No “Watchmen” movie – again. The director has split, and the production people have pulled the plug. Supposedly they can now farm it out to other studios. But that’s movie-talk for “No one else will take it either.”
Every fan of the Alan Moore / Dave Gibbons comic book has been waiting since 1986 for a movie, so we could complain about how terribly they got it wrong.
The story was one of the first of the “realistic” takes on superheroes that pretty much everyone attempted to do since “Watchmen” came out. Every superhero was just a guy in a costume with gadgets. There was only one hero with powers, Dr. Manhattan. And his nuclear accident turned him blue. And he stopped wearing pants.
Various parties have been attempting to do a “Watchmen” movie even long before the superhero movie boom. For years, the biggest problems were:
1) The cost of special effects! Oh mercy lawd! How can we do more than one special effect?!
2) The perceived silliness factor of a cast-full of actors in superhero outfits. Oh mercy lawd! How can actors wear goofy costumes?!
They didn’t even get far enough along to the part where one character’s goob being out was a problem.
Since 1986, these problems have been solved, like so:
1) Special effects are easy and cheaper with those new-fangledy computers.
2) “Spider-Man” and “Lord of the Rings”-style money means they can discuss the amount of dignity they have left with their limo driver on the way to the bank.
Luckily for fans of people messing up Alan Moore’s work, “From Hell” and “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” are buyable on DVD. And “V For Vendetta,” another miniseries Moore did around the same time as “Watchmen,” is being filmed right now with Natalie Portman. She shaved her head for the role, and I don’t think she’ll have to say “You’re breaking my heart!” anywhere in it.
As “Watchmen” nears its 20th anniversary, I’m reminded of the last Watch-disappointment, on its 15th anniversary (which would be 5 years ago.)
DC Comics was going to make a big deal of it and release Watchmen action figures. But then Alan Moore and DC got into a slap-fight and the whole thing got taken out with the trash. I was at Wizard World in Chicago then, and in a glass case they had the Watchmen figures. My first thought was “Sweet, sweet Rorschach! He’s so beautiful.” And my second thought was “Sweet, sweet Dr. Manhattan! Finally a naked blue action figure of my very own!”
Actually, that’s not true. I don’t think the figure was naked.
So that was the 15th anniversary. Now on the 20th anniversary the movie is finally poop-sacked. What’s set up for the 25th? Sharp kicks to our junk?