Now just tell me that they're not doing that remake of The Warriors and I'll be good for the year.
I'm not sure about your fear of a Watchmen movie. Personally, I think that it begs to be retold as a film. There are likely to be people better suited to make it outside the studio system, but that's basically never going to happen, given the budget that's needed to do it. That said, I'm willing to see what they can accomplish. I might be surprised. But even if they screw it up, it doesn't lessen the original.
Then again, maybe someone could do it à la Linklater's A Scanner Darkly.
Two words: Johnny Mnemonic.
Happy to see Watchmen spared, for now...
Okay, Johnny Mnemonic was a complete piece of dreck, but does it make you like the original short story less? Or do you feel cheated by the filmmakers? Or do you feel like they now cannot make a competent version of it? (That last part is actually very relevant with JM, since its tanking probably means we won't see any other Gibson fare on screen. Less so with Watchmen.)
Given it's episodic structure ( and the mammoth amount of material to cover ), I think it would be much better told as a miniseries. I don't know if the current Hollywood structure could really bring itself to put someone like Rorschach in a leading role. Let alone on a Burger King cup?
Collect all seven! From the entire Watchmen gang. Dr. Manhattan, the Comedian, Ozymandias, Nite Owl, Captain Metropolis, the Silk Spectre and
Master Shake: ... NASCAR driver Rusty Wallace.
The reason I fear a Watchmen movie is that it's far too big a story to fit in a normal-length movie; not only is it very long and complicated, but it's also extremely expository, and that doesn't translate well to the screen. They'd have to leave out most of the alternate history about a world with superheroes but without superhero comics, all of the Black Freighter stuff, probably most of the 50s and 60s Minutemen stuff, everything in "Behind the Mask", etc., etc.
So it would end up being an eviscerated thing which, even if it bore some surface resemblence to the overall plot of the comic, and even if it was a decent movie, wouldn't really have a whole lot to do with Watchmen except in the vaguest terms.
In fact, a very good Watchmen movie has already been made: it was called The Incredibles.
I don't think anyone will get closer to it than that.
"In fact, a very good Watchmen movie has already been made: it was called The Incredibles."
Given that I only read Watchmen for the first time very recently* and thought pretty much the exact thing when I watched 'The Incredibles' again a few days ago, I'm glad I'm not alone in that opinion.
*I previously didn't give even the remotest shit about comics. Then you inadvertently introduced me to 'Cerebus'...and it kinda went from there. Unfortunately, Dave Sim replies to mail I send him more quickly than Amazon delivers the fucking trade paperbacks I order.
So, basically, you deny my premise that it ought to be made into a movie. Fair enough. Personally, I don't think you necessarily need to tell all that backstory in a movie. That sort of completeness works in novels, but when condensed into a movie format, I think all the world-building that was done in the source works really well to make the movie feel more complete. You don't necessarily have to tell the complete backstory, but the fact that it's there is a cushion to the void that often surrounds a movie.
For example, in Blade Runner, no one really explains why it rains all the time, or why these robots exist or why they're not allowed on Earth, etc. But the fact that the filmmakers had a backstory to bounce off of (and I'm not intending to get into a discussion of the accuracy of Blade Runner to DADoES) makes the decisions that were made during the filming have some basis, rather than be at the whim of the director.
Of course, in the hands of hack filmmakers, those backstory references become lame in-jokes, and I recall that you felt that Paul Greengrass was likely to be one.
Interestingly, I've never heard anyone compare The Incredibles to Watchmen. I should probably get around to watching it.
Or, as you put it much more succinctly in a more recent post, "implied backstory". Sometimes I don't even consider that there might already be a term for what I'm describing. Makes me feel even more stupid when I'm sure I've probably used the term before.
A shame. It would really upset the bible-trash.