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Dave Gibbons On the Forthcoming Watchmen Movie 181

Posted by timothy
from the alternate-title-the-winders dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Den Of Geek has been talking to comics legend Dave Gibbons about the upcoming transition of the Watchmen from the comic book to the silver screen. 'There are hardcore fans out there who'll be satisfied with nothing less than a word-for-word, line-for-line, scene-for-scene recreation of the comic book. I didn't believe that was ever going to happen.'" It's a rather short interview, but Gibbons addresses some interesting elements of both the movie and comic-book worlds.
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Dave Gibbons On the Forthcoming Watchmen Movie

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  • by berashith (222128) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @01:54PM (#23589295)
    See ya tomorrow
  • Conversions (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jaysyn (203771) <jaysyn+slashdot@g3.14mail.com minus pi> on Thursday May 29, 2008 @02:00PM (#23589391) Homepage Journal
    It will probably have as much to do with the comic book as Starship Troopers had to do with the Sci-Fi classic.

    Keep in mind, there wasn't a whole, whole lot of action in Watchmen, & a lot of the intricacies of the "superheroes" relationships will probably be glossed over.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by stoolpigeon (454276) *
      just saw a trailer for starship troopers 3 yesterday. the people responsible for it should be killed. slowly and painfully.
    • by UttBuggly (871776)
      Amen!

      I've railed against the Starship Troopers film(s) since day one. An absolute travesty, topped only by the garbage that is "I, Robot".

      How Hollywood could ignore the brilliant script by Harlan Ellison and put out a Will Smith action vehicle instead is beyond me. Of course, $$$ are paramount (no pun intended) to the studios and art gets lost in the noise.

      I hope Snyder understands the material well enough to capture some of the themes in the novel. I will see the film, but I don't have high hopes.
      • Re:Conversions (Score:5, Insightful)

        by kithrup (778358) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @02:33PM (#23589885)

        I don't see how I, Robot is "garbage." Other than a large action scene that Asimov wouldn't've written in his books, the plot is entirely an Asimovian robotic mystery: the three laws (or four laws, as Asimov had in his later books) are completely integral to the plot; the clues are related to robotics and are visible to the viewer, instead of being hidden and revealed after the fact; and the societal impact of the technology is examined.

        Even the actress they had playing Susan Calvin was the right age, and there was no romance between her and the main character.

        It was a shockingly good science fiction movie.

        • Re:Conversions (Score:4, Insightful)

          by sesshomaru (173381) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @02:54PM (#23590235) Journal
          The main problem with it is that it was "With Folded Hands" [wikipedia.org] (with a Hollywood ending). Which is a good robot story, but it's by Jack Williamson not Isaac Asimov.

          I therefore judge it a pretty good movie by Hollywood blockbuster standards. I wonder if Hollywood will ever make a movie that is actually based on I, Robot.

          • by kithrup (778358)

            As I commented elsewhere: The Zeroeth Law.

            Yes, it was very much inspired by Williamson... but, as with Asimov, in the movie it was a direct consequence of thinking through the three laws. In the case of With Folded Hands, it was more directly built into their programming.

            That's why I say it was Asimovian: the character followed the laws thorugh, exactly as Asimov and Daneel did.

          • by lgw (121541)
            I thought Bicentenial Man was pretty good; however, I'm still mystified by the fact that that movie didn't mention Isaac Asimov anywhere in the credits, despite being a straightforward adaption.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by roystgnr (4015)
          the plot is entirely an Asimovian robotic mystery

          No, the plot is "Frankenstein". Asimov's whole motivation for inventing "The Three Laws" was to avoid falling into that literary rut, which was well-traversed back when he started writing and which is a bottomless canyon today.

          I don't think the movie was garbage (hey, there's a reason Frankenstein was such a classic), but calling it "I, Robot" was just false advertising, even if the script subverted an Asimov idea while borrowing a couple character names.
          • by timholman (71886)

            I don't think the movie was garbage (hey, there's a reason Frankenstein was such a classic), but calling it "I, Robot" was just false advertising, even if the script subverted an Asimov idea while borrowing a couple character names.

