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No, it won't have the pirate comic...
August 20, 2008 5:00 PM   Subscribe

Who watches The Watchmen? Kevin Smith has, Dave Gibbons has, Alan Moore won't (Gibbons hopes he'll watch the DVD), and if Fox has its way maybe YOU won't either.
posted by Artw (109 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Placing bets on which Fox Exec will be thrown out a tall window if that comes to pass?

Also minor correction: Dave "Gibbons."
posted by lx at 5:04 PM on August 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


agh, crap on a stick... can we correct that? Cheers!
posted by Artw at 5:06 PM on August 20, 2008


"When you have copyright infringement, there are some damages you never recover," said a source close to the litigation.

I hear you can soothe 3rd degree burns with crisp $100 bills.

But we're talking Watchmen here. HURON BOB, I SUMMON THEE!!!!
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:09 PM on August 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


They're running the Watchmen trailer in front of that overhyped Batman thing that's out. It'll probably be released.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:12 PM on August 20, 2008


Hnn!
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:13 PM on August 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


Fox just wants the biggest possible cut, I think, so is going with 'you may not ever release this movie' as their starting point for negotiations. Seriously, if Fox could get (way?) upwards of $15 million for nothing, why would they prevent release?

I am inordinately excited to see this movie.
posted by LooseFilter at 5:15 PM on August 20, 2008


(Also, excellent post title)
posted by LooseFilter at 5:16 PM on August 20, 2008


I'd be very surprised if the end result is that the film is binned... probably some sort of pay-off to Fox. Whatever happens lawyers will get rich.

I was a bit a surprised as according to something that I read earlier, Fox approached Warners before they started making it with a 'ahem I think we actually own this' and Warners apparently replied with 'Get out of here!'

This might not be entirely unrelated to the fact that Fox haven't had a mega hit this year so far and their tent-polls for summer next year are the not exactly impressive sounding Night at the Museum II and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:20 PM on August 20, 2008


I'm skeptical the movie could ever compare to the book, mostly because like a lot of great books, it's not necessarily about the story as it is about the totality of the work, and about the form and very experience of reading (in this case) a comic book. That said, it would be cool to see some of that stuff fully realized on the big screen.
posted by cell divide at 5:21 PM on August 20, 2008


yeah, yeah...old news... this problem has been floating around for a number of months now... it is a bit of an interesting dilemma for WB. The word from the front is that the project is on schedule with the assumption that the studios will figure this out.....
posted by HuronBob at 5:21 PM on August 20, 2008


[fixed!]
posted by jessamyn at 5:23 PM on August 20, 2008


I can understand Alan Moore not watching movies based on his writing after suffering through From Hell, LXG and an only-slightly-bearable V For Vendetta.

The crazy thing is that Fox wants to stop release of the movie, a movie they spent money to develop according to the article. Why do that? They've sunk their costs seventeen years ago. Fox never expected to get any money out of it. Why shut it down now?

I feel like News Corp. has a fiduciary responsibility to its shareholders to make money from Watchmen, not to withhold some of the easiest, most unexpected profits. Shutting down the release next spring may be grounds for shareholder action.
Disclosure: the author is not a corporate lawyer and is not soliciting clients. He just really wants to see Watchmen, by hook or by crook.
posted by infinitewindow at 5:26 PM on August 20, 2008


Nikki Finke
posted by bardic at 5:27 PM on August 20, 2008


I think we can discount the rumour that a man with long hair and beard was seen entering the Fox's lawyers' offices whilst whispering in a strong Northampton accent, 'Yes, Glycon, we'll kill that film!' to a sock pulled over one hand.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:29 PM on August 20, 2008 [17 favorites]


This might not be entirely unrelated to the fact that Fox haven't had a mega hit this year so far and their tent-polls for summer next year are the not exactly impressive sounding Night at the Museum II and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.

Well, if Fox were at all concerned about antiquated notions like quality or artistic merit, that might be a dismal line up. But Night at the Museum pulled in a quarter of a billion dollars at the box office, so I think Fox is confident that a sequel is a pretty good summer tent pole.

