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AICN EXCLUSIVE! MORIARTY Reviews David Hayter's Adaptation Of WATCHMEN!

Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

Comic books are not literature.

At least, that was the argument before writers like Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman and Frank Miller showed up in the industry. But then a series of seminal works changed the comics industry, changed the perception of it, and changed a generation of fans who grew up spoiled by a higher standard of writing in a field that had long been more devoted to the work of artists than writers.

WATCHMEN has long been held as one of the finest moments in comics history, and for good reason. Not only does it serve as a sort of summation on all the ideas of costumed heroes up until that time, but it’s also a remarkable bit of revisionism, suddenly snapping a new paradigm into place that’s been widely imitated ever since. Alan Moore has become a cult figure since then, one of the most revered authors working in the field. FROM HELL, V FOR VENDETTA, THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, TOP TEN, THE KILLING JOKE... his resume is dense with masterworks, and once you read one of these casual bits of brilliance, they have a way of worming into you. They’re time bombs that keep going off long after you’ve read them, and they seem to inspire a rabid devotion in fans.

FROM HELL was a handsomely mounted film, but it’s a thin transposition of a few moments from the book, a copy of something special, and it never once feels like it’s alive. Moore’s book had a sense of palpable menace, and it was dark and filthy and venereal thanks to the remarkable work by Eddie Campbell, and no matter how hard they tried, the Hughes Brothers just didn’t have the visual vocabluary of the screenplay to match that.

I’ll give Don Murphy credit for this: he must have taste if he keeps tackling these Alan Moore projects. Even though FROM HELL didn’t connect, he’s at it again now with LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, as can’t-miss a property as I’ve ever read.

Except... they missed.

At least, they did in the draft I read. If you’ve never read Moore’s original run of LOEG, or if you’ve never read the source material that he drew upon, you might find the upcoming film a pleasant action diversion. But if you’re looking for any sort of faithful or respectful adaptation, you’re out of luck. I’m literally so heartsick over the script that I haven’t had the ambition to write about it in depth. I don’t see the point. With SUPERMAN, there’s still a year until they shoot. I wrote what I wrote (including both what I liked and what I didn’t) because I wanted to simply add in the voice of one fan at this point in the progress towards the screen. Anything I’d write about LEAGUE would be seen as a hatchet job, since they’re already shooting. There’s nothing I can do or say at this point. They’re making the film they’re going to make, and at this point, I can hope that Steven Norrington has some ace up his sleeve I don’t know about. I can pray for the best even if I fear for the worst. And I can just let go of it. My criticisms all boil down to one thing: it didn’t need to be changed. I don’t want to hear about “demographics” and “marketing” or justifications for changing the villains or adding Tom Sawyer. Hooey and hogwash to it all. Fu-Manchu was a power-mad meglomaniac, whether they called him Fu-Manchu in the comic or not. I don't like anything about the invention of "The Fantom." Dorian Grey did not have superpowers. And, above all, if you had the slightest regard for H. Rider Haggard, you’d know what Alan Quatermain's ultimate fate is. Read SHE again. By changing Moore’s work, you’ve also thrown out all the meticulous research that was built into his book, and what you’re left with is an action film with a gimmick. For some audiences, that might be enough.

Me? I’m betting everything on Universal’s WATCHMEN instead.

It’s funny. Before I read SUPERMAN, I told Harry how excited I was. I told him that I thought JJ Abrams was the guy for the job. I was obviously disappointed by what I read, which surprised me, but that was nothing compared to how I read the WATCHMEN draft. It was sent to me in the days following the SUPERMAN review by a close friend (thanks, by the way) who said, “You’re in a comic mood. Maybe this will interest you.” When I picked it up, I was downright nervous. I decided that I would read it and not judge it until the end. I held my breath and took the plunge. I figured I was in trouble...

... and instead, I was moved deeply. And surprised. I mean, David Hayter takes a lot of shit in this town. People say terrible things about him. I’ve heard them. I’ve heard people say he’s not a real writer. I’ve heard people piss all over his HULK draft or his work on X-MEN. I’ve never read anything that was just a David Hayter script before, though, so I haven’t had an opinion on him one way or another. I know the original WATCHMEN quite well, and I’m familiar with the Sam Hamm version that was commissioned in the early ‘90s. Still, I’d heard that Hayter had gone back to zero and started fresh, so when I picked up the draft dated 08/02/2002, I figured this was a chance, at last, to read something that was written entirely by him.

And I’ll admit... my hesitancy had to do with more than just Hayter. I mean, Terry Gilliam himself backed away from this material, saying he didn’t believe it could work as a feature film. He said that it might work if someone would give you ten hours for a cable mini-series, but that there was no way to condense it into something smaller. Gilliam is one of my very favorite filmmakers, period, so how could someone like Hayter, someone so unproven, ever hope to pull it off?

I had my answer within the first ten pages of the script. Hayter has done the unthinkable. He’s written the first comic book screenplay to treat its source material as literature, and he’s crafted this with all the care and complexity of end-of-the-year Oscar bait. This is an epic story about responsibility and mankind’s worst nature and hope, and in the shadow of September 11th, it feels more important than it ever has before. There are very few scripts that I read each year that I feel must be made, but this is a case where the genre is literally incomplete unless this film is brought to the screen as soon as possible. This isn’t just great film writing; it’s the very model for how to adapt something and preserve it intact while still making the hard choices that anyone faces when translating something from one media to another.

And on top of that, it happens to be the single most intense, bone-crunching, bad-ass superhero story I’ve read so far in screenplay format, and if filmed, it’s going to redefine what we’re allowed to do.

Normally, I’d do a comparison of what’s been preserved, what’s been changed, what’s been invented, and try to compare this to the comic, but there’s no point in doing an inventory. Want to know what you’re in store for? Pick up the graphic novel. The one thing you will not see in the film is the material that appeared at the end of each chapter of the original publication. No excerpts from UNDER THE HOOD or TALES OF THE BLACK FREIGHTER. And, to be quite honest, you’ll never miss them. Yes, they added a remarkable texture to the world that Moore and Dave Gibbons created, but they were the type of thing that really would only work in print. When you’re holding a book in your hands, and all of a sudden you’re looking at perfectly art designed pages from different types of books or you’re looking at Rorshach’s psych file or the front page of the NEW FRONTIERSMAN, it works. But that’s not the narrative itself. Moore’s story is remarkably elegant, and Hayter has been very careful not to upset the way Moore constructed it in the first place. Dialogue, descriptions, even camera angles seem to be carefully transcribed. There is essentially no invention here. I can count the number of things that Hayter has created for this script on one hand. There’s a scene towards the end of the film, after the events of the graphic novel, that not only adds a fairly high-stakes action beat, but it also provides the audience with a moral closure that Moore refused to offer in the original. Moore is a cynical man, and his work is fascinated with the darker aspects of our nature, but Hayter seems to need to let some light in, and the result actually strengthens the overall piece. Hayter has also taken a cue from THE ABYSS (but just the director’s cut) that pays off when he quotes a song... just one line at just the right time... in a moment that devastated me. It’s emotional and it’s daring, and it works. It just lays bare the human heart of this story in a very direct way that forces you to react. You will not be able to sit impassively through this film. It is determined to make you feel something, and to make you think, and it pulls out every trick in the book. By streamlining the material down from 324 pages to a mere 127, he’s forced everything to the surface. He’s going to have to get a stupendous cast to come in to bring this thing to life, because he’s thrown down a challenge here. A talented ensemble is going to make you believe in this world completely because Hayter’s written very real, very honest characters, all of them capable of good and bad in equal measure.

So many of the things I was afraid would be gone are still here, and somehow, Hayter makes this thing actually feel leisurely. My favorite chapter from the original is Chapter IV, which deals with Dr. Manhattan’s self-imposed exile to Mars, where he finds himself adrift in time, buffeted by memory like a storm, and I was sure that this would be short-changed in the film. Instead, it’s preserved intact, and it’s just as haunting and poetic and sad. Even when Hayter cuts something, he tries to work bits and pieces in all over the script. If there’s a line he loves in a scene that gets cut, the line might show up later and suddenly illuminate a scene in a whole new way. Hayter is obviously drunk in love with the original WATCHMEN, and he’s built something that even the most rabid barking fanboy purist is going to have to acknowledge with some degree of respect. The one big question that has to be on the minds of anyone who’s read the original is Do they really do it? Do they still do what they did in the book? Do they still do that to New York?

Yes and no.

The version in the book is wet and horrible and nearly impossible to imagine as a live-action image. The implicit horror would be too much to take, I think. What’s been done instead accomplishes the exact same goal, but it’s less bloody, less directly shocking. It’ll still hurt, and it’s going to shake those who don’t know it’s coming, but it won’t make people sick to their stomachs, and a direct translation risked causing that exact reaction.

He didn’t tone down the idea... just the stink and the stacks of bodies. He doesn’t rub our nose in something that would be unbearable. Instead, he’s found an elegant way to handle it. And it’s not because he’s afraid of getting a little mussed, either. Rorshach is still a violent psychopathic killer, and when he escapes from prison, there’s a memorable moment involving Big Figure, a crime boss from his past, that has been reproduced exactly. It’s pitch black stuff, and it took real courage to include it. He never shies away from showing you how much of the history of these characters is written in spilled blood, both theirs and that of other people. It’s appropriate that the film starts with a murder and doesn’t stop moving until there is a reconciliation, a moment of healing.

I could write another 3000 words about this script without flinching, but I’m going to save up this enthusiasm. I’m going to keep my eye on this project as it moves forward. Right now, Hayter is set to make his directorial debut with the film, but I can’t imagine the studio trusting the budget required to a first time filmmaker, even if he has written a script as good as this. If he does indeed end up helming it, then I wish him the best of luck and the best of casts. He’ll need both. I am sure that every casting announcement is going to be intensely scrutinized, and I’ll be as guilty of it as anyone. The costumes will be interesting to see, and I’m dying to know how they plan to handle Dr. Manhattan onscreen.

But no matter what... I’m confident that they’re on the right path. For the first time, I believe that WATCHMEN can work. I want to see this film. I need to see this film. And if you read the first sentence of this review and you got hot under the color right away, before you even read the next word of the piece, then you need to see this film, too. With the right support and the full weight of the studio on his side, David Hayter is poised to make the GODFATHER of superhero films, that rare thing which transcends the genre it represents and becomes something unforgettable.

Cross your fingers now. I did.

"Moriarty" out.

Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 21, 2002, 7:39 a.m. CST


    by trash2

    I can't wait- but if the script is really that good it will probably never be made or massively changed.

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 7:40 a.m. CST

    Best of Luck to all concerned

    by Praetor

    I have always been surprised that no-one has yet attempted to translate V for Vendetta. This is much simpler project that could be done cheaper. Still I do love Watchmen. Maybe Dark Knight next?

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 8:01 a.m. CST

    League and Watchmen.....

    by KingKarll

    Two projects ya hear about, but I haven't read. Watchmen I kinda remember from 15 years ago as being ala 'Batman' w/ Frank Miller i.e. adult, different, intelligent, set in the real world as much as ya can these kinda things. The flick? Look to see it come out like the X-men but More; maybe? for the League-this has Doc Savage written all over it; in a good way that is. Things like That can be fun if done right. And they can look like the 'Avengers' or 'the Shadow' if not.....

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 8:02 a.m. CST

    Thank you!!!!!!

    by spider-ham

    I was beginning to wonder if the script review would ever come. Well I'm very happy with its progress. Hope it gets made.

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 8:05 a.m. CST


    by Doc Samson

    while still wondering if this could work in a two hour movie format, the only thing i can say is they better get god damn giovanni ribisi as rorschach. he's short, red-headed and if you've ever seen him in "the gift" you'd know he's the only person that could pull off that line from the book about him not being locked up in prison with the inmates, but they're locked in with him.

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 8:08 a.m. CST

    This will be corrupted in rewrites, though...

    by rap12

    and precisely because Hayter is disrespected. Watchmen, on the budget it requires, will pose too big a risk for any studio to release in its unalloyed form. Unfortunate but true, especially because Hollywood still perceives superhero stories as kiddie fare, even if "graphic novels" are getting more respect now. On a casting note, anyone for Jude Law as Ozymandias?

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 8:19 a.m. CST

    David Hayter scripts an argument to keep Kal-El from staying dea

    by Lordhoban

    Well, if it's half as good as you say, this should be a good film to look out for. I never read the original graphic novel, so I'm a little behind... but remember, many of japanese animated's greatest films were made from graphic novels, such as Akira, even Metropolis, Battle Angel, Macross Plus... at least, my favorates. And, Road to Perdition was based on a graphic novel, and I loved that film!

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 8:19 a.m. CST

    James Cameron's going to direct it isn't he?

    by DANZIGG

    At least that's what someone in my local comic shop told me?

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 8:20 a.m. CST

    First not firts

    by trash2

    Is it really worthwhile to review a script? Something that reads well might not work on screen. What seems like a well-written roll might be a disaster with the wrong actor. A script is more like a dream than a real work of art...

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 8:26 a.m. CST


    by Silvio Dante

    Hate to play the devil's advocate here but isn't it clear that H-weird has lots and lots of time and opportunities to screw this up. Just wait until they bring in exactly the wrong director,production designer who has "fresh" and "exiting" ideas for the flying exo-skeleton The Comedian should wear and on top of all when the mandatory fast-food franchise sponsorship wants to kiddie-fy things just a bit. I trust Moriarty's judgement, though and this is great news as long as it lasts.

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 8:28 a.m. CST

    The League of Gentlemen

    by benben

    This comedy is running on the BBC in the UK right now. Strange and funny in a way only us Brits can manage. Check it.... (I know, I know it's not the same as the comic, have a look anyway)

  • Ang Lee dropping the ball on Hulk is sure to mean a dumbing down of future "superhero" flicks, but let's face it ... that isn't going to happen (fingers crossed). As for casting: this could do for whoever gets Rorschach and Doc Manhattan what L.A. Confidential did for Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce. Jeff Bridges has just the right "gone to seed" hard-man-with-a-soft-centre look for the Nite Owl. Doc Manhattan - oh please God not Vin Diesel .... Take a decent actor. Shave his head. There. Not so hard, was it? On a simliar note, take Benicio del Toro, slap a red wig on him, pasty him up a bit ... no? Am I the only one who sees it? Gah ....

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 8:30 a.m. CST

    Jude Law would be perfect as Oxymandias...

    by Orson W

    Though they might have to make him look a bit bigger. And as for Rorsharck: Steve Buscemi.******This script sounds promising, but there's no chance it will get made. The studios will butcher it to make it kid-friendly and we'll be seeing Rorsharck on Happy Meals.

  • Scrap the Steve Buscemi idea. Why didn't I think of Ribisi before? If anyone has any doubts: see The Gift.

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 8:37 a.m. CST

    The Hulk

    by spider-ham

    Universal which is making the Hulk is also making The Watchmen. So unless the Hulk bombs (and I think even if it sucks it will do well) the chances are really good this watchmen will be made

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 8:42 a.m. CST

    Casting suggestions

    by Egon Spengler

    Russel Crowe as The Comedian. David Caruso as Rorschach - would have been perfect 10 years ago. And I always thought someone like Ted McGinley or David Hasselhoff would make great Ozymandiaz - again 10 years ago. Or maybe Sting. And CGI Dr. Manhattan. Hey, he was dimensional enough in the pages of comic book, why wouldn't it work on the screen?

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 8:53 a.m. CST

    What if..?

    by Silvio Dante

    They really made this script. Imagine what kind of doors it could open in the industry. Just imagine: HBO presents new original series TOP 10. Or "They" could grow balls adapt SANDMAN faithfully from the source material -it would make a great trilogy. Maybe ASTRO CITY feature film? And of course DARK KNIGHT RETURNS with Willem Dafoe as The Joker. I know I'm Geekgasming all over the talkback, but in the perfect world Oliver Stone would direct ELEKTRA ASSASIN and Martin Scorsese would do MARVELS and...someone stop me now

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 8:54 a.m. CST

    Sounds good....

    by King Rhythm

    ..Hope they don't fuck it up. WOnder if it's still set in 1985? Probably not. Jeremy Irons for Doc Manhattan!

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 9:05 a.m. CST

    "The song" in question is...

    by Respect The Cock

    "People...people who need people...are the loneliest people..."

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 9:19 a.m. CST

    hmmm. more upbeat ending?

    by Lizzybeth

    This is good to hear, Moriarity. I side with Gilliam on the impossibility of adapting this work, but if someone has found a way, I would be tickled. That ending, though. Oh, that's a bit worrying. It could be ok if they find the right note. But look: Watchmen should be emmensely disturbing, should scare the hell out of you and send you stumbling out of the theater to hug your loved ones and think about your last days on earth, y'know? That sounds like a ridiculous request of a movie, a comic book movie no less, but understand the impact that this graphic novel had on me and many other people. I read the thing in one sitting (DON'T DO THAT) because I couldn't put it down. Finishing it, I spent a very, very long sleepless night with all that imagery bouncing around my skull. This is not an optimistic work. It dredges up those dark corners of humanity. The inevitability of death, the eventual decline of civilizations. Things fall apart, etc. Moore may have reversed his outlook on the future since this work, but the original intention was deeply pessimistic and meant to be a wake-up call. Let's keep it that way. To borrow the most annoying phrase of 2002: we need that now more than ever. I understand that's not something Hollywood is willing to do right now, but that's what I would want from an adaption.

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 9:22 a.m. CST


    by Johnny Ahab

    Once again, Moriarty blows me away and gets me all tingly excited about film and its possibilities. I'll admit -- I've been a part-time geek, and I was out of comics from the late 70s in high school thru up until two years ago, when I introduced my son to Spider-man and the X-men, and now I've gone back to my comics past with a vengeance. But I was strictly a Marvelite. So I missed WATCHMEN, although I've heard nothing but raves about this work for years. I can't wait to see this film now. Haven't read the source material, and I think I'll put that off till I see this. I want that feeling of being blown away by not knowing what's coming next. So please Universal, stay true to the source material and to this amazing draft. AND WHY AREN'T THE STUDIOS FALLING ALL OVER THEMSELVES TO MAKE MORI AN EXEC?? Yes, you can argue that it would destroy the man's geek purity and outsider's eye to be involved in the system -- but Mori sure as hell knows how to read and analyze a script, as most of the alleged "creative executives" do not. This man leads with his heart, his passion for good films, he knows what will work for an audience -- and would keep a lot of shit from getting through the pipeline. STUDIOS, MAKE THIS MAN YOUR SCRIPT WRANGLER!!! NOW!!!

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 9:23 a.m. CST

    Watchmen casting

    by Tons of Fun

    Jeff Goldblum = Dr. Manhattan Stacy Keach = The Comedian (although I like the suggestion of Campbell as well) Paul Reubens = Rorshach (Trust me on this one. I like the idea of Ribisi, but he's just too young. Remember, these guys are over-the-hill suprheroes, you need an actor who has a few years behind them) Jeff Bridges WOULD make a great Ozy. Lena Olin = Silk Spectre In my opinion, I think it would be kind of funny if Michael Keaton would put on a few pounds and play Nite Owl.

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 9:34 a.m. CST


    by Egon Spengler

    Good call, Tons Of Fun! If not for his accident, Christopher Reeve could have been great Ozymandias then.

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 9:46 a.m. CST

    Bruce Campbell

    by Juggernaut125

    as the Comedian. And if they do flashbacks to the Minutemen, get Nicholas Brendan to play the same part. If you've ever seen the hyena episode of Buffy, you've seen Nic playing a young Bruce. It's very cool. And fuck firts posters. Fuck them up their stupid asses.

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 9:53 a.m. CST

    Watchmen cast

    by MonsterZeroOne

    Tom Hanks as Nite Owl William Macy as Rorshach Linda Fiorentino as Silk Spectre Michael Ironside as The Comedian Rutger Hauer as Oxymandias Russell Crowe as Dr. Manhattan Christopher Walken as Molach and Frank Welker as Bubastis!

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 7:47 p.m. CST

    I'm so glad they lightened the ending. Moore's was such a total

    by Margot Tenenbaum

    I can't wait for the Vertigo comics adaptation of WATCHMEN: THE MOVIE. I hope they get the same fellas who did the TANK GIRL OFFICIAL MOVIE ADAPTATION. I wonder if the artist will trace the original WATCHMEN art, photos from the press kit or just wing it Dark Horse-style. God, I hate EVERYTHING!