            On the contrary, the basic plot twist for "I, Robot" came right out of two of Asimov's robot stories: "That Thou Art Mindful of Him" and especially "The Evitable Conflict", which was part of Asimov's "I, Robot" anthology. You can find summaries for both on Wikipedia. Also look

            • But I don't see why you're surprised that a lot of Asimov fans were disappointed. The man wrote three dozen robot stories, and only a couple of them (neither of which was collected in "I, Robot") flirted with Frankenstein themes. Even in those two, "Robots designed to subvert the Three Laws discover the possibility of doing so to a greater extent", and "Machines falsify economic predictions to get political opponents fired" are at least a little more subtle than "Robots designed to obey humanity conspire
            • I don't understand how people can claim that the movie had nothing to do with the book titled "I, Robot". The book was an anthology, not a novel.

              Because the author explained the reason behind the 3 law in the anthology's foreword : he was fed up with "Frankenstein"-like plot of most sci-fi story, were inevitably the robot(s) end up forming an uprising against their human creators. That was he main reason of writing most of the novels in the anthology, in a way which is more detective stories and/or debugging sessions than "save the world against the mad bots !". And them, BAM, the whole I Robot movie turns around a robot uprising, which Will Smith

          • by kithrup (778358)

            Two words: Zeroeth Law.

            If that doesn't mean anything to you, then you haven't read enough Asimov. If they do, then your criticisms don't hold water. Either way... the movie covered it, and covered it in almost exactly the same way that Daneel did, admittedly in a far more condensed way.

            (I do have a problem with the big action scene at the end, because even with the Zeroeth Law, robots would have subdued, not injured or killed, human beings. The scene in Susan Calvin's apartment was dead on, however.)

            • by roystgnr (4015)
              Either way... the movie covered it, and covered it in almost exactly the same way that Daneel did, admittedly in a far more condensed way.

              Well, the robots in the movie interpreted "The Zeroth Law" to mean that humanity's survival depended on omnipresent robotic enforcement of a benevolent dictatorship, and Daneel interpreted it to mean that humanity's survival depended on developing a new culture that didn't even have robots.

              So if by "almost exactly" you mean "almost exactly the opposite of", then sure, I'l
          • by geekoid (135745)
            And of course the 'Frankenstein' movies are nothing like the book.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by UttBuggly (871776)
          I have the original, serialized script by Ellison as published in Asimov's magazine. It's available in book form from Amazon.

          If you read the Asimov stories and the script, there's no way on Earth you could construe the train wreck movie to anything the Good Doctor had created.

          Susan Calvin's character was the one of the more horrible missteps in the movie. The character in the movie and in the books/stories share name only. Completely different characters. Susan Calvin NEVER WORE MAKEUP as was told in "Liar"
        • by geekoid (135745)
          except the robots weren't trying to take over the world...and it was set Farther into the future.

          There was a "Total Recall" TV series; which was NOTHING like the movie. It was a LOT like the Asimov Robot books.
          Really enjoyable series that was on a too small of a network to get picked up. Way ahead of it's time.
        • by grumbel (592662)
          I agree that I, Robot wasn't complete garbage, but it could have been a hell of a lot better. One of the central points of Asimovs books is that the robotic laws actually do work, not always as intended of course, but they got created exactly to avoid robots going on a killing spree, yet in I, Robot the movie they do exactly that and of course in the most stupid looking way possible (look, it's red, it must be evil...). The resolution at the end was of course not much better, switch the mainframe of and eve
      • by Björn (4836)
        I don't know about the other Starship Trooper films, but I thought the first one was pretty successful as an ironic satire of a militaristic and fascist "utopia". Watching it was a bit like reading Norman Spinrad book The Iron Dream [wikipedia.org]. You laugh and cringe at the same time.
        • by Zironic (1112127)
          I really liked the first one aswell, especially the propaganda videos they inserted here and there. All the other films somehow managed to take all the bad parts of the first film and remove all the good parts.
        • by elrous0 (869638) *
          The Heinlein fans are all just cheesed off that Verhoeven made fun of their hero.
        • You know, in today's Slashdot comments, both [i]Star Trek: The Motion Picture[/i] and the original [i]Starship Troopers[/i] films have been mocked and ridiculed. It is nice to find someone who agrees with me on at least one of the two films. I was starting to get depressed. ;)
    • Yup. Expect it. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Weaselmancer (533834) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @03:23PM (#23590617)

      Hollywood will glitz up the story, and gloss over the personal details. IMHO, it's the personal relationships that make the Watchmen such a good story. At its core it is a story about people, not action.

      It'll be a shame to watch that take a back seat to special effects.

