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New Watchmen Character Pics!

I am impressed with Zach Snyder releasing them like this – it’s a bold move (check them out here).

RorschachFull.jpg

Rorschach looks cool, at least!

What say you folks?

78 Comments

You are aware that this movie will be all about visuals and not about story, right?

Which is why it’s impressive of Snyder to open up these visuals to a, how you say, critical audience. ;)

Gutsy move by Snyder.

Tom Fitzpatrick

March 6, 2008 at 6:37 pm

Hey, now, now.

Wait until the movie comes out, go and see it, and then decide whether it’s good or bad.

The Comedian is just perfect!

Ozymandias isn’t too shabby, tho.

Not too sure about Night Owl, but definitely would love to be beaten up by Silk Spectre! ;-)

I can’t help but get a really bad feeling looking at that Night Owl – he looks too much like any given superhero from any given superhero film, and not the pudgy guy in mid-life crisis that’s presented in the story.

I also can’t help but think that Rorschach looks a little silly, but that could be because we haven’t actually seen him in action yet.

-M

I live in Vancouver and each day drive through Burnaby, back and forth past the Watchmen film site that’s been constructed in some empty industrial land. Now from the road you can see the false fronts of the pretend New York brownstones, rising behind the fence.

The kid in me wants to climb the fence.

You are aware that this movie will be all about visuals and not about story, right?

How do you know this? Is it based on some interviews where they describe major deviations from the source material or something? (I haven’t been following the press for this movie so I don’t know much of the behind the scenes stuff) Snyder was pretty loyal to 300 so I assumed the same would apply to this…

“Not too sure about Night Owl, but definitely would love to be beaten up by Silk Spectre!”

Rorschach can drop me down her elevator shaft anytime.

Not too sure about Night Owl, but definitely would love to be beaten up by Silk Spectre!

Hey, different strokes and all that, I won’t judge ya, but personally? I’d rather just have a lot of sex with her. But that’s just me…

Nite-Owl should be fatter.

“Snyder was pretty loyal to 300 so I assumed the same would apply to this…”

Just to get this out of the way, there is a huge difference between being pulling off a faithful adaptation of 300 on film and doing Watchmen. But I’ve been ignoring its existence for the most part, so I don’t know if the idea of it being all hat and no cattle is snark (not that it’s snark without justification) or something you can extrapolate from whatever Snyder’s said about it.

I think the Nite Owl costume completely encapsulates what I expect Snyder’s approach to this movie will be. I mean come on, he tried to make the Nite Owl costume look cool. That alone speaks volumes about his understanding of the source material. This will probably be recognizable as Watchmen on only the most superficial levels.

Remember, this is the man whose idea of character development was the “HEY LOOK AT HOW GAY THIS GAY GUY IS HE WEARS WOMEN’S SHOES WHAT A GAY” scene in the director’s cut of Dawn of the Dead.

These photos do not speak well for the movie; they kinda indicate that the director has missed a big point of the book.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

March 6, 2008 at 8:36 pm

I don’t like any of them, except maybe Rosarch.
Comedian looks too over the top, and the others look like bad attempts at X-men meets Batman, giving the feeling that this film is just going to try be ‘kewl’ rather then come up with a distinct look of it’s own.

How do you know this? Is it based on some interviews where they describe major deviations from the source material or something? (I haven’t been following the press for this movie so I don’t know much of the behind the scenes stuff) Snyder was pretty loyal to 300 so I assumed the same would apply to this…

Because all of Snyder’s films have been all flash no substance, and lacking in any form of originality or personal style.

Oh, and 300 he was loyal to, most likely because the producers/studio told him to be.
300 came about solely because of Sin City being a hit.
Sin City followed Millar exactly, and then so does 300.

The Ozymandias and Nite Owl costumes are going to take some getting used to. They aren’t bad, but they’re not what I’m accustomed to seeing. I also need to see more of the Silk Spectre costume before I can really judge it. Right now, though, it looks like something out of The Incredibles.

Comedian and Rorschach are absolutely perfect, though.

Everything I’ve heard about the movie so far makes it sound like they’re going to stick as close to the source material as possible, so I have high hopes for this movie.

Oh, and 300 he was loyal to, most likely because the producers/studio told him to be.
300 came about solely because of Sin City being a hit.
Sin City followed Millar exactly, and then so does 300.

Just to play devil’s advocate (don’t love or hate Snyder personally), isn’t it possible that the studio told him to do the same with Watchmen. If he was told to be loyal to 300 because Sin City was loyal and a hit, maybe they said be loyal to Watchmen also because 300 and Sin City were both loyal and were hits.

I’ve seen some discussion about why the Silk Spectre costume makes sense: the original costume was essentially fetish gear, and all that’s been done with the costume is to update it to modern mores.

The costume for Ozymandias gives me a Darth Vader vibe.

The only one I’m not sold on is Ozmandias and that’s due to the sculpted muscles. I think the actor playing him looks the part though.

I’m not expecting great things from this one but I’m not expected an outright disaster either.

I believe that Ozymandias’s costume is wildly off the mark and immediately pegs him as the bad guy. He’s gymnast why would he wear that get up? Nite-owl looks more like the “batman” character which is fine. As for the people who say he’s too skinny, maybe the pic is from when he was in his prime.

So what is Snyder telling us by not releasing a Doctor Manhattan picture?

I’m a bit torn on these. I agree with M Bloom that Rorschach and Comedian look dead on.

Nite Owl is too much Batman, not enough Blue Beetle. OTOH, I think changing him from a Blue Beetle-like hero to a Batman-like hero might make sense, from a “reaching the general public” standpoint. Blue Beetle isn’t exactly a household name, and on the surface is similar to Batman (rich guy, no powers, cool toys, awesome car). It won’t change who Nite Owl is, really.

Silk Spectre looks like she’s waiting for one of the Charmin bears to bring her something.

