Rumor: The Director of the Watchmen is

Weirdest comic to movie rumor I’ve heard in a looong time. I have a friend who works in special effects and he said that Richard Donner (yeah the guy who did the original Superman) is attached to direct the Watchmen starting late this year at Warner Brothers. I don’t know. The guy directed Superman and produced the Xmen. So he knows how to pull this off but he is 76 years old and the last few things he’s directed have been horrible.

I am suspect about this. Searching superhero hype forums, about two weeks ago someone just said that Donner should direct the watchmen and someone chimed in that he “heard” Donner was directing a DC superhero film. So I can imagine that could start a rumor on its own. Plus Aint It Cool News ran a recent interview with Donner saying he wasn’t interested in directing another comic movie.

It’s just Watchmen, not The Watchmen.

It’s also “the Batman”, not “Batman”, isn’t it?

My dad always used to say “I don’t see what you kids like about the Pink Floyd.”

I was kind of hoping that the whole project was just a rumor. Terry Gilliam was right when he said that Watchmen should be made into a miniseries, not a film. And frankly, I think he’d do a decent job directing it. I know this is what everyone says, but it’s true.

I think the Paul Greengrass production with the Hayter script back in early 2005 was the best hope. Even Alan Moore gave it his blessing.

I don’t see how that will be improved on.

As for Terry Gilliam, I don’t know why anyone still thinks he could pull it off. The script he wanted to use was awful. While he has made a few good movies and argueable one great movie; they don’t match Watchmen in style or sensibility. Plus the last two movies he has directed were really awful. I think he says it can’t be be done just because he was bitter over his experience.

To your father’s credit that was the original name of the band.

Thus continues this proud tradition.

Well If Donner can make a film of the quality of the first Lethal Weapon (Which was and is a superior western style action film) there is at least a chance he is capable of directing a good film. Unfortunately he is also capable of making Lethal Weapon 3 and 4 which, with the notable exception of the awesome Jet Li, were very very average examples of action films.

If you want a faithful adaption of Watchmen I suspect you should just accept suckage now.

Scratch Dnner off the list for now. (thank goodness I was actually starting to dread it.

Now it appears Zack Snyder is likely to get the job. Yeah His Dawn of the Dead remake was terrible and doesn’t hold much hope in treating source material with rspect but people are claiming his 300 based on a similar book by Frank Miller is much better so lets have faith.

It seems like we’ve had this discussion before. You were wrong back then, as well.

Ok, so movie critics weren’t fans of Dawn of the Dead and didn’t care that he fucked it up. You got me on that point. Watchmen is going to require a greater level of respect and skill. If he carelessly alters Watchmen like he did with Dawn of the Dead he will be roasted alive.

The Dawn of the Dead remake was great.

I love Watchmen as much as anyone, and there’s nothing I’d like more than to see a faithful adaptation of it. Like me, though, you’d probably be better off if you’d just come to grips with reality and accept that that’s never, ever going to happen in a feature film. It won’t work. Maybe, as others have suggested, if it was done in an animated 12-episode miniseries akin to HBO’s Spawn or something, but certainly not in a 2.5 hour movie.

That said, if all I had to go by was that the guy attempting to do this also made Dawn of the Dead, I’d say at least that’s positive. Because that movie rocked.

It was okay bordering on good, it certainly was not “great”.

My dad got me into Floyd (it’s just Floyd if you’re a TROO PHAN BTW LORFS).

But it’s supposed to be "My [whomever] always used to ask, “Which one is Floyd?” Like when motherfuckers used to ask me which one was GI Joe.

Seconded. Deserves a mention in the “Best Intros” thread.

The Watchmen screenplay, in the drafts I’ve read, is pretty faithful to the source material except for the last couple of scenes which make a stupid departure, mitigating the tone of moral compromise in the original book. Apart from that it’s pretty well done – a lot of the dense content has obviously been cut out for time-constraint reasons (like the EC-style “comic within a comic,” for instance), but until the last 10 pages or so it feels like Watchmen. Rorschach, Dr. Manhattan, Ozymandias, the Comedian, all get their moments to shine. Oh, one other thing – the story is updated to a present day timeline, rather than being set in the 1980s, so the political Cold War stuff (Nixon being president, the 'Nam sequences) is gone I think.

I agree that a TV miniseries format would be more suitable; in feature length form, even with the cuts that have been made, it feels crowded. But I’m not that eager for an adaptation – Watchmen is a great comic and I’d be content to leave it alone in that medium.

This is probably why they changed the ending. I’m not convinced the story would work outside the context of the cold war. Without the ubiquitous mindset of imminent and inevitable nuclear apocalypse, how could the moral compromise at the end possibly be justified?

I don’t know how the ending is different exactly, but I can’t imagine it making the story anything but weaker. I always saw Watchmen as Rorschach’s story, and the power of his death scene hinges on the conflict between his unwillingness to give up his principles – “Never compromise. Not even in the face of armageddon.” – and the greater good.

There’s still an impending armageddon and it still motivates Ozy to do what he does, though I don’t remember how they wangled it (i.e. whether it was Russia vs. U.S. or something else). I’d go into more detail but I’m not entirely comfortable revealing info about scripts I read “in the line of duty” under my real name. :-/

Fair enough.