    • It will probably have as much to do with the comic book as Starship Troopers had to do with the Sci-Fi classic.


      And the basis for this is...what? Is the director actively hostile to the source material, as there was with film "adaptation" of Starship Troopers?
    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      RE:The Starship Troopers people: the movie originally was vaguely about some space bugs and the Starship Troopers stuff was added in later. The themes about the Federation and whatnot are an afterthought.

      There is a vast divergence between the original book and film. A report in an American Cinematographer article around the same time of film's release states the Heinlein novel was optioned well into the pre-production period of the film, which had a working title of Bug Hunt at Outpost Nine; most of the writing team reportedly were unaware of the novel at the time. According to the DVD commentary, Paul Verhoeven never finished reading the novel, claiming he read through the first few chapters and became both "bored and depressed".

      Comparison b/n the movie and novel [wikipedia.org]

  • by Alaren (682568) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @02:00PM (#23589397)

    While I'm hopeful that the movie will carry the same burning question as the book--do the ends justify the means?--I wonder how well the smaller themes can really be carried through.

    Rorschach's rampant homophobia, for example, or the original Miss Jupiter's deep and abiding love for her would-be rapist, are uncomfortable but central topics in the book. Jon's gradual shedding of his costume down to full-frontal nudity, as he gradually distances himself from humanity, is also an important progression.

    Obviously they can't include every side-trip in the entire graphic novel, but I suspect (with much disappoitment) that "controversy" is high on the list of criteria for making "obvious" cuts. Even watered-down, I suspect Watchmen will remain more powerful than your average Hollywood disaster, but... we'll see. For now I'm going with "cautiously optimistic."

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hassanchop (1261914)
      "Rorschach's rampant homophobia, for example, or the original Miss Jupiter's deep and abiding love for her would-be rapist, are uncomfortable but central topics in the book."

      Seeing as I barely noticed these things, I have to disagree that they are "central topics". It would be exceedingly easy to tell the important parts of the story while leaving most of that out, especially Rorschach's homophobia.

      "Jon's gradual shedding of his costume down to full-frontal nudity, as he gradually distances himself from hu
      • by Kupek (75469)

        Seeing as I barely noticed these things, I have to disagree that they are "central topics". It would be exceedingly easy to tell the important parts of the story while leaving most of that out, especially Rorschach's homophobia.

        Story, yes. But like good literature, Watchmen is about its themes just as much as its story. I read Watchmen recently, and those two things were big deals to me. They made me uncomfortable, and consequently, I thought about them a lot.

        I don't want to add to the silly geek speculati

      • by Alaren (682568)

        I'm not sure how you read Watchmen without noticing that the original Miss Jupiter's relationship with the Comedian was central to the existential themes of the story--i.e., how unlikely it is that the new Miss Jupiter was ever born.

        Rorschach's homophobia (and, as another poster notes, his fear of women) are both uncomfortable topics that make Rorschach what he is. He is a very, very sick person. But he is absolutely committed to his ideals. And his minds snaps like a twig when he realizes that he can'

      • by gad_zuki! (70830)
        >I still think that stupid "tachyon" garbage Veidt used was a major flaw in the story. I lost a bit of respect for Moore for using technobabble and hand waving to get around Jon's immense power.

        Right... so what you want is a realistic explanation for a freakin' flying blue guy who can do anything?
    • Are you kidding? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday May 29, 2008 @03:36PM (#23590771)
      Hollywood can't even handle a Phillip K. Dick story without slapping on a happy ending. Do you think for a second that they are going to spend tens of millions of $ on a movie and include ANYTHING that makes even one test screening audience the *slightest* bit uncomfortable?

      The only way to do include any of this sort of material be to do it on the cheap and raise independent funding. If you accept Hollywood's fat cash, you accept that they're going to make your movie as inoffensive and audience-pleasing as possible. Those are the strings attached.

      • by Goaway (82658)

        Hollywood can't even handle a Phillip K. Dick story without slapping on a happy ending. Do you think for a second that they are going to spend tens of millions of $ on a movie and include ANYTHING that makes even one test screening audience the *slightest* bit uncomfortable?
        Well, yes. Yes, I do. I've watched my fair share of utterly upsetting Hollywood movies. They may be in a minority, but just because you haven't seen them doesn't mean they don't exist.
      • How do these myths persist? It's like you've never even heard of The Departed. The only thing Hollywood won't do is make a work not based on something else.
        • They killed Matt Damon and Leonardo de Caprio. Its the happiest ending I've seen since Titanic, which only killed one of the two, but sort of poisoned the festive mood with thousands of people (who weren't Leonardo di Caprio) dying in the background.