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 8:48 p.m. CST


    by ILoveEwksAndJJar

    I can actually post?

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 8:50 p.m. CST

    Yeah, I Can Post...........

    by ILoveEwksAndJJar

    But I wind up at the top.

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 9:17 p.m. CST

    I'm impressed if he really did it

    by KONG33

    I figured it was impossible, all those little moments without words... Hard is an understatement. Moore's ending w/o a moral is crucial to his story, a moral might sound better, but it completely changes the entire viewpoint. Imagine 'Atlas Shrugged' being 'Atlas Smiles'. NYC should be totalled, bodies should pile up and no one should soften the blow, if it worries you, that's the fucking point, you aren't an infant don't ask to be treated like one. Other than that, it sounds great!

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 9:40 p.m. CST

    Most importantly -

    by RawShark

    Are the Black Freighter comic book sequences going to be in the film?

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 9:56 p.m. CST

    The first time I read Watchmen, way back in 1988, I looked at Ro

    by Radagast T Brown

    Damn. That's Willem Dafoe right there.

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 10 p.m. CST


    by JonQuixote

    David Hayter posts here sometimes (mostly just to defend himself), and despite what people say about his previous screen work, he's always acquited himself here as a gracious, intelligent man, with an interesting voice (pun intended). I think Hollywood needs more people with that level of humility and accessibility (and not just because I'm so damn humble myself, and it's a good sign for people like me); I hope this script is as good as Moriarty says, and I hope Hayter gets a chance to put his & Moore's vision on the screen.

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 10:07 p.m. CST


    by SamBluestone

    Yeah, I could see Ribisi as Kovacs... I could also REALLY see Bill Macy... but for my money, you want psycho, you get the single greatest living actor who has never been nominated for on Oscar: Gary Oldman. Gary-fuckin'-Oldman. Even the crappiest movie is made better by his presence. ROMEO IS BLEEDING. THE PROFESSIONAL. Even frickin' HANNIBAL. For Ozzy, after seeing ALTERED STATES, I seriously would go with William Hurt. But Jude Law... oh, hell yes. He could do it too. Actually, thinking of ALTERED STATES, maybe Hurt would be ideal for Doc Mahattan? As if we haven't seen his butt enough, now we can see it BLUE! And Warwick Davis as Big Figure (RIP Billy Barty, no.1 choice)! But one thing is for certain in my casting dreams: BRUCE CAMPBELL! Comedian! Yeah! No one else!

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 10:12 p.m. CST


    by slaad

    Wow. I haven't read Watchmen in a good 10 years, but it still sticks with me. I really need to pick up a copy. William H. Macy is a brilliant suggestion for Rorschach (sic?) . I'll always remember him demanding that what's-his-name kill him at the end. I think you could actually do this movie on a reasonable budget, since the only character with actual super-powers is the alien. Anyway, fingers crossed that this actually happens and that it is half-decent. Cheers!

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 10:33 p.m. CST

    I need to read this script

    by Brucewayne777

    I have read watchmen 100plus times and have gone over it in my head everytime I read it and it can't be done. If it's pulled off, I'll eat my words happily, but Moore said it himself, that how the story was told was far better than the story itself, and if they tried to do it shot for shot, it would be 10 hours easy. They will need to change the Cold war into the War on Terror, and to do that no studio would have the balls to show an attack on New York. But what's really important is the Very end, the last page of Watchmen was my favorite in the entire series. On a totally different subject, wouldnt an HBO mini-series in black and white of From Hell kick ass?

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 11:16 p.m. CST

    More Watchmen Casting And Some Thoughts

    by Barron34

    I usually trust Morarity's opinions, but I still have very strong doubts that the Watchmen can be made into a two-hour movie. In my opinion, Hayter should write it as a mini-series and it should be produced on HBO. Does warners own both HBO and DC Comics? In any case, it could be pitched as the superhero version of the Sopranos, and done over 10 or 12 hours in one season. A cable version is much more feasible in terms of the entire story, in my opinion. I will believe in an effective two-hour version when I see it.*****In terms of casting, whoever mentioned Michael Ironside for the Comedian had a great idea. I was thinking Bruce Willis, prior to that point. This talk of Giovanni Ribisi as Rorschach has me in a bit of an uproar. I just don't see it. He is way too young for the character. Rememebr that these characters are all middle-aged in the main storyline (not the flashbacks, of course). I think that Gary Sinise would be an excellent Rorschach. He is short, in good physical condition, and has similar features and coloring to the character. AND, he is a great actor to boot. I think he would be outstanding as Rorschach. Who else? I like Julianne Moore as the younger Silk Spectre. She is the right age, has the same kind of figure as the character, hair and features as well. Additionally, she is a good actress who can play characters with attitude and humor, which Silk Spectre calls for. Who else? I would say Alec Baldwin as Dreiburg/Nite Owl. He has the build and looks for the character, and I think that Baldwin could pull off the mix of heroism and human vulnerability that the character requires. Other characters? I think that Val Kilmer would be a great Ozymandias. He has the good looks and the weird senese of agelessness that the character calls for. Also, the super-powered intellect combined with the smooth liberal smugness that Ozy exudes is right up Kilmer's alley. Who else? Someone mentioned James Garner in a previous talkback for the original Nite Owl. Great choice. Another poster suggested Christopher Walken for Moloch. Another inspired bit of casting. That just leaves Doc Manhatten. This is the one character that I have drawn a blank on regarding casting. There is just no actor that I can think of for the character. Perhaps he could be done CGI, as others have suggested. In any case, those are my casting ideas. Lastly, I must re-iterate that I still have serious doubts thta this story can be done in a two-hour movie, even if Mori is giving Hayter's script the thumbs up. Please, do it as an HBO mini-series! Please consider it. This way, the filmed version could be done with total faitfullness to the entire graphic novel, inspired visuals included. I would not change a thing about the book, and would definitely not tag on some happy ending, as Moriarity suggests the Hayter script does. Do it as an HBO mini-series and leave the entire novel intact, from the Cold War setting in th e80s, to the final, grim (and funny) ending. It is Moore's greatest work, in my opinion, and shoul dbe left intact. There's my two cents.

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 11:39 p.m. CST

    Still More Casting Thoughts And Shooting The Watchmen As An HBO

    by Barron34

    Posters mention William H.Macy for Rrorschach. Greta actor, good bit of casting. I still think Gary Sinise would be perfect, but Macy would be great as well. For those who mention Jude Law as Ozymandias: he would be perfect, except that he is way, way too young for the role. Ozy is one of those guys who still looks wierdly youthful into his fifities. Think Robert Redford and Warren Beatty about ten years ago: good looking older kinds who still look very well preserved. Jude Law is extremely young for the role. I suggest Val Kilmer for the role.*****Also, to those who suggest that they get rid of the Cold war and replace it with the war on Terror: I think to do so is a mistake. Leave it set in the 80s Cold War era. One of the major themes of the graphic novel is that the presence of superheroes (especially Doc Manhatten) has altered the flow of hisotory. Nixon is in his third term as President (the Comedian killed the Watergate investigators) and the world's cars run on electric power (patented by Ozymandias). It is perfectly OK for the mvoie(s) to start with a scroll on the screen to the effect of: "The following story takes place in a world forever altered by the presence of the superhero. Airships soar through the skys of the city landscape, cars run on pure electric power, America won the Vietnam War, Richard Nixon was re-elected President, and the Soviet Union still exists, with it's nuclear weapons pointed at the United Sattes and the world on the brink of total war and nuclear annihilation. [Insert image of the Watchmen clock from the graphic novel] The hands of the nuclear clock stand poised at just before midnight, just before total destruction. Who will save the world? Who are the only ones to stand between humanity and the end of the world? The Watchmen." Cut to the intro of the graphic novel, the two cops investigating The Comedian's death. Simply shoot the novel almost frame by frame, in a 10 hour HBO mini-series. Simple.

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 11:48 p.m. CST

    One Final Thought

    by Barron34

    I have suggested Julianne Moore for the second Silk Spectre, but it occurred to me that Famke Jannsen would be excellent in the roledespite that she is playing another superheroine, Jean Grey, in the X-Men movies). She has the look and seems like she could play the great smart-ass attitude that the character has. What do ya think? (also, sorry for the typos in my posts. typing fast and posting quick with no spell checks. sorry)

  • Oct. 21, 2002, 11:51 p.m. CST

    the shadow gets dissed way too much

    by bumetalman

    i enjoyed that flick a ton, i think it gets a bad rap. That is all

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 12:05 a.m. CST


    by droll

    David Rorschach Beau Bridges as Nite Owl Fred Ward as Comedian Just my two cents

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 12:05 a.m. CST

    Why would anyone diss David Hayter?

    by CHEET

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 12:28 a.m. CST

    System Maintenance Episode II - Attack Of The DNS Error.

    by statto4ever

    Seriously? What gives? Also, isn't it spelt Rorscharch? At least that's the way my Watchmen copy is spelt.

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 12:31 a.m. CST


    by statto4ever

    Of course I meant Rorschach......

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 12:42 a.m. CST

    Changing it to the WAR ON TERROR is Brilliant.

    by KONG33

    I think this would be a lot more relevant and interesting if set today during times of our WAR ON TERROR. There could be a much larger, more important, emotional statement made. I hope this isn't directed in a typical, easy-way-out way, this story should be art or nothing. The Cold War is history. I mean, how are you going to try to avoid the whole lack of Twin Towers / NYC destruction connection? F. Miller was so right about Hollywood in the wake of the attacks, someone can say something or merely back down and play it safe. It will be interesting how this is handled. I think people should drop the candles and maybe even put their noses into our harsh, uncertain reality, to start asking more questions about where to go from here. You may have noticed in Rolling Stone (and other mags like it) after the bombing, people mostly wrote articles about foreign kids possibly/maybe being called terrorists because of their ethnicity, and stories about what it was like to exist in a real, live bombing, no hard questions about direction in the future... It just seems like we want to write a mellow piano song dedicated to our fears about every little thing even after getting past grief, and you saw how companies/celebrities chose to exploit that. Anyway, I like Hayter a lot, he seems like a cool guy. I'm very glad the Mars scenes are intact, how does the script deal with Dr. Manhattan's recollection of the past?

