.
  • Redeeming Replacement: Skinner to the original Invisible Man.
  • Redemption Quest: Jekyll after Quatermain informs him that the British Prime Minister can grant him amnesty for his crimes as Hyde. He joins the League because of this. M indicates that Nemo signed on for a similar pardon.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Mina Harker when she lets her inner vampire out.
  • Red Herring: In one scene, Mina and Quatermain spot Nemo praying to a statue of Kali, the Goddess of Destruction, which worries Mina. Quatermain reassures her, saying that Nemo isn't the one who should worry them.
  • Red-Headed Hero: Both Mina and Jekyll have red or auburn hair. Skinner may also qualify; the character is bald, but the actor is red-haired, suggesting that Skinner would be too if he had hair.
  • Red Shirt: Basically anyone on Nemo's crew other than the captain himself. (And maybe Ishmael.)
  • Retraux: The Big Bad's recorded message (though only heard by the League) is seen by the audience as a scratchy B&W film.
  • Reverse Mole: They thought Skinner was the mole. They thought wrong. He was spying on the real one.
    • In the novelization , it turns out that he's actually a planted member of Her Majesty's Secret Service!
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: The DVD subtitles contain a glaring error. Quatermain, when describing his last mission to Sawyer, says that "I even took my son along." Somehow, this was transcribed on the DVD as "I even took my son-in-law."
    • And in the fandom this is even worse. The character is Dorian Gray; his first name is not Darien or Dorain and his last name is not Grey. That's just for starters; the worst one was probably a fic that repeatedly misspelled Tom Sawyer's first name as Tow.
    • Overlapping with Spell My Name with an "S", Quatermain isn't helped by the fact that his son's gravestone spells it "Quartermain". This one is actually excusable, given that H. Rider Haggard - the author of the Quatermain novels - had a tendency to alternate between the two spellings. However, Quatermain's first name is always Allan, with two Ls, something people tend to get wrong even on this website.
  • Rousing Speech: Sawyer gives one to the League after they manage not to get killed. It's even longer and more Narm-tastic in the deleted scenes.
  • Russian Reversal: This exchange between Skinner and Gray, right after Quatermain and Sawyer captured Hyde:
    Skinner: Hullo, Dorian. The great white hunter's bagged his prize.
    (one of Nemo's redshirts goes flying out the door to Hyde's prison)
    Gray: Or the prize bagged him.
  • Samus Is a Girl: In the first act, when he's told that one of the recruited members of the League is a brilliant chemist named "Harker", Quatermain (along with the audience) immediately assumes that it's Jonathan Harker, the hero of Dracula. It's actually his widow, Mina.
    (Mina strides into the League's first meeting)
    Quatermain: Please tell me that this is Harker's wife, with a sick note!
    Mina: "Sick" would be a mild understatement. My husband's been dead for years.
  • Schizo Tech: The firearms used by Fantom forces. They were really Uzis, AKs and Thompson physically altered to look like steampunk weapons. Likewise for Nemo's troops, who wield steampunk-ized Sten guns.
    • How about a tank at the end of the 19th century, which magically appears in the middle of London?
  • Secret Identity Identity: A double feature with the Fantom. Not only is he really M, the guy who hired the League in the first place, but as Quatermain somehow figures out, he's really Professor Moriarty, the presumed-dead nemesis of Sherlock Holmes!
  • Sequel Hook: The Meaningful Funeral ends with a native witch doctor doing...something that makes the ground shake, lightning crash across the sky, and the clouds to turn dark. This was probably meant to be Quatermain coming back from the dead. However, according to Jason Flemyng, the sequel will probably never happen because Connery doesn't want to do it. That and he's retired from acting.
    • The film's box office performance didn't help.
      • To some people, though, this should be better explained. Talking just pure budget money, the film very much succeeded in recouping that cost. However, all reports clearly show that the studio wanted more. This in metaphor is like wanting an "A" in school and getting a "C". Sure, you passed, but you are still highly disappointed. And that kind of reaction surely doesn't help anyone want to fund another big budget action sequel.
    • Also, in one scene there's a brief shot of a poster with a message about "Volcanoes On Mars!", a subtle nod to Vol. 2 of the comics where the League battles the aliens from The War of the Worlds. Had a sequel actually gotten made, the plot might have had something to do with this.
    • The final scene appears to be a reference to a throwaway line told by Quatermain that he was blessed by a witch doctor after saving his village. As the witch doctor said, "Africa would not allow [him] to die." Quatermain died in Mongolia but was brought back to Africa to be buried, possibly allowing the blessing to work. Also, the DVD reveals that the witch doctor is chanting "Arise."