          Now how is Hollywood going to top that... I have an idea: Oceans 14. We put in Matt Damon, Leonardo de Caprio, George Clooney, and any many who has ever even considered being in an "Oceans #{i += 1}" movie, and then at the end of the daring casino caper we ki
      • The ending of A Scanner Darkly was really close to the original story, and I wouldn't call it a happy ending. And yes, there was a studio behind that movie.

        Then again, A Scanner Darkly wasn't a typical movie, and not intended to be a blockbuster.
    • by techpawn (969834)
      We'll see in they try to make it a detective story with Rorschach being a more hard core Batman falsely imprisoned and having to find his old ally or the "ends to a means" social commentary story about creating a greater foe in hopes that everyone will join together to create utopia. The fact that costumed adventures are there just happen to be part of their world is just a side effect.
      Sadly, I think it will be the first with much of the explanation for the characters actions being left on the cutting room
    • by Siener (139990)

      Rorschach's rampant homophobia, for example...

      For me what Moore accomplished with Rorschach is the single most brilliant aspect of the story. He is an unpleasant, right wing, sadistic, conspiracy theorist believing, murdering psychopath - the kind of person you would want to see behind bars in real life, and yet, he is the person that the reader tends to have the most sympathy for and identifies with the most.

      If they can get that right the movie will be brilliant, but I doubt they will.

      Another thing: The story is in a large part driven by the Cold War

  • Movie Adaptations (Score:4, Insightful)

    by majorgoodvibes (1228026) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @02:10PM (#23589523)
    are almost never 100% faithful - the closest I've seen lately is "No Country for Old Men."

    It's not that it's impossible but it's just not necessary or preferable. If a movie gets the spirit of its source material, captures something of its style, and brings something new to it that could only be accomplished cinematically then it's probably a successful adaptation.
    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      There are occasions where a divergent interpretation actually bests the original material. Kubrick's film "The Shining" was brilliant. King's book, by contrast, was mediocre at best. Almost all the classic elements that come to mind when people think of "The Shining" today were added by Kubrick (who the fuck thinks of Jack running around a bunch of topiary animals with a croquet mallet?!?)
    • by jmoriarty (179788)

      If a movie gets the spirit of its source material, captures something of its style, and brings something new to it that could only be accomplished cinematically then it's probably a successful adaptation.

      I agree with you, but will take it a step further. Books, comics, television, plays, and movies are all fundamentally different methods of storytelling, so an adaptation MUST tell the story in a different way. An adaptation that doesn't try something new will fail. For example, movies are inherently visual, while books can pop inside peoples heads and even take an omniscient perspective. I never appreciated this fully until I tried writing a screenplay after mostly writing prose.

      A true adaptation from on

  • I doubt that Watchmen will get the treatment its due by Hollywood. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen didn't, and neither did V for Vendetta. Why should Watchmen?
    • by Rogerborg (306625) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @02:16PM (#23589641) Homepage

      Appparently, he agrees.

      How do you feel about Alan Moore's excision from the credits of Watchmen?

      Uh oh.

      • by falcon5768 (629591) <Falcon5768@@@comcast...net> on Thursday May 29, 2008 @03:24PM (#23590623) Journal
        No uh oh, Moore is a asshole and its been well documented for years hes a egotistical asshole. His input has been sought for YEARS when it comes to movies of his works and he flat out refuses to help, then trashes what eventually is made under a misplaced idea that by denying his input it wont be made.

        Granted he has good reason in the past to not want to be associated with big companies as hes been screwed more than once, but the same can be said about a lot of other talented comic writers out there and they have had no issues with playing the game even after being burned in the past. I highly doubt that without Frank Millers help, Sin City or 300 would have been half as impressive as they where.

