Published at: April 22, 2004, 4:03 a.m. CST by staff
Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...
I reviewed a draft of the Lloyd Levin/Larry Gordon production of WATCHMEN, based on the classic Alan Moore comic, back on October 21, 2002. Since then, there’s been at least one more draft of the script and the producers have been working tirelessly to try and set the film up with screenwriter David Hayter also serving as the film’s director.
As recently as the HELLBOY press junket last month, Levin and Gordon were still struggling to figure out how to get Hayter his chance in the director’s chair, but it looks like that effort has finally taken a back seat to the bigger effort of just getting the film made. I asked Hayter to comment about not directing the film, and here’s what he had to say:
It is definitely disappointing not to be able to direct the film, but we got into our second studio deal and it became increasingly clear that I was going to continue to have trouble getting the film made the way those of us who are fans know it must be made, until I gained more weight as a director.
That said, I have continued to impress upon the Producers that they must not just give this film to some, so-called "A-list" director just based on name alone. You may have heard who they are talking to at the moment, and I, for one, thought it was a pretty impressive idea. One I was genuinely excited about. Please feel free to announce with my enthusiastic endorsement.
Since those talks began, I have spoken with the Producers about a couple of different things I can do to both retain my involvement in the film, and to help ensure that the film retains its integrity. They have been very supportive of myself and this project for the past two years and continue to desire my creative support in terms of the script, the characters and the world. Please assure the fans that I will NEVER give up on creating a truly great Watchmen film that both honors and celebrates the Graphic Novel, and illustrates to the movie-going Audiences what a genuinely great comic-book story can do.
And on a personal note; If, God forbid, anything goes off-kilter with the currently proposed set-up and the Director's chair opens up again in say, a year, I will be first in line to try to regain my seat. Either way, I just hope the film is great.
Based on how great his adaptation was, I’m glad to hear that Hayter is still a key part of this creative team. Having said that, I will admit that when I heard who is directing the film, I just about did a backflip.
As soon as he finished work on THE FOUNTAIN, which does indeed look to be back on track and in pre-production now, it looks like Aronofsky will be finally bringing Rorshach and Nite Owl and Dr. Manhattan and The Comedian and all the other amazing characters from this classic book to life. I think he might well turn out to be the exact right choice, and I’m pleased to see that the studio is taking a chance on a guy who hasn’t made a giant budget action film yet, but who has proven himself to be a striking visualist with a strong sense of material. He’s also a long-time comic fan who has tried to get projects like FRANK MILLER’S RONIN and BATMAN: YEAR ONE off the ground.
Here’s wishing everyone well as the project moves forward in the months ahead, and we’ll keep you posted about any new developments with it. In the meantime, I think Hayter’s got some more news we may be hearing about in the next few days...