Alan Moore's Watchmen

StoryofE

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#1
'Watchmen' film to be directed by Darren Aronfosky

from AICN:

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AICN EXCLUSIVE!! WATCHMEN Has A Director!!
Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...
I reviewed a draft of the Lloyd Levin/Larry Gordon production of WATCHMEN, based on the classic Alan Moore comic, back on October 21, 2002. Since then, there’s been at least one more draft of the script and the producers have been working tirelessly to try and set the film up with screenwriter David Hayter also serving as the film’s director.

As recently as the HELLBOY press junket last month, Levin and Gordon were still struggling to figure out how to get Hayter his chance in the director’s chair, but it looks like that effort has finally taken a back seat to the bigger effort of just getting the film made. I asked Hayter to comment about not directing the film, and here’s what he had to say:
It is definitely disappointing not to be able to direct the film, but we got into our second studio deal and it became increasingly clear that I was going to continue to have trouble getting the film made the way those of us who are fans know it must be made, until I gained more weight as a director.
That said, I have continued to impress upon the Producers that they must not just give this film to some, so-called "A-list" director just based on name alone. You may have heard who they are talking to at the moment, and I, for one, thought it was a pretty impressive idea. One I was genuinely excited about. Please feel free to announce with my enthusiastic endorsement.
Since those talks began, I have spoken with the Producers about a couple of different things I can do to both retain my involvement in the film, and to help ensure that the film retains its integrity. They have been very supportive of myself and this project for the past two years and continue to desire my creative support in terms of the script, the characters and the world. Please assure the fans that I will NEVER give up on creating a truly great Watchmen film that both honors and celebrates the Graphic Novel, and illustrates to the movie-going Audiences what a genuinely great comic-book story can do.
And on a personal note; If, God forbid, anything goes off-kilter with the currently proposed set-up and the Director's chair opens up again in say, a year, I will be first in line to try to regain my seat. Either way, I just hope the film is great.
Based on how great his adaptation was, I’m glad to hear that Hayter is still a key part of this creative team. Having said that, I will admit that when I heard who is directing the film, I just about did a backflip.

Darren Aronfosky.

As soon as he finished work on THE FOUNTAIN, which does indeed look to be back on track and in pre-production now, it looks like Aronofsky will be finally bringing Rorshach and Nite Owl and Dr. Manhattan and The Comedian and all the other amazing characters from this classic book to life. I think he might well turn out to be the exact right choice, and I’m pleased to see that the studio is taking a chance on a guy who hasn’t made a giant budget action film yet, but who has proven himself to be a striking visualist with a strong sense of material. He’s also a long-time comic fan who has tried to get projects like FRANK MILLER’S RONIN and BATMAN: YEAR ONE off the ground.
Here’s wishing everyone well as the project moves forward in the months ahead, and we’ll keep you posted about any new developments with it. In the meantime, I think Hayter’s got some more news we may be hearing about in the next few days...

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Stormkhan

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#2
Considering the crud they made from The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, I'm not holding out much hope for this film.

Cast? I, for one, would put William H. Macey as Rorschach.
 
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Anonymous

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#3
Somewhere I've got a copy of a script for a Watchman movie;

no idea where it came from or how old it is;

but it sure is wierd.
 

CodenameThrow

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#4
Mark my words, this film will never be made. I have heard so many rumours about it. Stormkhan, good choice, although I picture William H. Macey as more of a Nite Owl myself. Shawn Hatosy looks the part of Rorschach, but it'll go to a celebrated scenery-chewer, if it goes to anyone. Or rather, an actor who can look at the scenery as if he's about to chew it to pieces, without actually doing anything :)

Legendarily, De Niro is supposed to be interested in the role of the Comedian. However, I'm going to stick my neck out here - they won't make it. There is too much to lose. And the fanboys will riot.
 

GNC

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#5
Dunno about De Niro, but Harvey Keitel would have made a good Comedian.
 
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Anonymous

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#7
Eburacum45 said:
Somewhere I've got a copy of a script for a Watchman movie;

no idea where it came from or how old it is;

but it sure is wierd.
Terry Gilliam was toutung one round in about 1990... gave up in the end

and as to the Comedian... how about Dennis Farina ?
 
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Anonymous

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#8
I really really hope this movie never gets made. They'll never be able to do the original comics justice so why bother? I remember this being touted around in the late 80's with, I shit you not, Sylvester Stallone as Dr Manhatten! It's enough to make a grown man weep.
 
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Anonymous

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#9
I remember Arnold also being alledged to be in the frame. I think I'm with Terry Gilliam, the only way you even approach doing it would be as a series of movies.
 

fquake

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#10
Before the 'movie' of LXG, I would have said Connery for the Comedian. Not any more.

In a way, I hope this movie never gets made.
 