    • by berashith (222128) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @02:17PM (#23589667)
      Add to this the fact that Alan Moore isnt lending his name to the movie and I am even more skeptical. A dark story with a non-happy ending doesn't sit very well with focus groups. I will save my cash a read the book again.
      • by Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @02:22PM (#23589737)

        A dark story with a non-happy ending doesn't sit very well with focus groups.
        No kidding. Just look at what happened with I Am Legend. In the book, the hero dies at the end knowing that, to the vampires, he was the monster. And then there's V for Vendetta. How the hell did the Wachowskis take a character that was a bomb-making anarchist and make a liberal out of him?
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by ttrafford (62500)
          I agree mostly (V wasn't really an anarchist, he just wanted to destroy the current system so that a new, better one could be built instead). Really, the major difference with "V" can be illustrated by this one key line change:

          Original: "There is no flesh beneath this mask, there is only an idea"
          Movie : "There is more than flesh beneath this mask, there is an idea"
          • by Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @03:31PM (#23590713)

            I agree mostly (V wasn't really an anarchist, he just wanted to destroy the current system so that a new, better one could be built instead). Really, the major difference with "V" can be illustrated by this one key line change:

            I disagree. Read the novel again, especially his little "speech" to the statue of Lady Justice atop the Old Bailey where he said that he had once loved Justice, but had found a new love: Anarchy.

            Also, remember what he said to Evey about what would happen after the Norsefire regime finally fell, how the people would have the chance to create for themselves a society of voluntary order, or to build another government and let history repeat itself.

        • by Culture20 (968837)

          How the hell did the Wachowskis take a character that was a bomb-making anarchist and make a liberal out of him?
          They used an integer with too few bits for his level of hatred for government. His hatred for government flipped back into the negative, so he wanted government to grow?
          • Liberal means respect for individual freedoms and rights; most Americans confuse this with "libertarian". It has nothing to do with the size of government, but the role as referee. What you call liberal is more like social democracy, which sees government as a tool to promote fairness through supporting programmes. And further along the scale, there's the socialist philosophy that sees government as a force that should intervene in commerce, not merely referee.

            So to use another metaphor, their scale didn't
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          As a possible exception, I'd mention A Clockwork Orange. In the movie, Alex ends up being rewarded and pampered by the state. There's no sense of justice or of Alex actually learning anything. Sure the old writer makes him suffer, but that's revenge and doesn't feel like justice (to me at least).

          In the book, he ends up forming another gang, but grows tired of it, as he's growing up and wants a better life. It leaves me with a sense of the redeem-ability of even the worst humans.

          In neither book or fi
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by ttrafford (62500)
        Moore stated years ago he didn't want his name on any movies based on his creations. Whether this particular movie is good or not had no bearing on his decision.
      • by Dunx (23729) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @03:26PM (#23590649) Homepage
        You're missing the point - Alan has distanced himself from every recent film made of his work, he doesn't take the fees offered even. He talked about this quite extensively in an interview on Radio Four a few years ago in the Chain Reaction series.

        So Alan Moore not having his name on the credits means nothing at all about the quality of the film.
      • by ozbird (127571)
        A dark story with a non-happy ending doesn't sit very well with focus groups.

        ... Which is why the bulk of Hollywood movies are utterly boring, homogeneous pap [notdirtywriter.net].
  • I'm not expecting a direct, panel-for-panel adaptation. While I love Watchmen, I feel there's a few chunks that won't translate well into film, specifically some of the backstory snippets that are told through newspaper clippings and the like. I want the movie to be loyal to the original material, but not bound by it.
    • by lgw (121541)
      So much of atchmen was specific to the graphic novel as an art form - much of the power of the work comes from the medium. All of that is sure to be lost.

      I *loved* the fact that the central chapter was a visual palindrome (the sequence and size of light and dark panels is reflected exactly in the middle two pages, and fairly closely througout the entire chapter). Of course, a genius filmaker could translate this to film, but what are the odds here?
  • 'There are hardcore fans out there who'll be satisfied with nothing less than a word-for-word, line-for-line, scene-for-scene recreation of the comic book. I didn't believe that was ever going to happen.'

    Gibbons is clearly setting up a strawman dismissal of anybody who complains that the movie is insufficiently true to the book. Don't think it captured the original story faithfully enough, or skillfully enough? You're obviously a "hardcore" fan with unrealistic expectations.

    • by iluvcapra (782887)

      Don't think it captured the original story faithfully enough, or skillfully enough? You're obviously a "hardcore" fan with unrealistic expectations.

      Well, yeah, but LXG and V for Vendetta didn't fail on account of being unfaithful to the book on a scene-by-scene basis; nor did Superman or Batman or Ironman or X-Men succeed on the basis of their adherence to the books --- in some cases, quite the opposite. LXG and V were just bad movies.

