An R-Rated Animated ‘Watchmen’ Adaptation May Be in the Works
If Zack Snyder was a comic-book character, his dark origin story would have happened in 2009. He had earned a lot of admirers for his adaptation of Frank Miller’s 300, rendering the account of the Spartan warriors’ doomed last stand with visual panache and lots of sexy slow-mo. In 2009, he tackled an even more dense and beloved graphic novel with Watchmen and began his long, illustrious career in mangling things comic book nerds love. His Watchmen was painfully literal, goofy, and slavishly faithful to the source material without for a moment understanding what makes it work. It is history best overwritten.
And it looks like Warner Bros. is fixin’ to do just that, judging from a newly leaked in-office memo posted to Comic Book Resource. The note reads, in part:
A faithful adaptation of the Watchmen graphic novel executed in an animation style that mirrors the source material (Anticipated MPAA R Rating).
Perhaps animation would serve the material better, conveying the style of Dave Gibbons’ gorgeous illustrations more clearly while leaving less room for misinterpretation of Alan Moore‘s writing by actors and their cumbersome faces. Maintaining the R rating is a must as well, in order to preserve both Rorschach’s unrelentingly dark storyline of metropolitan filth and Dr. Manhattan’s glorious, glowing, radioactive, blue dong. There is no Watchmen without the blue dong. Even Zack Snyder understood this much.
This writer‘s hope is that any future Watchmen re-do places more of an emphasis on the psychological character-study angle of the source material, in addition to the murder mystery/global conspiracy pivot mentioned in the memo. Moore’s deconstructionist tendencies come out in the characters — best to let them live.