Fox is in the movie business to make money, not art. Which is why I think they're just jockeying for a payout here.
posted by LooseFilter at 5:30 PM on August 20, 2008


For those interested, many of the documents from this case are located here.
posted by HuronBob at 5:44 PM on August 20, 2008


I feel like News Corp. has a fiduciary responsibility to its shareholders to make money from Watchmen, not to withhold some of the easiest, most unexpected profits. Shutting down the release next spring may be grounds for shareholder action.

Not necessarily. The release of Warner Bros' Watchmen movie could be seen as preventing Fox from developing the property at all, at least for a while. Maybe they thought they could do a better job, or at least make more money off of it.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 5:44 PM on August 20, 2008


I figure they'll just throw a bunch of Fox trailers in front of the movie and give them a few million up front or a piece of the international distribution rights, or maybe WB will release the rights to a property that Fox is eyeing. THey just had to go this far with the case to establish that indeed, Fox does have some claim to the movie. Everything after this is horsetrading.

It's not in Fox's interest to stop the movie from happening or to bankrupt WB. Someday Fox will be on the other end of a similar law suit, I'm sure, and they won't want to poison the well.
posted by empath at 5:53 PM on August 20, 2008


Sure... crazy like a Fox.

1. Pull production.
2. Caped crusaders come out of woodwork to protest.
3. Let free hype build, then give fans "what they want".
...
5. Profit!

Also, I am Pagliacci.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:58 PM on August 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


[fixed!]
posted by jessamyn at 5:23 PM on August 20 [+] [!]


But it still says "Hnn".
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:59 PM on August 20, 2008 [3 favorites]


I can understand Alan Moore not watching movies based on his writing after suffering through From Hell, LXG and an only-slightly-bearable V For Vendetta.

I think trying to understand Alan Moore might prove unsuccessful. Plus, he apparently doesn't get out of the house much, which might explain why he won't see it very simply.

From Warren Ellis' appearance at Wizard World Chicago:
So I rang up Alan and said, ‘If you’d like, I got you an all-expenses paid trip to Iceland, it was brilliant.’

And he said, ‘I don’t really leave Northampton much. In fact, I don’t really leave the house. In fact, I don’t really leave the living room, and truth be told, I stay on this side of the living room. The other side of the living room is a strange and different place, and it scares me.’”
posted by pokermonk at 6:14 PM on August 20, 2008 [18 favorites]


Warner will probably just throw money at this until it goes away. It doesn't make a lot of sense for Fox to kill the project and make its own Watchmen when this one already exists, allowing Fox to just sink its hungry little mandibles into its profits without investing a dime of its own (except on legal expenses, of course).

I have to admit, however, that I'd be happier to see it go unreleased...not because I think the movie looks so bad (although I'm not crazy about the little bit we've seen thus far), but just because I love the idea of this thing fanboys across the world are freaking out over just getting snatched away, becoming an urban legend and a black market bootleg and a pirate video that shows up on the internet for hours at a time before getting smacked down over and over again by corporate warlords...as opposed to a late winter summer film that morphs a few months down the road into yet another blah multi-disc Wal-Mart impulse item. I mean, come on, which is cooler?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:37 PM on August 20, 2008 [13 favorites]


HBO's Rome cost about $100 Million ... I don't understand why they didn't produce Watchmen as a 12 episode, high-quality television/DVD series. And I wonder how long the "director's cut" on DVD will prove to be.
posted by Auden at 6:55 PM on August 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


pokermonk - Moore on the novel he's writing:

'I enjoy writing about England because I never enjoyed America. I've got nothing against America but I went over there a couple of times, didn't really like it. I mean, not that I like England that much, but it's somewhere to live. I did Voice of the Fire, which was set in the county of Northamptonshire. But with Jerusalem, I thought that that was probably far too cosmopolitan and far-reaching and that I ought to concentrate upon a couple of square blocks of Northampton, where I actually grew up. This is a half-million words, so the next book is obviously just going to be a couple of million words long; it's just all going to be about one end of my living-room. I suppose it's having started out with fantasies about the farthest reaches of space and time and the human world, I suppose it's a gradual realisation that the actual place where I'm sitting is about the most fantastic spot in my universe.'
posted by Artw at 6:57 PM on August 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


I love the idea of this thing fanboys across the world are freaking out over just getting snatched away, becoming an urban legend and a black market bootleg and a pirate video that shows up on the internet for hours at a time before getting smacked down over and over again by corporate warlords...as opposed to a late winter summer film that morphs a few months down the road into yet another blah multi-disc Wal-Mart impulse item. I mean, come on, which is cooler?

