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Watchmen producer Lloyd Levin writes an open letter to someone named Drew McWeeny over at Hitfix!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with a fascinating inside on the development of WATCHMEN, leading up to the current legal battle. Some dude named Drew McWeeny at the brand spankin' new site Hitfix got the scoop in the form of a very long and fascinating letter from Lloyd Levin. The full thing is posted here and I've taken the first 15% or so and pasted below with another to the full text. You really do have to give this a read as it's the most levelheaded, detailed look at the development of this film that I have read and really puts today's legal battles into context. Enjoy:

Watchmen. A producer's perspective. An open letter. Who is right? In the Watchmen dispute between Warner Brothers and Fox that question is being discussed, analyzed, argued, tried and ruled on in a court of law. That's one way to answer the question - It is a fallback position in our society for parties in conflict to resolve disputes. And there are teams of lawyers and a highly regarded Federal Judge trying to do just that, which obviates any contribution I could make towards answering the "who is right" question within a legal context. But after 15 plus years of involvement in the project, and a decade more than that working in the movie business, I have another perspective, a personal perspective that I believe important to have on the public record. No one is more keenly aware of the irony of this dispute than Larry Gordon and I who have been trying to get this movie made for many years. There's a list of people who have rejected the viability of a movie based on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon's classic graphic novel that reads like a who's who of Hollywood. We've been told the graphic novel is unfilmable. After 9/11 some felt the story's themes were too close to reality ever to be palatable to a mainstream audience. There were those who considered the project but who wished it were somehow different: Could it be a buddy movie, or a team-up movie or could it focus on one main character; did it have to be so dark; did so many people have to die; could it be stripped of its flashback structure; could storylines be eliminated; could new storylines be invented; did it have to be so long; could the blue guy put clothes on... The list of dissatisfactions for what Watchmen is was as endless as the list of suggestions to make it something it never was. Also endless are the list of studio rejections we accrued over the years. Larry and I developed screenplays at five different studios. We had two false starts in production on the movie. We were involved with prominent and commercial directors. Big name stars were interested. In one instance hundreds of people were employed, sets were being built - An A-list director and top artists in the industry were given their walking papers when the studio financing the movie lost faith. After all these years of rejection, this is the same project, the same movie, over which two studios are now spending millions of dollars contesting ownership. Irony indeed, and then some...


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  • Jan. 8, 2009, 3:31 p.m. CST


    by blindambition238

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 3:35 p.m. CST

    Both Studios and the producer are assholes

    by Russman

    and both can suck it

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 3:37 p.m. CST

    Fox can suck it

    by BrowncoatJedi

    Won't get a penny out of me from now on.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 3:37 p.m. CST


    by CreatureCantina

    If you wanted to make a faithful adaptation, you should have stuck with the squid instead of inventing the "elegant" solution you went with. What you made is little different than the buddy movie you opposed.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 3:38 p.m. CST



    the real meat it in the full article...<P>"in late spring of 2005. Both Fox and Warner Brothers were offered the chance to make Watchmen. They were submitted the same package, at the same time. It included a cover letter describing the project and its history, budget information, a screenplay, the graphic novel, and it made mention that a top director was involved. And it's at this point, where the response from both parties could not have been more radically different. The response we got from Fox was a flat "pass." That's it." <P>fuck you fox. you didn't have faith, then you saw the quality and response, and now you want to crush it.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 3:39 p.m. CST



    "An internal Fox email documents that executives there felt the script was one of the most unintelligible pieces of shit they had read in years."<P>that email and that guy's name should be made public

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 3:40 p.m. CST

    Lloyd Kaufman or Lloyd Levin?

    by Jugdish

    I got nothign to say

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 3:40 p.m. CST

    He's got points

    by Hamish

    A bunch of them. Well written and makes me say fuck Fox even more.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 3:40 p.m. CST

    by axemurder

    isnt there like a fuck fox/ boycott fox webaite/facebook thing already ????

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 3:41 p.m. CST

    by axemurder

    website ..... ahem

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 3:41 p.m. CST


    by Turd Furgeson

    Check out MORI, still bringin the heat.... what a good piece.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 3:43 p.m. CST

    god I hope this gets finished

    by Datascream

    it would be a crime to see how great this movie is...then never be able to see it.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 3:45 p.m. CST

    at what point did someone remember...?


    at what point did someone at fox remember that they held the rights to watchmen? they sat on it for decades, then the same people where even offered it again but nobody said, oh yeah we own that?<P>seriously at what point in production did someone say, oh shit, warners is making watchmen...and it looks good, do we stop them now, and no one makes money, or do we wait until they have done all the work and then either sue them or take full profit from the movie?

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 3:46 p.m. CST

    WB using aint it cool? Fox might have a case.

    by BEEK

    Good letter. Looks like he actually cares about the product. Seems like a nice guy. I thought WB had a solid case and we would be seeing Watchmen on March 6th. An open letter to Drew..not Variety or the Hollywood Reporter? No offense Drew. Now I'm concerned. Hope I'm wrong and by the way Fox does suck.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 3:49 p.m. CST

    Faithful Adaptation: Gag me with a spoon.

    by noncents

    A film is the combined efforts of hundreds of creative artists. There is no PURE version. Everyone that keeps talking about how they want the movie to be need to stuff it. Take it for what it is. THE SQUID IS DEAD.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 3:52 p.m. CST


    by AdrianVeidt

    And judging by the promo videos and trailers, I seem a bit too sniveling. <p> Anyone agree?

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 3:53 p.m. CST

    That was one of the most informative, non-attacking letters

    by VAwitch

    I have ever read. Mr. Levin explained his take on the situation (and he would have first-hand knowledge of the information), while not calling Fox any names.<P><P>In this day & age, that is uncommon, and should be commended. Count me as one who is watching this closely - cuz while I want my Wolverine, I am getting sick of Fox's attitude on movie-making.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 3:54 p.m. CST


    by montimer

    Seriously dude, shut the fuck up. <br /> How can you criticise a film that you haven't seen for changing an ending to make it more relevant. <br /> I can't imagine the ending will differ that much from the book, and whether it's a giant squid or a big blue bomb exlosion attacking the city as long as it's sent by the same man for the same reasons the specifics are pretty irrelevant.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 3:56 p.m. CST

    Waaah. Waaaah. The Squid is Dead. Waaah

    by Brians Life

    That's what you NO SQUID fuckers sound like.<br><br>JESUS! I've read Watchmen probably nearly one hundred times. Seriously!<br><br>I re-read it nearly every other month. I have 3 copies. One of which is loaded with Post Its and Notes<br><br>And the fact that you NO SQUID EQUALS MOVIE WILL SUCK morons sound like that TO ME is fucking sad and beyond pathetic.<br><br>Seriously, you guys who take that position give me no faith in my kind.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 3:58 p.m. CST

    But silly me...

    by Brians Life

    I suppose I just didn't get it.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 3:59 p.m. CST

    Brians Life

    by montimer

    I understand having two copies, one that you've covered in graffiti, and one for best, but isn't three just a bit greedy?

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:01 p.m. CST

    Montimer...they're all different

    by Brians Life

    I have the original comic book issues (which some forget ever existed), I have a standard Trade Paperback and the BEAUTIFUL Absolute Edition that DC released like 2 years ago.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:01 p.m. CST

    And as Ozymandias, I have one further thing to say...

    by AdrianVeidt

    This letter, as comforting as it is to know that the producers make good arguments for WB, is ultimately a punch in the gut. It only goes to showcase exactly what we will NOT get.<p> I'm pissed about this.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:03 p.m. CST

    Does a film studio have the right to stand in the way of an arti

    by conspiracy

    If the courts find that they in fact own it...then Yes. Just because I think my neighbors house would look better with a mural on it gives me no right to paint it. I'd like to see this film...but if Fox does indeed own it..then their rights must be protected.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:05 p.m. CST

    Also, was it just me...

    by Brians Life

    Or does that letter almost speak to the possibility that we REALLY might not be seeing this movie any time soon!?!?<br><br>I don't think I ever ackhowledged that as a possibility.<br><br>I don't see many Fox movies to begin with...don't watch the Simpsons anymore...I wasn't planning on seeing WOLVERINE...might be a fine time to REALLY boycott Fox. Sadly a few of my friends work on their lot.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:06 p.m. CST

    Yeah, but...

    by baba-lou2

    I could make the best lemonade in the world, I could invest all kinds of love and hard work and money in it's recipe (based on the "most definative lemonade ever") but if I didn't think far enough ahead to find out if I had the legal right to sell it on the street, why shouldn't the street owner get a piece? Even if he was offered the recipe and chose not to make his own? <p> It's no better than Cyber Squatting a domain name. I may have built a great site, but if the domain name I want isn't available, I'm just as screwed. <p> If all that Fox owns is the domestic distribution, I say release it internationally and authorize domestic piracy. If Warner owns the DVD rights, they'll make their money back on that and maybe next time they'll send somebody to chek the fine details before they spend 200 million the next time

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:09 p.m. CST

    Brians Life

    by Jackie Boy

    That actually sounds pretty neat, about the three seperate copies I mean. If you don't mind sharing, what sort of notes etc. did you take?

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:09 p.m. CST

    Squid? Really?

    by angelopoulos

    All I care about is rorschach, he made the graphic novel. If he's great, he'll make the movie.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:10 p.m. CST

    15 years is bullshit...

    by ThePilgrim

    Is this all that guy tried to get made? You can spend 15 years working on something that doesnt happen for 14 years and you still have a job??? WTF! Alan Moore isn't happy either. Fuck all of them. Alan Moore got screwed!

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:11 p.m. CST

    EASY for this movie to tank . . .

    by WX1

    <P>. . . 'specially, when it comes to late distribution of a film. We all know this.</p> <p>The current game consol/fans-of-THE-worst-pop-music-in-pop-music-history youth set might get the wrong idea about this film. They'll see the bloodied smiley face and think, "dude, what was with the bloody emoticon in the film?" They'll look at Nite Owl and miss the whole point about him in wondering "what's with the Batman copy?" And on and on.</p> <p>Sad that the squid would've shocked the nation. Sad that the squid would've tied everything together. Would've been Z. Snyder's "frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." Would've been his helicopters flying to the Flight of the Valkeries. Would've been his Death Star exploding. Woulda' been his "yippee kai-yai-yay mothaf*&ka'" But, no. There's a damn good reason, apparently, why the squid -- in all its unique, twisted, grotesque glory -- will not appear. Sad.</p> <p>We might have to be happy with "Watchmen" being cult status. But, not necessarily how like "The Spirit" might end up that way.</p> <p>Ergo, does any of this f*&kin' studio bickering matter except to say that, hell yes, let's get union-like and boycott the forthcoming movies of whatever f*&kin' studio's causing the problems with release right now. Squid or not.</p> <p>Who watches the studios?</p>

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:15 p.m. CST

    HItFix's server is getting destroyed

    by thethedew

    Can't get to the page.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:15 p.m. CST

    Free Shit Givers Get Shafted!

    by ThePilgrim

    Writers gave us free screenplay drafts; conceptual art was supplied by illustrators, tests were performed gratis by highly respected actors and helped along and put together by editors, designers, prop makers and vfx artists; we were the recipients of donated studio and work space, lighting and camera equipment. <P> I bet none of those people saw a fucking dime... I bet alot of what they came up with was used withoutc their permission or reworked. <P> Gotta love the Wood!