And while I agree that Ozymandias looks a bit like the bad guy, I also recognize that I’m biased by knowing the story. Likewise, I don’t think I’ll be particularly surprised when they rip Rorschach’s mask off…

“So what is Snyder telling us by not releasing a Doctor Manhattan picture?”

Doctor Manhattan will be a whole lot of CGI work like the Silver Surfer and Gollum. They might be finalizing his look in post.

“And while I agree that Ozymandias looks a bit like the bad guy, I also recognize that I’m biased by knowing the story. Likewise, I don’t think I’ll be particularly surprised when they rip Rorschach’s mask off…”

Ozmandia definately reads bad guy. But it looks like that still takes place on ANtartica. Ozmandias isn’t in costume (outside of flashbacks) until that scene anyways. I guess it depends on how Goode plays him.

I’m not too worried about Rorscharch because Jackie Earl Haley isn’t that recognizable of an actor and we haven’t seen any stills of him out of the mask yet. I hope they save that for the movie.

“Wait until the movie comes out, go and see it, and then decide whether it’s good or bad.”

Now that’s a mighty generous offer, but I think I’ll pass.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

March 6, 2008 at 10:02 pm

Just to play devil’s advocate (don’t love or hate Snyder personally), isn’t it possible that the studio told him to do the same with Watchmen. If he was told to be loyal to 300 because Sin City was loyal and a hit, maybe they said be loyal to Watchmen also because 300 and Sin City were both loyal and were hits.

They’ve never shown the slightest hint of loyalty to an Alan Moore concept before…

Also, and I’ll admit this is mostly gut feelings, he’s missed the tone from all the pics I’ve seen.

But c’mon, if Gilliam or Aronofsky both couldn’t get it to work, I have zero faith in someone from the Bret Ratner school of directing to do it.

Those pictures look far too flashy, and give me the impression that we’re just going to get another Sin City or 300 in terms of style, which is all wrong for Watchmen.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

March 6, 2008 at 10:57 pm

or an LXG.

I really, really hope these are flashback pics, and not what they’re supposed to look like in the “present day” of the film. Especially Batma… Nite Owl.

Also, are they changing her name to Latex Spectre?

I’m still fairly skeptical about the whole movie, Comedian and Rorschach look spot on though, Silk Spectre’s not too bad.

Nite-Owl does seem a little too modern in his look, I’m hoping the trim figure will be revealed as a girdle or maybe this is just him in his prime.

Ozymandias, well he just needs a top hat and a pointy mustache for twirling to complete his new costume, I think it would’ve been more interesting if the poster put him over as a superman like hero.

To paraphrase myself from CBR’s TV/Film board (which I moderate, by the way), they miss the point. Check out Ozymandias here, http://www.weirdspace.dk/Alan%20Moore/Adrian%20Veidt.htm, and then look at his movie costume. Yes, it looks much brighter in the comic, but that was the point. He was emulating royalty, especially the Egyptian motif. Also, the color scheme actually had something to do with his outlook on his part in society. The movie costume for Ozymandias looks like what is now a cliched superhero movie costume.

And Owlman looks like a dark avenger, when he was modeled off of a much more light-hearted character, Blue Beetle. That was also the point. Putting a dark avenger in a murder mystery, society-changing epic isn’t nearly the same thing as putting a retired, more light-hearted character in the same story.

This is one of the few times I’ve seen pictures for a movie and had an outright negative reaction to it. These pictures show a lack of understanding of the characters and story motivation. The end product could be much different, but I’m not given a lot of hope by these early pictures.

Rorschach and The Comedian look great though. I actually really like Comedian’s hair. Silk Spectre looks decent from what I can see and gets across the sexualized nature of her character.

Ahh thank god for the Comics Should Be Good readers. Everyone on the other forums is drooling all over these pictures, nice to see people show a bit of caution.

I’m not even bothered if the film is “accurate” or the costumes match the ones seen on the page, because in all honesty I don’t think Watchmen is filmable. Instead, I’d be happy to see somebody capture the essence of the story in a way that works in film, even if this means some little changes. However, Snyder is NOT a director I have any faith in managing to do this. If Martin Scorsese took it up I might have some cautious curiosity, but as it is I’m convinced this is going to be a trainwreck.

The big issue for me though is why do we even need this film? Sure it may bring some money into the comic industry with new readers, which is alway nice. But Watchmen works fine as a comic (and does so with great use of comic techniques), it doesn’t need to be translated into comic form to validate it. We don’t need a comic adaptation of Godfather – why do we need this? I appreciate thats just my opinion and rather insignificant compared to the profit making concerns of large film studios

That being said, Rorschach sure does look cool :P

Hopefully the Nite Owl costume is from a Flashback when he was fitter. I wish they’d allowed his costume to look a bit sillier like it was in the comic, but I’m not too worried there.

The Comedian is perfect, Rorschach looks good and Silk Spectre looks a bit silly (which does a bit to alleviate my worry about Nite Owl)

Ozymandias is completely wrong though. From the fake muscles to the darker colour scheme they seem to have completely missed the point there.

I was pretty disappointed; to be honest, all of them look like they were done by the costume designer for ‘Batman and Robin’ (but particularly Silk Spectre, who also manages to look uncomfortable and unconvincing in her chosen pose.)

Plus, it looks like Rorshach is just wearing a white mask with black dots on it. The whole point of waiting this long to adapt it, to me, is so that the special effects can represent all the cool things that the unlimited budget of comics can do easily. For them to have waited all this time, and then not given Rorshach a mask that flows and shifts from moment to moment, well…what’s the point? :)

I’d wait until we’ve seen a moving shot of Rorschach before dismissing the possibility of it moving. Special effects are good enough now that it would just look like a white mask with black dots in a still shot.

(And more and more this board keeps telling me I can’t post more than once every 15 seconds when I haven’t posted for two hours!)

I was really looking forward to this movie.

Now I am looking forward to it a bit less.

Sigh.

