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Owlship revealed

Posted: Thu, 7th Aug 2008, 8:51am

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Simon K Jones

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The Owlship glimpsed in the awesome Watchmen trailer has had a spotlight thrown on it in the latest production video diary, which you can check out over at Yahoo.

Meanwhile, AICN have a rather spiffy blog direct from the production designer, including some sexy black and white photos.

All together now: Please don't screw it up, Zack, please don't screw it up, Zack...
Posted: Thu, 7th Aug 2008, 12:37pm

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Pooky

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Neat, just like in the GN. I have trouble believing they'll screw it up after seeing the amazing trailer, though. Can't wait.
Posted: Thu, 7th Aug 2008, 10:06pm

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Axeman

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Considering Alan Moore has already gone on record stating he thinks Watchmen should never be made into a film, and has ordered DC and Warner Brothers NOT to ever, ever contact him regarding the project, I think its already screwed up.
Posted: Thu, 7th Aug 2008, 10:22pm

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No Respite Productions

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Axeman wrote:

Considering Alan Moore has already gone on record stating he thinks Watchmen should never be made into a film, and has ordered DC and Warner Brothers NOT to ever, ever contact him regarding the project, I think its already screwed up.
That's true but he has always been standoffish about the whole thing, especially after From Hell and then V for Vendetta, both of which seemed to be bad experiences for him. You never know it might surprise even him.

Given that Moore said David Hayter's script was the closest anyone could get to capturing the Watchmen, I still have hope for this film as long as David's script hasn't been adjusted too much since Moore saw it.

Just finished reading the Watchmen again, I must admit I don't think I've ever been so curious to see how a film is going to turn out.

If Zack manages to satisfy the fans (and maybe even Moore) then I think it should be chalked up as one of the greatest achievements in movie history. The man has got an uphill struggle on his hands.

NR
Posted: Thu, 7th Aug 2008, 10:51pm

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Pooky

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Although Moore is a writing genius, I don't trust him regarding movies of his work since the whole V for Vendetta thing... V for Vendetta was awesome! Just a different brand of awesome, I guess.
Posted: Thu, 7th Aug 2008, 11:18pm

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Axeman

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Its not so much the quality of the film for me, as the whole idea of ignoring the wishes of the creator, just because the publisher has the legal right to. If the creator of the work doesn't want it to be made into a film, then for DC to esssentially say, "Well, we're doing it anyway, because we can," is just bad form. Can't imagine why that would upset Moore.
Posted: Fri, 8th Aug 2008, 8:07am

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Simon K Jones

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After the debacle of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and From Hell, you can't really blame him for being pissed off about the whole thing. While V For Vendetta was a much better film than those prior two, it still pales in comparison to the book.

Axeman has a good point about respecting the author's wishes. However, with comics it's not quite that simple - Dave Gibbons is a massive part of Watchmen, and is quite clearly very positive and excited about the film project.

JRR Tolkien probably wouldn't have wanted his books made into films either - how long do you go respecting the author's wishes?
Posted: Fri, 8th Aug 2008, 11:23am

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Bryce007

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Tarn wrote:

how long do you go respecting the author's wishes?
You just keep paying them more and more money until they final relent. At least that seems to be the standard drill nowdays.
Posted: Fri, 8th Aug 2008, 3:01pm

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No Respite Productions

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Tarn wrote:

After the debacle of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and From Hell, you can't really blame him for being pissed off about the whole thing. While V For Vendetta was a much better film than those prior two, it still pales in comparison to the book.

Axeman has a good point about respecting the author's wishes. However, with comics it's not quite that simple - Dave Gibbons is a massive part of Watchmen, and is quite clearly very positive and excited about the film project.