      • Indeed there are other reasons to object to a movie. The fact that it is a badly-made movie is an obvious reason. But if you re-read my post, I'm sure you will realize that I am referring to a specific reason for objecting to Watchmen for which Gibbons has already crafted a straman dismissal--objecting on the grounds of lack of fidelity to the original story.

        Ironically, I thought that V for Vendetta was a fine movie in its own right, but significantly unfaithful to the original story in a few very fundament
        • by Arccot (1115809)

          Ironically, I thought that V for Vendetta was a fine movie in its own right, but significantly unfaithful to the original story in a few very fundamental ways.
          I really enjoyed V for Vendetta as a movie. I've never read it, so I didn't come in expecting anything. I think the reason the readers don't like it is because, like any movie based on a novel/comic, at best it's a pared-down version of the story they love and will never be able to stand up to the same height.
        • by iluvcapra (782887)

          But if you re-read my post, I'm sure you will realize that I am referring to a specific reason for objecting to Watchmen for which Gibbons has already crafted a straman dismissal--objecting on the grounds of lack of fidelity to the original story.

          I dunno, it seems like it's a valid dismissal, as the opinions of comic book fans have about zero correlation with the quality of a motion picture. The last thing the world needs is a bunch of costumed vigilantes deciding what interpretation of "Watchmen" is permissible. Who watches the watchmen of "The Watchmen"? Alan Moore's disassociation with the project is more interesting, but that isn't what you were talking about.

          Ironically, I thought that V for Vendetta was a fine movie in its own right, but significantly unfaithful to the original story in a few very fundamental ways.

          You and my girlfriend and my parents; silly movie.

          • Starship Troopers: Profoundly unfaithful to the original story. It's a legitimate criticism of the movie, that can't be trivially dismissed as unrealistic expectations of hardcore Heinlein fans. It's also totally independent of any criticism (legitimate or not) of the quality of the movie per se.

            I'm accusing Gibbons of preparing to dismiss any criticism of the movie's faithfulness to the original story--no matter how legitimate--as unrealistic. Gibbons is talking about the movie's faithfulness. So am I. So
    • by edraven (45764)
      Yeah, who does he think he is, anyway? Oh, wait... crap.
      • The artist? By all accounts, the movie will faithfully reproduce the look of the original story, so of course he's content. Now, where's the writer of the original story, anyway? Oh, wait... crap.
  • There are hardcore fans out there who'll be satisfied with nothing less than a word-for-word, line-for-line, scene-for-scene recreation of the comic book.

    Right, so screw 'em, they'll never be happy with anything that doesn't match what they've built up in their heads. They can exercise their freedom of choice and not go. I didn't like the new Star Wars flicks, but I chose to see them for myself and formed my opinion afterwords.

    • by Dan667 (564390)
      I never understand this line of reasoning. Gibbons is setting the bar pretty high for fans, but I do not think it is that high. For example, I Am Legend. If you take the thing that made it such a great story and then completely remove it from the book, wtf? And Constantine, an occult detective from all religions, which seems like a writers dream, but they pigeon holed him into just Catholicism and gimic it out with things like a stupid holy shot gun, wtf.

      It would seem like when the movies are fairly
  • hear hear. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by apodyopsis (1048476) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @02:20PM (#23589703)

    I think that as long as it's true to the spirit of the comic book, and as long as - in broad strokes - it follows the plot and the characterisations...I don't think you can ask for every individual detail to be replicated.


    hear hear.

    Watchmen is a classic. It is my favorite classic. I still get it down and read it every now and then and it still makes me shiver.

    My instinctive reaction to the film is "Noooooo!", but on reflection I then think of the "V for Vendetta" movie and I remember that it is possible to make a damn good film out of a graphic novel without following it exactly. I know "Sin City" is more or less a scene for scene clone of the book, likewise "300" - but it does not have to be like that. Vendetta showed us that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MythoBeast (54294)

      on reflection I then think of the "V for Vendetta" movie and I remember that it is possible to make a damn good film out of a graphic novel without following it exactly. I know "Sin City" is more or less a scene for scene clone of the book, likewise "300" - but it does not have to be like that. Vendetta showed us that.

      I'm fine with both of these, but I think that many of us will agree that Watchmen is something special beyond any other graphic novel. Just like the greatest of songs out there aren't generally improved by interpretation, I can't help but feel that too much interpretation can only lessen the result.