I was thinking the very same thing. I came in here to dare someone with access to the film to 'leak it' if it gets binned.
posted by schyler523 at 7:13 PM on August 20, 2008


Lawsuit Won't Stop The Watchmen
posted by homunculus at 7:32 PM on August 20, 2008


Even if they shut it down, this will be leaked to bittorrent in a hurry by some conscientious person attached to the project tangentially. In fact, I half hope it will go down that way, because I'd like to see the full version as it is now, not after they have to cut half an hour out of it for theater release.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:47 PM on August 20, 2008


I love the idea of this thing fanboys across the world are freaking out over just getting snatched away, becoming an urban legend and a black market bootleg and a pirate video that shows up on the internet for hours at a time before getting smacked down over and over again by corporate warlords...as opposed to a late winter summer film that morphs a few months down the road into yet another blah multi-disc Wal-Mart impulse item. I mean, come on, which is cooler?

That would be pretty awesome. Like The Day The Clown Cried, except the clown is fully CGI and each one of his tears cost $100,000.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 7:48 PM on August 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


But will it be as good as Constantine?
posted by mandal at 8:45 PM on August 20, 2008


From the 'if Fox has its way' link:
Project, which has been in development for two decades, finally began lensing in September with Zack Snyder at the helm.

"Lensing?" Is that real Hollywood-speak?
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 9:21 PM on August 20, 2008


"Lensing?" Is that real Hollywood-speak?

Nope, it's Variety's slanguage.
posted by crossoverman at 9:43 PM on August 20, 2008


But will it be as good as Constantine?

Probably, and that's the problem.
posted by eclectist at 9:52 PM on August 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


I love the idea of this thing fanboys across the world are freaking out over just getting snatched away

Aw, you beat me to it, you schadenfreude-ridden, malicious SOB.
*Raises glass of bitter in salute*
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:54 PM on August 20, 2008


At the heart of Fox’s suit, filed in February, is the contention that it never ceded rights to the property. And according to the federal Judge Gary Allen Feess, Fox retained distribution rights to the graphic novel penned by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons through a 1991 claim. Furthermore, Feess appears to agree that under a 1994 turnaround deal with producer Larry Gordon, Gordon acquired an option to acquire Fox’s remaining interest in "Watchmen," which was never exercised, thereby leaving Fox with its rights under the 1994 agreement.

You are in a maze of twisty little contracts.
posted by dhartung at 9:58 PM on August 20, 2008


Honestly, if Fox just wants money out of this, why not ask for money? Or back-end profit-sharing? Or a pony? "We want your movie DEAD! We want its family DEAD! We want its house burned to the GROUND!" seems a ridiculous place to start negotiating from. Also, it's only going to garner more ill-will towards Fox's head honchos among the Hollywood elite. Wanting truckloads of money, they respect. Hissy-fits... not so much (c.f. Michael Ovitz and the "gay mafia").
posted by tzikeh at 9:59 PM on August 20, 2008


Fans Threaten Fox Over Watchmen Lawsuit
posted by homunculus at 11:08 PM on August 20, 2008


Dollars to donuts, WB has offered a flat settlement in the low millions. But Fox knows it's oppressive copyright law, which allows, at its absolute worse, a judge to simply prevent WB from releasing the film. Ever.

Even if Fox's worst-case-scenario is actually very, very unlikely to happen, it's a big enough imaginary anvil to be hanging over WB's head that Fox thinks they can get a better deal than a couple of million.

What would you do in Fox's situation? Fox loses nothing, except six-figures in legal fees. WB loses everything. It's easy money, and if Fox's lawyers don't hold WB's nose to the grindstone, they aren't doing their job.

WB has offered to settle; and, donuts to dollars, Fox has counter-offered something like 15% of the movie's gross.