JRR Tolkien probably wouldn't have wanted his books made into films either - how long do you go respecting the author's wishes?
That is true I can see where Axeman is coming from... and I'd completely forgotten about League of Extraordinary Gentlemen... I'm sure you can imagine why! smile
Posted: Fri, 8th Aug 2008, 4:49pm

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Pooky

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I thought LXG was a really fun movie. I haven't read the graphics novels yet though, so maybe those are genius and nuanced, in which case LXG would, indeed, be a travesty razz
Posted: Fri, 8th Aug 2008, 4:59pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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Pooky wrote:

I thought LXG was a really fun movie. I haven't read the graphics novels yet though, so maybe those are genius and nuanced, in which case LXG would, indeed, be a travesty razz
LXG the film was indeed a horrifying travesty in regard to its comic origins. The actual comic is pretty gritty and hardcore. For example, at one point Mr. Hyde rapes the invisible man.

No Joke.

Whilst I'm a fan of a lot of Moore's works, I don't agree with his anti-movie stance and therefore don't care for his wishes to be honored. In this case, at least. The past films which soured him are a far cry from the likes of V or from what I've seen - The Watchmen.

I think, and this will get me flak - that Moore's work has become over-rated due to it being widely popular amongst comic fans. The filmic ending for V for Vendetta was an improvement on the comics trailing off an ending (Something Moore himself has admitted) And Watchmen - whilst clever in concept still isn't as good as everyone makes it out to be - Identity Crisis is a very similar, and my opinion more intelligent story.

I'm really looking forwards to Watchmen, and am glad to see that every effort is being made to respect it's art and not just its author.

-Matt
Posted: Fri, 8th Aug 2008, 11:54pm

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Axeman

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Hybrid-Halo wrote:

Whilst I'm a fan of a lot of Moore's works, I don't agree with his anti-movie stance and therefore don't care for his wishes to be honored.
Wow. I don't see how your, or anyone else's, viewpoint (with the exception of Dave Gibbons) should even be a factor. Its his creation. But your view is, unless he agrees with you, his input on what is done with it shouldn't matter?

Hybrid-Halo wrote:

I'm really looking forwards to Watchmen, and am glad to see that every effort is being made to respect it's art and not just its author.
Moore's biggest complaint is the basic fact that Watchmen was designed, and constructed from the ground up, to do things that a graphic novel can do that no other medium can. Seems to me like the entire format of the book is going to have to be drastically reworked to get it to even remotely work as a film. But, maybe they'll pull it off. Maybe now that he has "X-Men" and "The Scorpion King" under his belt, David Hayter has mastered his scriptwriting skills.

Respect it's art? What, because they make the sets look like the panels in the book? They seem to me to be doing everything they can to disrespect the author.
Posted: Mon, 11th Aug 2008, 8:34am

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Simon K Jones

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Axeman wrote:

Maybe now that he has "X-Men" and "The Scorpion King" under his belt, David Hayter has mastered his scriptwriting skills.
Hehe, oh dear.

Respect it's art? What, because they make the sets look like the panels in the book? They seem to me to be doing everything they can to disrespect the author.
In what way? Other than by simply making the film, of course. But otherwise I haven't seen any specific disrespect towards Moore. The director specifically wanted Moore on board the project, as I understand it.

I'm not sure I agree with the analysis of Watchmen being designed to work only as a comic, mainly because my absolute first thought when reading it was "this looks and feels very, very filmic." It's one of the most cinematic and least comic booky comic books I've read.

Personally I think it would suit a TV mini-series more than a movie, length-wise, but then a TV mini-series could never get the budget or talent to make it work.
Posted: Mon, 11th Aug 2008, 2:50pm

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Axeman

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Tarn wrote:

Respect it's art? What, because they make the sets look like the panels in the book? They seem to me to be doing everything they can to disrespect the author.
In what way? Other than by simply making the film, of course. But otherwise I haven't seen any specific disrespect towards Moore. The director specifically wanted Moore on board the project, as I understand it.
True enough. I was just getting a bit carried away. The basic fact that they are making the film is basically what I was talking about. Deliberately doing the exact opposite of what he wants seems pretty disrepectful though. Which isn't to say that they are doing it because he doesn't want them to, but still...

