Published at: June 18, 2007, 5:09 a.m. CST by Moriarty
Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here.
Okay... it was about a month ago that we broke the story that Keanu Reeves, Patrick Wilson, and Jude Law had all been offered significant roles in WATCHMEN. Since then, Keanu Reeves passed on the film, and the stories online make it sound like it was a simple matter of him not wanting to do it.
Not quite. Actually, Keanu priced himself out of the film, and Warner is (wisely) banking on the idea that Zack Snyder and the material are the real stars of this movie, the way they were for 300. As a result, they’re looking for actors, not movie stars. The Keanu stories confirm that we were right about Dr. Manhattan at the time we went to print, and Snyder’s also said in other interviews that we are right on the money about the other roles we’ve reported on. So where are things now with the movie?
Well, CHUD.com has a very interesting story up today, and it seems that they’ve got it confirmed thanks to an actor who isn’t in the film, but almost was. Paddy Consadine was a heck of a good choice for Rorschach, but I’m thrilled if it turns out to be true that Jackie Earle Haley’s going to be wearing the mask in the film now. Sure, it makes this a wee bit of a LITTLE CHILDREN reunion, but that’s fine. Both Wilson and Haley are great choices for their respective roles.
And now that Keanu’s not playing Dr. Manhattan, who is? Well, I know they flirted with Billy Crudup for a time, but my sources tell me that the favorite for the role now is Jason Patric, which I think is a hell of a good choice. In fact, that’s probably the best suggestion I’ve heard yet for Dr. Manhattan in all the years the film’s been bouncing around. Patric always seems to be slightly disconnected from the world, but he doesn’t come with any of the baggage that Keanu had.
The Comedian’s still up for grabs, too, but they’ve looked at everyone from Ron Pearlman to Nathan Fillion for the role. Right now, it sounds like there’s one actor who Snyder likes for the part, but I’m not at liberty to divulge his identity yet. Let’s just say it’s a “punishing” choice, and the actor brings a lot of comic book credibility to the role if he ends up playing it.
I’m sure we’ll start hearing more concrete news in the weeks ahead, but for now, I think it’s obvious that Snyder’s casting a wide net, and he’s determined to put together one of the best casts any comic book film has ever had, which is only fair considering the source material.