WB's hoping their lawyers find a magic bullet before the judge enjoins the movies' March 2009 release date; up until then, it's a game of chicken. The fanboy analogy is that WB's a little spacejet fighting a giant space fortress, but can't seem to find the exhaust port.
posted by jabberjaw at 11:15 PM on August 20, 2008


The fanboy analogy is that WB's a little spacejet fighting a giant space fortress, but can't seem to find the exhaust port.

Oh thank god - I would never have understood if you hadn't made a Star Wars analogy! [/harry knowles]
posted by crossoverman at 11:27 PM on August 20, 2008


But will it be as good as Constantine?

Probably, and that's the problem


Oh you horrible cynics! Did you not read the links? Kevin Smith says it's astounding!

Kevin! Smith!

But in all seriousness I liked the trailer. I went from 100% sure they would screw this up to about giving it about an even chance.
posted by Bonzai at 12:05 AM on August 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


What if we kidnapped Bill O'Reilly and threatened to kill him if Fox didn't drop it's lawsuit?

And if they did ... what if we killed him anyway?
posted by aeschenkarnos at 12:08 AM on August 21, 2008 [7 favorites]


The Watchmen trailers look awesome, but I think the casting is a bit off. The actors look too perfect. The Watchmen super heroes are deeply dysfunctional social outcasts. Nite Owl is plump and out of shape, and the Silk Spectre is aging and getting fat around her hips. The chosen actors don’t fit these roles at all.
posted by L_K_M at 1:12 AM on August 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Warner Bros.’ production and anticipated release of ‘The Watchmen’ motion picture violates 20th Century Fox’s long-standing motion picture rights in ‘The Watchmen’ property," Fox said in a statement, though the graphic novel’s title is simply "Watchmen."

This is the enemy. They don't even know the name of the film they're trying to shut down.
posted by minifigs at 1:30 AM on August 21, 2008


It'd be just fine with me if the movie never came out. I wish all the crap I used to obsess about in my nerdy lair would stop becoming the current locus of nitwit energy.
posted by autodidact at 1:37 AM on August 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh you horrible cynics! Did you not read the links? Kevin Smith says it's astounding!

I would not trust Kevin Smith's opinion about very many things, but you know, the quality of a movie based on a comic book that's so deeply revered within comic book fandom... I kinda feel like he probably knows what he's talking about on that one. If it sucked, or was even just mediocre, I think he would be one of the first to say so.
posted by rifflesby at 1:48 AM on August 21, 2008


I've just read one of the linked articles (written by Michael Moran, which in itself is ironic seeing as 'Michael Moran' was the name of the journalist alter-ego of Marvelman), and a bit caught my eye: "Zack Snyder is very vocal about his desire to make a movie that Moore likes". You know, if this were really true, he'd have taken the money he was paid for making this film, bought thousands and thousands of copies of the trade paperback and then given them away for free. Comics ain't film and film ain't comics, and everything that made Watchmen an above average comic series is going to be completely lost in this movie (hint: it wasn't the story).
posted by ninthart at 3:39 AM on August 21, 2008


For me, Clockwork Orange was a far more interesting film when it was in banned-ville - actually seeing it, post Kubrick's death, was a bit of a disappointment.

Oh and Kevin Smith just seems to be a Ra! Ra! Ra! machine now
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:49 AM on August 21, 2008


Watchmen actually got me back reading comics when the original books were released, and I tracked the movie's vicissitudes for years as it bumped along. I thought, for most of that time, that the very idea of making a film out of this complex and demanding work was a bad idea. I kept thinking that until I started to see some pre-production work, and now that I've seen the trailer (particularly the Dr. Manhattan bits) and read more industry buzz I am letting myself be a little excited about it, fool that I am.

Yeah, not all of the actor choices are spot-on (Adrian Veidt, in particular, doesn't look right, and I am not nuts about Nite Owl's costume updates) but I think that at the very least this is gonna be an interesting film.

My take? I think there's about zero chance of Fox really killing this, because what they obviously want is for the publicity to make box-office history out of the film and they're doing a great job of sturm and drang. It is all marketing.