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:17 p.m. CST

    if fox would have made it...

    by teddanson37

    the squid would have been a giant space cloud.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:18 p.m. CST

    The biggest point being made here:

    by Monkey Butler

    Is that it's a legal issue before a judge, for the judge to decide. So many people have been jumping to conclusions saying that "Fox is legally in the right but are still dickheads" or "Warners should have done their homework", when depending on the judge's decision neither could be correct. That's the whole point of a court case, both sides think that they're in the right.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:19 p.m. CST

    That Letter

    by Tokyo_Drifter

    Just made Drew's site. Puts HitFix on the map.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:21 p.m. CST

    I think if anything...

    by lfhlaw

    If you were to stipulate a compromise, Fox would have to foot 50% of the current cost to produce/advertise the film,along with future DVD sales, and the additional footage for the DVD. Then Profits should be split 50/50. If not, then I feel FOX should not be entitled to any percentage of WB faith in Watchmen. Could WB hold it, rename it, change character names? refilm portions...sure. But that'd be a big task. Fox just missed out on the Superhero Bandwagon, with DC and Marvel. This is one reason I think those comics are creating their own studios so they can maintain control and avoid studio meddling with storylines/plots and atmosphere (Does it have to be so dark?)

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:27 p.m. CST

    The case isn't that FOX owns the movie...

    by WhinyNegativeBitch

    ...It's that it owns the distribution rights. I just wonder if they own only the North American distribution rights. I hope not, so use foreigners can get the movie and then torrent it for all you poor bastards, if it comes to that. Even if legally FOX is right, its a fucking dick move. They didn't want to make the movie. They wanted no part of it. What I don't understand though, is that WB should have known that fox had the distribution rights, and early on cut a deal with them. Seeing how fox thought it was a piece of shit, they probably would have taken a small cut too.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:27 p.m. CST

    JackieBoy...a bit on my notes...

    by Brians Life

    The notes are in the standard trade. They differ quite a bit and to anyone else if might even look like a mad man got a hold of it.<br><br>Some simply point out the realities of the Universe WATCHMEN takes place in. That cops where cellular headsets, that Vietnam is the 51st US state, that no one smokes JUST cigarettes anymore (those circular filters are more common)<br><br>Some are my interpretations of various lines of dialogue...what DID Manhattan mean when he told Veidt "nothing ever ends"<br><br>Some are personal comparisons to the text or theories that they don't go fully into...<br><br>The homosexuality of Hooded Justice, and possibily Veidt. <br><br>Comedian being Hooded Justice's killer. Shit like that. <br><br>Alot of it is written so I don't know if it would make sense to anyone but me. Not to sound TOO pretentious.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:27 p.m. CST

    Somewhere Alan Moore is laughing

    by BRTick

    that evil spell he cast over hollywood must have worked.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:31 p.m. CST

    buy a decent server drew your site is choking

    by logicalnoise01


  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:37 p.m. CST

    by ominus

    I pray to God that the movie wont be released at all,or at least get delayed for an undefined time. <p>Mr Moore please do your magics,make the 2 studios not to reach an agreement,so that this movie,this blapshemy,this so called adaptation of your masterpiece,wont see the day of a theater release ever. <p>as a true fan of the comic book,i will pray for this not to happen,its the least i can do.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:43 p.m. CST

    fuck you fox

    by Mr_X

    evil bastards.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:44 p.m. CST

    Did I Miss Something? When Did McWeeny Split?

    by Read and Shut Up

    I noticed he's not listed on the contributors page at AICN, either. <p><p>Which means? He's running his own site? Gawd, he'd better be paying himself by the word - that dude would burn 3,000 words in a review about a movie BEFORE he got to the movie review.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:48 p.m. CST

    Drew McWho...?

    by Outlaw

    You're dead to me Mcweeny...dead!

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:54 p.m. CST

    ominous, you pathetic piece of shit...

    by randie1313 yourself in and improve the world's average IQ.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:56 p.m. CST


    by kwisatzhaderach

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:57 p.m. CST

    This letter matches my understanding

    by Lang The Cat

    I have been watching from the sidelines as I know someone involved with the deal. I was excited by the sale to Warner's. Totally pissed by Fox coming in and bringing suit (right after the first Comic-Con preview, I believe). I was upset and concerned when I read the contract Mr. Gordon had with Fox, giving them the right of first refusual. And really ticked off by the revelation that Fox was given the same option as Warner's. <Br> Warner's dealt with everyone in good faith. Lawrence Gordon and others made several attempts at having Fox make Watchmen (even a much more heavily edited version than we might get). Fox only came in when it was clear they let go a potentially astounding property. So, Rupert Murdock and everyone on down, you clearly are the villians in this piece. <br> ...And BRTick? You are probably right, Alan Moore must've cracked a smile, at least. Maybe it will tickle him enough to get him to sell more products to Hollywood in hopes of causing this kinda of ruckus.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:57 p.m. CST

    joking of course

    by Outlaw

    Nice catch McWeeny...nice catch!

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:57 p.m. CST

    MORIARTY (Drew)...

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    Were you ever going to have a proper AICN farewell? I mean, I know that Harry said you would still be contributing from time to time...and it looks like you've been pretty busy over there at HitFix. But it's starting to feel like you just quietly snuck out of AICN's bedroom after a blackout night of debauchery.<P>Don't love us and leave us, Mori!

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:58 p.m. CST

    Didn't notice he was gone

    by Heckles

    Where will I go for my Amazon purchases now? Yawn.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 5:02 p.m. CST

    Uh, I was being flippant with my squid remark.

    by blindambition238

    Personally, I'm willing to give Znyder the benefit of a doubt over whether it'll work without it. <p> But back on topic:<p> WB were stupid for not clering this 100%. <p> The Gordon guy who whored out the rights all over town is a greedy prick. <p> Fox is just a asshole hack machine (I actually would side with them completely if I wasn't so disgusted by their output).

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Fox can still gobble...

    by Zardozap2005

    ...all the cocks. Really. They can.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 5:10 p.m. CST

    Fuck the squid

    by j2talk

    god I am so sick of hearing the complaints about the squid.....the Squid wouldn't work in the movie... get over it.....NEXT!!!

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 5:27 p.m. CST


    by spooky2k

    IN the other talkback, I thought you were intelligent. Now I know you just can't let go. *sigh*

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 5:33 p.m. CST


    by alice 13

    with a squiduestered jury.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 5:34 p.m. CST

    Hey Fox! What sound does a turkey make again?

    by gotilk

    That's right.<br> <br> Gobble.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 5:54 p.m. CST

    Quite simply

    by Droid

    If I have a broken down car that I think is a worthless piece of shit, and someone steals it, does it up and drives it, it's still my car. No matter how much work he did on it to get it in mint condition, he's still driving my car.<p>Ultimately, if Fox had the rights, WB never should've made it. Fox are cunts to do this to them, and I'd be pissed off if I was trying to get this made for 15 years only to fall down at the last hurdle, but it seems Fox are within their rights.<p>And the question needs to be asked... Who at WB "made a deal to acquire the movie rights"? They need to be fired pronto.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 6:11 p.m. CST

    A heartfelt, wonderfully written letter...

    by The Bunglermoose

    ...which won't amount to a single goddamn, unfortunately. Fox will continue its claim and people's creative and financial anuses will be violated.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 6:17 p.m. CST

    but seriously- fox forgot they had it?


    ...and that even if they remembered, they weren't ever going to make it, just keep anyone else from ever making it? fox passed. case closed. even if they owned the rights and neither party knew for sure, they passed, and warners accepted. only when the craze was reaching fever pitch at the comic con did it finally click with fox....they were going to lose money from their forgetfulness and or refusal to make the film.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 6:22 p.m. CST

    warners should pay for the rights


    but at a cost diminished by time, fox not even knowing they had the property, and fox passing on the property when offered.<P>it's obvious they bought up a bulk of properties at one point, just like some assholes buy tons of domain names, with know knowledge or care as to what until someone came asking for it. like the government keeping the ark of the covenant in a crate in a warehouse full of crates....well, zach snyder just came and stole that shit back...'it belongs in a museum!'

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 6:22 p.m. CST

    Here's an open letter: fuck you mr producer

    by Stengah

    I can see a blatantly unarmed graphic novel with half his face hanging off, and three producers working him over anyway. One of them is groping his own erection.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 6:26 p.m. CST

    No Squid = Organic webshooters 2009

    by Sithtastic

    Friends, I have about had it up to here with the No Squid crowd. Having read a version of the script, I have to say in a comparison with the graphic novel it is by pure miracle the source material isn't more watered down. Remember all that bitching about organic webshooters back in what seems to be a million years ago? That's literally what this bitching reminds me of: A proverbial tempest in a another teapot of legal wrangling because--and I know this is hard to believe--Fox is being even bigger children than Talkbackers...and that friends is saying a lot.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 6:32 p.m. CST

    two bald men fighting over a comb.

    by HypeEndsHere

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 6:33 p.m. CST

    Everybody's read some version of the script

    by Stengah

    and everyone assumes its the same as the green lighted script. its just fucking annoying.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 6:52 p.m. CST

    This Is A Post I Sent To Nikki Finke's Site Last Night

    by Media Messiah

    Hello, Not A Lawyer As far as forcing hands in cases, judges do it all the time. They like to use the term, "Splitting The Baby" and they act on it, more often, than not. This is a Catch 22 and the parties are between A Rock And A Hard Place...thus a solution must be found because the judge will not just permanently shelve the film. Fox seems to be demanding to be made partner here in this movie? If they are in fact insisting on having distribution rights for this movie, then they are also saying that they wish to distribute the movie, if not, they should demand a buy-out of their rights in the form of a settlement, or ask for damages at trail, if, as you suggest, they are not interested in partnering with WB. <BR><BR> There has been some talk that WB did, and fact, have the right to make the film, so...if that is the case...something has to break, here. Unless Fox' position to block the release pertains solely to waiting for the outcome of a trail, I think the courts will be compelled to side in favor of the WB if Fox claims that they wish to block distribution of the film entirely, or even partially, rather than assuming the role of distributor and partner in the production, Fox runs the risk of seriously undermining their position as players here in this case, thus, the judge may compel WB to pay Fox damages and allow the release through the WB as his final judgement. This, the sure outcome, should both sides agree to a trial or settlement negotiations with him as the sole arbiter. <BR><BR> In terms of this film, Fox assumes zero risk here financially, while the WB has assumed all the financial risk. The point is, if Fox wants the distribution rights, and if WB has the rights to make the film, then...Fox has to agree to a fair deal for distribution, and for a film the size of Watchmen, given the market expectations--they have to agree to either buy into the production, and or, invest sizable amounts of money into distribution with up to 2,500 to 3,500 film prints plus--just for North America alone. Absent that, the judge would have to agree, it would not be fair to the WB for Fox to either refuse to distribute the film, or to distribute it in limited release...again, given the expense of the budget of the film and the level of anticipation for said property...Fox would be viewed as simply attempting to interdict the product of the competition for financial (protectionism like) reasons, and that won't play well in court, this...Fox' efforts, a case of "Malicious Meddling" at its best!!!!