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 12:46 a.m. CST

    Perfect world...

    by 7ZeroCorpse

    Well, in a perfect world, Michael Wincott would be cast in the lead in "I Am Legend" instead of Will Smith, but we don't get that. I absolutely HATE Ribisi, and pray he's not in this. I'd accept Macy, or Buscemi, or most especially Paul Reubens. I'd also accept Clint Howard before I'd accept Ribisi the tard. As for Comedian, he's a bit player and doesn't really need to be an A-list actor. The guy DIES in the beginning! But they make a point of mentioning how beefy he is in the book, and it makes me feel that most of the casting choices I've seen have been lacking, except maybe Stacy Keach, but I think he's just a smidge too old. Remember, he was the youngest of the original team. It's clear they'd need multiple casting for some characters to reflect flashbacks. Comedian changed a lot over the years. I suppose Bruce would work, but he'd need to bulk up bigtime. I like the Fiorentino suggestion, except that her ONLY emote in films it "incredulous sarcasm" and it would not be enough. I'd call in someone with more range for that character. Of course, the fans of the Daredevil movie would say we should cast Michael Clark Duncan as Comedian because he's a big guy, too...

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 12:49 a.m. CST

    Sounds like Lord of the Rings all over again. In other words, T

    by Village Idiot

    I'd like to just give a big Marv Alpert "YES!!" to David Hayter. If what Mori says is true, 1) THANK GOODNESS, and 2) WATCHMEN will be the movie to be on the lookout for in the in the coming years, like SPIDER-MAN was before; a hope that will tide us over during the SUPERMAN trainwreck.

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 1:14 a.m. CST


    by JonQuixote

    Nobody mentioned AICN's own Comedian's choice for his Watchman namesake? Well, let me throw out the no-brainer: DENNIS FARINA as The Comedian. Either him or HARVEY KEITEL. KEVIN KLINE would make a great Nite Owl and DIANE LANE was born to play Silk Spectre. The only actor I could really envision as Ozymandius is ROBERT REDFORD...wasn't Oz older than the other heroes anyways? Just well preserved. Dr. Manhattan: LIAM NEESON. And, honestly, wouldn't it be great to watch the whole movie wondering who Rorschach really was, only to finally have him unmasked & discover an unbilled STEVE BUSCEMI? Just my thoughts. God, I hope we get to see this movie, and I hope that it's as good as Mori says it could be. It could be the greatest thing to ever happen to the comic industry!

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 1:21 a.m. CST


    by Buster Gonads

    Radagast T Brown is spot on, Willem Dafoe IS Rorscharch. I think Clint Eastwood would be a great "old" Nite Owl. Re: Setting of the film. It has to remain in that Cold War era because the world was on the brink of nuclear annihilation. The balance of power being shifted by super heroes and Ozymandias' plan are integral to the story. The so called "war on terror" does not have that same sort of precarious balance, no matter how strongly the Yanks might feel about it.

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 2:24 a.m. CST

    Gee, thanks for the LOEG spoilers!

    by Matt Martinez

    Moriarty, I hope I'm reading it wrong, but did you just give a major plot spoiler for the League of Extraordinary Gentleman movie (re: Alan Quartermain dying) without prior warning? If so, please don't ever do that again. Aside from that, I'm not sure if it was supposed to be a plot twist that the Phantom of the Opera was a major villain, but I certainly hope not.

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 2:25 a.m. CST


    by eau hellz gnaw

    if this had been made in the 80s, stacy keach, nick nolte, or dennis farina could have played the comedian, and robert redford or rutger hauer could have played ozymandias. now i'd say those respective roles would be well filled by harvey keitel (even though he's too short) and a bill paxton type (not bill paxton though). i lve william h macy, but there's no way anyone is buying him as a tough guy. a psychopath, sure, but a tough guy? never. i hate david carusso, even though he does look the part. i'd go with sean penn, however. he can play older than he is. beau bridges is a great choice for nite owl, but i wouldn't be upset if they gambled and went with bill murray instead. robert redford as hollis mason. anyone but julia roberts as silk spectre. russel crowe is a dolt, but he might work as dr. manhattan. christian bale might also work, though the jury's still out on him. forrest whittaker or charles dutton as mal. sally jupiter: pick phyllis diller for all i care.

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 2:34 a.m. CST

    that review gave me the fucking chills

    by Tall_Boy

    I read Watchmen, once, about a year ago. A prof of mine who is totally into comics said "you have to read The Watchmen". and I did and it blew my mind. if they can keep the piece intact in a 2 hour movie I'd be amazed.

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 2:36 a.m. CST

    Cold War versus War on Terror

    by Village Idiot

    I think to change WATCHMEN to correspond to 2002 instead of 1985 would be an unfortunate mistake. Here's why: The timeline structure of the story is intended to calibrate with the history and zeitgeists of the 20th century. (Actually, it was intended to follow in tandem with the *history of comics*, although I don't expect the movie to be required to adhere to this specific metaphor). Moreover, the values of the Cold War (i.e., the stalemate) were a fundamental aspect of the story. Change the story to reflect the War on Terror, and you stand to lose the elegance of the original story.

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 2:51 a.m. CST


    by LastDragon

    Tim Roth for Rorschach.

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 3:07 a.m. CST


    by Toons

    I'm a huge fan of the LoEG comic books (I've bought every issue of the first series and I buy every issue of the second one religiously). When I first heard about the movie, I was thrilled, but hoped they wouldn't mess up (I honestly thought they couldn't, since, as Moriarty said, it did not need to be changed to be a cool movie)..How sorely dissapointed I was when I started hearing the rumors..I mean, seriously, Tom Sawyer? One of the biggest icons of AMERICAN literature??? The League works for the friggin' Crown, for Chrissakes! And Dorian Grey? Seriously? What kind of special skills can he provide??? And now, going into the IMDB website (perhaps in the secret hope that some change has been made to the lineup) I found out that "Richard Roxburgh" plays "The Phantom/HUCKLEBERRY FINN"??????? I don't know if anybody mentioned this before..but is that the plot twist? The League fights the Phantom only to discover that he's a grown-up, pissed off, Huck Finn?????? I know this is not the right place to rant about this, but I had to let it out. I was extremely excited by the possibility of a LoEG movie being made. This, sadly, is not.

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 3:53 a.m. CST

    Well I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but if the script i

    by The Founder

    the script is going to be hacked to shreds. I don't know, it seems more promising that Universal is at the helm, but studio execs are studio execs, and they wil have to interfer and have things changed. Well I hope changes are to a minimal. I've never read the Watchmen, and if a movie is being made, them i'll hold off. I'm betting if Hulk and Xmen do well(i'm confident they will) them watchmen will get the greenlight that much faster, and I'm hoping that Warners wake up and give us The Authority with Mark Miller or Warren Ellis writing, and Luc Besson directing, but Warners is not smart enough to do this, and besides Dc's characters aren't interesting. Cameron is a good director, and why people seem to hate on him is beyond me. I think so long as Cameron doesn't make any of changes to suit him, then the Watchmen will come out good.

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 3:58 a.m. CST

    Mommy, I want the toy with the dog's head split open!!

    by Son Of Batboy

    "Mommy, why is the big blue man walking around with no clothes?" How much are they gonna soften this to get a PG-13? A little too important to give to a first time director don't ya think? Well, I wish him luck. Just keep those dirty fuckers from MTV out of it. Never compromise. Not even in the face of Armageddon. "Coming to a Taco Bell near you!! The new Watchmen Armageddon burito supreme!! Get yours today and receive a free bloody smiley face while supplies last!! Who watches the Watchmen? Seiko does. Sleek, stylish and water resistant, Seiko has the time for any Superhero. Right Rorshach? Hurm..."

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 4:09 a.m. CST

    Sean Penn IS Rorshach

    by Lazarus Long

    Come on! What's with this Willem Dafoe crap? Sean Penn has the cynical brooding menace to play this role. He may not seem as crazy as he was 10 years ago, but you know he could pull this shit off. Not to mention he is still one of the best actors in the business. Do you want some TV actor or ham in the role? No. As much as I like Dafoe, I think he was wasted in Spider-Man. He's better at characters who aren't fantasy based. I would have loved Burt Reynolds as Comedian, but he's probably too old at this point. Bruce Willis with a moustache and bad rug would probably work. I'm thinking Michael Douglas as Night Owl, and having Kirk as Hollis Mason would be a nice touch. Ozymandias needs to be someone older, but I think people like Redford are too old. You have to find someone who's in his late 40's that looks young for his age. Silk Spectre--think washed up beauty like Demi Moore. I know these names I've listed aren't big draws, but that's who I'm seeing in these roles.

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 4:42 a.m. CST

    filming the unfilmable

    by audio vandal

    Hats off to everyone willing to be involved in this project cause you gotta have balls as big as jupiter moons to mess with source material like ' the watchmen ' . This could be the worst idea in comic book adaption history ( watch out for that owl costume ) , or one of the most thoughtful translations ever . Anyone that can make this movie work for less than $400 million dollars and ten hours of screen time deserves a listen, but please , please dont piss all over the reputation of this seminal work , although i would love to see how the hell they plan to do the start/ middle/ short, im worried.

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 4:54 a.m. CST


    by willscarlet

    Tim Roth - Okay so I haven't read the comic book, I'm not qualified to say, but it seems to me if want a short, mature, red headed psychopath, you go directly to one man...

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 5:27 a.m. CST

    Moriarty's script reviews are BY FAR the best thing on this site

    by Cash Bailey

    In fact, I honestly can't think of a more consistently knowledgable, insightful and entertaining writer in the internet movie-lover media.

