Ain't It Cool News (
Movie News


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

Well, shit. I heard some rumors recently, and then did some checking around to see if they were true. Sure enough, Darren Aronofsky is officially off WATCHMEN as director. Which, in my opinion, is a bloody shame.

Now, the good news here is that the reason he left involves timing issues. See, THE FOUNTAIN is about to start principal photography. We’re talking about a matter of days here. And I love THE FOUNTAIN as a project. Paramount just couldn’t wait, though. They want to have WATCHMEN in a theater by the summer of ’06, no matter what. That means they need a filmmaker who can be ready to shoot long before Aronofsky would be ready.

So the hunt is on. My sincere hope is that they can find another filmmaker with the same passion for the project that Aronofsky had, and that they can find someone who is a talent magnet. I’ve heard a little about the cast that Aronofsky was putting together, and it would have been glorious. Who knows how many of them were attracted to the idea of working with him as a filmmaker specifically, and how many were responding to the material? Either way, I will keep my eye on this project and we’ll continue to bring you whatever news there is.

"Moriarty" out.

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Nov. 3, 2004, 1:22 p.m. CST


    by Neon_Noodle

    Especially if he wanted to change the ending.

  • Nov. 3, 2004, 1:24 p.m. CST

    Yay, the Fountain

    by Banky the Hack

    It's weird to be one of the first posters. I guess everyone else is off yelling at one another about some election or something. I can't wait to see The Fountain brought to fruition. Ever since the first time I heard about it on AICN it's sounded really cool. And Arnofsky rocks my world...Requiem for a Dream haunted me for weeks after I saw it.

  • Nov. 3, 2004, 1:33 p.m. CST

    Shit, first Bush and now this

    by wash

    I for one was really looking forward to this.

  • Nov. 3, 2004, 1:34 p.m. CST

    Fuck me gently...

    by rotten666

    ...with a chainsaw. This movie will never be made. Pushing for a summer '06 opening?? And Bush won. Nazi super-men are our superiors!!!

  • Nov. 3, 2004, 1:46 p.m. CST

    DAMMIT I was so looking forward to this

    by JimmyRabbit

    And fuck those 50% of your country who voted for Bush. with the best regards of the whole country of THE NETHERLANDS. FUCK YOU BUSH

  • Nov. 3, 2004, 2:04 p.m. CST

    Moriarty for the love of all that is holy....

    by castaway

    Moriarty, Jeebus man quit holding out, please tell us who Darren was thinking about casting. I so want to see this movie made but would gladly wait an entire decade or 2 to see it done right. Here is my own casting ideas----Stacy Keach as The Comedian, Tim Roth as Rorshach (sp), Christian Bale as Ozymandias (or that blonde guy from the Walking Tall remake whom The Rock kicked the shit out of, its eerie how much he kind of looks like the smartest man on Earth from Watchmen), Neve Campbell as The Silk Spectre, Jeff Daniels as Nite Owl, Billy Zane as Dr. Manhattan, Kirk Douglas as the original Nite Owl Hollis Mason, Julianne Moore as both the original and aged Sally Jupiter (maybe Vanessa Redgrave as an older version perhaps instead?), Kirk Douglas, if he won't play Hollis Mason, then ask him to play the aged criminal Moloch,....did I miss anyone? oh yeah Treat Williams as a younger version of The Comedian in flashback scenes...I've got an idea for a mock trailer for all of this, you can bet your ass I'm gonna make it I just have to wonder will anyone like the song I'm going to use for it.

  • Nov. 3, 2004, 2:09 p.m. CST

    Big surprise.. not

    by spider-ham

    I knew he would never film it. BTW he didn't change the ending much and to be honest, I think the change, at least for what would be shot of film, was an improvement compared to just shooting the book ending. I hope they do get around to making it soon. We aren't going to live forever.

  • Nov. 3, 2004, 2:10 p.m. CST

    Only one director out there can do this film justice: PTA

    by chrth

    Just kidding! We need to draft Terry Gilliam NOW for this ... Of course, it'll probably suck, but eh what can you do?