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 7 p.m. CST

    Producer and AICN helping Moriarty

    by Thunderbolt Ross

    Nice to see people working together.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 7:03 p.m. CST

    You mean THERE'S NO SQUID IN THIS?!?!?!

    by IAmMrMonkey!

    Why was this not mentioned before? You'd think at least one person would have mentioned it in all these Watchmen related talkbacks!

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 7:17 p.m. CST

    Hold your horses

    by ominus

    it wouldnt suprise me if the two studios have already achieved a,behind the doors,agreement and have solved their dispute.But in front of the Press and the Media,they keep their battle until the final trial,in order to give to the movie as big publicity as possible.its all in the bussiness. <p> now about the gentle responses to my original comment.if you are movie fans and just want to watch a cool superhero movie,then i understand your need for a resolution of this unpleasant situation,and i apologize if my comment angered you. <p>but if you call yourselves comic fans,and especially fans of mr Moore's Watchmen masterpiece,they u should already understand this: <p>regardless of hollywoods bastardation of the original source,in order to make a product to sell to the audience,comicfans and casual viewers,regardless of this,u simply CANT CHANGE the form of one creation,a comic,a book,a movie to another and claim that it has the same artistic values of the original,more specificaly the form and the content of the original. <p>watchmen movie may look like the watchmen comic,may tell the same story and has the same character,but it isnt the same thing.its an inferior product of a superior artwork. <p>mr snyder and the so called should know this.but instead,the director speaks of how this movie is going to be great,and respectful to the original work and how the fans will love it.and the fans argue about a squid and a mustache.a ridiculos sitatution,a laughable one,which makes one true fan not to want this movie to be released at all.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 7:48 p.m. CST

    I really could care less about Watchmen...

    by fassbinder79

    ...How about an update on Fincher's Heavy Metal project instead?

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 7:52 p.m. CST

    Everything about the Squid has been said

    by Dapper Swindler

    I'm not so happy about it either. But it's all been said. Nothing can be done now. I say we wait until the movie comes out now and see how it ends. If you're still upset about the squid then please, by all means, discuss it here in the reviews. But until we see the movie it seems like beating a dead horse.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 7:53 p.m. CST

    Alan Moores Curse!!!!!!!

    by robzass

    Yeah, he actually did put a spell on the movie. and i'm not even making that up. He's a "magician".

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 7:54 p.m. CST

    Well said sir

    by T 1000 xp professional

    this just fires up my boycott of Fox Studios....Were the hell were those numb nuts when they were showing all the footage at comic con and doing publicity rounds and what not. Fox is ridiculous. This hurts, but I won't be seeing Wolverine. Not cause it's certified quality but only 'cause it's a Wolverine movie. Judgement staring down at Rothman, he was gonna have to face up sooner or later.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 7:56 p.m. CST

    Screw the Squid

    by T 1000 xp professional

    the squid is pointless and replaceable.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 7:57 p.m. CST


    by SnowDogs

    Man they suck.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 8:03 p.m. CST

    Letter writer brings up "9/11"

    by F-18

    At what point will it stop being referred to as an excuse/justification for everything and only be referred to in the historical sense.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 8:07 p.m. CST

    Not all mentions of 9/11 are inappropriate

    by Kraken

    Especially in this case when it was used against THEM as a reason not to make the movie. I think it's relevant and not being used as a cheap ploy in this letter.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 8:12 p.m. CST

    Mr Spork is dumb.

    by eggart

    It must be said.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 8:13 p.m. CST

    You know how you hear about corporate heads changing....

    by The Dum Guy

    When will Rothman step down or get booted? If FOX has had such a shitty year in movies (not quality, but money making) then shouldn't Rothman get a phone call from Murdoch telling him to clear his office?

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 8:16 p.m. CST

    Kraken- That's not what I said

    by F-18

    I was talking in general.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 8:17 p.m. CST

    eggart is a shithead

    by F-18

    I have to say

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 8:34 p.m. CST

    Can I just see this movie? Please?!?


    I just want to watch this movie. Is that too much to ask? Please?

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 8:38 p.m. CST

    If a nuclear attack . . .

    by WX1

    <p>. . . on New York replaces the squid? Doesn't make any sense if the context of how everyone in the book -- even the likes of Silk Spectre, etc., i.e., the heroes themslves -- is scared witless throughout ABOUT A NUCLEAR ATTACK! Ba-doiiiyoiyoiyoiyoiyoinnnnggggg [insert laugh trax here: _____]</p> <p>Showing something that doesn't have the same impact as that squid does, it's like the Jesus story or the approrpriate Gospels without the crucifixion.</p> <p>There can be no "nuclear attack on New York" that replaces the squid. No matter if that nuclear attack is Dr. Manhattan-created or whereever the heck the attack comes from. If you disagree with that, you better damn well go back and read the graphic novel.</p> <p>Go 'head, hate on squid-haters.</p>

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 8:43 p.m. CST

    What exactly was Fox entitled to in the original contract?

    by slder78

    I thought i read that to realease the rights Fox was be owed $3 million. Just give them that so Rothman can blow it on X-Men Origins: Jubillee.<p>Yeah Rothman I called you out, you unimaginative, safe playing, POS.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 8:55 p.m. CST

    If you can't see the parallel between Watchmen and 9/11...

    by PotSmokinAlien

    ...then you need to remove your head from your lower intestine and open your fucking eyes, not necessarily in that order. (And, yeah, I realize that Watchmen was published 15 years before 9/11 happened. All the more reason to mull it over.)

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 9:02 p.m. CST


    by PotSmokinAlien

    One more thing-- either Alan Moore or Stephen King said this in an interview, I've heard both of them get it attributed to them anecdotally, but:<P>When asked by an interviewer how he felt about movie versions of [Moore/King]'s work ruining his books, [Moore/King] calmly replied, "The books aren't ruined-- they're right here on the shelf behind me."<P>Watchmen is over 20 years old. If you want to treat it like the fucking bible, that's your problem. But if Snyder thinks he can make a point about the world we're living in **IN THIS DAY AND AGE** by changing the ending, I for one am gonna hold my vitriol until I know for a fact that he made a mistake by doing so. And the only way that's gonna happen is by me seeing the movie.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 9:14 p.m. CST

    I agree, the squid is essential

    by paralyser-pro

    It's exactly the kind of WTF elements that characterizes this piece. Why do these filmmakers need to suck their own dicks and convince themselves they have better taste than the artist they are adapting; if that were so then where are their original ideas? It's total arrogance and I hate Hollywood for it. I think it's way better to just not adapt a comic and leave it as a classic novel than to pander to the idiotic masses and destroy the original trajectory of the piece.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 9:15 p.m. CST

    Let the cut ending of 'I am Legend' be an example

    by paralyser-pro


  • Jan. 8, 2009, 9:26 p.m. CST

    Warners DID buy some sort of rights from Fox,

    by greenstyle92

    but apparently they either missed something crucial about distributing, or Fox has played/is playing some shenanigans. The article mentions that the contracts are "complicated and contradictory." Some people are saying Warners didn't do there homework, but I find that impossible to believe that there legal department was so unaware. It must be something more like the Warner lawyers were sure they had a solid case but knew Fox may try dispute it or something. It's weird. <br> <br> And it's impossible that Fox would get all the profits. That just doesn't make any fucking sense in the Hollywood "money tied to credit" system. A chunk maybe, but not the whole thing. (I agree with the guy who keeps saying Fox would have to pay half the production costs. The Judge would probably rule for that.)<br> <br> And I think that, if some of these memos can be produced, the fact that Fox did nothing in furtherance of making Watchmen will be a big deal. Not just trivia. Part of contracts legally is that parties have to show good faith. If Fox passed on it and did nothing in furtherance of making the movie, that will be important in the decision.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 9:27 p.m. CST

    I've heard that the deal was "Fox got the right of first refusal

    by greenstyle92

    According to that article, they DID refuse.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 9:28 p.m. CST

    Media Messiah:

    by ShiftyEyedDog2

    <bR><br>I know you're trying to sound all fancy and lawyer-like, but maybe learn how to spell T-R-I-A-L<br><br>

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 9:33 p.m. CST

    Lloyd Levin gotta eat

    by Cruel_Kingdom

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 10:36 p.m. CST

    Nice post WX1

    by Dancingforever

    But futile. I and others have tried to explain to the dolts who continue to post that Snyder changing the entire ending doesn't matter that the squid is more than it appears. These well thought out posts have fell upon deaf ears, our questions are never answered, and instead of any honest debate you get blind praise for Snyder. As you can see in this talkback a plethora of fools continues to post how the squid is not needed, after all i doesn't matter to THEM so why should it to anyone else? In fact I guess Alan Moore was an idiot for even including it, I'm glad there are people like Snyder and other talkbackers here who have the ability to look at Moore's story and determine that his ending was terrible and needed to be redone, thank god for all of you. Myself and the large majority of the fans of this serious were perfectly happy the way it was, it's fortunate that there are enough people here and in production of this film to see how wrong Moore was by including such a trite and unnecessary part of the story.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 10:51 p.m. CST

    one of these days...

    by Stickman83

    someone's gonna have to explain to me the so called REAL importance of the squid. if another device is used, which still causes the same reactions, and still involves some sort of manipulation of the mind, and STILL leads to the same ending... then what's the big deal? no one's saying the new ending is *better*... but it might be a good (even *gasp* great) one. I hate when people hate something just because "it's not what I imagined". Ugh... THAT'S LIFE. DEAL WITH IT. Trust me, in all your wisdom, you wouldn't be able to make a better film (THIS IS A FACT). And if your answer to that is "it never should've been made in the first place", well... you're very selfish, very cheap, and incredibly petty. That being said... great open letter. Fox REALLY needs to gobble.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 10:56 p.m. CST

    Yes, the squid is still on FACEBOOK

    by Xandar1977

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 11:03 p.m. CST


    by Dancingforever

    Let me ask you this, would ti be reasonable to assume that the sq

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 11:03 p.m. CST


    by Dancingforever

    Let me ask you this, would ti be reasonable to assume that the sq

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 11:03 p.m. CST


    by Dancingforever

    Let me ask you this, would ti be reasonable to assume that the sq

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 11:04 p.m. CST

    Squid is called as surprise witness!

    by greenstyle92

    Disguised himself with fake mustache when deal was going down! Turns out Bruckheimer owns movie! Bay called in to do massive reshoots!

