Monday, January 11, 2010

Flashback story- The Watchmen Are (is) Coming (2007)

I think that a great way to introduce you to the writer that I am is to also show you the writer that I was. Here is an older story that I wrote in anticipation of the Watchmen film.

So, Zack Snyder, the man that we have to thank for the latest Dawn of the Dead, and this spring's 300, has been given the comic movie director’s Holy Grail-The Watchmen. Arguably the best story to be put to pen and hewn from CMYK, this has the community in an uproar and the fallout could result in an absolute 360 for the DC Comics’/ Alan Moore relationship, for the better, no less; or it could be the final nail in the coffin for the total breakdown between the true fans of his work and the Warner Brothers/DC Comics corporate office.

Alan Moore. Chaos magician, vegetarian, anarchist and comic book legend, decided to never lend his name to movie adaptations of his work, assuming that it would leave the story’s integrity unsullied. After the back-to-back slaps in the face of From Hell and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the first of which missed the mark so much, co-creator Eddie Campbell went as far as to say “Anything that meant anything was ditched”. He never intended the silver screen for any of his work, and it showed. His deep, imaginative and extremely complex stories were way too heavy for a single, feature length motion picture. We the fans would have to live without seeing Tom Strong or Rorschach on the big screen, but that is simply the nature of things.

Unfortunately, DC doesn’t see things that way. From Hell was panned by critics and dissed by moviegoers and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was a shade of it’s true potential and instead of reaching the same potential as the source material, it instead ushered in the new era for the pattern of poorly executed movies made without the support or true blessing of the man holding the pen. Constantine was a chance to truly create a character-driven and engaging, unique story and show what Moore had in mind. Not only did they enrage fans, they didn’t even get the casting right. John Constantine was based off of the appearance and swagger of Sting. The singer, mind you, not the professional wrestler.

If you managed to catch last year’s V for Vendetta, you probably cheered along with me as a story from 1982 still rings loud and true for an entirely different audience. Though the drug use and themes stemming from Moore’s own anarchist views were omitted, there were enough parallels to today’s modern political landscape to leave one thinking. Much to my chagrin, after reading up on the original books, I found that the best parts were left out. The fight for freedom and the agony of responsibility were barely touched on and the best, wasted opportunity was taken down from it’s pedestal and turned into random spouts of semi-satirical, anti-something diatribe.

Now The Watchmen is slated for a possible 08 or 09 release and Alan Moore will have nothing to do with our Zach Snyder. I, for one, will be in line with my ticket grinning like an idiot; though inside I am hoping that four times would be the charm. Don’t take my word for it

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