And the pirate story is supposed to be animated and released on the DVD, from what I've heard.

"Hurm," by the way, not "Hnn." Even "Ehnk" would do. Ahehheh.

posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 6:04 AM on August 21, 2008


Fans Threaten Fox Over Watchmen Lawsuit

Hahahahaha. That's right, huge multinational conglomerate, a few thousand dedicated fans are not to be trifled with.
posted by graventy at 6:22 AM on August 21, 2008


a few thousand dedicated fans are not to be trifled with.

Hmm. Now my tinfoil hat is all a-sizzle.

Is it remotely possible that the Fox lawsuit is simply a charade concocted with the intent of instantly converting Watchmen fans--who would otherwise probably follow Alan Moore's lead and be rather critical of the movie--into unquestioning cheerleaders and staunch advocates for what may in fact be a total stinker?
posted by Sys Rq at 6:41 AM on August 21, 2008


"this will be leaked to bittorrent in a hurry by some conscientious person attached to the project tangentially"

pretty unlikely... the trend now is to watermark every frame of a movie with a code that tells who that pre-release copy was given to.. Removing that watermark would be next to impossible, and being the one who let the darn thing loose would ruin your career and open you up for a huge lawsuit...

everyone take a deep breath and relax...this will all be settled prior to march of '09!
posted by HuronBob at 7:00 AM on August 21, 2008


@ Guy_Inamonkeysuit: 'Industry buzz'?

Really? Can you provide a link?

As for the 'miscasting' and such, I think some of that's necessary for the General Audience aspect of the thing -- not all audiences are going to understand the meta-meta Silver Age comic book references in the movie, if not the GN if any movie-goers ever get around to reading it.

The casting alone is a bit of a tip-off: Carla Gugino as Sally Juspeczyk (aka Sally Jupiter), the first Sulk Spectre? YMMV, but Gugino is a very attractive woman, and they really only needed to pull a May Parker as far as the character is concerned. Yet they pulled out the stops and hired a good-looking woman for the flashbacks and spent money on her prosthetic make-up.

It seems to me that Snyder has split the difference some, between the eye-candy and the Moore-loyalism, just to increase the fikm's marketability. I could be over-thinking this just a bit, but I don't think it's out of place.

A plump Nite Owl might also out of scope for the imagination many potential audience members. As Joel Schumacher's Batman flicks proved, irony doesn't scale well in comic book flicks -- thus he chose to keep the character closer to the Batman archetype.
posted by vhsiv at 7:07 AM on August 21, 2008


I love the idea of this thing fanboys across the world are freaking out over just getting snatched away, becoming an urban legend and a black market bootleg and a pirate video that shows up on the internet

Like Global Frequency.

I know it's popular to hate on the adaptations of Moore's work, but I honestly liked V for Vendetta, I suspect League of Extraordinary Gentlemen would have had more potential if not for the fight between Sean Connery and Stephen Norrington, and from what I've seen, I still have high hopes for The Watchmen.
posted by quin at 8:07 AM on August 21, 2008


FWIW, Smith cites Sin City as his ne plus ultra of perfect comic-book film adaptation. I haven't been able to decode whether or not his enthusiasm for Watchmen is therefore ironic.

On a tangent related only in that it is comics-to-film related, involves Frank Miller, and something I can't tell if I look forward to or dread, until a week ago there was a long-range preview billboard at around 75th and Aurora here in Seattle flogging the Frank Miller-directed movie adaptation of Will Eisner's The Spirit.
posted by mwhybark at 8:21 AM on August 21, 2008


a few thousand dedicated fans are not to be trifled with.

FOX shall throw their lifeless corpses into the trench on top of the browncoats.
posted by Artw at 8:22 AM on August 21, 2008


@vhsiv - Can't recall specific links right now... just things I've seen on movie sites and so forth for the last year or so.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 8:23 AM on August 21, 2008


Ugh, I forgot how fucking painful and stupid studio film websites are. Why, you idiots, WHY?
posted by mwhybark at 8:25 AM on August 21, 2008


I thought Sin City was great. Of course IMHO the theme and premise of Sin City is “Frank Miller is really fucked in the head”, and it got that over perfectly.