  • Nov. 3, 2004, 2:18 p.m. CST

    Get McG!

    by Trik

    I can see Dr. Manhattan as a hiphop rappin gangsta

  • Nov. 3, 2004, 2:19 p.m. CST


    by ABking

    Time for him to direct BIG sci-fi again!!!

  • Nov. 3, 2004, 2:19 p.m. CST

    You just know deep in your heart that if they rush it (GOTTA BE

    by Diskatopia

    You just know a lot of suits don't get it, as can be seen by the fact that, from the Hamm script to now, they keep thinking changing the original ending(s) is a good idea.............................. NOTE TO SUITS (current or up'n'comin'): "Watchmen" is not some franchise with hundreds of storylines in comics to cherrypick storybits from, ala "X-Men". "Watchmen" is a novel, in graphic form. Do not let greed let you destroy "Watchmen" like the essence of the novel "Forrest Gump" was destroyed (it would have made a fine profit and won MORE awards if they had stuck with the novel). If you can't make "Watchmen" the correct way by 2006, DO NOT MAKE IT! Take a deep breath, and do it the right way... my guess, that is probably as a trilogy of films, shot simultaneously-- saves beaucoups buck$, nudgenudgewinkwink-- as with "LOTR". Then released in March, July, and November of one year... a massive event, and if done right, it will RULE the cineplex screens that year. Cost maybe $240mill total for three parts, est. gross$700-$1000mill pretty easy, if the quality is there. and thats the word...quality. Quality. Quality. Make it your mantra, attach it to the parts: quality script, quality acting, quality directing, quality cinematography, quality sound, quality costuming, quaility set design, quality special effects. Quality.

  • Nov. 3, 2004, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Trailer description

    by Johnny Smith

    A black screen. Bob Dylan's "Desolation Row" begins to play in the background, beginning with the verse that starts "At midnight, all the agents..." Rorschach enters the Comedian's apartment through the window. "And the superhuman crew..." Dr. Manhattan raises his Martian fortress. "Come out and round up everyone who knows more than they do..." Moloch reads Rorschach's note as the vigilante pops up behind up. "Then they bring them to the factories..." Ozymandias beats back his "assailant". "Where the heart attack machines..." Eddie Blake is thrown out a window. "Are strapped across their shoulders, and then the kerosene..." Rorschach walks out into the Arctic cold. "Is brought down from the castle, by insurance men who go check to see that no one is escaping to..." A long flash of white light. "Desolation Row." A devastated New York City. The music ends. The Comedian and Dan stand by a wall with the incompleted phrase "Who watches the watchm" on it. DAN: "But the country's distengrating. What's happened to America? What happened to the American dream?" A giant Dr. Manhattan walks through Vietnam blowing shit up. DR. MANHATTAN (V.O.) "I am ready to begin." A demystified Walter Kovacs walks through prison being taunted. Quick flashes of images. DR. MANHATTAN (V.O.) "They don't know what I need. You don't know what I need." RORSCHACH (V.O.) "Well, what are you waiting for? DO IT! DO IT!" OZYMANDIAS (V.O.) : "Canaan is devastated, Ashekelon is fallen, Gezer is ruined, Venoam is reduced to nothing, Israel is desolate and her seed is no more, and Palestein has become a widow for Egypt...All the countries are unified and pacified." A black screen. EDITOR (V.O.) "I leave it entirely in your hands."

  • Nov. 3, 2004, 2:35 p.m. CST

    Lety's pray they hire someone who's directed a couple of Budweis

    by Cash Bailey

    Because that's all you need to have done to helm a major motion picture these days.

  • Nov. 3, 2004, 3:16 p.m. CST

    That's good news.

    by rev_skarekroe

    Hopefully they'll never find a replacement, and this story will remain exclusive to the comic book medium, as it was intended.

  • Nov. 3, 2004, 3:17 p.m. CST

    Aw, fuck.

    by Veraxus

    This is very bad news - I had confidence in Aranofsky and I don't know many other directors with the balls to do this project properly. Paul Verhoeven would be a good choice, I think. Or Terry Gilliam. But my sixth sense is telling me those studio fucks are going to get Steven Sommers to fuck it all up for us.

