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The Mad Prophet of the Movie Forums
This came in on 9/26/03:

Hayter Talks Watchmen

David Hayter (a writer on X-Men) confirmed for fans at ManiaFest that he will make his feature-film directorial debut with a movie version of Alan Moore's classic Watchmen graphic novel, according to a report on CountingDown.com. "The cool thing about Watchmen is that it is a complete story, ... and it's really a murder mystery that has a great beginning, middle and end," Hayter said. "And for years, people have been saying, 'Oh, that's unfilmable. You'll never be able to translate that.' And I disagreed. This is the greatest movie I've ever seen. So I'm looking forward to doing that, something with such ... profundity."

Hayter also discussed his ideas for costumes. "We've got Rorschach, who's basically in a trenchcoat and a fedora, but he's got that awesome mask," he said. "And it's going to be such a great visual that's still half-real and half-costume."

As for Dr. Manhattan, a blue superhero who spends most of the story wearing nothing at all, Hayter said, "We've had a couple of actors in their 40s say, 'Yeah, I'd like to play Dr. Manhattan.' I'm like ... I don't know if I think we need to see you naked."

Thanks to sci-fi.com for the heads up!

This is wonderful....he isn't my first choice for director, but it means that the film is finally getting on its way!

Do you guys think the New York ending will be cut or altered due to the recent events in New York? (Desperately avioding the use of a spoiler tag...)

Does anyone have any feelings on casting?
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I have feelings. Not about casting, but about this project finally coming together: what a shame.

The only way to do this great book justice is to film it as a mini-series, on cable TV. If you know anything about writing a screenplay and how much time each page translates into screentime, to do this as a two-hour or so feature film, much of the meat of the various stories is going to be either given short shrift or excised completely. While this is true of all books adapted for film, in the case of The Watchmen with such a grand and epic story which has all been pre-visualized because of the medium, it's just a waste.

Terry Gilliam was attached to this property for years, and he eventually passed on it because he didn't want to do exactly what they're going to have to do now: chop up and change the story.

And as a first-time filmmaker's maiden project, I have no faith that this will work. After all these years, now it's going to somebody with zero experience? Gee, that sounds like a good idea. And this guy has no clout, so the Studio isn't going to give him jack or *****, with a miniscule budget. So far, this promises to be worse than the recent film adaptations of Moore's From Hell or League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Ugh.


Hopefully, like many times film projects in pre-production are mentioned at comic book conventions or on websites, this will never, ever come to be. Not like this.
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The Mad Prophet of the Movie Forums
I dunno...I've been waiting for this project for a LONG time...you are right about the depth of the material.....but I have faith in the project (which fails me on an almost regular basis....but still...). I'm very glad to hear this.



You mean one of the guys who gang contributed to the X-Men scripts and The Scorpion King directing for the first time gives you faith in the project????

Uhhhhh, yeah, sure.


Do you know the phrase "whistling in the dark"?



The Mad Prophet of the Movie Forums
I have faith in the project because the story is so wonderful. I would rather have someone else direct (thats for sure!) but even so, I think that the story is so great...well...actually all of my hopes are based directly on my love and admiration for Mr. Moore's original tale....but thats still hope....sort of......

Anyway, it could be much worse off.....like having Paul W. S. Anderson write and direct .



Oh, yeah, I definitely see where you're cioming from: ANY movie version of The Watchmen, even a dreadful one, will be better than none at all!

No wait, I guess I don't see where you're coming from?



Originally Posted by Holden Pike
The only way to do this great book justice is to film it as a mini-series, on cable TV. If you know anything about writing a screenplay and how much time each page translates into screentime, to do this as a two-hour or so feature film, much of the meat of the various stories is going to be either given short shrift or excised completely. While this is true of all books adapted for film, in the case of The Watchmen with such a grand and epic story which has all been pre-visualized because of the medium, it's just a waste.
The Lord of the Rings trilogy is a far more "grand and epic story," and has had numerous storylines cut tragically short, or else removed entirely. Yet it is, by almost all accounts, a terrific adaptation. I fail to see why a great deal of editing in regards to the source material constitutes a death sentence, unless your gripes rest completely on the choice of director.


Originally Posted by Holden Pike
Oh, yeah, I definitely see where you're cioming from: ANY movie version of The Watchmen, even a dreadful one, will be better than none at all!
Putting your sarcasm aside, is that sentiment really all that ridiculous? What tangible harm does a bad movie version of The Watchmen do?
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Well, if Tolkien had written in graphic novel form and the entire thing was basically storyboarded out, maybe you'd see what I'm talking about?

Also, maybe if you ever bothered to read Alan Moore's The Watchmen, you'd know what kind of story details I'm talking about?


But, maybe not.


And I guess as a fan, I'd rather see it done right or not done at all. Maybe you'd understand if instead of Peter Jackson they had announced Joel Schumacher was going to do the LOTR adaptation....as a two-hour movie...and he had Schwarzenegger in mind for Gandalf?