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 5:45 a.m. CST

    ...And Danny Bonaduce as Rorchach.

    by funnyboy

    Okay, for starters, Son Of Batboy opined "'Mommy, why is the big blue man walking around with no clothes?' How much are they gonna soften this to get a PG-13?" To this I say...I see where you're coming from, but bad example. Throwing some shorts on Dr. Manhattan won't really be ruining the source material. And to comment on another one of his comments, I think the film would be impossible for fast-food or toy tie-ins, so it's safe. Different target audience. To Master Moron, I agree with you in principle. and Mori's review didn't really give away the "big event", but if the screenwriter can summon the same emotion WITHOUT the graphic depiction of millions of dead bodies in the streets of New York, then so much the better. We've all seen too much of that. If the emotion is there without the visual, it's good screenwriting. As for the problems with making it two hours...I think it can be done, but it's a tall order. Mori seems to think it works well, so I'll trust his judgement until I can make my own (And Mori, if you want to send me a copy, feel free, dude. Ah, the beauty of wishful thinking.) And of course casting...hurm. I think it's fascinating that so much thought is being given to the casting of Willem DaFoe as Rorschach, and wonder how much of this is Spider-Man overflow. I'd like to see an unknown in that part, if only because it's got star-making potential. If Bonaduce had talent, he'd be the perfect age and look, but since he's a huge choad, it'll never happen and thank God for that. Here's something to bend your minds around....Carrot-Top as Rorschach.

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 10:51 a.m. CST


    by riskebiz

    Willem DaFoe is good for Rorshach, though for some odd reason I always thought Rorshach in the comic looked like Kevin Bacon. Jeff Goldblum would be a great Nite-Owl. I think Jude Law would be great as Dr. Manhattan (based on his fine quirky turn as Joe Gigalo). George Clooney would be great as the elder Comedian (thought it's too minor a part for him). Maybe Bill Paxton? A younger version (who they could age) who would be picture perfect as both the younger and older Comedian would be Matt Dillon. Cast somebody who looks perfect like Tom Cruise as Ozymandias, or for the art-house crowd: Julian Sands.

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 11:15 a.m. CST

    My personal Watchmen cast...

    by Sod Off Baldric

    David Caruso - Rorschach; Dana Delany - Silk Spectre/Lori Juspezcyk (I think that was her name); Olympia Dukakis - Sally Jupiter; William Hurt - Nite Owl/Dan Dreiberg; Chuck Heston - Hollis Mason; Dennis Farina - The Comedian; Dr. Manhattan - Bruce Willis. I'm still not sure who I would cast as Ozymandius. Ten years ago, Robert Redford would have been perfect. Now, though, I'm not so sure.

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 12:38 p.m. CST

    Seth Green as Rorschach

    by rev_skarekroe

    Seriously, I want to see if he can pull it off. Also, the reason they can't use Fu Manchu in LoEG is surely legal. They had to call him "The Doctor" in the comic to avoid trouble with the Sax Rohmer estate. sk

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 1:38 p.m. CST

    Changes to the original

    by Brucewayne777

    What I stated before about the Coldwar being replaced by the War on Terror was just one more reason why this is such a difficult movie to make. I remember the mindset of the mid-eighties very well, and creating super-heros to save the bleak world that it was back then in a realistic way was Moores intent. T take it out of the eighties and set it in this day and age would change the heart of what this story is about. What I was saying is that no body would have the balls to make something so dated. And thats just one of many reasons this film would besuch a gamble. Wish Moore would write something similer to represet he problems in todays world, much like Millers Dark Knight, and DK2 were so different in setting. Oh yeah, and how come nobody is mentoning Gary Oldman as Rorshach?

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 2:14 p.m. CST


    by Buzz Maverik

    Hollywood continues to sell soiled dreams to the wretched masses. But what about my dreams? I have none, because I alone can go to sleep with a clear conscience. All this talk about who should "play" me, as if what I am doing is a game, and all some degenerate actor would have to do is put on a face. It sickens me. Hurm. Patrick Swayze would make a good Veidt, though.

  • ...I'm surprised no one in Hollywood has had a look yet at one of his earlier creations, the Ballad OF Halo Jones, which is just as thought provoking but has a far more linear narrative that's prob more ripe for conversion. Published in the mid 1980s in UK comic-book 2000AD, it's set maybe 1,000 years in the future, when New York undesirables are shoved into a massive floating metal prison off Manhattan off Manhattan. Story follows Halo, one bright educated late teens who ostensibly goes off ona shopping trip but then tries to escape to a better future. It's written in its own particular language a la Clockwork Orange but that shouldn't pose that many problems. Subsequent books see her as a hostess on a luxury cruise ship the Clara Pandy and then as Nam-style grunt in an all-female batallion serving on the planet Moab (should be available as a collected volume for around $20 on the UK's Amazon site). Worth a de-perkified Reese Witherspoon looking at?

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 3:08 p.m. CST


    by defino

    i'm as interested in the fantasy of seeing this brought alive in film format as the next fan of this work, but WHY? it would take a miracle to capture the spirit of the novel (CERTAINLY it could not be done in an hour and forty-five minutes). it'd probably give you the same feeling as seeing the beginning of the clone wars in EPII... lame and not nearly as interesting and exciting as you imagined it when ben talked to luke about it in EPIV. i think some things are just not adaptable.

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 4:31 p.m. CST

    All hope is restored

    by filmophlye666

    I was thinking that maybe comic movies were going down the drain once again(Ben Affleck as daredevil? spare me,please),but now all hope is restored in me.Even if all the rest of the comic movis are crap, atleast I'll have Watchmen.I first read the Watchmen graphic novel only about a year ago, but it is indeed te greatest piece of fiction to come out in comic form,indeed, one of the best pieces of fiction period.Hollywood could still screw it up, but if the script is half as good as moriarty says it is, they probably wont :-)

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 5:02 p.m. CST

    Who will watch the Watchmen???...ME!!!

    by Ninja Nerd

    This is the best news I've heard about a new movie in a long, long time. I was excited by another classic from my childhood...Starship Troopers...until I heard they cut the freakin' MI suits competely out and made Flores a woman. Sure enough, the film was stupid compared to Heinlein's brilliant novel. Watchmen IS literature and one of the finest "graphic novels" ever to see print. I hoped there would be a movie someday, but I figured it would go the way of most book-to-film translations...right through the Hollywood CRAP-O-LATOR 5000 and end up like Troopers...a pale, poorly done film. Sounds like Watchmen has a chance...

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 5:35 p.m. CST

    About the 9/11 and terrorist thing

    by MTXX

    There's really no need to 'update' the story in any significant way to make it about recent global events. Alan Moore's writing from this period, both in "Watchmen" and in the last book of his other masterpiece "Miracleman", was strangely prophetic. The apocalyptic endings of these works already ARE about 9/11. Excerpt from Miracleman Book 3: ". . . Off in the distance sirens circled us like carrion birds, their modulated shrieks ringing across the wastelands through the rain. I thought about the firemen and the dumbstruck ambulance crews. The world in which they tried to sleep that night would be a different world to that in which they had begun their day. Different FOREVER: All the cats were now out of the bag, the worms at last freed from their tin. I knew in all the world that there existed no can large enough for us to ever cram them all back in."

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 5:47 p.m. CST

    It IS the right time to make this movie

    by MTXX

    Besides the length and complexity of Watchmen, the the two main problems with adapting Watchmen have, until recently, been: 1) The 'global mood' wasn't the same as in the mid eighties with Ronald Reagan as US president, Soviet invasion in Afghanistan, global nuclear war fear at its worst etc. It's themes wouldn't really have appealed to young people. 2) Watchmen was very much a comment on the concept ofsuperheroics in comics, in the same way that 'anti-westerns' like "Once Upon a Time in the West" and "Unforgiven" were comments on the history of the western movie. Adapting Watchmen to a new medium where there hasn't been any really significant waves of superhero movies would be pointless. But now, with the 9/11 thing and George "Antichrist" Bush creating a global apocalyptic mood very similar to the early eighties, and the best movie directors in the world suddenly for some reason deciding to make silly superhero movies, a Watchmen movie would make a LOT of sense. And if Hayter really has solved the tough adaptation problems, I'd say "Bring it on, man!"

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 5:51 p.m. CST

    Animate It

    by cryptochrome

    It's a bit late to say, I know, but it's the best way to stay true to the artist's style, and an interesting take in it's own right.

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 7:25 p.m. CST


    by DOGSOUP

    Is that I'm sure if they filmed this script as is,the movie could be the very best comic book movie of all time.Unfortunatly i have a feeling some demographic mongering,cokehead,money grubbing studio exec won't allow the script to remain intact and change all the things we hold so dear.Keep a copy of it Mori,you might be looking back at it saying "If only,If only..."

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 7:57 p.m. CST


    by Glorious Bastard

    I don't think the Fantom is supposed to be The Phantom of the Opera, but french literary villian Fantomas. Are the makers of LoeG smart enough to make this connection? I doubt it.

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 8:20 p.m. CST

    Bruce Campbell!?!?!? The Comedian is a

    by thecomedian

    **Zero Corpse** The Comedian is THE major character of Watchmen and not merely because his death begins it. He

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 8:22 p.m. CST

    Never compromise....

    by Atomic Lobster

    ...even in the face of Armageddon. A major change in the setting would be a huge mistake. You might as well just make a different movie alltogether. Saying you can't set Watchmen in its original, warped 1985 setting because the Cold War is over is like saying you can't set From Hell in the 19th century because Jack the Ripper isn't stalking Whitechapel anymore. Now I've got my fingers crossed that a very clever script and a world class director might somehow get this into a three hour movie - eighteen minutes per installment, hmmm - but it'd be tricky. You'd have to lose the Black Freighter, and the resonance between that and Ozymandias' journey was one of the most chilling parts. Dreams of a black ship, the backs of murdered innocents... all that would have to go. And the ending can't be upbeat! The entire point is that cutting the Gordian knot doesn't *solve* the problem. Damn, I'm going to have to go and read this again now....

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 8:31 p.m. CST

    Loved the book, but...

    by Kenshiro_Kane

    ... this movie will get made right after "HARRY KNOWLES: THE UNWASHED FATFUCK WHO SELLS OUT HIS PALS AND SOURCES IN EXCHANGE FOR HOLLYWOOD PERKS AND OTHER WORTHLESS SWAG"... as in two weeks from never. Waitaminute, I just got an IM from DreamWorks saying they want to go with my Harry script starring the state of Wisconsin as The Bloated RedHead and have already given the greenlight to the sequel "FATASS HARRY 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO", so maybe we'll see this Watchmen pic after all. YEAH RIGHT!!