  • Nov. 3, 2004, 3:17 p.m. CST

    your be wanting that pussy

    by Falcon5768

    When the draft comes back in June... people have already seen the memo you know.... just like the CEO of Dibold (you know the company whos making the new voting machines that have no paper trails) let everyone know Ohio was going to the Republicans... Course you redneck bastards are hit in the head with your dead sons and daughters sent to a war that had nothing to do with terrorism and have yet to figure that out.... Why film the Watchmen.... a lot of what happens in the comic has already happened sept without the superheros

  • Nov. 3, 2004, 3:19 p.m. CST

    Gilliam is wisely afraid to go anywhere near "Watchmen"

    by Carson Dyle

    Several years ago a mutual friend and I had dinner with Terry Gilliam. At one point "Watchmen" came up and I asked G why he had abandoned the project. He said that after repeated attempts to crack the screenplay he had come to the conclusion that the comic novel was "too good to fuck up by trying to cram the story into a two hour movie." When I asked if he had ever considered filming it as a two parter (this was long before "L.O.T.R." came out) he laughed and said the studio had rejected the idea outright. Gilliam believed "Watchman" was unique, and was unwilling to comprimise the source material just for the sake of getting a mediocre movie made. If only more filmmakers had the courage to just walk away.

  • Nov. 3, 2004, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Can Aronofsky actually get a film made?

    by Wormie

    I mean, jeez, The Fountain with Brad fell apart, Batman: Year One didn't happen. I saw the first half of Pi and it was boring as fuck, and Requiem for a Dream is also an obscure flick. As for Watchmen - it really shouldn't be done as a 2-3 hour flick - it should be done like LOTR except without the extended padding versions.

  • Nov. 3, 2004, 3:48 p.m. CST

    Not Verhoeven, Not Gilliam...

    by chasfkane

    I'm really sorry to hear that Aronofsky is off the project, but honestly, how would Verhoeven be a good choice for this? That cheesy look worked fine for Robocop, and his tongue-in-cheek fascist propaganda style suited Starship Troopers, but Watchmen needs to be handled with deadly earnest, and it needs to be very realistic. Gilliam is right out, by mutual agreement. Would have loved to have seen his version about 10 years ago, but that's just not going to happen. So who's left that could helm a production of this magnitude, and turn in something worthwhile in the time allotted? We're talking a short list of accomplished pros here. Somebody who can handle the effects and get decent performances from the actors. Fincher, Cameron, Spielberg, Singer, Del Toro...

  • the fact that they're rushing it just makes me have even less faith in it. its just that i know any commercial adaptation of watchmen will just piss me off.... it really cant be done without changing the whole tone to appeae the studios.

  • Nov. 3, 2004, 4:13 p.m. CST


    by phanboi

    Richard Kelly, Edgar Wright, James Wan, Eli Roth or even Rhuyei Kitamura ... just let someone with a fresh approach and who knows some shit bout the intention of a comic novel direct this E P I C. Anybody else will fail. Next one who's calling for Ratner gets a DDOS.

  • Nov. 3, 2004, 4:33 p.m. CST

    Re: "Watchmen"... the Superhero As Regular Guy concept is no lon

    by Carson Dyle

    When first published, "Watchmen" stood out as the ultimate de-constructionist comicbook. These days movie and TV superheroes have been de-constructed to death -- a fact Brad Bird and Pixar are about to take glorious advantage of. Considering "The Incredibles" is essentially a spoof of "Watchmen", one has to wonder if the time for a straightforward feature film adaptation of the latter hasn't already come and gone.

  • Nov. 3, 2004, 4:48 p.m. CST

    My pic:

    by Christopher3

    Terry Zwigoff.

  • Nov. 3, 2004, 4:50 p.m. CST

    Gilliam would fuck up watchmen ...

    by Manaqua

    He can stay far away from it as far as i'm concerned. Far to self indulgent..

  • Nov. 3, 2004, 5:45 p.m. CST

    thank god

    by TheKingInYellow

    i think the watchmen should be made into a 12 hour animated mini-series on hbo or cartoon network. we don't need no 2 to 3 hour movie. can't be done.