For the people complaining that Nite Owl is too slim… The Comedian is depicted as being alive. If that isn’t a major mistake, I don’t know what is!

snider explained how they are going to do rorschach’s mask… they have the whole thing greenscreened with his eyes cut out–that way, when they do the blobby black and white thing, they can do what gibbons did in the comic and have the blobs sort of mimic whatever emotion the face underneath is portraying.

i’m hesitantly excited about this…i’m not going to pass any judgement until i see the movie, though!

They’ve never shown the slightest hint of loyalty to an Alan Moore concept before…

Yes, but that was also before Sin City and 300 came out and showed that you can actually be fiercely loyal to the source material in a comic book movie and still have a mainstream hit.

Also, and I’ll admit this is mostly gut feelings, he’s missed the tone from all the pics I’ve seen.

That’s a fair criticism. I’m going to wait until I see the costumes in action though. Plus, maybe they’re flashback pics.

But c’mon, if Gilliam or Aronofsky both couldn’t get it to work, I have zero faith in someone from the Bret Ratner school of directing to do it.

Maybe because they overthought it or got pretentious. Maybe being of a simpler mind will actually help Snyder because he won’t overthink and overinterpret the source material, just recreate it. No lofty ideas of his own to clash with Moore’s vision. After all, who’d have thought Brett Ratner would have produced a superior superhero movie (X-Men 3) than Brian Singer (Superman Returns) in the same summer? Surely not me. But X3 was better than Superman Begins in every way. So you never know.

Just a reminder: I’m not worried when Hollywood hacks like Ratner, Emmerich, or P.W.S. Anderson take on material like X-Men, the Avengers, or the FF (although this upcoming Justice League thing makes me cringe a little). They’re supposed to be big, simple entertainment. 300 (both comic and movie) falls into the same category: sure it’s got character nuance and political allusion (like the X-Men, etc.), but it’s still essentially a superhero story, with black-and-white morality, heroic feats of bravery and sacrifice, and tons of fighting. But all the above examples sure as heck aren’t Watchmen.

I wouldn’t call Snyder a hack, necessarily, but let’s face it: this is the guy who dumbed down a *zombie* movie. I think I’ll be a bit hurt forever that the last director attached to Watchmen, Paul Greengrass (Bourne Identity, United 93), left the project.

Except X3 was still unbelievably terrible by any objective standards.

Comparing it to Superman Returns doesn’t change the fact that it’s still a goddamn awful movie and Brett Ratner is a hack who never interacted with the cast and was only hired to direct the movie because he was willing to cut the budget and farm out most of the movie to 4 second unit directors when Matthew Vaughn wasn’t.

I honestly doubt Snyder even understands Moore’s vision to interpret it beyond “whoa this fight scene with Rorschach is gonna look badass once I pump up the film grain and alternately slow down and speed up every movement he makes.”

I’m so-so on these pics. The Comedian looks pretty damn good. Silk Spectre looks suprisingly credible and yet loyal to the comic. And Rorschach looks absolutely perfect (admitedly, he has a tough costume to screw up).

But Ozymandias doesn’t have much of an Egyptian/Alexander the Great look at all. Looks like they droped the ball there. And I personally wish they’d stuck closer to Gibbons’ design for Nite-Owl (including that great owl-like mask). I’m rather sick of the whole sculpted-muscle look for film superheroes, anyway.

The Dollar Bill costume we glimpsed in the first Gibbons blog looks terrific, though.

The guy playing Veidt looks more like he’d be serving me frozen yogurt at his after-school job than plotting a world-changing scheme … Hopefully, a flashback of him as Kid Oz …

I don’t mind Nite-Owl’s uni so much. It ‘roided up a bit, but I dig the curved ears and Archie looks money … He needs a gut, tho. More brews, homes …

Comedian and SS looks solid, tho …

Keep in mind, I think these are supposed to be pictures of them in their heyday. Clues being that they all look very young, and I think makeup will be provided for when their older, two Nite Owl is pretty skinny, and three the Comedian is both alive and has a gun (as opposed to being unarmed and thrown out a window).

Except X3 was still unbelievably terrible by any objective standards.

It really wasn’t all that bad. If people never knew Ratner’s name was attached I’m sure they wouldn’t have wigged out so much when watching it. It was a plot straight out of an X-men comic, had a ton of great action and it did the source material justice. Let’s be honest, it was way more entertaining than X-Men 1, which was cool but also benefitted from people overrating it due to being so damn grateful that it didn’t outright suck or butcher the concept altogether. Once the novelty and gratitude wear off and you watch the X1 over again, it really is a serviceable but dull movie.

I usually think of Ratner as an awful hack, but I have to give him credit for doing a great X-Men movie.

Nah, X3 was god awful: Characters and themes that had been established in the film (not to mention 30 or so years of comics) were cast aside in favor of a hackneyed, if visually compelling, end scene.

Really, really bad. X1 was OK, but setting up ensembles always seems to be kinda clunky. X2 was great … another reason why X3 was such a miserable experience.

i meant to say other films, not film, though film is what i typed.

Black Lutefisk

March 7, 2008 at 1:59 pm

Rorschach and the Comedian are on target. Ozymandias needs to radiate gold for it to work. I agree that between this and Night Owl’s weight, Snyder misses the point. Like Rorshach’s mask, however, maybe they fix tat with CGI in post production. Or a fish-eye lens for Night Owl.

*shrug* I’ll pay admission.

X3 was just all-around lazy and poorly made. They tried to cram two very ambitious plotlines together in under 100 minutes, had major pacing issues, and generally paid far less attention to anything they were doing than either of the previous films. Then again, they went from David Hayter and Bryan Singer to Simon Kinberg and Brett Ratner, so all of that was to be expected.

