Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Keeping Watch

With this weekend's profitable release of the movie 300, I was excited, but reserved, at hearing the news that 300's director, Zack Snyder has now been tapped to direct the long, long, long awaited film adaptation of Alan Moore's Watchmen. I say 'reserved' because this is something that I (along with every well-read geek) has been waiting for (and dreading) for years. The project has started and stopped more times than anyone can, or cares to, count and the fans have grown cautious about any displays of excitement lest the rug be yanked from beneath us, yet again. Also, I mentioned that I (along with others, I'm sure) have a sense of dread regarding this project that simply stems from the fear that the story could never be adequately represented without a really, really long film. An epic, epic. There's also the concern, of course, that the story would be changed to fit some executive's idea of what it should be. Kind of like they always do, with very few exceptions, with books and, seemingly, Alan Moore's in particular.

Here's a quick synopsis borrowed from the wikipedia entry:
Watchmen is set in 1985, in an alternative history United States where costumed adventurers are real and the country is edging closer to a nuclear war with the Soviet Union (the Doomsday Clock is at five minutes to midnight). It tells the story of a group of past and present superheroes and the events surrounding the mysterious murder of one of their own. Watchmen depicts superheroes as real people who must confront ethical and personal issues, who struggle with neuroses and failings, and who - with one notable exception - lack anything recognizable as super powers. Watchmen's deconstruction of the conventional superhero archetype, combined with its innovative adaptation of cinematic techniques and heavy use of symbolism, multi-layered dialogue, and metafiction, has influenced both comics and film.

I could really go on about this for a while, and perhaps I shall at a later date. If you haven't read this and would like to, you can pick up the 12 - issue series in a single trade paperback volume for around US$15.00 at almost any book store or comic shop. I highly recommend this read since it is one of a handful of comics that forced an industry revolution and made it possible for deeper, richer and more meaningful stories to be addressed in a medium that hadn't changed much since it's inception.

No comments: