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By Tad Friend
The New Yorker
“The Spirit,” based on an obscure Will Eisner comic strip from the nineteen-forties, was Lionsgate’s attempt to build a tent-pole franchise. Frank Miller, the celebrated comic-book author, had written and directed a moody, snowy, sumptuous film about a masked charmer with a self-healing body who lives to protect his city. Palen produced a crescendo of three trailers, and everything from “Spirit” trading cards to snow globes to iPhone applications.
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