The pacing of the entire movie was terrible, multiple entire character arcs made no goddamn sense and completely went against the past two movies, and there were horrendous continuity problems, like the scene where Magneto starts crossing the Golden Gate Bridge at daylight and doesn’t reach the other side until it’s pitch black outside. And let’s not forget Ratner’s idiotic decision to actually go back and reshoot just so that he could include that excrutiating shout-out to “I’m the Juggernaut, bitch!”

The entire film was the definition of lazy, half-assed hack work.

Black Lutefisk

March 7, 2008 at 2:00 pm

tat = that. Ugh.

The entire film was the definition of lazy, half-assed hack work.

Still more entertaining and a better crowd-pleaser than X-Men 1. And it was very true to the comic. I’m glad Singer left when he did.

“And it was very true to the comic.”

X3? Not at all.

Yes, but that was also before Sin City and 300 came out and showed that you can actually be fiercely loyal to the source material in a comic book movie and still have a mainstream hit.

But neither of those were good movies. Adherence and mainstream success are only valuable to the creators and producers. The audience deserves a good movie.

Still more entertaining and a better crowd-pleaser than X-Men 1

What’s your definition of a “crowd-pleaser”? Because the fans liked the first one better, and I didn’t hear anyone laughing during fight scenes in the first one, either.

Half of the audience erupted when Prof. X exploded in X3.

The audience deserves a good movie.

The audience “deserves” a movie they like and enjoy, plain and simple. And audiences love Sin City and 300, hence the brisk theater ticket and DVD sales.

X3? Not at all.

Well, as true as the first two installments at least. It’s plot was taken straight from Dark Phoenix and there were several storylines from the comics in recent years involving mutant cures recently. (Astonishing and X-Statics)

“Plus, it looks like Rorshach is just wearing a white mask with black dots on it. The whole point of waiting this long to adapt it, to me, is so that the special effects can represent all the cool things that the unlimited budget of comics can do easily. For them to have waited all this time, and then not given Rorshach a mask that flows and shifts from moment to moment, well…what’s the point”

You do realize it’s a still image right? They are going CGI up his mask.

The audience “deserves” a movie they like and enjoy, plain and simple. And audiences love Sin City and 300, hence the brisk theater ticket and DVD sales.

Don’t try to obfuscate my argument by hinting at accusations. I’m not speaking from the fanboy entitlement mentality, and you have no reason to suspect me of doing so.

All audiences of all art deserve quality art. They pay to view, and are therefore deserving of a meaniingful experience. There’s no reason that can’t be entertaining for them as well.

Has there been any statement as to the anticipated length of this movie? If they try to do Watchmen in 100 minutes I’ll leave it til the dvd.
And I’m trying to hope that the stills are the characters in the earlier Crime Busters phase. But those costumes dont look very 60s or 70s-ish, which makes me a dubious.

“Has there been any statement as to the anticipated length of this movie? If they try to do Watchmen in 100 minutes I’ll leave it til the dvd.”

I think they are going for 2 plus hours and hopefully an extended DVD version (with Black Freighter and Under the Hood Supplements)

“But c’mon, if Gilliam or Aronofsky both couldn’t get it to work, I have zero faith in someone from the Bret Ratner school of directing to do it.”

Aronofsky dropped out to the project to make the Fountain with Brad Pitt and when that fell apart Paul Greengrass (who I thought would have done a great job) was set to make it and that fell through when Paramount (I think) passed on the project and he moved on to I think United 93 and the Bourne movies.

Gilliam also planned to make the movie in the late 80s/early 90s when a lot of stuff wouldn’t be technically possible. Though he did say it would work better as a miniseries.

Not saying Snyder will do a great job (300 looked great but was pretty shallow, but then again so was the comic) but the project seemed to suffer from a lot of problems out of the filmmakers control.

“The big issue for me though is why do we even need this film? Sure it may bring some money into the comic industry with new readers, which is alway nice. But Watchmen works fine as a comic (and does so with great use of comic techniques), it doesn’t need to be translated into comic form to validate it. We don’t need a comic adaptation of Godfather – why do we need this? I appreciate thats just my opinion and rather insignificant compared to the profit making concerns of large film studios”

Why do we need any of these movies? Why do we need American Splendor? It works better as a comic. But the movie was pretty good though and I’m glad they made it. Why do we need another Batman movie? I honestly don’t think we need one. Batman works much better in the comics. But hey Dark Knight looks awesome so I’m up for it.

Honestly I think the filmmakers think they can make this work as a movie and give us something better then the other superhero movies we’ve seen so far. Yeah there’s a strong chance it will suck. But that’s the case with pretty much any movie. Dark Knight could be a mess of Spider-man 3 proportions.

It’s cool they are going to try to do this. And I’m rooting for them to pull it off. I think it’s a good story and I think there’s a lot there to make a good movie. But if they don’t I’m not going to be terribly disappointed.

Either way there’s plenty of other options for people looking for good flicks though next year is looking light on the superhero front, we got only Watchmen, Wolverine (which is actually looking pretty good lately) and maybe Justice League (which isn’t looking good) next year.

Wow, Grant…I disagree incredibly strongly with almost everything you just said.

“Wow, Grant…I disagree incredibly strongly with almost everything you just said.”

Awesome.

Somehow I had a feeling you’d say that.

“Why do we need any of these movies? Why do we need American Splendor? It works better as a comic. But the movie was pretty good though and I’m glad they made it. Why do we need another Batman movie? I honestly don’t think we need one. Batman works much better in the comics. But hey Dark Knight looks awesome so I’m up for it.”

With regards to American Splendor, no we definitely didn’t need a film but yes it was great and I’m glad they did it too. Crucially for me they recognised that directly translating the source material page for page into film form wouldn’t work, and instead did something very clever with it that took advantage of some of the tools of film (adding the cool postmodern documentary-like interviews and such). I feel the same about Watchmen personally. I don’t think a direct adaptation will work, but unlike with American Splendor, I have absolutely zero faith in Snyder’s ability to do anything different with it.