But again, maybe not. What tangible harm could that do?



The Mad Prophet of the Movie Forums
Originally Posted by Holden Pike
Oh, yeah, I definitely see where you're cioming from: ANY movie version of The Watchmen, even a dreadful one, will be better than none at all!

No wait, I guess I don't see where you're coming from?
I don't think that Hayter directing is a definate death sentence for the movie. While this is his first time directing a film, and I would definately prefer someone who has been established as a good director, he hasn't been established as a bad director, which leaves at least some hope.

I'm not saying it'll be good, but at least there is a chance. The chance of seeing a good version of Watchmen coming out of a 2 hour adaptation by a first-time director is greater than it is if there is no film at all, and, for a story as grand as Watchmen, that is a chance I'll gladly take.



Originally Posted by Holden Pike
Well, if Tolkien had written in graphic novel form and the entire thing was basically storyboarded out, maybe you'd see what I'm talking about?

Also, maybe if you ever bothered to read Alan Moore's The Watchmen, you'd know what kind of story details I'm talking about?


But, maybe not.
I'm not buying this "I've read it and you haven't, case closed" pseudo-argument. The fact that LOTR is not a graphic novel doesn't change my point. Regardless of medium, LOTR has been sliced and diced, and anyone familiar with Tolkien's works can confidently say that it surpasses virtually any other fictional work in breadth and scope. As such, I don't see how you can reasonably claim that such an adaptation (which, whether I've read it or not, is obviously of a lesser scale) will be inevitably poor. I'm not particularly optimistic, but this shouldn't be a foregone conclusion.


Originally Posted by Holden Pike
And I guess as a fan, I'd rather see it done right or not done at all. Maybe you'd understand if instead of Peter Jackson they had announced Joel Schumacher was going to do the LOTR adaptation....as a two-hour movie...and he had Schwarzenegger in mind for Gandalf?

But again, maybe not. What tangible harm could that do?
I didn't say I don't understand. Certainly I do.

Ironically, the best argument you could employ is one you haven't: a conversion like this could be a one-shot deal. If a film is made, and it's poor, they may never get around to a remake, effectively killing any chance you might've had in seeing it brought to life



The Mad Prophet of the Movie Forums
Originally Posted by Yoda
I didn't say I don't understand. Certainly I do.

Ironically, the best argument you could employ is one you haven't: a conversion like this could be a one-shot deal. If a film is made, and it's poor, they may never get around to a remake, effectively killing any chance you might've had in seeing it brought to life
There you go. That is my only fear about this being made.



The Mad Prophet of the Movie Forums
Originally Posted by Holden Pike
As a boy who grew up loving the Howard the Duck comic books, I have absolutely no hope that this will be at all good.
I have different feelings (but then again, I never loved the Howard the Duck comics and never saw the movie....if that matters.... ), but fair enough. You're probably right....but, if not for anything but the heck of it, I'll remain pumped for this to move along in production.



The Mad Prophet of the Movie Forums
Originally Posted by Holden Pike
Ah, for the heck of it. That's not nearly enough for me, thank you very little.
You're welcome.



A system of cells interlinked
I have to say I am a bit skeptical about the treatment this will get. This is like the holy grail of comics, and there are just so many levels to the story. Then again, take a look at what P Jackson directed before LotR.....

The guy might come through, but Holden's point about him not getting the support he needs from the studio are something that will come into play almost for sure. I mean exactly how much exposition will this film need to go through to introdude all the characters, get people to actually care about them, and still be able to tell a solid and involving story, covering all the bases with this one, in just a few short hours.....

I have to agree with the mini-series idea. Jackson came out smelling like roses to be sure, but he was given a massive budget and 10 hours theatre time (more with the dvds) to realize his project.

I HOPE it comes out well, but I don't have much faith so far....

I am a MASSIVE A. Moore fan btw. and I really like From Hell, even though it was changed drastically. On it's own, it is a creepy, well acted piece with some great atmosphere...
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A system of cells interlinked
but I wanted to post this link and I wanted it to be it's own message so more folks see it. Didn't want to just edit it into the end of my other post...

http://www.countingdown.com/movies/307856

All the latest gossip on Watchmen.



In the Beginning...
Originally Posted by Sedai
Had to bump this because I think this seems like good news....

Another tidbit....
Well, Arnolfsky certainly has a style to accommodate a story like Watchmen. Hopefully, the project won't fizzle out like Year One did.

I pray this doesn't get turned into a summer action flick. What a travesty that would be.



I'm still hoping this never comes to be. With Aronofsky or anybody else. Not as a feature film. The butchering of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was a shame, but there's not a deep love and enormous respect for it that exists for The Watchmen.

Ugh. Let it rest in peace, or have HBO pony up Angels in America-type dough to do it right, untruncated, with somebody who loves the material at the helm. Otherwise, please don't do it at all. Please.