  • Nov. 3, 2004, 6 p.m. CST

    Re: scrivener

    by Wellesian

    Paul Verhoeven would be a good choice you think? Its obvious nobody pays you to think. Maybe you should be a Warners Exec!

  • Nov. 3, 2004, 6:08 p.m. CST

    OK, I'll Come Back On As Director If Paramount Meets My Terms.

    by Buzz Maverik

    I get one million for directing and a one million writing fee even though I intend to shoot without a script and have the actors improvise their dialogue. I'll be using a lot of stock footage, animation, etc. Split screens, flashbacks, flashforwards. It's gonna be a trip. In addition to the dough, I get a custom made Purdy shotgun and an H2 Hummer fully packed with Cuban cigars. I must have cast approval, final cut, my nephew Mosh Maverik will do the score and my buddy Eriglione's Mom will do craft services (nobody makes canoli like Mrs. E.). If this is acceptable, call my agent, Dan the Man at Dan the Man's Vortex Tours, Sedona, AZ (for $20 ya get a ride down a dirt road to look at the vortex, and a peyote button).

  • better than cultish but unproven director Aronofsky and wayward Gillian. But Cameron's got enough on his plate. and i've never read anywhere that he'd be interested anyway. oh well.

  • Nov. 3, 2004, 8:22 p.m. CST

    See Through This....

    by mansep

    yeah i hear ya.... the thing is, whilst 98% of talkbackers (ie non-film makers) wouldn't have a clue how to actually make a huge movie like this, there probably are a couple of us/them that would totally nail it. Remember Tarantino was just a movie geek before someone gave him a break.

  • It's been the downfall of innumerable potential cult classics and the bane of the comic book fanboy's existence since Hollywood learned how to pronounce "Magneto." And here I was silly enough to think that the film would last longer than the money it raked in opening weekend. Fuck 2006.

  • Nov. 4, 2004, 1:28 a.m. CST

    What happened to the AICN forums?

    by Reverendz

    Where did they go? I admit it's been a while since I came around much, but this site seems to have fallen through the cracks.

  • Nov. 4, 2004, 1:55 a.m. CST

    My pick for the one man who can tackle Watchmen......

    by axelfoley

    Tony Scott. That's right. No, I'm dead serious. The guy has a track record of incorporating inappropiateness, violence and engaging subplot. Look at True Romance. It could work. BTW, a buddy of mine told me Terry Gilliam was once attached to this but those fucking suits didn't like the vision he had for the project. Which meant it was probably going to turn out good. Any thoughts on Tony Scott? Should i seriously get my head examined?

  • Nov. 4, 2004, 2:17 a.m. CST

    Fuck yeah, JimmyRabbit

    by moviemaniac-7

    The retard can stay for another 4 years. Arrogant son-of-a-bitch. How long will it take for the Bush-the-Blunder-Boy-voting part of the US to figure out what kind of a moron he is. Fuck, I could do a better job. -------- And for WATCHMEN, give this material to none other than DAVID FINCHER and you'll all see a big, fucking epic (in three parts or so), released over the summer of 2006 - one each month. Fincher is the only man for the job and it's about time he sets the record straight about how a real comic movie is made (only Spidey, X and Ghost World have succeeded in my humble opinion in that matter).

  • Nov. 4, 2004, 4:47 a.m. CST

    Why bother?

    by Bart of Darkness

    Why try to film something so inherently unsuited to being crammed into 2 -- 2.5 hours of movie time. Surely these highly paid Hollywood studio execs can come up with plenty of ORIGINAL ideas that would make great movies. Oh wait...

  • Nov. 4, 2004, 5:44 a.m. CST

    I Think The Best Possible Compromise

    by Boba Feet

    ...would be a one-season mini-series on a network not ruled by stupidly Puritan FCC rules. HBO should be jumping on this shit with both feet-they have the cash to do the effects fairly well (and barring a few spectacular Dr. Manhattan shots, it wouldn't be that hard), it would appeal to their faily intellectual approach to original programming, would win a truckload of Emmy's, and they could easily get the rights to the various tunes Moore used at the end of each chapter. Imagine each chapter done per a 90-minute episode. They could do as they did in 'Angels in America' by hiring a mix of unknown character actors with a few box-office names to spice it up, The nudity, the graphic violence, it could all be left it without fear of alienating the core audience.