And with regards to Batman, yes I see your point. But I’d say Batman is a more unique case. Sure Batman will always be a comics character most of all, but more than that hes a pop culture figure with a long history in multiple forms of media/art. I think fans who complain about Batman films not being faithful to the source material miss the point somewhat – Batman no longer just belongs to comics.

Watchmen on the other hand does, and I don’t see why we need an inferior version of something that already works so well in comic form.

Don’t try to obfuscate my argument by hinting at accusations. I’m not speaking from the fanboy entitlement mentality, and you have no reason to suspect me of doing so.

All audiences of all art deserve quality art. They pay to view, and are therefore deserving of a meaniingful experience. There’s no reason that can’t be entertaining for them as well.

What on earth are you talking about? You said 300 and Sin City were not good movies and that audiences “deserve” good movies. All I’m saying is that based on how great the public’s reaction was to both movies, as shown by the enthusiastic fans of both films and the brisk movie ticket and DVD sales, I think a lot of people feel that they did get two good movies. I don’t think all those guys that love 300 and Sin City, own the DVDs and rewatch them as frequently as possible feel like they got less than they deserved. Just because you feel like you didn’t get the level of depth you like from your entertainment doesn’t mean the audience was shortchanged and got less than it deserved. I think the audiences on a whole were happy and find the movies to be good.

El Bastardo Magnifico

March 8, 2008 at 11:54 am

Posting this incredibly late but whatever:

“All that’s been done with the costume is to update it to modern mores.”

Ah yes, 2008 fashion sensibilites for people in 1986 who haven’t worn their costumes since the seventies.

“With regards to American Splendor, no we definitely didn’t need a film but yes it was great and I’m glad they did it too. Crucially for me they recognised that directly translating the source material page for page into film form wouldn’t work, and instead did something very clever with it that took advantage of some of the tools of film (adding the cool postmodern documentary-like interviews and such). ”

Not arguing that. And while the style they used in the movie worked for the movie it didn’t have the same impact me as the American Splendor comics. Which is an unrealistic expectation to have.

“I feel the same about Watchmen personally. I don’t think a direct adaptation will work, but unlike with American Splendor, I have absolutely zero faith in Snyder’s ability to do anything different with it.”

I’m not saying he’s the best guy to do it. But at the same time I think he’s a little more passionate about this project then say Michael Bay on Transformers or Brett Ratner on X-Men 3. I’m not going to fault a guy for trying to make a good movie even if the odds are against him. And I do think a direct adaptation isn’t the best take but at the same time I’m curious because he’s doing things that normally one wouldn’t do when adapting a superhero comic. I do question the creative motivations for that and whether or not it will work but at the same time I kind of want to see it.

“And with regards to Batman, yes I see your point. But I’d say Batman is a more unique case. Sure Batman will always be a comics character most of all, but more than that hes a pop culture figure with a long history in multiple forms of media/art. I think fans who complain about Batman films not being faithful to the source material miss the point somewhat – Batman no longer just belongs to comics.”

Do they need to keep making Batman movies other then purposes of making money though? We’ve got 6 of them already. Would the cinematic world suffer if they stop making Batman movies? I don’t see the “need” to make Batman movies.

“Watchmen on the other hand does, and I don’t see why we need an inferior version of something that already works so well in comic form.”

I think it’s pretty simple. It’s a good story and has elements in it to make a good movie. I have my doubts that the guy who directed 300 and Dawn of the Dead is the right person to do it. And there’s a bit of a novelty to seeing these characters on the screen. But at the end of the day if it sucks will it really that much harm? We survived some shitty Alan Moore adaptations an yet those books remain on the shelves (some of them are even taught in schools).

Eiither way it’s Warner Bros money to spend. If they want to make a movie they can. If you don’t want to see you don’t have to.

Say, you don’t mind if I care about Watchmen a little more than you do, do you Grant?

With all due respect, Plok, you are usually more persuasive. The one-liner dismissals you’re peppering through this thread haven’t really added a lot and I bet Grant is thinking there’s something personal happening.

Probably everybody following this thread cares (to some extent at least)about Watchmen. I’m still kind of choked that Brian isn’t letting us vote for it in the current poll, I’d love to see just where in the top three it would end up. I’ll make up my own mind whether to wait until dvd to see it (or whether to even skip it then, I still haven’t watched Extraordinary Gentlemen or Ghost Rider all the way through, I gave up on both about half-way) based on what I read and the trailers I see between now and then.

They’ll film whatever adaptations they decide to film, and my expectations are never too high. The only time I take real offense is when the movie is so bad it makes the source material appear equally ridiculous (I remember the late ’80s, trying to convince people that actually Howard the Duck had once been a wonderful comic, after they’d seen that wretched movie).

And at least Watchmen won’t have Alba as Sue Richards.

Oh! Hey…

Okay, I hadn’t taken that into account — thanks for the heads-up, Fourthworlder. And Grant, I’m not trying to be a dick or get personal, it’s just that it seems to me you’re mostly arguing for everybody to CHILL OUT, what’s the big deal, hey if it works out that’s great, but if it doesn’t no big loss, anyway no one’s gonna force you to go see it…

And this point of view isn’t one I find particularly persuasive; however, it is difficult to rebut.

More on that in just one second — first I want to get this posted before Grant really does take offense. Whoops!

Right, I’m back.

So here’s the problem: it’s difficult to argue against the idea that all this doesn’t really amount to much of importance in an objective sense, and if the movie turns out great, hey we’re on the plus side! But the thing is, there can be Batman movies and Batman movies, and Batman TV shows and Batman TV shows, and yes Batman comics and comics and comics. Some are good, and some are bad (and some are awful), but none are necessary and so all are luxuries…and Batman’s always there to do over again maybe better the next time. Plus, a Batman story’s pretty much a Batman story: it can be made shitty, but it can’t really be made completely and totally wrong. You can have a million stupid versions of Batman, and still never encounter a travesty of Batman. Okay, Spider-Man 3 comes awfully close to being a travesty, but at least we’ll always have SM1 and SM2, right?