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 11:06 p.m. CST

    Stickamn 83

    by Dancingforever

    Let me ask you this, would it be reasonable to assume that the squid was taken out because it was either 1. To expensive 2. The general public is to dumb to understand it 3. Because Snyder is not talented enough to translate it to the screen? If it is for some other reason that those 3, what would your thoughts be as to why the central plot of the movie was changed and the ending also? When people say taking the squid out is no big deal it floors me, it's like saying you could remake Jaws without the Shark, instead at the end we would find out Quint was actually killing the people and it would work fine.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 11:23 p.m. CST


    by NoHubris

    Warner Bros. needs to hire the lawyers who represented Roland Burris. Against all odds, it apears that they secured Mr. Obama's Senate seat for him based on their legal arguments so maybe they can do the same for Warner Bros concerning WATCHMEN.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 11:32 p.m. CST

    Fox is the new Orion Pictures, digging their own graves

    by ricarleite

    Of course they won't let this one go. They've seen TDK. They know what is at risk. They know their executives fucked up, being totally incapable of delivering a good film and doing creative developments instead of commercial ones. And they want to suck on WB's titties for a while. It's usually the beggining of the end when that happens to a company. The Simpsons voice actors are about to quit the show, Dan Castelanetta won't go beyond his current contract. When they announce this, the show will have a defined series finale, and the stocks for Fox will drop like hell. What project they have for the future? Fucking Avatar. If that doesn't fuck our eyeballs in a good way, it's over for them.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 11:37 p.m. CST

    this never wouldve happened

    by bacci40

    if warners didnt see their comic book arm as a cash cow by selling off rights to the creations owned by dc<p> warners and dc need to do what marvel has now done...regain all the rights<p> as to mr levin's question as to whether a studio has the right to shelve a project...they most certainly do..and they do it all the time.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 11:49 p.m. CST


    by wixmmm

    all that matters about the ending is that whatever destructive event they choose to go with has to be a worldwide threat that forces everyone to work together in a unified stand against the event. The people who say Doc M won't work as this threat because he's american don't get a simple fact: HE 'BOMBS' NEW YORK! In order for the squid to work, it needs all the subtle set ups that the book offers. these set ups cannot be done well given the length of the movie. And i got news: this is a movie intended for mass audiences. You should be eternally grateful that it's rated R--that's more important than anything. only about half the people who have read the graphic novel are furious, but they don't matter--the average moviegoer matters, and the squid would be a disaster for the average joe, even though it would make you comic geeks blow your collective loads. if you like the graphic novel so much read it again. we're lucky to have an R rated watchmen as it is. don't push it.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 11:54 p.m. CST

    and media christ or whatever you're calling yourself

    by wixmmm

    That 'letter' was god awful. Seriously, i gotta ask, who do you think you are? you haven't impressed should feel like the douche everyone thinks you are.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 11:59 p.m. CST

    In the end, Adrian?

    by BiggusDickus

    WB lawyers will duke it out with Fox lawyers until everyone else has lost interest, at which point the movie will be put out to an exasperated, but much smaller, potential audience.<p>Right now, post TDK, Watchmen would be huge (whether it's awesome or squid-missingly-dire). The further away from TDK it gets, the more the *average* cinema-goer (ie, not the fanboys) will be inclined to pass on it. I predict the legal resolution will be a flawed compromise that neither party is happy with, but only after the litigation has bled off most of the potential profits. Result? two movie studios a bit poorer and the lawyers a whole lot richer. In the end, Adrian? Nothing ever ends...

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 12:03 a.m. CST

    Fvck Fox

    by des.nibelung

    Fvck Fox, Fvck them for their incompetence and Fvck them for their lack of imagination. they deserve exactly what they put into the project.. jack Sh!t. Fvck them up their sorry arses with a broken beer bottle.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 12:06 a.m. CST


    by Dancingforever

    This might shock you, but I agree with almost everything in your post. We can agree to disagree on the importance of the squid, but it gives me great hope that someone has finally admitted the story was changed for the sole purpose of making it more digestible to the general public, not because the change was actually needed or even worse Snyder has a superior vision of this story. That being said, can you empathize with my disgust that a story i have loved from day one is being destroyed for the simple reason people are to dumb to understand it? What's next, The Comedian lives, shows up at the end and guns down Doc with super bullets? You do make an assertion that we ar3e very lucky to get a rated R version, I disagree. After TDK any studio would now see the potential pay off of making a darker movie, if the Dark knight pushed this, why not go further to a hard R? It owuld not be the first of it's kind either, there have been several rated R super hero flicks, it's not exactly ground breaking. All that being said, i salute you for finally making the point that the ending was changed for no other reason than to dumb down the story, on this we will always agree.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 12:18 a.m. CST

    ShiftyEyedDog2...Sorry But I'm A Dyslexic

    by Media Messiah

    ...and I have a serious eye disease, so I can go from spelling the word, misspelling it their, within two sentences, or trial to trail...just like that. It happens, but I do my best. I read my post over, 3 or 4 times before sending them, but as you know, there is no edit button at, so you can't go back in time after you send off a post, and you guys often complain about me amending my posts, hence, I try to make that as rare as possible.<BR><BR>As for the fancy lawyer business, I was central to winning an award of 1.5 million dollars in a somewhat famous entertainment lawsuit...and I am not a lawyer, however I was forced into instructing the lawyers in the case on how to handle it, and created strategies and arguments for them to follow when they either...could not, or would not, introduce a firm attack against the defendant, a famous, and equally crooked entertainer. This case also involved a conspiracy between three law firms and the willful failure of the California State Bar to do anything about it because of the sizable power of said law firms, which are extremely famous, ruthless and considered to be untouchable. BTW, two...merged, and one was repping my side and the other the side of the defendant. There was clear collusion and we were told by one of the lawyers on our side that some kind of crime was going on to destroy our case between the two law firms. The third firm learned of this and talked to the lawyer, and we even heard him...but out fear he later denied it and nobody in the third firm went after him or those involved with the collusion because they were all law school buddies. This happened over 4 and a half years, so...when it comes to dealing with lawyers, I know my stuff, because that became my job for the duration of the case. <BR><BR>PS: Watchmen will be released and Fox will be forced to settle.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 12:18 a.m. CST

    by Media Messiah

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 12:25 a.m. CST

    Dancing Forever....

    by Brians Life

    You clearly have decided to hate this film due to a *GASP* change made when adapting the book to another medium.<br><br>Common sense is not going to matter to you. Compelling arguments are not going to matter to you.<br><br>No one is praising Snyder over Moore. I don't even think Snyder is that good a film maker. <br><br>BUT, I can understand the change.<br><br>In your view that makes me some sort of anti-Watchmen Nazi because (in your view) I must simply not have understood the Squid.<br><br>The mere fact that you compared a Watchmen movie w/ no squid is comparable to JAWS with no shark proves your unrelenting bias. You've made up your mind.<br><br>Why was it changed? I can't say for certain, I'm not the production team. I'd IMAGINE it had to do with widening the appeal....but you seem to take the stance that anyone that believes the film can STILL be good with an altered ending is somehow a Snyder Trooper, or thinks the ending will be better (??). <br><br>Whatever.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 12:30 a.m. CST

    LooserGuy, it's the mentality at Fox...

    by Brians Life

    It's the infiltration of the banking and lawyers know better than our creative teams mentality that drives my absolute hatred of Fox.<br><br>I've got friends that worked on Wolverine. I've got friends that work on the Lot. It's pervasive.<br><br>They rely much more on mass marketing and test audience consensus that they do creative influence.<br><br>They are the worst example of the "Corporate Studioland". They send lawyers to set to make sure Directors know what they are contractually bound to deliver down to the audio segments that will help sell the new rapper on the music label. It's sick.<br><br>And yeah, the Matrix sequels did suck.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 12:35 a.m. CST

    Media Christ Here: Wixmmm

    by Media Messiah

    My letter was a rush job, but, my arguments were clear, and match the producer who posted the open letter. I have been posting arguments at Nikki Finke's there is a chain of custody to prove it. Warner will pay out a settlement to Fox and move forward...or Fox most partner up with them and agree to share the expense of the release if they wish to push their claim in regard to holding distribution rights. The point is, if you are going to assert your rights to distribute the film, and the other party holds the rights to make the film, you, if you are serious about your distribution rights, either have to propose a fair release strategy as a partner in the enterprise, or step aside. Fox instead, is claiming that it simply wants to block the release...period??? Fox had no interest in making this film and placed it into turn around, proving that they had no interest in distributing the film, ever, which there is a long paper trail, apparently, that can also prove that fact. Now, they are simply attempting to derail Warner because they fear that Watchmen will hurt their X-Men franchise, beginning with their Wolverine spin-off, as the subject matter is far superior and more adult in tone, thus, Wolverine, will receive harsh comparisons by critics with respect to Watchmen. That is Fox' real worry here, and ultimately, they won't get away with blocking the release.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 12:41 a.m. CST

    brians life

    by wixmmm

    i'm actually going to side with dancingforever over you. you see, i tried to make my case using logical thought and reasoning and he commended me for it. First off, neither of us made any personal attacks--that's important, and its what you resorted to. I used both common sense and what i thought was a compelling argument...he recognized this and gave me credit for it, proving things that i said DID matter to him, even though we don't see completely eye to eye, and this was like FOUR POSTS above your attacks on him. Agree to disagree goes both ways, but most of the time people are just looking to throw shit on one another, so completely sure that they are right and cannot possibly be wrong, and its in large part what gives comics fans a bad name--people too emotionally invested in something as trivial as a comic book/comic book movie. I am a huge comic book fan, but you'll never hear me admit it when a girl's in the room. But to disagree with dancingforever--dark knight surpassed expectations in terms of quality and popularity, but an r-rated watchmen was long underway before TDK came out, so i think that fact is pretty special, and that's why i'm grateful of WB allowing to go all out, the only way you can with source material like watchmen.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 12:43 a.m. CST


    by Motoko Kusanagi

    Normally I would make a lame joke, curse Speed Racer (while defending T2 at the same time), repeat one of the countless catchphrases or post something about AVATAR's visual eye-poppingness.<p>But this open letter just left me speechless...

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 12:53 a.m. CST

    It's all Michael Bay's fault

    by theplant

    Damn you Michael Bay, the third button from top on Silk Spectre 7th dress is not the exact shade of white as in the comic.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 12:55 a.m. CST

    how about this for an agreement...

    by soup74

    Fox lets warner bros release the movie, but Fox gets to put out a PG rated teen movie the same weekend. Since watchmen is R the teens that want to see this will buy tickets to the fox movie (which they're gonna do anyway) and everyone makes money.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 12:56 a.m. CST

    Wixmmm....AND dancing forever.

    by Brians Life

    While I don't believe what I states constitues and attack, I will concede that I lumped the opinions of one along with the group that shares that opinion.<br><br>I still believe this particular person is of the mindset that "No Squid means movie will suck."<br><br> I find that mindset and the perpetuation of it rather ignorant.<br><br>THAT is what I was "attacking"<br><br>Also, any concession towards your points was half-assed at best. He pretty much sumed up that the ending would be "dumbed down" and "ruined" and that you agreed with him. It seems the only point he agreed with of yours was that you both felt the ending was changed to appeal to a mass audience, which was a point he made in his first post in a "prove to me it's another reason" manner.<br><br>Also, as a fan of Watchmen (one willing to admit so in front of girls) I find it unacceptable that those of us who are willing to accept (perhaps even embrace) the changed ending are some how watered down fans or people that "just didn't get it."<br><br>And regarding his "why not a hard R"...WATCHMEN IS A HARD R!! It's got graphic violence, explicit nudity (these are not MY words). So in that instance Dancing Forever makes no sense.<br><br>Ugh...gotta get a beer.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 12:58 a.m. CST

    Maybe one thing:

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    FUCK YOU FOX AND FUCK YOU TOM ROTHMAN!!! Fuck this brainless monkey and his army of greedy asswipes who run this formerly great studio to hell!