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 9:03 p.m. CST

    What I meant to post about David Hayter

    by CHEET

    At this here broken server was, how could anyone have a problem with SOLID FUCKIN SNAKE?!!! Worship the only counter terrorism op who looks awesome with a mullet and has the world weary voice to match.

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 9:11 p.m. CST

    Wait... Universal is making this?

    by theredmenace

    Maybe I missed something here, or maybe I'm out of the loop, but... wasn't The Watchmen a DC property? And doesn't Warner Brothers own DC? Or did Moore keep to keep the rights to Watchmen? Cna someone fill me in so I stop feeling like a total feeb?

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 9:20 p.m. CST

    Bruce Campbell as the Comedian?

    by Evil Posh

    You want to cast Bruce 'THE DADDY' Campbell as the guy who dies in the first five minutes? You want to see your geek idol thrown out of a very high window? What sort of sick Oedipal fantasy is that? I suppose you want to fuck Bridget Fonda's Linda too.

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 9:57 p.m. CST

    by joeypogi

    Moriarity and Harry. I have come to the conclusion that you are both hacks. But what is kewl is you have access to an incredible amount of information and so I will keep on going back to this site. My advice, improve you're writing styles. If not, at least secure and continue to cherish your access to information, coz that is the reason why we will keep on coming back here.

  • "And then, brother, Moore said 'Well, Tel, it's like this, see'..."

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 10:49 p.m. CST

    Should be done as a mini-series on HBO

    by tm.prometheus

    There is no way this comic could ever be told with any kind of justice in 2 - 3 hours. I have for the past few years decided that the best way to tell this story is to use a medium like HBO and do a full hour long episode for each comic in the story. I would probably choose a dark style animation over live action as well- but that's just my preferance for this story.

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 10:58 p.m. CST

    I hope it's still set in the 80s...

    by phasmatrope

    How does this draft compare to the original Sam Hamm screenplay? That one wasn't great, but it wasn't that bad, either. I still think this would work better as a TV miniseries (even if it was just an animated adult TV miniseries though). Either way, it wouldn't be quite so high-profile, which would probably relax the studio heads enough to allow Hayter to direct it. Still, no matter which way you do it, there are still going to be changes no matter what. Case in point, I don't see how people can continue to be surprised over things like removing the pirate story: yeah, it's nice on the printed page, but if that's the case, why not bitch about them not filming the journal passages, interviews, and articles included in the original?? Those add even more to the story than the pirate subplot ever did. That's what happens when you switch mediums; otherwise, why not complain about the film not having white frames around every new camera angle just like happens in a comic, or text balloons instead of recorded dialogue?? (If you want the full experience, just read the fucking graphic novel!!). The other big problem is: is this going to be a period piece set in the 80's, or what? Because the time period was VERY important to the original, in that the characters had had their heyday in the 40s, that they fell out of favor in post-war times, that Dr. Manhattan stood in for Cold War fears of nuclear holocaust and the threat of unlimited power, and that these formerly virile heroes were now irrelevant, impotent has-beens. But you can't just make this version take place 10-15 years after that!! (hell, they were already middle-aged in the comic as it is, if you just age them, you're going to have a bunch of senior citizens in tights, and this is going to turn into a comedy). And in this day and age, with the Cold War gone, how does that affect the work? I think it's a given that, as is the case with the graphic novel, a giant alien attacking the Earth would be a big wake-up call and help us to put aside all of our difference, when just a bunch of dirty terrorist fucks with razor blades and a commercial airliner can achieve the same thing in today's world, what then??

  • Oct. 22, 2002, 11:40 p.m. CST


    by stoogeling

    Ed Norton as Rorschach--accept no substitutes.

  • Oct. 23, 2002, 1:28 a.m. CST

    Hey Comedian...

    by 7ZeroCorpse

    I don't question the Comedian's IMPORTANCE to the story at all. I agree with you 100% about his significance. You don't need to lecture me on his role in the story- I know it intimately. --But, despite his importance, he IS a "bit player" because he has so very few lines. In a screenplay, I would be willing to bet half of his flashbacks have been cut, so that leaves only a few key moments. Total up his ACTUAL lines and on-screen appearances and he gets about two pages' worth, max. He's like "Painless" in "M*A*S*H" in that he's very important, but just not a feactured player. In terms of an acting role, The Comedian is indeed a bit player. As far as who gets to play him, it's not all that important as long as they are beefy, rough-looking, and can be aged appropriately. Nolte would indeed work, or even better- Gary Busey. They could use his son Jake for the flashbacks!

  • Oct. 23, 2002, 1:49 a.m. CST


    by Otis Banana

    I don't think they necessarily need a big name for Rorshach. I think a great choice would be Doug Hutchison, who played Percy Wettmore in The Green Mile. Take a look at his photo on the IMDB and tell me you don't get the same creepy and menacing feeling that Rorshach evokes.,%20Doug

  • Oct. 23, 2002, 2:17 a.m. CST

    Percy Wettmore is perfect!

    by KONG33

    He would be ideal, I think. The Cold War was important to the book and I won't deny it. It would be awesome to see an 80's set film, but will spend the money? If not, it would be lame to speak of the Cold War. Most superheroes had their day in the 40's because that was when comics were successful. Maybe they could move their heyday into the sixties, when comic book tv and movies were becoming more chic? It opens up a lot of tough questions, though.

  • Oct. 23, 2002, 2:18 a.m. CST


    by Devilish-D

    Watchman Dream Cast Director: Ridley Scott Ozymandias: Ed Harris Comedian: Tom Seizmore Night Owl: Tom Hanks Rorschach: Tim Roth Dr Manhattan: Vin Diesel Miss Jupiter: Julianne Moore

  • Oct. 23, 2002, 2:20 a.m. CST

    How would they

    by KONG33

    work around NY's destruction? Or would they?

  • Oct. 23, 2002, 2:54 a.m. CST

    Official Cast List...

    by The Idiocy Virus

    ..errrr, unofficially! Norton or Jared Leto as Rorshach, Linda Fiorentine as Silk Spectre, Paul Bettany as Ozy, Jack "The Joker" Nicholson as The Comedian or Jeff Bridges or the Mace as Night Owl, and the only actor capable of playing a god-like, feared and respected super-hero The Cruiser...Get Tom to shave his head and prance around with all the other actors distancing themselves, life imititating art....

  • Oct. 23, 2002, 3:30 a.m. CST

    Why people dis David Hayter...

    by AlwaysRight

    They think he actually WROTE the mind-numbing, pedantic, poorly translated dialogue in MGS2.

  • Oct. 23, 2002, 5:18 a.m. CST

    Nukes vs. Terrorists.

    by Deathexplosion

    This far down the talkback, nobody's going to read this, but what the hell. If this movie is injected with "contemporary" issues it's going to be a big mistake. We've got a whole generation of kids now who have grown up without the memory of the plausible threat of nuclear war. I was 11 when the Watchmen books originally came out and frankly, they scared the crap out of me. It was a very grim postulation of how bad things could very possibly get. Veidt's grand scheme was to avert mutually assured destruction by introducing the threat of an unforseen and even more terrible possibility. When Veidt does his thing in Manhattan he kills MILLIONS of people and gives the rest of the planet nightmares (or the psychic sensitives, as he said). I'm sorry, the attacks of september 11th were terrible and reprehensible, but "the war on terror" (which every civilized nation has been fighting for decades) just isn't that scary. Small groups of dissatisfied middle-easterners, while able to do quite a bit of damage if they get lucky, simply cannot cook up any capers worthy of the word "armageddon". And that, friends, is what Watchmen is all about. The heavy questions of the story need to be asked in a cold sweat in the middle of the night against a backdrop of the fear of ABSOLUTE DEVASTATION. By the mid 80's the nuclear dread of the cold war wasn't the fear or hatred of an enemy, it was the fear of a situation. ICBM's wouldn't hate the innocents they blew all to hell, they didn't have ideologies, and with a push of a button they could sail silently to their targets. The fear of terrorism just isn't the same and such a short-sighted replacement would undermine most of the main thematic threads of what is, imho, one of the greatest literary works of the 1980's.

  • Oct. 23, 2002, 10:20 a.m. CST

    Your Server...

    by The Mattman

    If you guys are getting sick of hearing about this, then please accepte my deepest apologies. Otherwise... I take it your 'under construction' was switching to a new server or something?... As a dedicated reader/fan, I have to say that getting around your site has become BRUTAL! Some articles are accessible, some not. The load times are simply ridiculous, and I've got an ADSL line so... Please- I love your sight, and absolutely hate to see it hampered by anything, especially a technical pain in the ass. Help us, Harrywan, you're our only hope...

  • Oct. 23, 2002, 1:16 p.m. CST

    subversive works

    by twan_deeth_ree

    I love Watchmen. It and V for Vendetta are, in my opinion, the greatest works of sequential art ever created. So, bear in mind my somewhat biased opinion when you read this. I am completely blown away that Hollywood is even considering making this movie, not because I think it's a bad thing, but because it contains such a threatening, important message. I kind of think of V and Watchmen as parallel works, sort of a revolutionary guide on how to overhaul our system of government. A graphic (pun intented), realistic (in severity, not details) depiction of what it would take to change the world on any meaningful level. And, I don't understand who keeps calling these books pessimistic. I think they are very optimistic, they show that there are alternatives and possibilities beyond how we currently exist. That we don't have to be in fear of our government killing us (on purpose or accident). I understand how Hayter would need to tone down the ending to make it a feasible Hollywood film, but I think the body count as portrayed in the book is necessary. It illustrates just how bad things have to get before people are ready to accept a new paradigm. Hopefully this will work, I would love to see this movie made. If they screw it up, oh well, I still have my book. CAST: Rorshach: David Caruso or Gary Senise; Nite Owl: Jeff Bridges (at his Big Lebowski weight); old Hollis: Paul Newman; young Hollis: Matt Damon; Silk Spectre: Famke Jansen; Ozymandias: tough one, I like the idea of Sting (whoever said that), or maybe Val Kilmer; Dr. Manhattan: Guy Pearce pre-radiation, CGI post-radiation; The Comedian: I have no clue, best I can come up with is James Gandolfini. I don't think Bruce is quite right for it, he's got the sarcasm covered, but not the intensity and hopelessness (IMHO). Keep us updated Mori, and thanks for the great review.