Watchmen’s a little different. It isn’t just one more superhero story, to be made into one more superhero movie in the regular way, and we won’t have Watchmen 2 or 3 to come along and make it better afterwards — ipso facto. Glad Fourthworlder mentioned Howard The Duck — Batman and Robin was just awful, but HTD was a travesty. HTD the movie failed utterly to capture any of the themes, humour, or quality of storytelling at work in the comic — in fact it was almost like it didn’t understand what any of these were in the first place, didn’t realize that its source material was good. And very possibly it was just a dumb idea in the first place, with extraordinarily long odds against it ever being any good at all, under any circumstances. A cigar-smoking duck in a comic-book? Okay. On screen? Hmm, I don’t know…sounds like a stretch. Sure, they made Planet of the Apes, and that worked, but that doesn’t mean people are gonna like Howard.

And besides, it wasn’t Howard.

Watchmen is in that same ballpark, I believe. A ferocious technical accomplishment perfectly suited to the comics form (as perfectly as a wisecracking, world-weary duck is suited to it as a protagonist), Watchmen uses the superhero genre to explore and accentuate the matter of growing up, growing old, and letting go in a universe where freedom is very strictly and cruelly curtailed, to the point where one is tempted to think of it as wholly illusory. Watchmen is about time, and fate, and doom; it is not about who’s killing the superheroes.

Who’s killing the superheroes would be an easy movie to make. In fact they made it already: The Incredibles. And it was really good!

But it was made to be a movie, and Watchmen really wasn’t. Consider that almost every image in Watchmen becomes a motif, that belongs to a greater family of motifs: Watchmen is extremely graphically rich, logically dense, loaded with detail, packed full of juxtaposition. In a comic, you can dwell on such details. In a movie you can’t…at least, not easily. That’s one thing right there, that makes it hard to imagine how to do a good job. Of course Mr. Snyder is a professional film director, and I’m not: very likely he’s got some brilliant ideas about how to approach this subset (super-set?) of the subject matter, which I haven’t thought of. But will those ideas be brilliant enough? If I try real hard, I can maybe think of a director who might’ve been able to do justice to Howard. Wait…no, actually I can’t, but there may well be somebody like that out there. Watchmen’s a little easier: some directors have already shown themselves to be interested in and excited about this same double vu obsession with Time that Moore and Gibbons make such a stunning show of. If it was announced that Michel Gondry was directing Watchmen, I’d be more than happy to think positive thoughts about it — I consider that guy a real artist, whose oeuvre suggests he’d be well-suited to such material. For that matter, I wish he’d made From Hell.

But Watchmen has got to be a tough adaptation to make in any case, regardless of the director being all simpatico with the original vision. For one thing, all that detail makes it a very big story. Also, its themes don’t admit of easy summary. Also, some of the most affecting parts of it were bound up in long episodes of layered flashback and narration, something I imagine would be difficult to preserve in film. Was it Sam Hamm who wrote a treatment for it, that circulated online a couple of years ago? Wow, did he ever miss the point with that one. That one was no good at all. Just an X-Men movie with the Watchmen names, and cape-killing. Rorschach for Wolverine. Nite Owl for Beast. Blah.

And should I not care about that, not be glad that version of Watchmen was never made?

A friend of mine also points out that the scene-changing in Watchmen, so thrilling on the page, would be trite and stale on a movie screen, and I think maybe he’s right — one of the things comics can do that movies can’t, is to make stuff that would look stupid in a movie come vividly to life on a page. And obviously that sword cuts both ways, too…when comics ape the vocabulary of movies too enthusiastically, sometimes they essay pronunciations that fall hopelessly flat on the “ear”, too. So what would it take, to overcome this little matter of convergent, but occasionally dissonant, visual style?

I don’t know. But I know that if it is not overcome, the movie would be better off not being made…oh, except for the purpose of Warner Bros. making money from it, of course. Grant brings up something I consider to be an unfair tactic, there: “it’s their money, and they can do what they want with it, so pipe down, your objections are pointless.” I apologize if that sounds harsh; I think maybe I was just dropping the one-liners in there in an effort not to say something that sounded harsh, strangely enough…but oh well, in for a penny…and I really do not mean to be a dick about it, but invoking Warners’ right to spend their money as they see fit does very little to settle the issue of whether a film version of Watchmen that ends up being a travesty of its excellent source material is something we as comics fans, or indeed anybody, “needs”. Actually I think we probably do “need” good movies to watch, if we’re going to have movies at all — and as a matter of fact I don’t think every movie that gets greenlighted has a better-than-even chance of stinking out the joint anyway, so we have to take the good with the bad and be happy with the occasional flower growing out of the garbage dump… In fact I repudiate that view: that Spider-Man 3 sucked so very, very badly is not the fault of the odds, it’s the fault of the person or persons who made it suck…and that they did a bad job with it is reason enough to find fault with them, and lay blame at their feet. I don’t think that’s unfair, or just negative thinking, or anything like that. Movies, like comics, should be Good, shouldn’t they? And isn’t it faintly insulting to filmmaking professionals to say they’re pretty much bound to screw the pooch every time they go to work?

And if they did…why would that be okay, and no big deal?

Sorry, ranting a little — again, no offense is intended, Grant, it’s just how I see it. Your sunny live-and-let-live attitude isn’t anything I feel compelled by a grouchy character to sneeze at, but at the same time…wow, you think it’s cool they’re making it, and you’re rooting for them, but if it sucks then you won’t be too disappointed, you’ll just go see Wolverine instead and maybe that’ll be better…seems to be what you’re saying, and I just can’t bring myself to agree with you. I will be disappointed — very disappointed — if someone makes a movie of Watchmen that completely misses its point except for the costumes and the super-killer whodunnit and Rorschach being a badass, and people don’t notice or don’t care, who should and could. Meanwhile if Wolverine sucks, I really couldn’t give a damn, but I’m thinking it could very well be pretty good. However, I’m not condemning Snyder — maybe he’ll astound me! — but let’s face it, Watchmen isn’t Wolverine. For one thing, it isn’t really a superhero story.