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 1:02 a.m. CST


    by theplant


  • Jan. 9, 2009, 1:06 a.m. CST

    Will AVATAR be fucking Nancy Pelosi's eyeballs in 2009?!

    by thebearovingian

    God I hope so.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 1:08 a.m. CST


    by thebearovingian

    Or Penthouse will fail! Our nation cannot survive!

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 1:26 a.m. CST

    Yeah! Move A V A T A R to Warner Bros.!!!

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    But then again, that may be too late.<p>O M G !

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 1:27 a.m. CST

    16-Year Old Comedians DON'T have bushy moustaches!

    by TheGhostWhoLurks

    Or cigars. I'm just sayin'... :)

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 2 a.m. CST

    Why is Living on a Prayer in the Paul Blart Mall Cop commercial?

    by thebearovingian

    Yes, that Bon Jovi ditty. Just saw the commercial again and I keep asking myself why that song is used. It makes no sense. It's dumb as hell. Just like Paul Blart Mall Cop... Ohhhh, now I get it.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 2:02 a.m. CST

    I miss Mori.

    by darwinmayflower

    Moriarty should still be here. it is where he belongs. sad to see him gone.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 2:05 a.m. CST

    We Want Moriarty Back!

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    Don't we?

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 2:40 a.m. CST


    by laraz

    Hey I am on the side of Warner Bros! On this, just because I really want to see the film, like everyone on the face of the planet does. I just hope after all this hype it is an actual good film! As far as FOX if they did own the legal rights they are in the right! It doesnt matter if they never wanted to make the movie or not, if they own the film rights they should get the profits of the film. It is a simple case, not very complex. The Judge's early decesion on the case already confirms this. Instead of everyone getting so pissed off at FOX, you should really be pissed off at Warner Bros. The studio and the producers went ahead on a film they knew they didnt have the legal rights too people. So stop getting pissed at FOX for what is outright theres, regardless if Warner Bros, put the money in to it! They should of known better! So I am pissed at them more so than FOX, because now because of them I might not get to this film! & Lloyd Levin, your letter seems like an excuse! You sound like you know you fucked up, you sound like you are pleaing to public opinon and worst of all the judge! You should of known better! Dam you all! For fucking up WatchMen!

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 2:42 a.m. CST

    Is anyone else chronically bummed out about this?

    by 3D-Man

    I know there are (far) worse things in this world than a much- anticipated movie not coming out. But the thought of this movie being shelved indefinitely is causing me such a buzzkill that I'm finding it hard to get excited about ANYTHING, even the Eagles advancing in the playoffs!!! Yeah boyeee...nope, still nothing.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 3 a.m. CST

    As long as it opens 3/6/09...

    by BurnHollywood

    ...I couldn't give a rat's ass who gets the distribution rights. Send 'em to North Korea for all I care.<p> "Fair" doesn't mean shit in Hollywood.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 3:01 a.m. CST

    Wixmmm....AND dancing forever.

    by BrightEyes

    Fags. ( In the lame fucking idiot way, not in the likes to take it up the ass way) ( .......... Although maybe that too)

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 3:31 a.m. CST

    Warner has lawyers too

    by agro23

    Warner has people on payroll whose job it is to make sure there aren't loopholes in contracts that others can exploit. What were they doing? Oh yeah, now I remember: shutting down web sites that use images of Superman and refusing fair use of DC images to people writing books about their creators. Someone's reaping the karmic whirlwind. The movie will still come it out it will just cost them many millions more.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 3:31 a.m. CST

    The squid didn't have a SAG card.

    by Dingbatty

    Why it couldn't appear.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 3:33 a.m. CST

    What's with all the arguing?

    by Franklin T Marmoset

    Can't we all just come together and agree that everyone involved in this silly dispute is most likely a douchebag?<p>And that Zach Galligan is a visionary director?

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 3:45 a.m. CST

    There are Watchmen posters...

    by GetEveryone

    hanging in my local cinema. Seems they might have been a bit quick out of the gate with that one...

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 4:36 a.m. CST


    by jimmythesaint

    When did Zach Galligan direct a film? Speaking of Galligan and Warner - where's my Nothing Lasts Forever DVD, Warner???

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 4:55 a.m. CST

    HitFix is one boring ass site.

    by DerLanghaarige

    Seriously, only Mori's stuff is worth reading it over there.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 5:09 a.m. CST

    read the letter in full

    by Killsomethin

    Read the letter in full and im agreement on point the auther made Fuck Fox they passed on every shot to beinvoled in the project and now they want to hold up the release on the film. Fuck them release it made the money and laugh to the bank, or better yet buy them out.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 5:34 a.m. CST

    Moriarty/This Story

    by heyscot

    I was unaware that Moriarty left the site. . .if that's the case, I wish him nothing but the best of luck at Hitflix and I will certainly begin looking at that site for his stories, although it's a little irritating for me to go to two sites now instead of one. In terms of the story itself, if that's how it went down, then I absolutely feel the right thing to do is for the judge in this case to order in favor of Fox biting all of us. That's just so lame.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 5:48 a.m. CST

    by Athanatos

    I could care less if they include the squid in the movie, I for one don't have the problem that some people do with a story being translated word for word to the screen, at least as long as the end product is good. That said, the exclusion of the squid presents a few problems that I hope they solved in a plausible manner. **SPOILER** 1. Since there is no island for the Comedian to see, what does he find out that makes him a liability? 2. Since Doc Manhattan decides to leave Earth at the end of the comic, does he decide to stay in the movie? Otherwise how would you frame him for a nuclear detonation if he's no longer around? I'm looking forward to this movie and firmly believe that the problems have already been solved between WB and FOX, they're just milking this for publicity.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 6:19 a.m. CST

    Fox, Out Foxes Itself!!!

    by Media Messiah

    The most Fox can get out of this is a financial settlement unless they agree to assume some of the fnnancial risk, at least half the production, ad, promotion, print and distribution cost of the film, as a releasing and production partner with WB. Fox' position however, appears to be "Hey, we want to block the film's release, for no reason but to do it, no other reason given, or necessary"...and that position, is an absurd one. This is a film that Fox didn't want to make, and placed into turn around, meaning, they were saying to any other studio or production company, that they, Fox, were no longer interested in the property and were releasing it from their production schedule for anyone else, or another entity, to buy and produce, and obviously, release...and, as Fox invited, another entity did eventually buy the rights to make the film, and that is the WB. According to the producer, he has a paper trail to back that contention up 100 percent. Fox felt the script unworthy to be shot and wanted nothing to do with the project. That being the case, the only reason now that they are asserting their rights to the distribution is as a backdoor way to protect their X-Men franchise from competition, as they now see Watchmen as a valid threat...a view that I have been forwarding. <BR><BR> Fox does not wish to partner with WB, which appears to hold the rights to make the film, and Fox is not asking for a buy-out of their rights to distribution in court? With that being the sitting facts, the judge needs to order a financial judgement, giving Fox damages that would hinge on the success of the film and how much Fox would make if it were the contracted distributor of said film, in terms of being a hired entity by the WB, for said task...or perhaps, even a distribution or releasing partner. Whatever that eventual figure is, the judge should order, in advance, that Fox should only receive half of that amount to offset the fact that they did not pay into the film production, and will not pay into its distribution, ad campaign, promotions, film print costs, etc. Also, the judge should again, take into account that Fox does not own the rights to make this film, at at no time since before they placed the property into turn around, had any intention to distribute the film at they had no intention to make it, thereafter. Should the judge take that into account, that should diminish any damages against the WB...and thus further lower any legal cash award to Fox. In other words, Fox should only get the type of money that, a independently contracted distributor would get if WB brought a film of this size to them for a contracted distribution deal. <BR><BR> In the end, this film will be released, and Fox will walk away with a cash award...but WB will see The Watchmen in theaters. As for Fox, they are simply playing childish brand protection games, that being...The X-Men vs. The Watchmen. Clearly, they now feel that the WB may have a super hero team franchise which may now undermine the X-Men...and they are using the courts legally, to achieve an illegal goal!!!

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 6:23 a.m. CST

    9/11 changed everthing. EVERYTHING!!!

    by tonagan

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 6:56 a.m. CST

    Blue wang

    by Fart_Master_Flex

    I am glad they fought the good fight to get that in there.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 7:05 a.m. CST

    A Class Action...

    by Duke_Whittington

    Couldn't we just add this to the growing list of Fox's many crimes against comic book properties and sue them ourselves?

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 7:11 a.m. CST


    by CreatureCantina

    This guy writes this letter stressing about how supremely faithful this adaptation had to be, so I think it's fair to call him to the carpet for allowing Snyder to change probably the most critical element of the whole story. "Oooo... I forced studios to let us show Dr. Manhattan with his pants down!" I think giving Dr. M boxers would have been a lot less of a crime than framing him for the murder of millions. Ozymandias' plan only makes sense with an eternal alien threat. If an American went nuts and started killing people, the rest of the world would NUKE AMERICA.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 7:25 a.m. CST

    It's all very simple:

    by DocPazuzu

    Which studio is responsible for Alien vs Predator: Requiem? <p> Voila - instant death penalty for Fox. <p> See?

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 7:28 a.m. CST

    McWeeny's site should be called DrewTube or DrewLu or

    by Bob Cryptonight or YouDrube. HitFix sounds like an autobody shop.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 7:29 a.m. CST

    Quote on a new fender? Call HitFix!

    by Bob Cryptonight

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 7:31 a.m. CST

    "It's provocative stuff" says The Weenster.

    by Bob Cryptonight

    Pretend it's important and read the full letter.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 7:54 a.m. CST


    by PotSmokinAlien

    i said watchmen was published 15 years before 9/11 happened, not that 9/11 happened 15 years ago. For what little that's worth.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 8:26 a.m. CST

    fucking movie studios

    by shitjet

    that is all.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 8:43 a.m. CST

    But 9/11 changed everything PotSmokinAlien!!!

    by tonagan

    Including the space/time continuum.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 8:54 a.m. CST

    I am "The Squid"

    by Sparhawk38

    The truth is I played hardball and lost. They wanted me in the film originally but were only willing to pay me a barrel of fish. "Fuck that!" my agent said. "You are too big a talent...that is fucking insult baby!" he screamed. Even though I felt the part was perfect for me, I started to agree. My final demand was was a full size double-wide filled with salt water on set, a hollistic life coach on-call 24/7, the guarantee of 2 more squid related projects(not directed by Micheal Bay of course), and a truck load of fish(no tilapia...snooty bastards). They went for everything but the "tilapia clause" as it is stated in my contract. Apparently the tilapia industry is deep into the WB. I inked 'em and walked away. To get back the WB..Fox as inked a 4 episode deal with my on a little show called "24" tilapia, baby.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 9:58 a.m. CST

    Let's say the same shit about the squid over and over

    by Thunderbolt Ross

    and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 10:29 a.m. CST

    Moriarty... HitFix sucks dog's eggs.!