  • Oct. 23, 2002, 3:26 p.m. CST


    by Bregalad_

    Just had to say it. Ahh, nostalgia. ---------------------------------------- Oh, yeah, and if this Hayter script is as good as Mori says it is, then we are in for the greatest Geek Movie ever since LOTR.

  • Oct. 23, 2002, 6:22 p.m. CST

    William H. Macy is Rorshach

    by BUKAKE

    Just look at the character as he's drawn. AND he can actually act!

  • Oct. 23, 2002, 7:29 p.m. CST

    Casting for the Watchmen

    by kafka79

    Ok kids here goes, personally this could be incredible. Long may the rumours of the project going over to either Aronofsky or Fincher last. Nite Owl - Kevin Kline, John Cusack or Macey...I know I know Kline should truly be hurt for in and out but think of him in The Ice Storm, you know it makes sense. Silk Spectre - Here's one to start everybody up Ally Sheedy, it's so crazy it might just work, bringing back from the brink. Rorschach - Vincent Gallo, bear with me here but the idea of Waits is inspired. Doc Manhatten - Tom Noonan circa Manhunter, oh that would have been so good. The Comedian - Clooney would actually be seriously interesting but I am a Bruce Campbell fan, saying Billy Bob doing a Brucie would be most interesting. Molach - Walken without question it just is. Oxy - Paul Bettany, I have faith, it could seriously work Hollis Mason - Paul Newman That's my two penneth, it would certainly be interesting. Anyway best of luck to theteam behind the Watchmen and make the fans proud...

  • Oct. 23, 2002, 9:49 p.m. CST

    To Towelie And Others

    by Barron34

    You say that we shouldn't complain, but should be happy that "the Holy Grail of comics" is being made into a movie. I strongly disagree. I think David Hayter is well-intentioned and obviously a bit of a fan, which is good, but I still have very strong doubts that Watchmen could be made into a two hour movie. It seems bound to fail. In other words: I WOULD RATHER HAVE NO WATCHMEN MOVIE RATHER THAN A BAD, MEDIOCRE, OR INADEQUATE MOVIE. I am unconvinced that this material can be effectively made into a two hour movie, regardless of what Moriarity (whom I respect) says about Hayter's script. I have read Hamm's earlier script, and it was terrible. I trust Terry Gilliam's opinion that the story can not be effectively made into a two hour film. It should, in my opinion, be made into a live-action mini-series on HBO. Any other attempt is likely no to work, in my opinion. As far as those who would like to see an animated version: I don't see the point. An animtaed version is just going to look like a moving version of the graphic novel; it would be redundant. A live action version is the way to go. Lastly, to reiterate some of my personal casting choices for a live action Watchmen: Gary Sinise or William H. Macy as Rorschach, Alec Baldwin as Nite Owl (II), Julianne Moore or Famke Jannssen as Laurie/Silk Spectre (II), Val Kilmer as Ozymandias, Bruce Willis, Michael Ironside, or Georege Clooney as The Comedian (Clooney is a new addition based upon another posters suggestion of him; I think he would be excellent as The Comedian, who is the linchpin character, as has been pointed out by others), Charles S. Dutton or Forest Whittaker as the Psychiatrist, Christopher Walken as Moloch, and Barry Pepper as Doc Manhatten (I had been stumped about the casting of this character until someone else suggested Pepper. A good choice, I think). Finally, as I have mentioned, the story should be kept as close as possible to the graphic novel, especially regarding the 1980s Cold War setting. Others have made good arguments as to why this should be maintained, so I will not re-iterate them here. Bonus casting: maybe a cameo by Anthony Hopkins as Nixon. Just for laughs. Barron out.

  • Oct. 23, 2002, 9:56 p.m. CST

    A Quick Addition

    by Barron34

    To those who mentioned Paul Newman as the original Nite Owl: that is an inspired choice. I considered James garner, who would be easier to get than Newman, but if the producers could get Newman, great. I also like the idea of Matt Damon as the younger (1940s) version of the original Nite Owl. Gina Rowlands was another inspired idea for the role of the older Silk Spectre. Any ideas for the other original Minutemen? (Mothman, Captain Metropolis, Hooded Justice, the Sillouette,etc)?

  • Oct. 23, 2002, 10:04 p.m. CST

    don't fuck this up!

    by zenzilla

    My fear is that in the kill joy rush to get superhero projects on screen in the wake of spiderman, x-men, etc., this thing will get trashed cut up and diluting all the subtlty and amping the action and CG, and Moore's vision will get lost in the mix. Who knows. My vote for casting, David Caruso as Roarshact and for director Aranofsky

  • Oct. 24, 2002, 7:45 a.m. CST


    by The Reef

    Bruce Campbell. Shave his head and paint him blue. He is surely the man with enough guts (and balls) to play this roll and get the depth right - not to mention having to spend 8 months on set buck nekkid. He could do it I tell you. P.S. Absolutely, Tim Roth for Rorschach.

  • Oct. 24, 2002, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Ozymandius should be..

    by Bob Violence

    Rutget Hauer. He did a beautiful job in Blade Runner.

  • Oct. 26, 2002, 10:20 a.m. CST

    We can only dream...

    by Chooi

    this article has given me hope....the best graphic novel of all time by the bext writer of all time... impossible to make? so they said about Lord of the Rings...sure, Tom Bombadil was lost, no singing and lots of scenes dropped BUT still managed a superb movie which complements the book... the crucial ingredient? a director whom loves the work ala Peter Jackson....Hayter's script sounds good and if he can direct too then great....otherwise merely putting this movie in some oscar-winning director's hands whom has not read a comic his lifetime will not do it justice no matter how good the script.. as for casting, lots of good ideas here already and I will only suggest why not an unknown actor for Rorshach? this especially works in terms of keeping his identity secret for audience whom have not read comic and all the more adds to story...

  • Oct. 31, 2002, 2:06 a.m. CST

    David Caruso as Rorschach

    by Dr. Philadelphia

    He has the intensity. Just a thought.

  • Nov. 9, 2002, 7:15 a.m. CST

    I know I'm too late...

    by Al_Shut

    but I havent read the comic till last week (shame on me). This said I think it would be great not to change the cold war to the war on terror but Veidt's "alien invasion" to the 9/11 attacks. Sick but making sense.

  • Nov. 11, 2002, 1:29 a.m. CST

    Some casting choices

    by Der Fragesteller

    I'd like to go with the idea of Christopher Guest that I read a bit ago. The man's an extraordinary actor, and has the chops to pull off Rorschach easily. I would love for John Malkovich to play him, but he's too recognizable. Buscemi or Guest would be ideal for this role. I've always liked the idea of Tim Robbins as Nite Owl, and Michael Douglas would also work. Paul Newman as Hollis Mason, and I still think Robert Redford could pull off Ozy. He doesn't look as old as he is, in my opinion. Burt Reynolds would be a good Comedian (The character looks like he was based on the man, for crying out loud!) I also like the idea of Gabriel Byrne as Doc Manhattan. Or Liam Neeson. Either would be wonderful.

  • Nov. 24, 2002, 1:44 p.m. CST

    The Watchmen

    by The_Fredo

    Having just finished reading Watchmen, I'm shocked at its ability to remain in your head and not get out. Oh well, I'll attribute that to quality writing and artwork. Now, onto the movie: Can this be made into a movie? I think so. If you take out the various asides (The "under the hood" bits and the rest of them) and managed to trim all the various flashbacks, you could possibly have a two and a half hour film. (Long, but watchable without it being too long). I also think that it should remain as is -- no adapting it to fit into our history. We are a world without superheroes. Moore's world is one that is filled with them. That's the very essence of Watchmen -- how all these super-powered persons affect the normal lunacy of an everyday world. Still, I think that it'll be nearly impossible to film the attack on NYC as is. (Hell, it might be easier if the thing is moved to another city -- just to avoid all the messy comparisons of art imitating life). In any case, I would love to see this made into a movie, hope that Hayter is capable of doing this Herculean task and I'm off to pick up "V for Vendetta."

  • Jan. 28, 2003, 10 a.m. CST

    Time to gtrow up guys!

    by Chumfatty

    Im absolutly dismayed that the ending of Watchmen will be changed in anyway just because of the 9/11 tradgedy. It is entirely reminiscent of the unjustified hoo haa about the title of "Twin Towers". The reason that Watchmen is an acknowledged classsic is that it did not allow the reader the easy option of "the happy ending". Instead it confronted us with the fact that to make an omlette, a few eggs have to be cracked - a position well loved by America's foreign policy makers for the past 50 years. If it is a case of not upsetting NYorkers, then fine, switch the setting to another big city. Remember that something of cataclysmic proportions is required to bring the story full circle - not some kind of dramatic fudge that won't upset anyone. The ending MUST be horrific or everything that goes before it will become just another bunch of spandex clad misfits saving the world again. If anything, the original Watchmen ending is needed now more than ever cos without it this film will be hollow and meaningless.