You really found the book cinematic? So much of what makes the book brilliant, to me at least, is the way he weaves multiple narratives over the top of each other, and through each other, that are taking place in completely different times. Dialog from events now is overlaid onto past evens seamlessly, and that seems like something that will not convert well to film. There are entire chapters of the book where he is changing decades almost every panel; again, something extremely difficult to do in a film without losing the audience. Every chapter ends with a huge chunk of backstory in written form, creating a contrast with the visual format of the main story. Many of these are portions of a book which is significant to the plot. It would be a very tricky conversion to screenplay format, to my thinking. Though my primary opposition to the film is not that it will be a bad film, but that Moore doesn't want it made.
Posted: Mon, 11th Aug 2008, 3:01pm

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Simon K Jones

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Axeman wrote:

True enough. I was just getting a bit carried away. The basic fact that they are making the film is basically what I was talking about. Deliberately doing the exact opposite of what he wants seems pretty disrepectful though. Which isn't to say that they are doing it because he doesn't want them to, but still...
Then again, if he sold the rights to the story, or wrote the story for DC back in the day, it's really not just up to him. Either he was hired to do a job, in which case it's not really up to him what hapepns to the finished product, or he relinquished control over the property. Whatever the reasons for relinquishing that control, it was a decision he made and I'm sure he understood the potential consequences. And it's not like he's been locked out - I'm sure they'd have loved to have him involved, as with Dave Gibbons.

There's basically at least three parties involved here: The author, the artist and the publisher/financier/owner of the comic. Just because the author is (rightly or wrongly) against the film doesn't mean it shouldn't be made.

In some cases the author doesn't have final say over a piece of work. It all depends how and why the work was created, and where the rights lie. And I'm coming at this as a writer - if you don't hold onto the rights to your work, then that's that, really.

You really found the book cinematic?
Absolutely. The visual language is very much that of cinema, with slow zooms and intercutting. Panels suggest camera movement quite vividly.

So much of what makes the book brilliant, to me at least, is the way he weaves multiple narratives over the top of each other, and through each other, that are taking place in completely different times. Dialog from events now is overlaid onto past evens seamlessly, and that seems like something that will not convert well to film. There are entire chapters of the book where he is changing decades almost every panel; again, something extremely difficult to do in a film without losing the audience.
True, the intercutting between scenes/decades would be difficult to replicate in movie form, but not impossible. There have been plenty of non-linear films (just check out Christopher Nolan's non-Batman stuff), and films which intercut many and varied stories (Magnolia?).

Every chapter ends with a huge chunk of backstory in written form, creating a contrast with the visual format of the main story.
Also true, but then LotR has a massive appendices and timeline, and the filmmakers thought up clever ways to work them into the main films.

Watchmen won't be identical in form and structure, of course, but the story and themes can certainly remain intact. And, of course, the graphic novel will always be there, unaffected.
Posted: Mon, 11th Aug 2008, 11:25pm

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Axeman

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Tarn wrote:

There's basically at least three parties involved here: The author, the artist and the publisher/financier/owner of the comic. Just because the author is (rightly or wrongly) against the film doesn't mean it shouldn't be made.

In some cases the author doesn't have final say over a piece of work. It all depends how and why the work was created, and where the rights lie. And I'm coming at this as a writer - if you don't hold onto the rights to your work, then that's that, really.
That's entirely true. I think I mentioned earlier that they did have the legal right to make the movie, and Moore can't do a thing about it. And it isn't wrong in that respect for them to adapt it to a film. But any degree of respect for the author should impel them to consider his wishes.

Tarn wrote:

The visual language is very much that of cinema, with slow zooms and intercutting. Panels suggest camera movement quite vividly.
Oh, you mean in regard to the artwork. Again, I completely agree with you. Gibbons did an excellent job of visually telling the story Moore wrote. I was thinking of the actual story, and the format of it, when I made the comment about its cinematic-ness. And while it certainly isn't impossible to adapt said story to film, it would require a significant amount of major re-structuring to get it to work as a film on anywhere near the same level of brilliance that it works as a graphic novel.

I'm definitely not saying that it can't be done. If the film is superb, it will be all the more impressive because of this. But in my opinion, it shouldn't be done. I completely understand how people could disagree with me though. As great as Dave Gibbons' artwork is (and it is superb, on every level), and regardless of who published it, it seems clear to me that the genius behind Watchmen is Alan Moore, and Alan Moore alone.