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March 15 2007

John Cassady is Doing Designs on Watchmen Movie. Zack Snyder, director of the 300 movie confirmed that his next project is going to be an adaptation of Alan Moore's classic "Watchmen" and that John Cassady of Astonishing X-Men and Lone Ranger will be doing some of the character designs for the movie.

Yay John Cassady; boo Zack Snyder. Watchmen is an uncomic book, i.e. it's talky with relatively few action sequences throughout. Snyder is likely to trivialize yet another masterpiece of Alan Moore's. Joss would have been perfect to helm this pic.
Truthfully I'm dubious about anyone at all attempting to do a Watchmen movie. There's just too much material to stuff into even 3 hours of film. I mean Terry Gilliam once attempted do to a Watchmen movie and has said something to the effect that it is unfilmable, which isn't exactly reassuring.
Yeah, if Terry Gilliam says it's unfilmable then it's worth taking note (the guy doesn't exactly back down from difficult projects).

I'm also sceptical. I think I hope they either do an amazing job, surprise everyone and make a worthy adaptation or it's so pathetically bad that I can just completely air-brush it out of existence. It's the failures in the middle that hold such potential for pain and disappointment.

I've said it on other threads but it's still true: nobody's desperately pushing for the film of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel or asking the surviving Beatles for the movie rights to 'Revolver'. Some things just work best in one particular medium and once we've seen the best version, what's the point in any other ?
Yeah, I'm unconvinced that anyone can make Watchmen into a good movie- especially since I was reading an article about it last week and Snyder referred to it as satire. Now, either I'm misunderstanding the definition of satire, or he's misunderstanding the work, and I tend to err on the side of I'm smarter than everyone (except Joss and Neil Gaiman) so I'm left with feeling of unhappiness towards this movie before they start filming.

Yes, I'm overly egotistical, but at least honest about it. :P
Joss would have been perfect to helm this pic.

Except for his opinion that it's so wedded to the comic book context that it shouldn't (or couldn't, I don't remember) be made.

And the Gilliam love is nice, but remember that maybe he just could't figure it. If I recall correctly, wasn't it Gilliam who was rewriting chunks of it to things that weren't in the book? I seem to recall one of the past crack-takers for Watchmen completely redoing a bunch of Dr. Manhattan's story, and I'm fairly certain it was Gilliam.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2007-03-15 16:40 ]
Adaptation is a damned difficult art. I don't think it's impossible to make a good movie based on Watchmen, but I think I'd be surprised if it happened in reality. Something that complex and that dependent on the conceits of the original format is just about the toughest type of nut to crack.

Honestly, I think the changes required to make Watchmen into a good movie would probably upset a fair number of the fans. But I personally prefer good movies that take necessary liberties with the original material to make it work in film form over crappy movies that stay wedded as closely as possible to the original material and suffer for it.

[ edited by Lady Brick on 2007-03-15 18:59 ]
Bloody Gilliam, grr, bad Gilliam, bad ! Fickle, moi ? ;-).

(actually b!x I do usually like his films but my point was less love and more, he's happy to spend years getting the script and finance together and routinely makes films of things a lot of people would consider unfilmable so his opinion's valuable - though obviously not definitive - in that regard. Also, in fairness, there will have to be cuts/insertions to have it make sense as a 2 hour film, whoever does them. Which is part of the reason I don't think anyone should)

Lady Brick, course, it's all arbitrary lines. Personally I don't think the necessary liberties will leave enough of the greatness and I also just don't see the need. Not everything has to have a film made of it IMO (but then, much as I love them, films probably aren't my 'favourite' medium. I guess if they were, I might see it as improving on the original).

All that said, it'll be nice if we get to see Mr John Cassaday's concept art.
After Dawn Of The Dead and 300 I say let Zack Snyder do whatever he wants.
Saje: I tend to look at things from a screenwriting perspective. And perhaps the wisest thing I ever heard said about writing an adapted screenplay is that your main obligation is to write a good film.

I do agree with you about the need aspect, though. I think the other element of a good adaptation is that the people making the film have an actual artistic reason/desire for doing so, rather than solely financial. But then again, that's pretty much true for any type of art.
Yeah, a movie Watchmen will be even harder than V For Vendetta (ptui! We shall speak of it no more). But on a lighter note, like the subliminal Mel Gibson shot in his trailer for Apocalypto, did anyone notice the extended 300 trailer's shot of Rorschach from Watchmen? 'Cause I sure didn't.
I think the only way to do Watchmen would be as a series of films, because there's no way to stuff everything from that book into 2 or even 3 hours. And satire? OMG, is this guy completely high? It's about 20 things in one -- police procedural, love story, political allegory, essay on the abuse of power, film noir, action film, Orwellian nightmare, etc. But satire? Not so much. :-(
I just think there is far too much content to fit into even a 3 hour movie let alone a movie that will likely be closer to 2 hours. If it's going to be filmed at all perhaps a HBO/Showtime type miniseries, but then budget would be limited enough to make it difficult.

If it eventually gets made I'll be there opening day so I guess they already have my money. Just throw some Ron Pearlman or Adam Baldwin as the Comedian in there somewhere.
I'm hopeful because I trust in the screenwriter, David Hayter. I have a feeling he picked up on the right nuance and key parts of the book. Of course, this is me just being a fan of Mr. Hayter so what do I know.
A minute apart, war_machine, but somehow you were inside my head. Get out, get out, GET OUT! ;-)
Wouldn't it have made more sense for Dave Gibbons, artist on the comic book itself, to have been given this job ? Nothing against John Cassady. I suppose it was simply a matter of who applied for the job and who didn't ? Or if Gibbons was offered the work, maybe he turned it down 'cause he's busy with other stuff or is dead set against a Watchmen movie adaptation.
Zach Snyder says he wants to be faithful to the original story. Unlike previous scripts, this one will take place in 1985 as did the graphic novel. As was said earlier, after Dawn of the Dead and 300, let the guy run wild and give him his $150 million budget.

As much as I like Joss's other works, he would have been all wrong for WATCHMEN.
Okay, if a hypercaffeinated freak like Snyder is going to tackle Watchmen, I can still fantasize about a dream cast. I'll see your Adam Baldwin as Comedian, war_machine, and raise you a Simon Pegg as Rorschach.

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