300, on the other hand, was kind of lifeless.
posted by Artw at 8:27 AM on August 21, 2008


YMMV, but Gugino is a very attractive woman, and they really only needed to pull a May Parker as far as the character is concerned.

Err.. what about the flashbacks? Whaaa wait a minute, I'm defending Synder's casting... No we want a fat Nite Owl!

300, on the other hand, was kind of lifeless.

I think that's my biggest worry (well that and slo-mo, cgi blood rubbish - if Synder does too much of that I will not be happy - though it would work for the Ozymandius bits). The trailer for me looked too polished and plasticy, I wanted a more grungy rougned-up vibe. Still there's time with a lot of post-production to go.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:39 AM on August 21, 2008


fat Nite Owl

They should use CG anti-aging on Shatner!
posted by Artw at 8:41 AM on August 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Actually is Adam West still alive?
posted by Artw at 9:21 AM on August 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Actually, and this could just be the dental surgery drugs talking, but William Shatner or Adam West as Nite Owl I would have been sufficient for me personally to overcome any and all reservations re: this film. I'm just putting that out there.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:40 AM on August 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I still have wisdom teeth... I'm totally scheduling their removal for the day before this is released.
posted by Artw at 9:43 AM on August 21, 2008


Actually all joking aside, either as Hollis Mason would totally rock.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:06 AM on August 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think we can discount the rumour that a man with long hair and beard was seen entering the Fox's lawyers' offices whilst whispering in a strong Northampton accent, 'Yes, Glycon, we'll kill that film!' to a sock pulled over one hand.

fearfulsymmetry, this is the greatest comment I have read in...well, a REALLY long time. I'm going to be going around the house thinking that for the next week, which is good because it's replaced this and the Ronnie James Dio "Holy Diver" video previously occupying my mental real estate.

I dunno. After what Hollywood did to V for Vendetta, I'm not sure I could bear this.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 10:31 AM on August 21, 2008


If FOX does manage to keep this from getting released, I will find myself some FOX executives and KILL THEM WITH FIRE AND HAMMERS. I'm just saying.
posted by webmutant at 11:16 AM on August 21, 2008


@kittens: Adam West as Nite Owl would have been AWESOME.

How old is Snyder, anyway? It might not have occurred to him.
(On preview, he's listed with a '66 birthdate.)

OTOH, there's still a Watchmen/Dark Knight Returns calibre project out there, yet to be adapted: JMS' Squadron Supreme redux, Supreme Power. It may be Marvel, but it's an interesting re-telling of the Superman story.

Hyperion/Mark Milton is obscure enough of a character that the filmmakers wouldn't get that much blow-back from the fan communities.

Heck, now that Straczynski's writing screenplays and Marvel's in the movie business, it might come together of its own accord. That, and Supreme Power  takes place in a continuity separate from both the regular Marvel and DC universes.
posted by vhsiv at 12:39 PM on August 21, 2008


But whether you love or hate him, one thing is for sure — [Kevin Smith] knows comics.

Isn't even slightly ironic that a fat, bearded comic fanboy like Kevin Smith has rubbed his greasy paws all over Watchmen, which is about as antithetical to the concept of superhero comics as anything could possibly ever be?
posted by KokuRyu at 1:30 PM on August 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Studio Pushing For Plucky Family-Friendly Woverine?
posted by homunculus at 2:38 PM on August 21, 2008


Woverine must be Wolverine's adorable little brother.
posted by homunculus at 2:40 PM on August 21, 2008


Woverine must be Wolverine's adorable little brother.

No, that's Wuverine.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:43 PM on August 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


You know what's weird? the way writers and artsist are always making Wolverine hang out with wolves all the time. His name isn't Wolferine! That said, when you actually see what a wolverine looks like - some kind of pissed off giant weasel - you can see why they'd shy away from showing one of those.
posted by Artw at 4:08 PM on August 21, 2008


OTOH, there's still a Watchmen/Dark Knight Returns calibre project out there, yet to be adapted... Supreme Power.