    by workshed

    What were you thinking going to that trash city..? Wow. Was it a bit lik what happened to Krusty the Klown? i.e."They just drove up to my house with a dump-truck full of money". Appalling.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 10:44 a.m. CST


    by STLost

    I received "Watchmen" for Christmas and last night was able to finish it. Great story. Now, after months of skimming Watchmen talkbacks, having no clue what people were talking about, I can finally weigh-in! <p> After reading the comic and going back to review the trailers, they look pretty spot-on. Regarding the squid: I can see how that might be upsetting some people, because it's a plot point that has to happen a certain way. It's not necessarily the squid that needs to be there, but what the squid represents. Now if the movie can convey the same "meaning" for the squid, but with a different vehicle to produce this event, then I think they will have succeeded. If the world doesn't think the 'event' is extraterrestrial, and mankind has to come together to fight it, then it won't work. <p> But I don't know why if they've been so faithful to the graphic novel, how come they couldn't do the squid.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 10:45 a.m. CST

    Good point

    by MonkeyBoy88

    Media Messiah, you did a great job breaking it down. However, Watchmen is and should never be considered as a potential franchise film. It's not set up that way, and I don't want to see it... unless they do some flashback films about the Minutemen, etc. I think the FOX vs. WB battle is more deeply rooted than what we or even Levin can see.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 10:56 a.m. CST


    by frozen01

    You'd be correct, except that "respectful to the work" and "exactly the same as the original" are two very, very different things. From what we've seen thus far, it does appear that he is being incredibly respectful of Mr. Moore's work (much moreso than V for Vendetta, and I liked both the comic and the movie). The squid did NOT make the story what it was... it was a very, very minor part of the plot. <p>I'm going to say something that will make me incredibly unpopular, I'm sure: I didn't like the squid. To me, that was the ONE THING in the entire series that set it in the comics of the past instead of the comics of the future. To me, it was like impregnating Storm with an alien baby. It made me set aside or ignore my common sense, too much for comfort. Perhaps that was the point, but if so, it was lost. <p>I don't think I'm necessarily glad they changed it, but it doesn't really bother me, either.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 11:36 a.m. CST

    I'll be laughing

    by christpunchers2007

    When this movie ends up getting released and it ends up sucking balls.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 11:58 a.m. CST

    One thing always missed

    by Dancingforever

    Is that Veidt stopped a potential nuclear disater by using artisits and exterestial threats, this would be a direct contrast to the crisis of a nuclear holocust to solve a nuclear holocust. Snyder seems to think this is a minor plot point and instead decides it makes more sense the veidt could con Doc into making a machine that will solve the energy crisis, curious as most people in the GN appear to be driving electirc cars, but the machine actually causes atomic explosions that mimic Docs signature. This of course deystroys the beautiful contrast Moore set up of having artists and a squid be the means to the end. Also, Doc left at the end of the GN not because he was framed or because he had to, but as a choice. This is critical. In Snyder's version he has to leave, in the GN it is a choice he makes for several debatable reasons but still a choice. Another intersting rumour that turned up recently is that Rorscahs journal might not be included in the third act. Again i assume many here will call this a small thing. In closing, one more comment. for those who make statements like "I picked this up a few days ago and read now I can give you my full thoughts on the story," I salute you. For even the most astute readers i have know the Watchmen GN takes several readings over time to truely absorb the texture of the story and slight ambiences missed the first few times through, such as the brilliant triangle motifs and directional framing of certain inanimate objects in key scenes. For someone to say, "Well I just read it, the squid isn't necessary," is like someone saying they picked up the complete works of Shakespeare a few days ago, went through all them and have decided it's over rated.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 12:04 p.m. CST

    Great letter. FUCK FOX.

    by HoboCode

    Fuck their studio. Fuck their executives. Fuck their owner. Fuck their company. Fuck their dumbass football robot. Fuck their torture-condoning television charcters. Fuck their god damn "news." Fuck it all.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 12:04 p.m. CST


    by STLost

    The plot device they use instead of the squid doesn't matter, as long as the context of that plot device is still intact.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 12:10 p.m. CST


    by STLost

    Good point. I will of course have to read it several times to absorb all of the details, but just reading it one time, I realize the importance of the squid.<p>Also, I love how dialog from different people/scenes is intertwined with each other. There could be two different scenes, but they are each playing off of each other to further the story. That especially is the case with the newspaper seller/ boy reading the Tales of the Black Freighter.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 12:29 p.m. CST


    by CreatureCantina

    The squid isn't SUPPOSED to feel right. It's not supposed to make sense. For Ozymandias' plan to work he had to do something so incredibly unbelievable that it'd shock the governments of the world to realize they'd better cooperate or face extinction. It had to be absolutely bat-shit insane. It had to completely rewrite the rulebook. A huge, alien squid appearing in the center of NYC, killing hundreds of thousands and projecting nightmares to millions of survivors was just the ticket. "We'd better roll up our sleeves and prepare for another invasion." The realization that Doc Manhattan might decide to blow up some cities wouldn't unify the globe. They wouldn't realize they had to start working together to avert any threat. Every other country would look and see "Hey that American who's been blowing up our tanks the last 30 years just blew us up again" and they'd get even more pissed at the USA. And they'd probably shoot off their nukes before Doc Manhattan could strike again. The new ending just fails.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 12:45 p.m. CST

    We are witnessing film history on a BRAZIL-like scale.

    by Clavius

    In fact, when the dust finally settles from all this I would love for someone to produce a feature-length documentary (i.e. The Battle of Brazil, Lost in La Mancha or Hearts of Darkness) chronicling the battle to get this movie made. A warts-and-all look at the development hell and legal fight over Watchmen.<br> <br>I suspect this will be discussed in film schools for years to come.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 1:06 p.m. CST

    Seems as if Fox has some legal strength...

    by conspiracy

    If their claim was groundless...this would not be happening.As I said before..WB legal isn't getting a Bonus this year.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 1:39 p.m. CST

    I'd like to join the Smack The Shit Out of Dancing Forever Club.

    by Brians Life

    Dude, making extreme comparisons to TRY to get your point across makes you maybe the furthest thing from a competent debater.<br><br>Another thing, it's been confirmed that Rorschach's journal DOES appear (final scene and all).<br><br>You are quite an entitled d-bag. You remind me of this dude that frequents my local comic book shop. He keeps the 4 top buttons on this shirt open, exposing his greasy hairy chest and always wears a ton of gold chains.<br><br>He's typically prattling on about some minutiae regarding adapations. I think some people just argue the point because they believe disagreeing with somehow make them appear smarter.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 1:42 p.m. CST

    comic book shop

    by christpunchers2007

    lol... who goes to those places anymore?

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 1:49 p.m. CST

    Could someone please kill Tom Rothman already

    by kenjinattix

    Before he fucks up the earth...Jesus this guy is like Cobra Commander.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 1:57 p.m. CST


    by JimmyJoe RedSky

    to answer your question - people that still buy comics - like me - where do you get comics from - oh wait - you dont read comics, you just see movies based on them - lol

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 2:02 p.m. CST

    this whole legal battle was made public...

    by JimmyJoe RedSky order to generate more buzz for the movie - the dispute will be amicably settled and the movie will be seen and be a hit - in the meantime all this "controversy" serves to just get the uninitiated interested in seeing "the r rated superhero movie that 2 major studios are fighting over"

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 2:09 p.m. CST

    Rex Carsalot

    by JimmyJoe RedSky

    i buy lots of shit from amazon - but id never buy comics that way - i love going to my comic book shop - paying for my books which are waiting for me in a pull box then walking out with them undamaged and in my hands - its funny that on a site called "aint it cool" we find the sentiment that going into a comic book shop to buy comic books is now uncool or not adult-like

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 2:21 p.m. CST

    STLost/CreatureCantina/-Rex Carsalot-BriansLife

    by Dancingforever

    STLost, The black freighter is absolutely key. Focusing on this and Veidt in tandem make many mystery become clear. Pay careful attention to the Indian artist who does illustrations ;) CreatureCantina, You give me hope sir. Brilliant post. Notice how few if any will take you to task and debate your point, a civilised eliquint response as yours is sure to draw comments like "Squid sux" or my favourite from earlier, "No one but Snyder is capable of making this movie." The anti squid brigade is very skilled at engauging you in conversatin while never addressing a single point except to occasionally chant "It's a plot device it doesn't matter." These are the same people who think the GN is brillinat. how can it be brilliant if the end was so flawed you can't have it both ways. I would never protest your right to debate or shoot holes throgh any opinion I have. I would however encourage you to try to have a civilized debate without name calling. It does your arguement no good and gives me an early victory over you i don't find satisfying, i would rather see you try to defend Snyder and his dealing of Alan Moore while at the same time supporting WB and there equally ideological criminal actions in this adaption. Who knows, put forth a good argument and it might change my mind and others also. Throwing around insults only proves my point that most people accepting this hack ending are unable to fully understand why the squid is so important and can't make an argument for it's exclusion. In Rex's case I have seen other posts by you and I know you are better than that.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 2:24 p.m. CST

    For clarification

    by Dancingforever

    The part of my post that starts with " I would never protest your right" is directed solely at Rex Carsalot-BriansLife

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Right now nothing is worth more...

    by knowthyself

    ..Than that March 6th 2009 date. Once you set a date and put it on all your ads and that is one hell of an investment.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 2:29 p.m. CST

    count me in on the Smack The Shit Out of Dancing Forever Club

    by BrightEyes

    Although I do hate real life violence. Dancing is so fucking annoying it hurts. Your getting to danny gloverdickblood levels of annoying man

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 2:30 p.m. CST


    by Thunderbolt Ross

    Speaking of overrated, your awe of Watchmen is beyond the pale. Shakespeare??? Watchmen is good but for the love of god, it's not that good. <p>Just because it's dense and "designed to show off the medium" (*snore*) - just because it's "literary", and thus something you're not embarrassed to give your non-comic book reading friends, does not make it fucking Shakespeare. <p>Here's my take: No superhero comics will ever exceed the cream of the Marvel Age crop. If you can't take a Lee/Kirby Thor and excitedly show it off to the uninitiated then I don't think you understand why superhero comics ever gained the traction they did. THOSE are the comics that best show off what the medium can do, because they are primarily visually-oriented. Again, I'm a fan of Alan Moore, but his writer's perspective on comics is a little out of sync. Anyway isn't it a telltale sign if it's only the "deconstruction" of the superhero "mythos" that somehow defines the genre for you? That doesn't sound right to me at all.<p>PS the "you" in this sort of broadened to include a more general viewpoint I often hear about Watchmen. I'm not saying Dancingforever thinks that, though I wouldn't be surprised if he or she (yeah right) did.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 2:43 p.m. CST


    by Dancingforever

    Brighteyes, You have succedded in posting multiple times in several of these threads without ever actually talking about what's being discussed. Your only purpose is to hurl insults at anyone who doesn't see Snyder as an amazing director. You sir are either the dullest troll I have ever seen here, or a blatant plant for the WB. Thunderbolt, Myself I like a little Beta ray bill in the mix but that's just me. I feel you on the golden age, and I understand your level of regard for Moore is different than mine. My comments come from a passion for the watchmen that his been a part of my life since it's release. To ME it's the most important comic ever but I certainly wouldn't say that works for everyone. Others could put forth the equally brilliant TDK by Miller or something else, who knows perhaps there are those who would say Secret Wars was the defining moment, to each there own. My comments are simply my opinion of a work I love being lobotomized by a lap dog director know for a homoerotic gladiator movie. It would be easier to take if Snyder and his ilk didn't constantly campaign how faithful to the adaption they have been. In summary I respect your opinion, mine's just coming from a different place I hope you now can empathize with.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 2:58 p.m. CST