  • Sideways Smile: Partially in England when M watches Quatermain, who is confused after hearing Skinner's disembodied voice, not knowing he's totally invisible.
  • Shooting Superman: An odd example where both sides of the conflict are shooting and Superman. When Mina fights Dorian, they go at each other with knives and sword...but they're both immortal, and quickly heal up from the surface cuts they're giving each other. Dorian comments, as cuts to his and Mina's faces close up, that "We'll be at this all day."
  • Shout-Out: When Dorian shoots Ishmael (who was himself a Shout-Out to Moby-Dick), he uses a golden gun - as in the James Bond story The Man With the Golden Gun.
  • Shur Fine Guns: The Fantom assassins deployed in Kenya. One of them had a jammed Steampunk-like machine pistol, which Quatermain used to his advantage in unarmed combat.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Hyde.
    • Subverted with the Invisible Man. Griffin is said to have died before the League got a chance to recruit him, whereas the book states that he faked his supposed death at the end of Wells' novel. But Skinner, who takes Griffin's place, survives until the end of the movie, whereas Griffin was killed by Hyde in the second volume of the comics.
  • The Stinger: After all of the characters leave Quatermain's grave, an African shaman begins chanting over it... and the dirt above the grave begins to tremble as the skies darken and lightning flashes.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Lots of it.
  • Submarine Pirates: Nemo and his crew.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Hyde, though rather differently from the book or the graphic novel.
  • Sword Cane: Belonging to Dorian Gray.
  • Take the Wheel: While the protagonists are driving in Nemo's car in Venice, Sawyer does this to Quatermain - who promptly tells Sawyer he has no idea how to drive the bloody car.
  • Tank Goodness: The Fantom's are reminiscent of the early British WWI models but lack sponson-mounted guns. Instead they have a single Fixed Forward-Facing Weapon concealed beneath an armored cover up front, one powerful enough to blow a bank vault door off its hinges inwards.
  • Team Hand-Stack: The title group, just before entering the Fantom's factory/fortress.
  • Tiny-Headed Behemoth: Mr. Hyde. Also the much larger "Super-Hyde" in the film's climax.
  • Title Drop: Many times.
  • Took a Level in Badass: While hardly an extra in the comic (see Badass Normal in the general series section) and actually demoted in role, Mina is upgraded into an incredibly powerful elder vampire who is the most dangerous member of the team and who gets the movie's primary Wolverine-style fight with fellow immortal Dorian Gray.
  • Trapped in Containment: Well, temporarily, at least.
  • Travel Montage: During the trip to the Fantom's factory.
  • Unwitting Pawn: The League.
  • War for Fun and Profit: This is the Big Bad's plan - kidnap the world's scientists, make advanced war machines and Super Soldiers, and sell them to both sides of World War One. Oh, and he's also trying to instigate the war in question, although, when the League foils his plan, he replies that the war is inevitable.
  • We Can Rule Together: The Big Bad makes this offer to The Mole, who declines. It's something of a subversion of the trope, however; he doesn't refuse because he's a good guy (he's definitely not). He just doesn't want to be bothered, and would quite like to return to his old life.
    • Another reason he refuses is because he's seen empires come and go in his long life, so he isn't interested. The Big Bad is not happy with his decision, accusing him of thinking he's better than the Big Bad.
  • We Do the Impossible
  • What the Hell Are You?: A Fantom terrorist tries to shoot Dorian, but fails after attacking him from point blank range.
    Fantom terrorist: What are you?
    Dorian: I'm complicated.
  • The World Is Always Doomed: When he's first getting recruited by Sanderson Reed, who says that the British Empire is in peril, Quatermain cynically replies, "You're probably too young to know, but the empire is always in some kind of peril."
  • World War One: The Big Bad is trying to instigate this. Even with his defeat, though, war will come. He would have just made it a much more devastating war with his weapons of mass destruction.
  • Young Gun: Tom Sawyer. At first glance, this makes no sense; Tom Sawyer was a twelve-year old in the pre-Civil War era, so if anything, he should be older than Quatermain. The producer uses Comic-Book Time to justify this by pointing out that Tom was only 17 years old in Tom Sawyer, Detective, which was published just a few years prior to the time period of the film's setting.
    • It does bring up a notable problem, though, with the theory of all fiction being real. There's many books that don't ever give specific dates, and in some series time doesn't always flow to match the real world to the inside world. Mark Twain certainly did not take this as seriously as Alan Moore does. And when you get down to it, because of issues such as this, no matter who is writing a story of this type, at some point they are just going to have to Hand Wave certain things.