I’m really not expecting the upcoming Watchmen movie to be any good. I know it’s going to be beautiful and I know there will be half a dozen kick ass moments in the film but, ultimately, I’m expecting them to fuck up at least one or two story essentials so bad that it will ruin it for me. The main reason I suspect that is because I believe, as did Terry Gilliam apparently, that the comic cannot be made into a film. Another reason I expect the studio to fuck Watchmen up is because it was written by Alan Moore and movie studios seem to enjoy taking the titles of his stories and ditching the characters and the plots, as they’ve done three times before with From Hell, The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and V For Vendetta (which, seriously, they just fucking raped). The New York Times ran an article that briefly touched on this last week:
The creators of ‘Watchmen’ might say that they gave up on its movie prospects, ‘but that almost implies that we actually wanted it to be a movie,’ Mr. Gibbons, the illustrator, said. After Fox acquired the film rights in 1986, Mr. Gibbons and Mr. Moore concluded that no studio would want to preserve the spirit of their comics – a suspicion cultivated in their meeting with the producer Joel Silver, who wanted Arnold Schwarzenegger as the stoic, omniscient superhero Dr. Manhattan. ‘I leave it to your imagination what kind of movie that might have been,’ Mr. Gibbons said.
(Mr. Moore, who subsequently grew frustrated with Hollywood’s adaptations of his other works, like ‘V for Vendetta’ and ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,’ has refused to allow his name to be used in connection with the ‘Watchmen’ movie and has given his share of film revenue to Mr. Gibbons.)
That said, I’ve seen the various trailers for the movie and they are just fucking gorgeous, with many scenes looking like the comic book panels have sprung to life, right off the page. So I’ve had mixed feelings about seeing the movie. Then, this morning, I found this:
This may actually tip the scales enough to get me in the theater. This is one of the greatest promotional videos of all time. The only reason it isn’t THE greatest promo video of all time is that most people watching it aren’t going to get half the references in it (and only the truly elite comic nerds – like me – are going to get all of the references in it).
If you’ve read the graphic novel, you’ll get a bunch of what’s in that video. If you haven’t read the book, Jesus Christ, what the fuck?! You’re denying yourself one of the best experiences a comic book can offer. Just go buy it, it’s like twelve bucks on Amazon. Here, I’ll even provide you the link. Or you can buy the super-nerd version of it here. Go. Read. Be amazed.
Then go see the movie and be disappointed. Or, you know, don’t.