Friday, July 23, 2004

I loves me some Watchmen

This seminal 80's comic (by comic legend Alan Moore and artist extraordinaire Dave Gibbons) is one of the two or three comics that journalistas trot out each time they want to point to the fact that, once and for all, comics have matured since 1955.

I pulled this from Superhero Hype!

The Hollywood Reporter says Watchmen is moving ahead with some big names at Paramount..."Watchmen," the seminal DC Comics limited series, has landed at Paramount Pictures. Darren Aronofsky will develop and direct the project, which is being written by David Hayter. Aronofsky's producing partner Eric Watson will produce with Larry Gordon and Lloyd Levin. "Watchmen," created by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons, was released as a 12-issue comic book in 1986 and is one of the most critically acclaimed series in the genre. It is a crime-conspiracy story that provided the first realistic look at the behind-the-heroics lives of superhero archetypes.
Watchmen is a phenomenal comic book, but...

Watchmen is about retired superheroes.  It has absolutely no action to speak of.   I think there are five or six fights in 12 issues.  And only one of the characters has any "super-powers." 

Like any decently dense reading, I don't begin to see how they can condense this into a 2 hour movie.  At one point, Jim D. suggested to me it might make for an excellent mini-series for TV.  And I think that's probably a much, much better idea. 

The story criss-crosses about forty years, is deeply embedded in Cold War issues, and covers topics from quantum physics to McCarthyism to pirate comics to troubled marriages.  Not exactly "We must defeat the Masked Menace!"  This is not to mention how curious I am about how they would handle the conclusion of the story.

Film adaptations of Moore's work tend to fail.  From Hell was a slightly interesting movie, but failed to capture Moore's densely layered investigation into the period and environment surrounding the Jack the Ripper slayings.  From all accounts, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was a tragic mistake.  I loved the comic, and thusly avoided the movie (which has nothing to do with the comic, from what I hear). 

Cartoon Network is adapting the classic Superman story "For the Man who has Everything" for one of the first episodes of the new Justice League Unlimited series.  I certainly look forward to their treatment.

I have no faith in Paramount's ability to actually bring anything remotely faithful regarding Watchmen to the screen (just watch...  they're going to make Dr. Manhattan wear clothes...).  Nonetheless, I am deadly curious about how they plan to present Dr. Manhattan and Rorschach. 

But, hey, Paramount!  Given my physical fitness, sign me up to play Nite-Owl!  I'll do it for scale!

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