Watchmen Trailer

Just released, the Watchmen trailer has already divided the comic fan community. Directed by Zack Snyder, who after directing 300 is no stranger to comic book films, it looks to be …interesting. Watchmen is to comics what Citizen Kane is to cinema. It lifted the standards and re-invented the conventions. After Watchmen, nothing in comics was really ever the same. It came along at just the right time – the original 12 issues were published between 1986 and 87 and, along with the Pulitzer winning Maus and the Batman re-inventing The Dark Knight Returns, showed the world what sequential art could be. Comics grew up after these three books and started to see, and promote themselves as adult literature, as respected as any other form of entertainment. Written by the reclusive genius Alan Moore and drawn with great realism by Dave Gibbons these two deconstructed the very idea of the superhero. Originally they wanted to use DC’s stable of underused characters they acquired from Charlton comics, such as the Blue Beetle and The Question. DC wouldn’t let them so they created their own archetypes such as the Comedian, Nite-Owl and Silk Spectre. The trailer looks cool, especially in the opening shots of Dr Manhattan’s origin, but the CGI appears dodgy later on. Watchmen has almost been made into a film for the last 20 years, with directors such as Terry Gilliam and Paul Greengrass attached to the project over the years. It is perhaps the most difficult comic story to adapt to cinema and Moore is not supportive of it being attempted. As a comic, it is great and deep and resonant, but it possibly only works in that format. I doubt non-comics readers will “get it” and by the looks of it some of it has been altered to make it seem more like a standard suoperhero tale, but Watchmen is so much more than that. I guess we’ll see for ourselves about this time next year.