Though I’d like to repeat that I’m not trying to be a dick about these things, and hopefully I’m not succeeding despite myself either, the reason I guess I’ve so far given Grant these short, lippy replies instead of something longer and (again hopefully) more well-reasoned is that basically I read his comments as STFU…and that piques me a little. Is my disquiet over the possibility, perhaps even the likelihood, of a bad Watchmen movie really just so much fanboy entitlement and nerd rage? Grant is stoked about it; why am I being such a downer?

As I said, that argument may not be persuasive, but it’s hard to rebut. So forgive me if I fall back on my last-ditch defence against it, which is: maybe I just like Watchmen more than you do, Grant? That’s possible, you know. It’s a real top favourite of mine, a formative reading experience. And I still push Watchmen on people, occasionally.

But I’ve had to give up on pushing Howard The Duck.

So — if I really need a more personal reason to be trepidatious here — it’ll be a certain amount of egg on my face, too, if the movie sucks.

Do not want.

Now that’s a much more persuasive plok. And I do get it, pretty much.

But really, I bet at least one fan has said about every announced adaptation of every comic and even every novel, and every re-recording of a treasured song for that matter, “they can’t do it right” which probably really means “don’t spoil this for me.” Wasn’t it said about both Gone With the Wind and the Godfather that they would be impossible to film, or at least to do justice to on film?

And that fan can always say “if the comic/book/song meant as much to you as it does to me, you wouldn’t want this either.” But really, the guy on the other side can honestly retort, from his perspective, “if the comic/book/song meant as much to you as it does to me, you WOULD want this, no matter what, no matter how bad it might turn out, just on the slim faint chance that they might actually do it right.”
Whose view is more valid? Whose form of fanboy passion is more genuine?

And did we really have to quit pushing Howard because of that travesty of a film?
Should I hide my beloved FF 49 because Rise of the Silver Surfer sucked so bad? Should I stop giving people trade paperbacks of Extraordinary Gentlemen because the movie mangled everything, and scowl at my Hellblazers because Keanu freaking Reeves was so lame?
Should I box up my Sandmans now, because it’s only a matter of time and you KNOW they’ll blow that one too?

No bad movie ever ruins great source material, it only makes the fans look silly. But hey, we are comic book fans, the few, the brave, the impervious to ridicule. I know, I know, the odds for this movie do not look good. But if you really truly love the book so much, then bite the bullet. Wear your human bean juice happy face button and your Rorschach t-shirt, and sit in the front row, clutching the graphic novel telling everybody around you “Worst. Comic. Book. Adaptation. Ever.”
And you will hear the other true fans in the shadows behind you, snorting in agreement.
Unfortunately then Grant might possibly throw his Pepsi and natchos and shout “hey shut up, I’m really into this,” and things could get ugly real fast.

I actually wouldn’t be surprised if I was a slightly bigger Watchmen fan than Grant. I am a pretty big geek about it. But! Wise words, Fourthworlder…I don’t know which is the bigger fanboy passion.

Sigh. I suppose there’s a chance I will pay money to see this in the theatre. I was going to see the first FF movie in the theatre, and then balked…I didn’t see V For Vendetta in the theatre and now I suppose I might’ve liked to…actually, now that I think about it, NO. “Street Fighting Man” just freaked me out way too much even on DVD…

Naturally I had no inclination to see HTD in the theatre. I waited for TV, I think. Hmm…

I don’t know. I think I’ll let you all see it first. But man I wish it was Gondry making this thing.

I’m not saying “shut the fuck up.” You’re entitled to not like what you’re seeing (though I do like to pick apart critiques that don’t make sense like John Seavey’s comment about the Rorcharch mask). I just question this notion of “They shouldn’t make this movie because I know it won’t match my expectations” when the solution is pretty simple. You just don’t see the movie. If you honestly believe the book is enough for you then just read the book and enjoy that. I don’t watch every comic book movie they make. I skipped out on Fantastic Four despite the fact I love the Fantastic For. Ditto LXG, and Daredevil. I don’t really need those movies. Yeah it would be cool if they were better and catered more towards me but I can still enjoy my trades.

I don’t know plok, maybe you like the Watchman more then I. But I have faith that the work is strong enough to survive any adaptation. It’s been in print for twenty years, taught in colleges, received accolades from the mainstream press (Time Magazine had it on the 100 greatest books between 1923-2005). I’d feel the same way if someone decided to make Catcher in Rye.

At the same time if someone thinks they can make a property into a movie and then I’m all for anyone trying to make a go at it. They are the ones who have the most to lose from this. That’s how we get great adaptations like Children of Men, The Godfather, or No Country for Old Men. We also get some bad adaptations. Mike Newell thought he could make Love in the Time of Cholera (which I haven’t seen) into a movie. Considering the reviews and box office he failed miserably. But the book and the reputation of Gabriel Garcia Marquez is intact. Newell’s rep on the other hand is probably hurting though.

As for the argument that the Watchmen movie is a one shot deal I really don’t buy that either. The property is beloved enough that if Snyder screws it up I’m sure there will be another director who wants to give it another shot to “do it right” a decade or two from now. If a book is popular enough they will keep remaking it. Usually the only thing that prevents is if the book drops out of the public eye or the movie is considered a classic in it’s own right.

For all this worry that adaptations ruin their source materials respectabilty again I have my doubts. The Spider-man movies and X-Men movies despite their success and acclaim didn’t help sales of their comics that much. On the other hand League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, From Hell and V for Vendetta have managed to go through multiple printings despite the lack of success and acclaim in their screen adaptations. Black Dossier was also one of the best selling graphic novels of the last year too despite the efforts of Mr. Sean Connery and Steve Norrington to ruin the property (not to mention DC/Time Warners own efforts). As for Howard the Duck, considering that Marvel is releasing an expensive hardcover collecting Steve Gerbers run I think even that property survived a bad adaptation.

