Watchmen Creator Ignores Movie

Illustration for article titled Watchmen Creator Ignores Movie

While the collected population of the internet seems to be wetting itself in excitement about the trailer for Zach Snyder's version of Watchmen, one man is more than cynical about the whole exercise. In fact, he thinks that any comic book adaptation is suspect, and he should know, having survived the experience three times already. The man in question? Watchmen writer, Alan Moore.

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Talking to Entertainment Weekly about next year's movie version of his celebrated comic, Moore said

I would rather not know [anything about the movie. Snyder] may very well be [a nice guy], but the thing is that he's also the person who made 300. I've not seen any recent comic book films, but I didn't particularly like the book 300. I had a lot of problems with it, and everything I heard or saw about the film tended to increase [those problems] rather than reduce them: [that] it was racist, it was homophobic, and above all it was sublimely stupid. I know that that's not what people going in to see a film like 300 are thinking about but...I wasn't impressed with that.... I talked to [director] Terry Gilliam in the '80s, and he asked me how I would make Watchmen into a film. I said, ''Well actually, Terry, if anybody asked me, I would have said, 'I wouldn't.''' And I think that Terry [who aborted his attempted adaptation of the book] eventually came to agree with me. There are things that we did with Watchmen that could only work in a comic, and were indeed designed to show off things that other media can't.

As to whether Moore had been contacted about being involved in the production of the movie:

I don't want anyone who works for DC comic books to contact me ever again, or I'll change my number... I only started to get upset when I found out they were trying to rob me of a couple thousand pounds. It was over the Watchmen merchandising back in the '80s, and they kind of eventually said, Oh, yeah, I suppose you do deserve this money. But by that time the damage was done.

This isn't the first time that Moore has divorced himself entirely from a movie made from his work; he did the same for the movie versions of fellow DC-published projects V For Vendetta, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and even his indie book From Hell. Of course, having seen the movies, perhaps he was right in doing so. With experience like his, no wonder he's down on cross-medium adaptations in general:

I increasingly fear that nothing good can come of almost any adaptation, and obviously that's sweeping. There are a couple of adaptations that are perhaps as good or better than the original work. But the vast majority of them are pointless.

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I wonder what he thinks of The Dark Knight?

Alan Moore Still Knows the Score! [Entertainment Weekly]

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DISCUSSION

dirtybacon
dirtybacon

@JimKakalios: That is promising, and I sure hope I eat crow on this. I kind of feel that though the movies are raking it in, the comic book industry is in trouble. Sure, this is the first sell out of SDCC ever... but last year the show was starting to be overrun with sci-fi shows, movies, and videogames. I'm not sure how it compared in the past, but I have a feeling this year the TV/Movie displays will be even bigger.

Most new comics companies come out with properties simply to market them *cough* VIRGIN *cough*, with no real mind towards the readers. As comics continue in that direction, whole universes will be crumbled and tossed with marketability in mind. DC was most resistant to that (I've never been a huge DC reader, for the record), but they seem to be changing things in this direction as well.

My hope is that people are going to read the Watchmen, think - wow, this isn't just superheroes...this is literature - then pick up other stuff like Pride of Baghdad, and realize what our wonderous medium can do.

But, mostly, people will pick up Watchmen... think, man this book is dense. Where's all the action? And leave it half-read, and care less about the printed comic. Honestly, for Mr. Action movie fan, reading Watchmen may actually make them LESS interested in the movie.