      I'm glad to see that the first re-creation of the novel is attempting to recreate it as close to the intention as possible. I would also be happy if, in the future, someone took it as inspiration to create int

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DMadCat (643046)
      And on the other end of the spectrum we have the X-Men trilogy which showed just how bad a Hollywood interpretation of a comic can be...
  • by arkham6 (24514) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @02:22PM (#23589735)

    Looks like its going to suck. Bad actors, the director is a dweeb, the special effects are going to be laughable.

    With production values this bad, who will watch The Watchmen?
    • by berashith (222128) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @02:25PM (#23589759)
      I have no mod points, but this is great.

      Who watches the watchmen?

      In Hollywood... nobody!
    • The true telling opinion about the movie is the release date. March. If Hollywood believed it was going to be a smash they would release it in May. Or around July 4th (for the U.S.). Or at Christmas.

      No, this movie is destined to either be a cult classic or a total transdimensional bomb.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by JeTmAn81 (836217)
        Actually, 300, the director's last film, was released in March and made north of $400 million. It was widely acclaimed and considered an excellent translation of Frank Miller's graphic novel. Watchmen definitely has a chance to turn out well.
    • by magarity (164372)
      With production values this bad, who will watch The Watchmen?
       
      I guess nobody, unless we get shipped off to Soviet Russia where, alas, we watch The Watchmen.
      • by flitty (981864)
        "Who watches the Watchmen" already flips the phrase for "Soviet Russia /." jokes. So really, it should be, "In Soviet Russia, The Watchmen watch YOU!"

        *Synapses crossfire* Ow.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Culture20 (968837)
      I own the Dragons of Autumn Twilight movie. I can watch anything.
  • Know what's funny? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by liquiddark (719647) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @02:45PM (#23590107)
    Every normal person I know seems to believe V for Vendetta was a great movie. Maybe adapting a good book into a good movie, even at the expense of diverging from the original work, isn't all bad.
    • by attemptedgoalie (634133) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @03:14PM (#23590525)
      As I understand it, in I Robot's case, the reason the story diverged so badly is because it wasn't based on the book at all.

      The studio owned the name "I Robot" and used it on a similar story. The movie that came out under that title would have been called something else if they hadn't already owned that particular name.

      • That is correct. The movie would have been called "Hardwired". (Although there is an interesting thing about the title I, Robot--it wasn't Asimov's choice. It was actually pulled by the publisher from the name of a short story about a robot who killed its master--which is, incidentially, the plot of the movie.)
  • by ewhac (5844) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @03:28PM (#23590685) Homepage Journal
    The Watchmen sprawls all over the place, and there's no way it would fit in three hours' running time, much less the Hollywood-standard 90 minutes. Something's going to get chopped.

    Personally, I nominate for deletion the entire novel-within-the-novel of the shipwrecked castaway. Every time that came up, I found myself flipping forward, looking for the main story to pick up again. In fact, it seemed all the extra characters who we saw passing by the newsstand in New York were just "whales" (q.v. Douglas Adams).

    I would be very disappointed if Rorschach's backstory as told to the psychologist were cut. Some amazingly powerful and resonant stuff in there. "Looked at sky through smoke heavy with human fat and God was not there. The cold, suffocating dark goes on forever and we are alone. Live our lives, lacking anything better to do. Devise reason later."

    Really, really good.

    Schwab

  • Maybe it will be a good movie that isn't the Watchmen.

    I respect Alan Moore's opinion personally.

    I'm not sure if this could have been made into anything less than a hard "R" movie anyway. Very adult content.

    Including the pirate comic subtext in the movie would be very hard.

    It probably deserves a trilogy or mini-series to be done right any way.

  • In an interview, past Watchmen screenwriter David Hayter said that he first pitched Watchmen to HBO to make it a 12 episode miniseries, and they turned it down. In my mind, that was the only way to make a screen version of Watchmen that people would care about for more than six months. Instead of creating Dr. Manhattan with Weta Digital's Gollum technology, they'd create Dr. Manhattan by shooting an actor normally and applying lightsaber glow with an off-the-shelf video editing program. HBO's shows have
  • Spiderman: Slashdotter with hot girlfriend and superpowers.

    Superman: Jesus Christ in a cape.

    Watchmen: ???

One man's "magic" is another man's engineering. "Supernatural" is a null word. -- Robert Heinlein

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