Noted!

However, you’ve got me all wrong. And also, I accept that you do not mean to say STFU — but look, your suggestion that I simply ignore what may disappoint me pretty much includes the idea of me shutting up about it, right? So I hope you can understand my confusion, there.

Here’s your first misapprehension of my position: you seem to think the “problem” is that I think they shouldn’t make the movie because it may not meet my expectations. But that is NOT AT ALL what I’m saying. My expectations for any Watchmen movie are naturally low, in fact they’re very low. I’ve had high expectations for adaptations of comics, and I’ve had low ones; I’ve seen movies that met those expectations, exceeded them, fell below them, all kinds of stuff like that. That is NOT the problem; that’s just business as usual. For example, Ghost World didn’t live up to my expectations, but I still liked it. So if the expectational bar for Watchmen is set much, much lower than that, does that mean I’m going to hate it? Not necessarily. A Watchmen movie that was merely a failure, a movie whose reach merely exceeded its grasp, that wouldn’t bother me. Shittiness is just shittiness. It’s no good, of course; but it isn’t worth sweating. A bad movie, in fact, though it might not be what I hoped, will rarely fall below my minimum requirements for not hating it. I may not like it; I may have snarky things to say about it. But it probably won’t offend me.

What does offend me, though, is if someone makes a movie adapted from another source (that I really love) and FAILS TO UNDERSTAND THE MEANING OF THE THING THEY’RE ADAPTING. This is what they call in the business “doing justice” to the source material and its fans. And sometimes they don’t do justice to it, sometimes they cack it up horribly. Sometimes they even turn it around to a point where the themes are REVERSED. “Traffic was a bitch”, etc. I hope you see my point. This isn’t a matter of my expectations not being met, and how they shouldn’t make the movie if I’m not going to like it — this is a matter of how if you think it would be cool to make a movie of Equus that had some car chases and wire-fu in it, but lose the horse and the psychiatrist, they don’t work…then you don’t deserve to be ignored by those whose expectations you didn’t meet, you deserve to be condemned for thinking that it’s no problem mixing Dom Perignon with Dr. Pepper because there’s no difference between Dom Perignon and Dr. Pepper anyway, and in fact let’s just re-label this Dr. Pepper as Dom Perignon, and what the hell. I respect that you don’t have a problem with anybody making a movie out of anything, just to see how that goes, and that if it’s no good it’s no skin off your nose — seriously, Grant, that’s great. No animosity here, I can definitely appreciate that point of view. But I’m not operating off that principle, you know? Watchmen may turn out to be great, after all — it’s possible. More likely it’ll suck. But if it turns out to be Howard The Duck, I’m going to be pissed.

And, second misapprehension: I’m not worried about the source material “surviving” a bad adaptation. That’s not a concern of mine. Actually I’d like it if DC stopped printing Watchmen, so Moore and Gibbons could reclaim the rights to it! I know my copy of Watchmen isn’t going to spontaneously burst into flames on the shelf if the movie sucks. That is NOT what I’m saying, so there’s no need to try to assuage my fears about that: I don’t have those fears, and that’s not my point.

Third and final misapprehension is not about me, but about Howard: I’m afraid you’ve got it wrong, there — the movie continues to ruin HTD’s reputation to this day, and what Marvel chooses to publish unfortunately doesn’t affect that in the slightest. The work is fine, and “survives” — I’m sure if I could get someone to read it, they’d like it. But people still snort in derision when they hear the words “Howard The Duck”, Christ it’s like being back in the Seventies all over again! That movie was an embarrassment to HTD fans, and it still is. Even if I’d decided simply to ignore it, and not watch it, that would still be true.

Sorry if any of that sounded overly snippy; haven’t had my coffee yet.

Oh, and as far as remakes of Watchmen to come in later years…I dunno about that, the thing I’m saying here is that I think making a successful Watchmen adaptation would be quite the challenge, you know? A director capable of doing something amazing with it might well choose not to, in favour of something more film-sized.

More sunshine from you; more dark clouds from me. Although just once more, for the last time — Snyder may surprise me. Of course I’ll be pleased enough if it’s simply bad, and not outright garbage.

As much as I’d like to address every point you make but I honestly don’t have the time. I will say the Equus comparsion is a bit much. The Watchmen despite all it’s complexities is still a superhero story with action scenes and costumes. Yes it’s about more then that but I don’t think that analogy works. If they decided to turn Fun Home into a shoot em up romp then I could see analogy working.

Also keep in mind I was addressing someone elses point about “the need for the Watchmen” movie before you starting doing your pithy comments and later these rants. Honestly I’m not interested in arguing about your personal attachment to material and how the movie effects it. All I can say to that is you probably shouldn’t see the movie and ease up on the caffiene.

Sorry if that sounds snippy.

Grant
Walking on Sunshine

Well, it does sound snippy, and I don’t believe you are sorry about it, so the hell with you — also I think you’d rather do just about anything than address any point I made, so how ’bout this? THAT’S FINE; DON’T BOTHER. Jesus Christ, what an utter waste of time this was.

Does anyone actually believe this won’t suck?

Vertigo comics plagiarism scandal!

Plagiarism scandal rocks DC’s Vertigo line. A comics blogger has discovered shocking evidence of theft in Fables, Y: The Last Man, Sandman, and other major Vertigo titles. (Via Comics Should Be Good!)

Does anyone actually believe this won’t suck?

I’m currently erring on the side of it not sucking, but maybe being a little disappointing.

We’ll see though. The director did a cracking remake of Dawn of the Dead and actually improved on 300 while remaining faithful to the original.

I still have hope that this’ll be something special.

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