  • Feb. 4, 2003, 5:38 a.m. CST

    my two cents (and then some(

    by jerryfabin

    I'm flipping through the pages of Watchmen now, which I haven't read in about six months or so (and then it was only the second time). Since there seem to be a lot of made-for-HBO fans posting here, it occurrs to me that Dean Winters (Oz's Ryan O'Reilly) would be, I think, a very good choice for Rorschach, or at least Kovacs (with the mask on I always imagine his voice to be like Boba Fett's from Empire). While I don't really think of Winters as a remarkably talented actor, I think within his sort of deadpan, urban sounding range he's king. I always imagined Rorshach to have an extremely monotone, deadpan voice from all those sentence fragments, how about you guys? Also, I think he'll look absolutely perfect once an expert prosthetic artist uglies him up about tenfold. Also, if offered the role he'd almost certainly take it; the same can't be said for G. Oldman, for instance, who already did Doctor Smith and has stuck to more serious stuff since. Come to think of it, Lee Tergesen (Beecher) might not be too bad either. Today I watched Undercover Brother (I'd say C-) and the guy who played Smart Brother would be perfect as Kovac's shrink. I like the suggestion of Julianne Moore for Laurie, other candidates-Embeth Davitz, Linda Fiorentino, Claire from Law and Order. For Sally I like Kathleen Turner maybe. Hollis Mason probably won't have much of a role, as most of his stuff in the book is from the biography, so why not consider Adam West? Just a thought. A good guy to play one of the older super heroes would be Patrick MacGoohan, who would've been a perfect Doctor Manhattan thirty years ago (it's in the dark eyes) People mentioned Walken and Malkovich, either would be perfect for Moloch, as would the oft-mentioned Wm. Defoe (who probably doesn't want to do another comic book for a while, likely relieved that he could die and be left out of sequel clauses for SM). Personally I don't think Bruce Willis is good as Doc Manhattan, but maybe could do a good comedian. As for Nite Owl the second, a lot of the suggestions overlook the fact that he's presented in the book as being a very bookish, nerdy character. For my money it comes down to Kevin Spacey, or even better, William H. Macy, who excells at being quietly flustered in the presence of a chick like Laurie. Perfect Comedians (old only)-Dennis Farina, DeNiro(after Showtime and Analyze This and That, will he turn anything down?), Dennis Hopper. I'd say Marin Sheen (especially for the Vietnam connection) but after Spawn I really don't want to see him get anywhere near a comic book. The problem with Bruce Willis, as I see it, is that the more chatty his role is, the lamer it seems to be- Hudson Hawk, Death Becomes Her. Also I don't think of him as funny, and the Comedian should be at least somewhat funny. Dennis Hopper is ideal because he excells at dark humor. Obviously Bruce Campbell is the best choice in the world, but a studio will probably never ever go for it. Val Kilmer seems like a super choice for Ozymand, also maybe Jeff Fahey, who always seems to talk in a comic book scientist/villain voice. Again, Gary Oldman's ideal. Also, the guy who played Tom Paris on Voyager might be okay there. A good choice for Doctor Manhattan might be Billy Zane- he doesn't look too young or too old, looks natural bald, and has a very good deep speaking voice. Personally I thought he made a pretty decent Phantom (though overall the movie wasn't very good). Personally I think the movie wouldn't work as a PG-13 at all(Mommy, is that superhero trying to rape that lady superhero?), so why not go all the way with the ending? Keep in mind that what Moriarty mentioned as "Happy" was after the events of the book, so maybe that only refers to the avoidance of nuclear war? That was a big element of the book, remember. However, my impression of the book's ending was that it was the anthesis of every other superhero adventure's climax that I'd ever read, so as long as they preserve that feel, maybe the "Happy Ending" really just plays up the fact that the villain behind the entire scheme isn't so villainous after all and he really did save the world. I think this Might work topically as a comment on the U.S. Gov's habit of bombing the hell out of an "enemy" or "threat" just to accomplish an economical or political end (Kosovo, Afghanistan). Remember that Afghanistan was the hot button in the book. I think it could easily work as a period piece and be somewhat topical at the same time, especially with this recent push toward pre-emptive action against Iraq. (witch hunts\McCarthyism- The Crucible) My favorite parts of the book were the Pirate stories, so the movie will be so different that I'm forced to reserve judgement. As for the massive amounts of gore- I don't know, I can't really imagine that somebody who'd be deeply offended in light of the September 11 events would go see something like Watchmen in the first place. But since when did not viewing the material first mean you couldn't protest something? To me the whole spirit of Watchmen was to go where superhero comics never had, so to tone down anything makes it kind of pointless. What would be great is if the theatrical release held back just enough, but a DVD had the real ending; nobody seems to care about policing Director's Cuts very much.

  • Feb. 11, 2003, 2:11 p.m. CST

    Steve Buscemi as Rorschach

    by Citizen Kane

    If it's as good as Moriarty says it sounds amazing, but can they do justice to the masterpiece that is Watchmen in two hours and with $75 million? Anyway, here are my casting suggestions: Steve Buscemi as Rorschach, Edward Norton as Adrian Veidt, George Clooney as Dan Drieberg/Nite-Owl, Bruce Willis as the Comedian, Nicole Kidman as Laurel Juspeczyck/The Silk Spectre and Robert Duvall as Hollis Mason. As for Dr. Manhattan maybe he could be a CGI creation, like the Hulk...

  • Feb. 22, 2003, 1:14 a.m. CST

    Watchmen casting

    by thug131

    A few suggestions: Rorschach - Barry Pepper Hollis Mason - Paul Newman Nite Owl II - Oliver Platt Ozymandias - Ralph Fiennes, Guy Pearce, Cary Elwes Silk Spectre I - Goldie Hawn, Swoosie Kurtz, Ellen Burstyn, Faye Dunaway Silk Spectre II - Jordana Brewster

  • April 8, 2003, 8:19 a.m. CST

    Watchmen Casting

    by MoonKnight

    Nicolas Cage, Mel Gibson, Hugh Jackman, and Kevin Spacey. thats the problem with some of these idiots at Hollywood...they can only think of the current stars to play roles that isn't suited for them (unless they can REALLY act). a genre of film is beginning to take popularity and it deals with comics/superheroes in which big actor names for the title roles are more harmful than productive for the films success. Why creator should be heavily involved with production and casting. Look at the blockbuster hit Spiderman...they casted an unknown to play Spiderman. And now looks at Daredevil which pales in comparison despite big name Ben Affleck. Not to say big stars can not be used...I've always thought Bruce Willis with a dyed hair would probably make a cool Captain America

  • April 8, 2003, 8:42 a.m. CST

    Watchmen Casting II

    by MoonKnight

    ozymandias = Paul Bettany (herald from 'A Knight's tale' Manhattan = Richard Burgi (the sentinel tv show) comedian = Dennis Farina or treat williams rorsharch = kevin bacon (im serious) niteowl = alfred molina (shaved)

  • May 3, 2003, 2:22 a.m. CST


    by evilgenius529

    stacy keach as comedian. all he has to do is lose some weight and put on a little muscle. you must have an unknown play rorshach or else his unmasking wont be dramatic. paul newman as hollis manson is great. catherine zeta-jones as silk spectre 2 (and who wouldnt want to see her in that costume?) ed norton as nite owl and goldie hawn as sally jupiter. make doc manhatten cgi, but make him look like john malkavich, and have malkavich play jon osterman. robert redford might work for adiran viedt, but he is kinda old now, maybe with very good makeup.

  • May 30, 2003, 5:52 a.m. CST

    more casting feedback

    by inkblot

    I don't know how I feel yet about the idea of a Watchmen film, but in terms of a powerful and reasonably accurate script treatment, I think Hayter is a damn fine choice. I do fear the script being chopped into papier-mache, as I fear whether or not any studio will have the balls to truly run with this and make a superhero film that goes beyond all that has come before: a super-HUMAN film. That all being said, let's get to the fun part: the casting. Something I think hasn't been touched on in the debate concerning Rorshach is that, though he is a psychopath, the way in which he expresses himself is very unique. There is only one moment of actual passion in his dialogue throughout the graphic novel, his last words: "DO IT!". For this role you need someone whose sense of menace would build through every monotone utterance. I think Edward Norton would be a fine choice. I'd go with Jeff Bridges for Nite Owl II; James Cromwell for Nite Owl I; Christian Bale for Ozymandias; Lara Flynn Boyle for Silk Spectre II; the incomparable Ellen Burstyn for Silk Spectre I; and, though not a match for the physique, Guy Pearce for Dr. Manhattan. I think there are few actors who could illustrate the Dr.'s distancing from humanity; in my mind, it would be either him or Kevin Spacey, and this cast is too damn expensive as it is. Oh, and Leonard Nimoy as Moloch. This, of course, leaves out the Comedian. I have a real difficulty figuring out who I would want in this role. There needs to be a balance struck between his cheerful amorality, hypercynicism and, in my mind, the quality of being so unsympathetic that he almost becomes sympathetic. I contemplated maybe Michael Chiklis, but it doesn't fit well enough. Maybe Gene Hackman? I dunno. Anyway, that's my two cents.

  • July 12, 2003, 2:32 a.m. CST

    Seriously, WILLEM DAFOE as fucking RORSHACH


    goddamn perfect casting.

  • July 22, 2003, 1:16 p.m. CST


    by pavemental

    anyone got hayter's draft?...

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 6:51 p.m. CST

    JLo as the giant ass that teleports in and crushes NYC

    by Kenshiro_Kane

    It worked in "Money Train"... Word.

  • Oct. 30, 2003, 2:53 a.m. CST


    by zephyr40k

    OK so Steve Buscemi as Rorsarch sounds about right. Here's another idea. Weird, yes, but I think it might work... Jesse Ventura as The Comedian. Now come on, after you stop laughing, think about it. He actually did a semi-decent job as a similar character in Running Man. He IS the right body type, he can adopt the correct attitude. And since he has few lines, any lack of acting skill should not impact the film TOO much.

  • April 22, 2004, 6:55 a.m. CST

    Carrot Top IS Rorshach

    by dvdfreakshow

    Picture him gouging out someone's eyeballs screaming "DIAL ... DOWN ... THE ... CENTER ... HRRMM!!"

  • April 24, 2004, 4:50 p.m. CST

    Haley Joel Osment IS Rorshach--his son, that is, in the latest d

    by Lance Rock

  • March 25, 2006, 10:02 a.m. CST

    Back to the Past

    by OurManInMontr

    Tabarnak! Re-reading THIS talkback is a lot more fun than reading the one taking place 3 1/2 years later, with Snyder >>possibly<< helming yet another go at this adaptation. Then again, almost none of the screen names on here have survived...

  • Feb. 25, 2009, 10:24 a.m. CST

    Sadly, this movie will never be made

    by rockgolf

    It will sink into development hell because no one will spend the kind of money to do this right. There just isn't the market. Hey, what's with the blinding white light and high-pitched so...

  • March 9, 2009, 9:03 a.m. CST

    just checked out this TB now that the film is actually out

    by IndyAbbey Jones

    i wonder how many of the above posters are denying they ever said things like "it'll never get made" or "it won't work as a movie", or "i'll never see it unless 'actor X' is cast"<P>losers

  • March 16, 2009, 2:59 p.m. CST


    by orcus

    And apparently so did a bunch of other folks