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Anonymous

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#12
This is one of my favourite books, up there with kill a mocking bird and empire of the sun. If they make a movie of I don't care. Far as I'm concerned the book came first and nothing will ever beat the book. It's not a particularily filmable work either. There is SO MUCH sub textual stuff that makes watchmen what it is, they're never going to get that in a million years, so the fact that it won't be as good as the book is sort of a given, but I'm looking for is a "different" experience to the book. In much the same manner as Kill a mocking bird (the definative adaptation as it happens to be my number 1 favourite film of all time too), and Empire of the sun (adapted by spielberg), certainly are quality adaptation but for the most part that's because they are an experience in their own right too. If Arranowski can bring that to the movie version of watchmen, then cool. It's definately not one movie. That's a two picture deal surely. Personally I'd rather it was a twelve episode series, with massive production values, like band of brothers and taken. That'd work a heck of a lot better, but with cinematic effects budgets etc. Dream on right?

Daniel Craig (who played Paul Newman's son in "Road to Perdition) should play Rorschach. Either that or David Coruso, but unfortunately I think that he'd only "look" the part rather than "be" the part. Daniel Craig I think could bring a lot of emotional intensity to the role...imagining now him delivering the "coke in green bottles" monologue as a voice over from the journals.

Hugo, Dennis Farina is a great idea for the commedian, but I think physically it has to be someone like Tom Berrenger (this would be a great returning vehicle for him wouldn't it?)

All the characters in the book are middle aged. I'd hate to think of the producers suddenly opting for young dumb pretty things to populate the cast :(
 
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Anonymous

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#13
Farina is good from the POV that he can bulk up and is about the right age for the Comedian when he took the plunge and can be made up to look younger for the Vietnam and post Woodward and Berstein stuff...

I personally think Live Action may be over rated in this case. Why don't they go for the style of Finanl Fantasy, since the world of Doctor Manhatten should not look 'too real'
 
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Anonymous

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#14
The only way they could do Dr Manhattan would be CGI, kind of a big blue gollum, you'd need someone suitably otherwordly to play him though (in the manner of Andy Serkis) Any suggestions?

The only person I can think of offhand with the right kind of ethereal gravitas (if you get my meaning) would be Ian Mckellen, but after Gandalf and Magneto he's almost getting typecast.
 
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Anonymous

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#16
Here one can find a supposed first draft screenplay written by screenwriter Sam Hamm in 1989.

I read Watchmen for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and TBH I can't see what the fuss is about.
 
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Anonymous

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#17
Bruce Wayne said:
Here one can find a supposed first draft screenplay written by screenwriter Sam Hamm in 1989.

I read Watchmen for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and TBH I can't see what the fuss is about.
Perhaps if you'd read it back when it was published, you'd have seen what the fuss was about.
 

Anome

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#18
That screenplay is interesting, at least in how it differs from the original.

It raises a few issues, such as how relevant is the story now that the Cold War is over?

The appeal of Watchmen is partly rooted in the Cold War, and also the fact that this kind of story was new to comics at the time. In 1986, you had The Dark Knight Returns, Watchmen, and new "adult" comics like Chaykin's American Flagg which were changing what people expected from comic books at the time. Now, at least in part due to these books, the expectations of comics have changed. This change has perhaps hurt Watchmen more than, say, The Dark Knight Returns.

I wonder if I could sell a TV mini-series of American Flagg to anyone?
 
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#19
Jude Law Wants To Star In Watchmen

Exclusive: British star eyes up comic book adaptation

12 August 2004

Apart from the odd dalliance — Ben Affleck with Daredevil, for instance — the absence of A-listers from the current raft of comic book movies has been noticeable. But that could be about to change, with the news that gen-yoo-ine movie star Jude Law is very interested in starring as Ozymandias in Darren Aronofsky's Watchmen. Sez who? Sez Jude Law, that's who.

Empire sat down with Law recently to talk Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow.

During our chat, Law revealed that he used to be an avid comics collector — which is a surprise, given that Law is good-looking, slim and has a girlfriend. "I still go to comic shops, Forbidden Planet and look through back issues of the ones I love," he told Empire. "I was a big fan of Johnny Nemo and Strange Days, Parallax, you know those? But I haven't gotten into anything recently, not like I did with From Hell and Watchmen."

With that in mind, we mentioned that Law — with his dashing good looks, blond hair and movie star charisma — would be perfect for the role of Adrian Veidtaka Ozymandias, a former superhero and the smartest (and richest) man in the world, who becomes a key player in Watchmen's twisting plot. So we told him that there was a movie on the way, directed by Aronofsky.

"Darren Aronofsky? I'm on the phone NOW!" said Law, clearly excited. "Adrian Veidt, King of Kings!" And then, as if to show off his Watchmen fanboy credentials, he whispered conspiratorially. "I'm tattooed with Rorschach, did you know that?"

That's pretty damned impressive. And presumably painful. Rorschach is perhaps Watchmen's most memorable character, a stone-cold psycho vigilante (in an ever-changing black and white mask which resembles a Rorschach inkblot test) who operates in a hellish alternate 1985, where America stands on the brink of World War III with Russia, and costumed vigilantes are outlawed. Which doesn't stop someone from trying to bump them off, one by one. So a small coalition of middle-aged, overweight crimefighters, including Rorschach, forms — only to find that the conspiracy – which may or may not involve Veidt — is far greater and deadlier than anything they could have imagined.

