With all the overwhelming hype for superhero flicks Iron Man, Incredible Hulk, Hellboy 2 and The Dark Knight, one of the most important releases of 2009 has been overlooked: the adaptation of the classic graphic novel Watchmen.
Watchmen was a 12-issue comic book series originally released in 1986. Written by the legendary Alan Moore, and illustrated by the incredibly influential Dave Gibbons, Watchmen quickly became one of the most important pieces of modern fiction ever produced, even making it’s way onto TIME Magazine’s 100 greatest novels.
The story is set in an alternate 1986, a world where masked avengers actually exist. Or at least they did, until they were outlawed for taking the law into their own hands. Many of them, including Nite Owl and Ozymandias are forced to rejoin society after they are made redundant by a genuine superhero known as Dr. Manhattan. Thanks to Dr. Manhattan, America wins the Vietnam war, and Richard Nixon remains in power. However, the Cold War still remains, and it looks as if the world is about to nuke itself into extinction. As the world races to it’s fiery end, former heroes begin to turn up dead. Renegade vigilante Rorschach puts it upon himself to find out who’s eliminating his former colleagues – and discover’s the horrible link between the deaths and the impending nuclear apocalypse.
Phew. Sure, it sounds like a pretty bold concept for a 300+ page comic book, let alone a feature film. I would easily call this my favourite book (and yes, I DO call this a book), and my excitement for seeing it on the big screen is matched only by my fear of seeing it massacred. However, it seems to be in pretty good hands. Director Zach Synder did a fairly good remake of Dawn of the Dead in 2004, and proved with last year’s 300 that he knows how to faithfully adapt a graphic novel.
Earlier this year, photos of the cast in their superhero gear had the online world geeking out something wicked. Here are some pics of Patrick Wilson as Nite Owl, Malin Akerman as Silk Spectre II and Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach (Left to right).
Take a look at some comic/film comparisons of a couple of iconic panels. So far, it’s looking pretty awesome.
Here is Rorschach walking through the streets of New York:
And here is Rorschach setting a cop on fire:
Rorschach is awesome.
Now, the rumour is that the teaser trailer will be attached to The Dark Knight. If not, then it should definitely be ready by Comic Con later this month.