28 August, 2008

Watching Watchmen

Watchmen is a limited comic book series by Alan Moore and David Gibbons. The premise of Watchmen is about an alternate version of US history where the country is on the cusp of a nuclear war with the Soviet Union, and where superheroes exist. The story starts when one of the superheroes is mysteriously murdered.

What is so compelling about the Watchmen series is that most of the superheroes aren't really "super" in the traditional sense. Some of them are just ordinary people who become extraordinary through pure will and determination, and most, if not all, have their own neurotic quirks, and personal or ethical issues. Watchmen's take on the humanity and madness of superheroes, coupled with its symbolism, creative cinematic adaptations, and fascinating characters, truly makes it one of the best comic book series of all time.

And the best part?

A film is being made.

...Actually it has already been made.

The Watchmen film is directed by Zach Snyder, director of box office hit 300, ahoo! The screenplay is written by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Alex Tse, and David Hayter. The film stars Patrick Wilson, Jackie Earle Haley, Billy Crudup, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Malin Akerman, and Matthew Goode.

A complex, multi-layered mystery adventure, the film is set in an alternate 1985 America in which costumed superheroes are part of the fabric of everyday society, and the "Doomsday Clock" -- which charts the USA's tension with the Soviet Union -- is permanently set at five minutes to midnight. When one of his former colleagues is murdered, the washed-up but no less determined masked vigilante Rorschach sets out to uncover a plot to kill and discredit all past and present superheroes. As he reconnects with his former crime-fighting legion -- a ragtag group of retired superheroes, only one of whom has true powers -- Rorschach glimpses a wide-ranging and disturbing conspiracy with links to their shared past and catastrophic consequences for the future. Their mission is to watch over humanity...but who is watching the Watchmen?

How intensely cool does that sound?

Unfortunately, the film’s development isn’t all smooth sailing.

The problem now is whether or not the film will be released.

Apparently, Fox is suing Warner Bros because producer Lawrence Gordon failed to pay them for the picture rights of Watchmen. A judge recently denied Warner Bros' proposition to have a portion of the film's gross to go to Fox. Fox's aim is to probably block the release of the film entirely.

Studios have been trying to make a Watchmen film since the 80’s, when the comic book series was first published, and even Arnold Schwarzenegger originally wanted to be a part of the film.

For those who don’t know just how awesome Watchmen is, and how awesome the film could be, here’s the awesome trailer:

The Watchmen film should be released on March 6, 2009.