We’ve Got a ‘Watchmen’ Release Date: 03.06.2009

We’ve got a release date and official website for the Watchmen movie. So, like it or not, this thing is coming. Eventually.

There’s a production blog, and Snyder’s first entry is in there. A cast is in place, and a mathematically catchy release date. What could possibly go wrong?

I am, be-grudgingly coming around to this project. And it literally pains me to type this, but my gradual acceptance might even give way to a kind of very mild kind of curiosity mixed with expectation. I’ve gotten to the point where I know that if this has to happen, this is probably as good as it’s going to get. I picked up the 300 DVD, and dammit if he didn’t do a good job.


  1. You know, I got to thinking… there have been some rather blah movie adaptations of some fantastic prose novels (Slaughterhouse Five, The Great Gatsby, Brave New World, 1984) and those poor representations have never diminished the original work. Granted, all of us comic fans feel that comics too often do not get the respect they deserve, and Watchman is the story we, probably, believe to deserve the most respect, but a subpar movie isn’t going to affect the impact the comic delivers. And 300 was pretty gosh darn good. And could the fact that Watchmen comes out in March be a clue that this movie isn’t getting the Summer Blockbuster treatment that would likely ruin it?

    I am trying to look on the bright side of this.

  2. It’s funny that ‘they’ (the omni-present hivemind of Hollywood) keep producing Alan Moore’s work, despite him being so vehemently against it.

    Were I in the decision making position, I’m not sure I could greenlight something like that…

    But, if nothing else, 300 was quite good (though I hold that the somewhat puffy story holds up better in the comic), so there is hope nonetheless.

    Currently, I’m holding out for news on the pirate story; in or out? 🙂

  3. Currently, I’m holding out for news on the pirate story; in or out? 🙂

    You might find this interview interesting:


  4. 300 was incredible (both the movie and the book). But in all fairness, the detail in 300 (the book) could not match the amount of detail found in one issue of the Watchmen. It is pretty obvious that Miller writes his stories (Sin City/300) so that you feel like your watching a movie instead of reading a book. Even the page presentation of 300 was “widescreen.” Moore does more to put the “novel” in graphic novel while Miller is all about the “graphic” in graphic novel.

  5. I dont know how I feel about Watchmen as a moive. I have this overwhelming feeling i am going to have to justify/explain to all the people that may not get the idea. I also dont know what parts can be taken out of the story to adapt to a movie.

  6. I must admit, I’m looking forward to this. Looks like it’s happening, and if it’s gonna happen then there’s a hell of a lot worse people that could do it than Zack Snyder. 300 was great, he obviously knows his craft pretty well, and from the interviews I’ve read he has a great respect for the material (insisting to the studio that it’s R-rated for instance). And he’s got a pretty decent cast for this thing (i.e: real actors).

    Still, if I had my dream director, I’d wish Paul Greengrass was still on this thing.

  7. I don’t know. See, the last director before Snyder was Paul Greengrass, director of the “Bourne Supremacy,” “Bourne Ultimatum,” and “Bloody Sunday.” He seemed to be a good choice since no matter what the material, he takes a mature, realistic approach. As cool as it is to see panels cut and pasted from comic to screen, I think it’s sometimes better when a director brings his own insight, which I didn’t get with “300”. Either way, I would have preferred to see this as an HBO-mini-series a la “Rome” so that Moore’s characters and story had room to breathe. Oh well, maybe they can do that with “Miracleman”…

  8. Either way, I would have preferred to see this as an HBO-mini-series a la “Rome” so that Moore’s characters and story had room to breathe.

    They tried that, but HBO passed on it.

  9. The biggest problem I have with this project isn’t the director or cast or even the fact that in general comic based movies usually suck( especially the works of Moore). What really bothers me is that what makes this book such a great comic is that it’s the type of story that ONLY works as a comic. Whenever people ask me why I love comics so much I always cite the issue with Dr. Manhattan on Mars. Comics is the only medium that that story would really work. With all the jumps through time, the scene would be disjunctive in a movie, and lose all impact in prose.

    What really confuses me about the desire to make this movie is the motivation. A while back I heard Snyder on Adam Carolla and he claimed that he was working on a movie based on the “mack daddy” of comics. Watchmen isn’t considered the “mack daddy” because it’s a great story(and don’t get me wrong, it is) but because it was the perfect melding of a writer and artist, pushing the medium to new heights and changing everything that came after it. That doesn’t seem like a good reason to make a movie to me…

  10. “With all the jumps through time, the scene would be disjunctive in a movie, and lose all impact in prose.”

    Hm, I think the Fellini film “8 1/2”, and the Faulkner novel “The Sound and the Fury”(…hell..why not just drop the real bomb and say Joyce’s “Ulysses”) shoot that argument to hell. Trust me, read all those novel and watch all those films that you would normally consider “pretentious” and you’ll find perfect analogues to the Dr. Manhattan on Mars sequence that work quite well.

    Although I do agree with you, that its a comic meant to be a comic. I think it has more to do with its self-reflexive nature though.

  11. I agree an HBO-mini-series a la “Rome” so that Moore’s characters and story had room to breathe would be better; in fact, many comic properties would be much better served as a TV series rather than trying to squeeze so much into 90-160 minutes, as is so often the case. In fact, the serialized storytelling of comic stories almost makes this the obvious and logical course.

    BUT – As Conor notes,
    “They tried that, but HBO passed on it.”

    I resist the temptation that studio executives operate as a “Hollywood Hive Mind” (which is really just people making decisions based on what they’ve been told to think rather than logic), but the HBO decision really dissapoints me. Such a logical course of action (TV series), such an illogical choice (to pass on a TV series).

    I’m with most everyone here — “Hope for the best, expect the worst.” What I think the film producers risk is this – Ghost Rider or Spider-Man 3 can be pretty mediocre and still the average, non comics fan will buy tickets. Watchman? This is an entirely open question, and the producers could in fact be taking a very big risk.

    If it does not have action packed car chases and big fights and explosions, as it should not, the average movie goer might not buy tickets, and Watchman fans could still be dissapointed. If it stays fairly true to the original, Watchman fans will go grudgingly, but the “Ghost Rider” ticket buyers will stay away. Very risky movie venture, actually…. the human element in the story, and the thematic element is there to attract the average movie goer, but as people here all say, there is so much, where to fit it all in?

    Again, very risky proposition from the studio’s point of view, assuming they know what they are getting into to… (which I somehow doubt…)

  12. What really confuses me about the desire to make this movie is the motivation.

    Money. Prestige. Pretty much the only reasons movies are made.

  13. An excellent point, but it goes back to mine – if they produce something that lacks prestige, doesn’t make money — where are they? That’s the risk, and the amount of money spent on movies ensures risk is always the big factor.

  14. HBO is like the great pie in the sky for comic properties, but the fact is, it’s never happened yet. The best we have is early development on a Preacher series that I, personally don’t think will ever actually happen. And given the producer’s record, I’m totally OK with that. Mark Steven Johnson is like the Anti-Snyder.

    Also, a great deal of the excellent shows on HBO die an early death. The successful series on HBO (the Sopranos, Sex and the City, Six Feet Under) had broad appeal, where many other fantastic programs failed to gain an audience (Rome, John from Cincinnati, Deadwood). Maybe you could count the Spawn animated series, but I think HBO has passed those days.