  • Nov. 4, 2004, 6:04 a.m. CST

    by Ali786

    yep its a shame, not sure who else would be edgy and motivated enough to undertake's my movie concept pic:

  • Nov. 4, 2004, 8:08 a.m. CST


    by seniormoogle

    What a bunch of crap. This is the worst news since Ace of Base stopped making records. Oh well...maybe Gilliam will pull his head out of his ass and come back and do the right thing.

  • Nov. 4, 2004, 9:35 a.m. CST

    So the casting?

    by Blueberry

    What's the point of a movie rumour site if they don't give us rumours any more? Who were the actors Aronofsky was approaching for the role? Come on, Moriarty. I want to know.

  • Nov. 4, 2004, 9:39 a.m. CST

    Is it me or does Harry look pissed that Bush won?

    by Antiriad

  • Nov. 4, 2004, 11:50 a.m. CST


    by Rupee88

    Too least Aronofsky is an artist with some point of view. I hope they don't hire a hack like Tim Story to direct Watchmen. It would be a fucking shame.

  • Nov. 4, 2004, 12:23 p.m. CST

    That's a shame

    by Immortal_Fish

    Aronofsky has a wonderful visual style in telling a story. That he has a love for the material was extra gravy.

  • Nov. 4, 2004, 12:27 p.m. CST

    Re: Tarantino

    by BillyShakes

    I know this is probably going to get me flamed, but... Has Tarantino ever done an original movie? Don't get me wrong, I loved Pulp Fiction and enjoyed Jackie Brown, but... haven't we seen it all before? The style and writing and, shit, EVERYTHING, from his movies has all been done before and seen before. He hides behind "Homage", but, come on... he is kind of a hack. Certainly not deserving the reverence accorded him by others and DEFINITELY not deserving the reverence he seems to hold for himself and his "talent". I wouldn't mind if his schtick was to do "In the style of..." movies if he wasn't such an arrogant prick with no concept of editing. "Kill Bill" could have EASILY been one movie, but, watching it, you can just hear him in the editing booth: "Oh GOD that's a great shot! We have to keep it, okaaaaaay? OOOH! and that one, too! God... that's the BEST! It's like Kurasawa and John Ford rolled into one, alriiiiiiight? This one too... and this one... let this one stretch.. no.. let it keep going... it's ok.. it's an Asian thing... no.. let it keep going... " Gah pax

  • Nov. 4, 2004, 12:50 p.m. CST


    by Dragonfire


  • Nov. 4, 2004, 12:50 p.m. CST

    Why no more election coverage?

    by silentjay

    This site had been quite political over the last few months. Why not in the last day or so?

  • Nov. 4, 2004, 1:24 p.m. CST

    Too bad about Aronofsky. I vote for Richard Kelly and an HBO min

    by mortsleam

    I also dig Johnny Smith's trailer description, 'cept for one thing: Dylan's soooo last millenium, even if he's perfectly appropriate. But yer just not gonna get the kids in the streets with that old sad bastard. Have the trailer be exactly as you said except replace "Desolation Row" with Radiohead's "2+2=5" Are you such a dreamer/to put the world to rights/I'll stay home forever/where two and two always make up five/I'll lay down the tracks/Sandbag and hide/January has April showers/and two and two always makes up five/It's the devil's way out/There is no way out/You can scream and you can shout/It's too late now/because YOU HAVE NOT BEEN PAYING ATTENTION! PAYING ATTENTION! PAYING ATTENTION! etc. Is it an Anti-Bush/Anti-Blair/Anti-War song, or the soundtrack to Watchmen: The Musical?