Watchmen is widely considered the greatest comic book of all time. But it's an enormously complex work and as such has taken an eternity to come to the big screen. Terry Gilliam was once attached, and later Aronofsky had his first brief flirtation with the project, before bowing out.

Then X-Men scripwriter David Hayter got hold of the reins, and produced a quality script. Unfortunately, Universal were loathe to let Hayter cut his directing teeth on such a major project, so he exited stage left to be replaced again by Aronofsky. Ironically, Hayter's script will still be used.

Filming is provisionally scheduled for late 2005, allowing Aronofsky time to finish The Fountain, with Hugh Jackman; and Law plenty of room to bag the role. If it happens, you read it here first, people!
http://www.empireonline.co.uk/site/news/newsstory.asp?news_id=16087
 
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Anonymous

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#20
From that article:

"Watchmen is widely considered the greatest comic book of all time."

I think that should read Watchmen is widely considered the greatest comic book of IT'S time because most people who read it NOW don't get it. It was a much BIGGER deal when it came out because nobody had done anything like it...but now, all these years later, we've got Mark Millar, Warren Ellis, Grant Morrison, all writing their own "greatest comic books of all time". I still consider it to be the best of the bunch, but like most "event" books, you kinda had to be there to appreciate the full gravitas....and a lot of new comers to the book will probably wonder, to some extent maybe, what the fuss was all about.

Personally, I think that Watchmen should be a 12 episode mini with blockbusting special effects. THAT would rock.
 
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Anonymous

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#21
The real trick with 'The Watchmen' was how much the comic style matched the style of the comics it was subverting.

There's a kind of precise 60's feel to the art work that really evokes DC and Marvel at their peak.

The intercut pirate tale is the real giveaway as to how closely previous styles had been studied. It's 50's noire EC piracy to the life. ;)
 
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Anonymous

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#23
AndroMan said:
The real trick with 'The Watchmen' was how much the comic style matched the style of the comics it was subverting.
It seems to be one of Moore's things. (Have a look at TPBs such as Supreme, etc.) I hope to God that they(tm) don't ruin the film. (Like they did with The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. :( )
 

Anome

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#24
Didn't Moore originally attempt to get DC to let him use the original characters he based the Watchmen on? (The only one I remember is the Question, who was kind of an uptown Rorschach.)

Or is this another of those comic-book ULs?
 
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Anonymous

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#25
anome said:
Didn't Moore originally attempt to get DC to let him use the original characters he based the Watchmen on? (The only one I remember is the Question, who was kind of an uptown Rorschach.)

Or is this another of those comic-book ULs?
based on the Charlton Universe...see if you can spot them

http://www.internationalhero.co.uk/charlton.htm

I think it's

Captain Atom = Doctor Manhatten

Blue Beetle II = Nite Owl II

Prankster = Comedian

Question = Rorshach

I also think Thunderbolt was the original Ozymandias...but that's more a hunch. Thunderbolt was incredibly athletic and acrobatic and had "powers of the mind".

etc
 

Anome

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#27
It's certainly no larger than some of the people I knew at University.

Besides, many of them were being subsumed into the DC universe (one way or another) at the same time Watchmen came out.
 
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Anonymous

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#28
DC bought Charlton out and through Crisis on Infinite Earths incorporated the Charlton heroes like Blue Beetle and the Quesion. I can remember when they first entered the DC universe, and this was just before Watchmen came out.

You can see echoes of this in Moore's later work with Tom Strong meeting the Tom Strange Universe and in Supreme (which is great fun and was set to be a war between traditional heroes and nineties heroes...a terrifically cheeky book because more was critising the artwork being produced by the worst offender, IMAGE, during the early nineties onward and yet he did this through the very same publisher. There are familiar themes common in most of Moore's work, the often revisited and revised theme of deconstructed hero, done time and again by moore, miracle man, Captain Britain, Supreme, Tom Strong...and though this would seem like a one trick pony being flogged to death if you read ALL the books it's actually one HUGE perspective...and he manages to ask the same question time and again, but give a completely different answer each and every time.)

My favourite of his works to date is the uncompromising "Promethea". I noticed that somewhere around issue 15 they dropped the letters page, because issue after issue readers were complaining time and again about the comic not being what they thought it was gonna be. Quite amusing.
 
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Anonymous

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#29
See, there's the problem, sometime during the late Eighties, I started getting out a bit too much and missed all this. :D
 

BaronVonHoopla

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#30
I really enjoy the Watchmen, but as far as a distillation of superheroes goes, I think Alan Moore's now hard-to-find MarvelMan is much better.

It says it all, first I might add, and it does it more poetically, and at the same time is much harsher. Bates' pummelling of London is much more terrifying than the end of Watchmen IMHO.

It would make the superhero film to end all superhero films.

-Fitz
 
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