    Dancing Forever and ever and ever...

    by Brians Life

    The problem with your argument is that you assume anyone that can be accepting of the changed ending, must therefore believe that the NEW ending is better and that the older one was therefore flawed.<br><br>That couldn't be further from the truth. I have stated my case SO MANY times before, that this entire Squid/No Squid argument is doing nothing more than annoying me.<br><br>IF this adaptation was a 5 part Mini-Series on HBO and it came out that they'd be changing the Squid ending...I'd be RIGHT HERE WITH YOU. I'd be chanting No Squid equals it will suck and fighting the good fight for a good adaptation. It's NOT though.<br><br>It's a 2 1/2 hour movie that has to make the concessions necessary for it not to only make a decent cut time but also maintain the flow of storyline.<br><br>Can we agree on this? You cannot simply have the Squid SHOW UP on screen with out all the intricate backstory (the artists and the island, the interview with the Black Freighter artists,etc).<br><br>It's already come out that the fist 22 minutes of the movie don't even get 1/2 thru the FIRST ISSUE OF THE COMIC.<br><br>So, from the film makers POV, can you UNDERSTAND why all of this had to be cut?<br><br>Can you understand the need to create another convenient (and visibly external) threat that did away with TONS of backstory?<br><br>I'm optimistic. I can see this as being a beautiful end to the arc of Doc Manhattan. He has decided to help humanity, he has DECIDED to stay on Earth only to find out that due to Veidt he cannot. Is it better than the Out of Left Field Brilliance of the Squiddy in an otherwise straightforward, realistic story...HELL NO! <br><br>BUT as Alan Moore once said "I didn't write a movie. I wrote a comic book. It's meant to be enjoyed next to a roaring fire with a hot cup of coffee."<br><br>And, to take a little wind out of your sails, go back and read your original posts. And if you can HONESTLY tell me that they don't wreak of entitlement and a holier than thou attitude concerning YOUR interpretation versus everyone who disagrees, than I will EAT MY HAT.<br><br>I dont even know what that means....

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 3:02 p.m. CST

    Okay, I'll chime in finally....

    by Fuzzyjefe

    Here's how I see it: the other-dimensional squiddy in Watchmen is a comment on the comic book trope of the supervillain having some outrageous plan for world domination, correct? We can agree on that? I understand the pov that it has to be outrageous to bring the world together. However, given that comic book movies are a relatively recent trend in Hwood (I know there have been comic movies etc since the 30s & 40s, but we can all agree there has been a recent proliferation), there really has been no such "tradition" established yet. And, I can see the pov that for a film whose main conceit is capes in the real world, such an event would be a real WTF moment (in a bad way) for many, many audience members. As long as the new plan is logical and fits the story in its filmic form, I'm okay with it. The end from me.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 3:04 p.m. CST


    by Thunderbolt Ross

    But don't you think there's something fishy when you think the zenith of a genre lacks some of the most important aspects of that genre (kineticism, for instance, in the case of the Watchmen)? <p>I'm not suggesting highly esteeming Watchmen is wrong cause even if I don't like or revere it as much, it's certainly worthwhile. I just don't think it's really a great representation of the superhero comic genre, per se. <p>The other thing is, somewhat perversely you don't seem to allow for someone else's take on the material having equal weight as yours. Perversely because if you really feel Watchmen is as great as it seems you do, I'd think you'd appreciate the fact that something so layered and complex would be read quite differently by different people. Even simple art and stories are interpreted in various ways, so it follows that something with this level of density would have that effect to a greater degree. <p>My point is, it's possible Snyder's POV is just as valid as yours. It's possible that he's not missing something, but just interprets it differently. He may have a full understanding that is different from your full understanding, ya know ... Just because it's different doesn't mean he doesn't "get it". (Keep in mind, I'm not saying the decision is a good one but on principle I can't say it's automatically wrong either. I'm going to wait and see.)

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 3:06 p.m. CST


    by mr_l_74;_ylt=AuuKIn0QpPPThzNIJZIbRhVxFb8C

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 3:13 p.m. CST

    Brian's life

    by Dancingforever

    "It's a 2 1/2 hour movie that has to make the concessions necessary for it not to only make a decent cut time but also maintain the flow of storyline." I agree 100% Film is in no way the correct medium, an HBO series, something the majority of us supported from day one, is the correct way to approach this. You could even have different directors doing different chapters. I would love to see David Lynch, Ridley Scott, or even Jim Jarmusch do individual chapters over a 2 year 24 episode series. That being said we have what we have, and I have no choice but to comment on that.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 3:33 p.m. CST


    by Dancingforever

    "Here's how I see it: the other-dimensional squiddy in Watchmen is a comment on the comic book trope of the supervillain having some outrageous plan for world domination, correct?" Yes but it is also much more. Your sharpe in picking up on it's commentary toward comics, but to me it also represents the perfect anti establishment ending. You don't get the big confrontation, you don't have a battle to the death, you simply have a titanic sized psychadelic mind fuck that remains as one of the most memorable endings to a saga in comics history. There are multiple theories on it's meaning and I would like to share my favourite I heard many moons ago by a friend. He always argued that The Watchmen was also the tale of how people grow out of comics, how they mature away from them, and in the end the squid/vagina is what ends there association. When the squid arrives the only real super hero of the story Doc leaves, as if to signify that once women enter the picture the comic fan also disappears and moves onto another medium. I don't support this theory but I do see the unparalleled genius of Moore giving us something so deep and sweepingly symbolic that we all can walk away from it with our own interpretations, not what we have now, The Watchmen as envisioned by Zac Snyder and not Alan Moore, who again refuses to associate himself with this project in anyway.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 3:51 p.m. CST


    by Dancingforever

    Again, I enjoy your posts a great deal. Even though i disagree with you on almost every point, i commend you having the maturity to discuss these points in a civilized matter. A lot of your last post is centered around my interpretations of the story versus Snyders or others, I agree with you completely that his INTERPRETATION is allowed and valid, it's not his interpretation that I have issue with. My issue revolves around the completely unnecessary change to the pinnacle of the book. My god man, the tone, dialogue, character development, hell even his changes of having the comedian openly assassinate Kennedy, or the dramatic change to Nite Owl2s costume I can live with. He can take all the liberties he wants with hinted at themes he feels are important to expound on or possibly costumes he feels need to changed. What I can't take is his decision to neuter the ending and change it from something brilliant and unique to something stereotypically holiday. The early footage makes the final minutes of the doomsday clock look like the climax to a ham fisted disaster movie, not what IMO is one of the most brilliant pieces of literature of the last century. That is simply unforgivable. His interpretation is fine and necessary, his ridiculous outright changes to the story take away from the overall message and will ultimately succeed in alienating the core fans from this movie. The new ending completely changes Docs reasons for leaving earth, Veidts solution of using artists to win over nuclear weapons (brilliant!!) is replaced with using a nuclear machine designed to solve the energy crisis. The energy crisis Snyder has inserted stinks of trendiness of this generation, not the cold war era of the Watchmen. Can't you see this sir? Was it not the vision of the squid that finally pushed the Comedian into madness, how will this be dealt with? This isolated hack decision has a ripple effect that goes through the whole story, changing it from an extensional super hero master piece (Deconstructing or not) to a trite Hollywood disaster movie.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 3:59 p.m. CST

    Dancing Forever...I would say...

    by Brians Life

    ...that you seem more interested in semantics than an actual discussion of this subject matter. <br><br>As every point that you're approached with you either blatantly ignore or twist to suit you argument.<br><br>See my previous posts for any futher indication of this.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 4:02 p.m. CST

    Who has the right to make The Watchmen

    by Lang The Cat

    Just to clarify: <br> 1. Fox sold the rights to make The Watchmen to Lawrence Gordon. <br><br> 2. Part of the deal was right of first refusual when making the movie and distribution. <br><br> 3. Gordon sold the rights to make the movie to a third party who in turn sold it to Warners <bold>after offering Fox the chance to make it.</bold><br><br> 4. Fox sees the early enthusiasm for the film, realizes they might still have some claim to distribution and brings suit.<br><br> 5. Judge is confused/ignorant of Fox's multiple chances to make the film and decides Warner's owes Fox a part of the film and distribution.<br><br> Now that is my take after reading the contract from Fox to Gordon and seeing how the deal progressed. Not being a lawyer (thank God!), my opinion is worth less than the judge's, however, as a layman reading the contract, AND seeing Fox's repeated refusual to participate, I have no question as to Warner's right to make the film. I question if Fox's right to distribute is tied to their right to participate and if they lose that with the right of first refusal. That seems to be the only merit Fox has on their side.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 4:07 p.m. CST

    Why it is so confused too

    by Lang The Cat

    The major reason it is not completely clear what the judgement should be is because when Gordon bought and sold the rights to The Watchmen, it was sold with a handful of other scripts (like Angel Cop, Terrorist Nanny, that type of thing). Hard to imagine throwing The Watchmen into a group package with scripts that sound like bad Hulk Hogan films, but that is what happened.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 4:07 p.m. CST


    by Fuzzyjefe

    That's a cool little interpretation that was posited. Also, if I may, I'll quote this: "The early footage makes the final minutes of the doomsday clock look like the climax to a ham fisted disaster movie, not what IMO is one of the most brilliant pieces of literature of the last century." That statement right there can be used as the basis of my opinion. To wit: the squiddy in the comic SEEMS like the culmination of the typical comic supervillain master plan, but can be interpreted in many different ways. I'm holding out hope (which is all I can do until I see the film) that Snyder and co. have the ability to make the FILM Watchmen a commentary on supes in FILM. So, while it may at first glance seem like a "trite Hollywood" cliche, perhaps there will be layers. Like the book. I may be proven wrong come March (and we all know it'll be out in March), but all I gots right now is hope.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Let me make a correction:

    by Fuzzyjefe

    All I gots right now is hope, surprise, fear, and an almost fanatical devotion to the pope.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 4:11 p.m. CST

    The squid is just Moore trying to be clever

    by Dingbatty

    by referencing Starro's appearance in The Brave and the Bold #28 (guest starring the JLA), and Lovecraftian interdimensional creatures.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 4:15 p.m. CST

    Let me also state this, so it's clear...

