It’s weird because I was talking with some colleagues and we were talking about “Watchmen” and saying that in a weird way, “Watchmen” becomes more and more relevant as more and more superhero movies come out. After “Avengers” really would have been the perfect time to release “Watchmen” because it’s the anti-“Avengers” movie.
“Who Watches the Watchmen?”: The 2009 film begged this question to audiences around the world. Admittedly the film was a tough sell from the beginning. R-rated comic book action always is, and at the time superhero movies were just getting warmed up with The Dark Knight, Iron Man, and The Incredible Hulk rolling out just one year prior- and society was three years away from seeing the Earth’s “Mightiest” heroes coming together for The Avengers in 2012.
Now, as Avengers: Age of Ultron preps for it’s May release, fans aren’t as one-sided as they used to be. On the other end of the fanboy pond, DC/WB has Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice coming out the pipe and they hype for both is at sky-high level…but would it be a different world without WATCHMEN and Zack Snyder?
With “Avengers” being this phenomenon worldwide, it’s interesting what Alan Moore did with that graphic novel and what we tried to do with the movie. Alan Moore not only is a genius in the book he created, but also his knowledge of comic books and mythology of comic books and what the superheroes were in response to and what they represent is really beautiful and insightful. We try to get that across in the movie. When “Avengers” or whatever other movies get made, it confirms to me the mythological deconstruction that Alan was able to achieve in the book and we tried to achieve in the movie.
While it’s obvious Zack is busy planning for the big Justice League two-parter, think of a world where WATCHMEN dropped in megaplexes in 2012 or 2011. DC’s first super-hero team up: a dark gritty deconstruction of the bubble-gum pop of Joss Whedon’s Marvel adventure.
By now, most of the public will remember Avengers far more fondly than WATCHMEN, but was it because the R-rated drama scared them? WATCHMEN was not only ahead of it’s time; but maybe it’s own audience as well.
Marvel’s interconnected superhero films has been crutched on humor and audience involvement with character, along with a future-proof investment for unlimited sequels. Snyder actually fought with WB, who wanted a PG-13, sequel-ready adaptation of Moore’s graphic novel.
It was a weird summer for such a film to release. Sandwiched between The Jonas Brothers 3D Experience and the remake of the horror-thriller The Last House on the Left. This would also be one of the last summers for a relatively sparse comic-book season, with X-Men Origins: Wolverine being the only mega cape opener.
“Oh the times they are a changing.”
Such a dark deconstruction of a particular genre in comic-books even extends to the film. For a culture that hadn’t really experienced the true comic-book movie boom outside of a couple X-Men, Spider-Man, and Batman pictures; Snyder’s film can be hailed as both a retrospective masterpiece and a dark satiric prediction of what was to come.
A WATCHMEN release nowadays would be sandwiched between a Marvel sequel, a Spider-Man movie, an X-Men, and a Star Wars, making it’s theme and content that much easier to grasp.
When children grow up on Batman v Superman or Justice League and go back to look at what else ‘this guy’ has done, the film will be there.
WATCHMEN will always endure, much as Zack will always endure as well.
In the same interview the quotes above are taken from, Hero Complex asked Zack “Are you fine with modest box office if it means the movie has a life later?”. This was his response.
100%. I couldn’t be prouder of the movie. It’s exactly as I intended it. I don’t get it anymore, but I think people have seen the reality. I used to get “Oh you changed the book. It’s not 100% pure ‘Watchmen.’” And I’d say, “Are you kidding me? Are you crazy?” “300” allowed me to make this movie exactly how I wanted it. I had a stranglehold on the studio that allowed me to make a super-personal love letter to that graphic novel. It’s funny that Alan Moore has said he’s against “Watchmen” the movie. But it’s the strictest rendering of his work, by far, in movie form. It’s probably better in a weird way, that there was the controversy and the struggle to get it made. I wouldn’t change it at all. It is pokey. It’s a pokey movie in the sense that it never let anyone in. Unless you’re letting the story wash over you. I go to it because I enjoy the superhero genre, but you also get confronted by some harsh realities. I’m incredibly proud of it and I wouldn’t change it at all.
If the fans have any feedback or WATCHMEN insight of their own, sound off.
ADDITIONAL READING: WATCHMEN Sequel Possibilities on HBO.