  • Nov. 4, 2004, 2:40 p.m. CST


    by Crowbot

  • Nov. 4, 2004, 4:45 p.m. CST

    never gonna happen

    by Blood T Cat

    "too expensive, not enough audience appeal for theatrical release." That's a direct quote from an interoffice memo

  • Nov. 4, 2004, 5:29 p.m. CST

    Wolf at the Door

    by Super Person

    I'd agree that none of Moore's works have translated well to the screen, but man, you don't still think the Watchmen is a brilliant piece of comic book artistry? I've read it over two dozen times and it's only gotten better for me... it was the ONLY book I took with me for the 24 hour flight to Indonesia, and I probably read it four times on that trip, and each time I found new little details and intricacies to explore and consider... I still find it to be probably the single best superhero-oriented comic book ever, bar none...

  • Nov. 4, 2004, 5:34 p.m. CST

    Revenge of the Sith teaser

    by DocPazuzu

    It's on KaZaa now. Looks fucking awesome! Wookiees, Yoda and Sidious/Palpatine with lightsabers, space battles, gold C-3PO and Vader in costume. The file is about 10 megs. Beware of falsely labeled files which are fan-made trailers. Sorry about being off-topic, but someone has to spread the news around here.

  • Nov. 4, 2004, 5:46 p.m. CST

    EPISODE 3 - teaser!

    by SilentType

    The teaser is ONLINE guys! How has HARRY not posted this yet?? Why is there no talkback dedicated to it?

  • Nov. 4, 2004, 5:59 p.m. CST

    by SilentType

  • Nov. 4, 2004, 5:59 p.m. CST

    by SilentType

  • Nov. 4, 2004, 5:59 p.m. CST

    by SilentType

  • Wookie rage! RRARRRR!

  • Nov. 4, 2004, 9 p.m. CST

    wolf at the door, "watchmen really isn't that good to begin with

    by Immortal_Fish

    Blasphemy! The cinematic medium is one that handily transcends current events. Movies are set in different time periods all the time. Pulp Fiction for instance? Or even the upcoming Sin City. Watchmen could succeed as a cult hit for all the same reasons GTA: Vice City did a mere two-years ago.

  • Nov. 4, 2004, 9:28 p.m. CST

    Oh, Moriarty, you're such a stud...

    by BAMF

    Thanks for looking out for us helpless internet users. "...we

  • Nov. 5, 2004, 7:40 a.m. CST


    by The_Dude_77


  • Nov. 6, 2004, 1:56 p.m. CST

    simon pegg would be a perfect Rorschach.

    by xmanse

    I recently read a quote from Shaun of the Dead star Simon Pegg saying that he was sent a script for Watchmen with Rorschach in mind. After reading Watchmen I believe physically he would be perfect. If he could nail the voice that would be so cool.

  • Nov. 8, 2004, 5:46 p.m. CST


    by Groucho_Marx

    Hey, wonder if any of the "top brass" (and I use that term with a grain of salt) have thought of doing Watchmen animated? With the great steps being taken w/Polar Express, Shrek, and all of the Pixar stuff, why not? I think it would be incredible to see Dr. Manhattan done correctly, etc. Just keep the Anime freaks away!

  • Nov. 9, 2004, 7:38 p.m. CST

    Comic Flicks

    by kurse23

    One the fuck are all the Comic Films being handled to the sa,me people? Bryan Singer doing Superman - X-Men. Halle Barry - X- Men - Catwoman. James Mardens - X-Men - Preacher. And all the characters are the wrong ages and looks and the stores are fucking stupid. How much blood did Wolverine draw, next to NONE. IDIOTIC I live in Los Angeles and Hollywood is a shit hole. It's big fucking strip mall. Boring and this is where all these creative types gravitate to and conceptulize their nonsense. Downtown L.A. is great!! Like NYC before it got touched by Disney and yuppie fucks. So...what I'm saying is somebody tell these motherfuckers to get out more, read the comics their translating and do the work according to the story board they are utilizing. AND BTW - Y the last man is still being written IT DOES NOT NEED TO BE MADE INTO A MOVIE YET YA FUCKING GOBSHITES. Right now all comics suck EXCEPT Y, Supreme Power and Stray Bullets (whenever Lapham sees fit to actaully listen to his wife and meet a dead line) Also Harry NO MORE politics in here. Fix that. It's messing up your site.