    by Brians Life

    I have always been of the opinion that what we're going to get with this WATCHMEN movie is something that LOOKS alot like the great comic book...<br><br>but WILL be lacking in most of the bigger ideas that made Moore's tale what it is (and what nothing else related to it can ever be.)<br><br>That said, there are changes that I UNDERSTAND (the Squid removal) and changes I DO NOT (calling the team Watchmen).<br><br>I understand the squid change for the reasons above. The "Watchmen" change though IS simple a change to cater to the lowest common denominator of movie goers and I cannot and will not get behind that. It's small, and probably inconsequential but it's change for the sake of change. Which I typically never support.<br><br>Okay, I need more coffee and blueberries.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 5:09 p.m. CST


    by Thunderbolt Ross

    I think you're just assuming too much on the part of Snyder's motivations. Occam's Razor is always helpful and in this case it seems apparent why something might be changed for reasons having nothing to do with neutering or hollywoodization: 12 issue mini series squeezed into a less than 3 hour film. (Beyond that we can surely all agree there are things that work in one medium that don't in the other. What those things ARE we might disagree on, but I think we all know the two media aren't interchangeable.) <p>But with the former point in mind, if you start from the apparently correct assumption that the mini series wasn't going to be translated directly due to time constraints. So something or things are gonna get cut for that reason, not to appeal to some demographic or appease the suits. I don't think cutting the squid out somehow solves any marketing problems anyway. Do you really think some exec said "Everything's fine, just lose that alien and you have the next Men In Black"?<p>So assuming Snyder's intent is relatively pure, which I think we safely can at this point, the argument then moves to what you cut, which goes back to my earlier point about differing valid interpretations. In Snyder's (and others') minds, you CAN remove the squid and maintain the thrust and spirit of the mini series. This seems impossible to you because you have a different view of what the spirit of the series is, but if you concede someone else's POV can be different from yours but equally valid, then you have to concede to cut the squid was made in an honest-to-goodness attempt to do right by the original work.<p>Also fwiw, I don't like either that they're calling the team The Watchmen, but I don't think it's catering in some cowardly way to all the ignoramuses out there. As I said before, some things are very much of their medium; in a book or comic book it unfolds a lot more slowly and textual things like the superhero team-sounding name of the comic not actually being the name of the superhero team go down a lot easier. In a film, to the uninitiated it could prove unnecessarily confusing.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 5:12 p.m. CST


    by BrightEyes

    You want to see David Lynch and Jim Jarmusch versions of Watchmen and your complaining about Snyder which by the way I didn't like 300 very much but I never liked the GN either. Your so batshit out of your mind that you think any of the filmmakers you mentioned would get anywhere close to the accuracy of the comic. Like someone said before Great filmmakers WILL put their own twist of the story and will make it THEIR OWN. Snyder on the other hand isn't one of those great filmmakers so all he is doing is trying to bring the comic to film as close as possible. Seriously the very fact that you say you would want to see Lynch and Jarmusch's versions ( Both much better filmmakers than Snyder, and I love the two) even in a mini series shows that you have some grudge against Snyder maybe a HOMOPHOBIC grudge since you seem fixiated on mentioning homoeroticness when mentioning Snyder, or maybe because he's a young good looking director and you feel like he's a twit and doesn't understand art, and by the way Snyder didn't write the script, Hayter did and from before Snyder got the script there was no squid so I don't understand why Snyder is getting 100 percent of the hate like he wrote it. All in all your other filmmaker comments has made you lose what little credibility you had. By the way I loved the Squid in the comic and would have liked to see it in the film but it truly is a gigantic risk in many ways and just because the squid is gone does not mean this film which so far looks fucking amazing will suck without it.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 5:30 p.m. CST

    Squid Vs No Squid

    by mode_7

    The way I see it, which side of the argument you come down on is dictated by which level of the book you consider the most important. The superhero stuff on the surface or the self referential deconstructive stuff underneath. Lose the squid and the bones of the story tie together neater and it might make for a better movie in the classic Hollywood sense. But the subtext and structure that made Watchmen the work of genius that it is is lost. Leave the squid in and the movie is gonna be somewhat of a mess but at least true to what it is. Personally I'm pro-squid, I'd rather have an interesting, messy commercial failure than some watered down Hollywood compromise. In my opinion, the squid is fundamentally the crux of the subtext, and therefore the crux of the entire book. If you don't value the subtext then I'm not surprised if you don't value the squid.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 5:33 p.m. CST

    By the way...

    by mode_7

    I reckon only someone like Kubrick would have had the balls to leave the squid in, so I'm not gonna be too hard on Snyder.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 5:48 p.m. CST


    by BrightEyes

    didn't even leave the hedge monsters in the shining sooooo probably not.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 5:56 p.m. CST


    by mode_7

    I haven't read the book but I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that Kubrick probably made the right decision on that one.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 6:01 p.m. CST

    Mode7...I agree and disagree...

    by Brians Life

    I think you're right that this movie will lose A LOT of the subtext that made the book the multi-layered brilliance that it is.<br><br>I take issue with your "if you don't value the subtext then I'm not surprised you don't value the squid"<br><br>Maybe this wasn't your intention, but it contributes to the POV that people willing to accept the NO SQUID ending optimistically some how didn't quite "get it".<br><br>I also hotly disagree that the Squid is the crux of the subtext. That actually sounds like a sentence with no real meaning.<br><br>The subtext it multi-layered and while the squid has many different interpretations for true meaning to say it's the crux that ties all the subtext together I believe takes away from the complex nature of the multiple storylines.<br><br>Again, this JUST my opinion.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 6:03 p.m. CST


    by MCSuchandsuch

    I have the argument against you to end all arguments, and it is this: have you seen the film? No? Then you cannot comment on it in any way. You can worry, but you cannot speak of missed opportunities and bad interpretations. You do not know what opportunities Snyder has taken, nor what interpretation he has. Until you walk out of the theater knowing you just witnessed an atomic bomb or giant squid, you cannot say for certain anything of any real consequence. And for the record, The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller is one of the most overrated pieces of work in the medium. Miller gets Superman completely wrong and writes characters solely for his own purpose and not fitting with years of continuity or character establishment. One man's genius is another man's garbage.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Can a debate also be started

    by PotSmokinAlien

    where one side gets their panties all in a bunch because people are referring to a 'squid' being in the comic whereas it is actually a squidlike, pseudo-organic creation of humans? That would be amazing. And also about as worthwhile as the current debate.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 6:25 p.m. CST

    Brians Life

    by mode_7

    I'm not saying the anti-squidites don't understand the book, just that they don't place as much importance on it's subtext. But who say's you should? It's up to the individual how they value these things, and nobody's opinion is more or less valid than anyone else's. <p> The reason I think the Squid is the crux of the subtext is that it's the point at which the book almost becomes aware of itself. Alan Moore dressed this story up as some kind of gritty real life superhero adventure and did it in such a way that we, the reader completely bought it, hook line and sinker. But then you get to the end and it reveals itself to be exactly what it is, a fucking comic book. And no matter how well it's written and how well it's drawn that's all it ever was. It's a moment of literary introspection never done before and never to be repeated and its fucking beautiful, it really is.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 6:28 p.m. CST

    Adam West as Hollis Mason

    by Fuck The Napkin

    Come on, LLoyd. There's still time...

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 6:41 p.m. CST

    To Squid or Not to Squid...

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    Well, most of you (hey Brian) know where I stand on this issue. Personally, I think WATCHMEN's climax (5th dimensional cephalopod and all) simply elevates a damn good comic miniseries to the level of classic. I don't dispute that the squid needed removal for the film. However, I very much doubt that the Doc M solution will work as squid-proxy in the context of the film adaptation. It's not even roughly equivalent to Veidt's original plan in function (imo). And I dispute any claims that the bones of WATCHMEN's climax is equal to King's topiary animals or any such minor detail or device. No, the literal squid is not important. What it represents (an utterly alien presence/potential, out-of-left-field threat to the world) is.<BR><BR>That stated, I've already hashed out my opinion ad nauseum in previous TBs, so I won't repeat myself further.<BR><BR>Though I'm skeptical of the HUGE change Snyder & Co have made, I really do hope for the best. And if the changed ending works for me, I'll be delighted to admit I was wrong for my skepticism.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 6:47 p.m. CST

    The closest comparison I can think of...

    by mode_7 the removal of the squid would be if Fincher decided the split personality angle of fight club was silly and that people wouldn't buy it, so he simply made Pitt a separate person. It's neater, right?

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 7:58 p.m. CST


    by Thunderbolt Ross

    As I've already pointed out, if you can accept that the goal is to make a movie that can be played in movie theaters, then you accept that in all probability something substantial had to be cut from Watchmen. Perhaps you think the density and complexity of Watchmen give it genius status, and thus nothing of substance can be lost. If that's the case, then your argument is with the film being made at all, not with the squidlessness of it.<p>And again, since there is a very good reason to cut something - time constraints - there's no reason to go beyond that and assume oh, he's trying to commercialize it. Which, given every other element in the property, is a ridiculous idea anyway.<p>It IS POSSIBLE that an intelligent and insightful person read Watchmen and decided that a true adaptation was possible without the squid. Moreover, as some have pointed out the meta properties of the squid inasmuch as its commentary on the "bad guy's" coup de grace, that's something perhaps better left to the comics medium on which it is commenting. <p>Bottom line: The squid storyline requires too much screen time to set up. They needed a shortcut. We'll see if it works. We know Snyder is focused more on the characters - that's a legit read of Watchmen; it has great characters. If you're more interested in the mechanics of the story, beautiful as they may be, you're probably SOL.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 8:04 p.m. CST


    by Thunderbolt Ross

    I don't think what's most important about the squid is that it's alien. The thing that's important is that Veidt is willing to kill and destroy on that level to achieve what he considers a positive end. THAT is what horrified Comedian, THAT is the engine to the whole plot and the crux of Veidt's character and Watchmen's questioning of the nature of power. <p>A question, it should be added that is nothing new; the basic questions of the corrupting quality of power and the ends justifying the means have been raised again and again in art and unfortunately also in life. Ultimately Watchmen does the same thing as The Dark Knight Returns in that regard, albeit with a lot less action: posits a superhero as a fascist. Frank Miller seems to think that's a great idea, Moore and Gibbons vote "nay".

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 10:31 p.m. CST

    i just came back from seeing "grand torino" and...

    by JimmyJoe RedSky

    ...i saw a new "watchmen" trailer with a release date of march and an r rating - and there were watchmen posters all over the lobby - big ones - all hope is not lost

  • Jan. 10, 2009, 4:21 a.m. CST

    Would you all please shut the fuck up about the squid?!

    by Motoko Kusanagi


  • Jan. 10, 2009, 10:55 a.m. CST

    Can't miss... A V A T A R

    by JDanielP

    That flick is a MUST SEE, for me.

  • Jan. 10, 2009, 4:26 p.m. CST

    To Squid or not to Squid?

    by drdoom_v

    Daredevil was a great comic character- how about the movie? Electra is a fantastic charcter- how did that play out in the movie? Fantastic four? Galactus as a big bunch of spcaelocusts? All shitty, With repect it is more than just the basic idea and time constraints- it is the intensity and complexity of the story and a responsibility to the writers themselves. That is what the issue is. Of course you need the squid, that is the whole point. It is about understanding Alan Moore's original vision. We should never accept the fact of "well there are time constraints" and "it does not advance the plot" "as ;ong as the idea is the same" Thise are strong arguments for a bottom line profit but weak arguments when talking about art and integrity. Think of the more recent successful films, Ironman, Dark Knight even 300-The closer they are to the source material the better the result. Either do them right or do not do them at all. TO SQUID of course!

  • Jan. 10, 2009, 5:43 p.m. CST


    by Dancingforever

    Since you seem reasonable, would you agree that whatever time constraints there are, just as much time would most likely be spent on the new ending as just going with the squid? I also feel that many who argue for it's omission didn't like it in the GN either, in essence they didn't get ti then and want a revision. It's just to high a concept for most IMO.