By special “The Film Nest” guest contributor: Joseph Amaral (aka “JoeCoconut” in Comments section)
Now that the long legal battle between Fox and Warner Bros. is over, we can finally focus on Watchmen, the film, which we already established as one of our “Top 20 Anticipated” of the new year.
“Watchmen,” which is one of the most critically-acclaimed graphic novels of all time, is now making a jump onto the big screen. “Watchmen” originally came out as a limited edition comic book series for DC Comics back in 1986-87. Written by Alan Moore and artwork by Dave Gibbons and John Higgins, the comic received the Hugo award (which is given to the best fantasy and science fiction story) in 1988. In 2005, Time Magazine made a list of the 100 greatest books since 1923, “Watchmen” was the only graphic novel to make the list. This is an incredible achievement for just a comic book.
The movie (like the comic) follows a group of superheroes deemed the Watchmen. It is set in an alternate 1985 (no, not like Back to the Future II) in New York City. Things are definitely different. Richard Nixon is still the Commander in Chief, South Vietnam was victorious against the North and the USSR and the US is on the verge of war. The superhero, The Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), is found murdered and another superhero, Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley), is investigating his death. He soon discovers there is a plot to kill off all superheroes, which could jeopardize the path of history. Other superheroes in harm’s way are Night Owl (Patrick Wilson), Silk Spectre II (Malin Ackerman), Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup), Ozymandias (Matthew Goode) and the “retired” Silk Spectre (Carla Gugino).
The film’s star, Jackie Earle Haley, was a big fan of the comic and auditioned for a role when he heard it was being made for the big screen. He continues his triumphant return to features since his Oscar-nominated performance in Little Children. He plays the most identifiable character. Rorschach dons a white mask with inkblots on it. Whenever he emotes, the inkblots on his mask change positions. The movie actually has some good actors in it. Patrick Wilson was very good in Little Children (who co-starred with Earle Haley) and I really liked Matthew Goode in The Lookout.
Zack Snyder, who also did the sweet 300, directs this, using similar green screen technology. The film has a lot of hype surrounding it due to its source material and has even been billed as the next logical progression from The Dark Knight. Grandiose words indeed. We’ll see if they hold up.
Read all of our past Watchmen coverage here.
Hopefully Watchmen turns out to be more in the realm of The Dark Knight than the The Spirit. Either way, this thing’s going to be BIG. Find out the exact scope on March 6th.