ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Don’t you have the slightest curiosity about what Watchmen director Zack Snyder is doing with your work?
ALAN MOORE: I would rather not know.
He’s supposed to be a very nice guy.
He may very well be, 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.
Then again, Zack also made Dawn of the Dead and I thought that was outstanding. Probably the best horror remake since Coppola did Dracula.
Well, at least the trailer looks promising. Of course, he’s right that the comic book did things which would be impossible to replicate in a movie (the way the panel set-ups mirror each other in many scenes). In any case, hopefully they try to implement at least some small vestige of this into the movie - like, say, with intricately planned cinematography and editing.
Me and Dr. Quandary have had way too many discussions over this, but I think we agreed that if the present-day timeline was told with just enough background to flesh out the three main male characters, it could be a pretty flawless movie despite missing around 50% of the depth the book provides. What we could never agree on is who those three characters are…
This line from the Moore interview also surprised me:
I was also quite heartened the other day when watching the news to see that there were demonstrations outside the Scientology headquarters over here, and that they suddenly flashed to a clip showing all these demonstrators wearing V for Vendetta [Guy Fawkes] masks. That pleased me. That gave me a warm little glow.
A judge has denied a Warner Bros. motion to dismiss 20th Century Foxâ€™s lawsuit over Warnersâ€™ right to make a film based on the graphic novel “Watchmen.”
Ruling is potentially a huge victory for Fox, which could wind up as a profit participant in the film, and could cost Warners millions considering the filmâ€™s box office prospects. However, Foxâ€™s legal team says it isnâ€™t looking for monetary compensation and instead wants to prevent the big-budget film from being released altogether.
Project, which has been in development for two decades, finally began lensing in September with Zack Snyder at the helm. Warners was set to release the film, which stars Patrick Wilson and Jackie Earle Haley, on March 6 in the same slot in which “300” opened.
At the heart of Foxâ€™s suit, filed in February, is the contention that it never ceded rights to the property. And according to the federal Judge Gary Allen Feess, Fox retained distribution rights to the graphic novel penned by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons through a 1991 claim. Furthermore, Feess appears to agree that under a 1994 turnaround deal with producer Larry Gordon, Gordon acquired an option to acquire Foxâ€™s remaining interest in “Watchmen,” which was never exercised, thereby leaving Fox with its rights under the 1994 agreement.
“It is our companyâ€™s policy not to comment on pending litigation and thus will not comment on the specifics of this case,” Warners said in statement. “That said, the courtâ€™s ruling simply means that the parties will engage in discovery and proceed with the litigation. The judge did not opine at all on the merits other than to conclude that Fox satisfied the pleading requirements. We respectfully disagree with Foxâ€™s position and do not believe they have any rights in and to this project.”
The Warner Bros. film version of “Watchmen” is due in theaters in March although the project has encountered some turbulence with a lawsuit filed by 20th Century Fox over who has the rights to the property. Moore has no intention of seeing the film and, in fact, he hints that he has put a magical curse on the entire endeavor.
“Will the film even be coming out? There are these legal problems now, which I find wonderfully ironic. Perhaps it’s been cursed from afar, from England. And I can tell you that I will also be spitting venom all over it for months to come.”
Moore said all that with more mischievous glee than true malice, but I know it will still pain “Watchmen” director Zack Snyder when he reads it. The director of “300” absolutely adores the work of Moore and has been laboring intensely to bring “Watchmen” to the screen with faithful sophistication. But I don’t think there’s any way to win Moore over, he simply detests Hollywood. Moore said he has never watched any of the film adaptations of his comics creations (which have included “V for Vendetta,” “From Hell,” “Constantine” and “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen") and that he believes “Watchmen” is “inherently unfilmable.” He also rues the effect of Hollywood’s siren call on the contemporary comics scene.
“There are three or four companies now that exist for the sole purpose of creating not comics, but storyboards for films. It may be true that the only reason the comic book industry now exists is for this purpose, to create characters for movies, board games and other types of merchandise. Comics are just a sort of pumpkin patch growing franchises that might be profitable for the ailing movie industry.”
Moore said that with “Watchmen,” he told the epic tale of a large number of characters over decades of history with “a range of techniques” that cannot be translated to the movie screen, among them the “book within a book” technique, which took readers through a second, interior story as well as documents and the writings of characters. He also said he was offended by the amount of money and resources that go into the Hollywood projects. “They take an idea, bowdlerize it, blow it up, make it infantile and spend $100 million to give people a brief escape from their boring and often demeaning lives at work. It’s obscene and it’s offensive. This is not the culture I signed up for. I’m sure I sound like Bobby Fischer talking about chess ”
Damn, the movie is coming right up now. I’ve been told to be amused and entertained but highly disappointed, because they changed the ending. However, I hold out hope that some clever viral marketing dick decided the best thing to do would be to leak the false rumor that they changed the ending, thus compounding the total shock of the actual ending when it happens.
These are the kind of elaborate fantasies I’m reduced to, while denying that humans are basically venal, predictable and dumb.
Haven’t seen the movie yet, but this was an interesting topic to read through. I just saw that ‘Mindscape of Alan Moore’ documentary (check it out if you haven’t seen it yet, highly recommended) and I’m not surprised Moore feels this way.
So, about the movie, has anyone seen it yet? What did you think, especially in the vain of this discussion?