Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Hopefully, no one will be watching the Watchmen

Well, every now and then there’s some good news. Good news only, of course, if Hollywood’s continuing failure at adapting Watchmen to the screen keeps going as it is, and the project eventually goes the way of the Nicolas Cage Superman.

I don’t care who’s directing it or who’s in the cast. I don’t care if it’s two hours, two and a half hours, or three and a half hours. I don’t care whether Alan Moore’s name should be taken off all of his DC work or if they start printing his name on the covers larger than the titles.

Hollywood cannot produce a film adaptation that stays true to the spirit of Watchmen. There isn’t an audience in the world willing to sit in a theater for as long as such an adaptation would take. There isn’t an American audience ready for a superhero film that defies, as a true Watchmen adaptation would have to, the conventional superhero formula. There isn’t a studio in the world that would produce Watchmen without the intent of making it a blockbuster, and there isn’t a studio in the world that would produce a superhero blockbuster without the conventional formula intact. Rorschach will become Wolverine, Nite Owl will become either Mr. Incredible or Arthur from The Tick, and Doctor Manhattan. Oh, poor Doctor Manhattan.

If I believed in curses I’d boil frogs’ eyes and kill goats or whatever I had to do to make sure this project keeps going in the same direction: absolutely fucking nowhere.

The only Watchmen adaptation I could imagine working would be a cable mini-series, probably on HBO, provided of course the director and cast were up to the task and respectful of the source material. It would give the series the time it needed and the creators the freedom they needed to give its audience a story about superheroes that was completely unfamiliar to them. If it ever looks like something like that might happen, I’ll happily post my geek-positive dream cast lists and whatever else I might do if I found out there were adaptations in the works for Great Lakes Avengers. Until that happens or Hollywood abandons its plan for one of the greatest graphic novels of the 20th century altogether, I hereby promise that I would rather let Rorschach play with my mother’s underwear than give any more indications that I care about whatever piece of shit Hollywood may or may not squeeze out with the name Watchmen.

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