I think you meant to type Miracleman.
posted by rokusan at 4:17 PM on August 21, 2008


Heh. Getting it in print would be hard enough, let alone making a film out of it. KIMOTA!
posted by Artw at 4:20 PM on August 21, 2008


You know what else would rock? Zenith. Oh, wait, same thing. damn.
posted by Artw at 4:23 PM on August 21, 2008


"Revenge of the Sith" is, quite simply, fucking awesome. This is the "Star Wars" prequel the haters have been bitching for since "Menace" came out, and if they don't cop to that when they finally see it, they're lying.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.
posted by Caviar at 8:12 PM on August 21, 2008


Ouch. Perhaps I stand corrected.
posted by rifflesby at 8:47 PM on August 21, 2008


"Sith" doesn't happen; "Sith" rules.

I can almost forgive him everything for that. Almost.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:32 AM on August 22, 2008


@rokusan: 'Miracleman'? That's been OOP and inaccessible for so long that it's not just Underground, but Subterrarean, the stuff of Urban Legend. If you've read it, please supply us with a book report.

'Miracleman' has got Alan Moore's name attached to it, but the book is probably his most unread. I'm not sure that it'll gain any traction until it escapes the legal maze that Todd McFarlane and Neil Gaiman have made of it.

'Supreme Power' is owned outright by Marvel. Besides, Hyperion is the best re-imagination of Superman since Alan Moore's Jon Osterman/Dr. Manhattan. As much as DC likes to sell Action Comics, they seldom deal with Kal-El's interiority.

Back when 'Hancock' was 'Tonight, He Comes', Vincent Ngo had tried to negotiate that terrain, but most of us can agree that Will Smith's movie is a failure. Hopefully Snyder's movie will tackle some of that, but Mark Milton is still a best Superman deconstruction that we've seen in a generation.

First he'd be secured by the Federal Government, and then he'd be raised as a Real American™
...
posted by vhsiv at 3:44 AM on August 22, 2008


You know what's weird? the way writers and artsist are always making Wolverine hang out with wolves all the time. His name isn't Wolferine!

One popular misconception about Wolverine is that he's some kind of human/wolverine hybrid, when he is in fact half wolf, half tangerine, and half mathematician. This is all explained in the impossibly rare and seminal X-Men precursor, W-Men: Rise of the Citrus Werewolves. Basically, James Howlett is out shopping for calculators late one foggy, full-moon-lit night, when he is brutally and totally unexpectedly attacked by a wolf, whose breath smells distinctly of radioactive oranges.

This comic was extremely unpopular, never selling a single issue, and unfortunately, all remaining copies were lost tragically in the Remarkably Convenient Comic Book Fire of '76. Marvel Comics, either out of extreme shame or mourning, continues to deny that it ever existed.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:24 AM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


'Miracleman'? That's been OOP and inaccessible for so long that it's not just Underground, but Subterrarean, the stuff of Urban Legend. If you've read it, please supply us with a book report.

Duh, it's about graphic scenes of childbirth. I've managed to find most of Moore's run in back issue bins in my podunk burg, usually at cover price or less. It's hardly the four-color equivalent of von Stroheim's Greed that you're making it out to be.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:18 AM on August 22, 2008


One popular misconception about Wolverine is that he's some kind of human/wolverine hybrid, when he is in fact half wolf, half tangerine, and half mathematician.

Sadly this is not all that implausible given the way Marvel have been fucking about with his origin. Still, at least he's not Spider-Man.
posted by Artw at 8:32 AM on August 22, 2008


Duh, it's about graphic scenes of childbirth. I've managed to find most of Moore's run in back issue bins in my podunk burg, usually at cover price or less. It's hardly the four-color equivalent of von Stroheim's Greed that you're making it out to be.

Oh? Then you may wish to consult teh eBays, where issues routinely go for considerably more than cover...the later issues in the run, anyhow.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:12 AM on August 22, 2008


f I found the Moore run of MiracleMan at cover price I'd be shocked. Then I'd sell it on eBay for a mint.
posted by Artw at 9:15 AM on August 22, 2008


According to teh eBay, it's the Gaiman issues that seem to be worth the big bucks, not Moore's work. In the mid-eighties, Adolescent Radioactive Blackbelt Hampsters had a print run that probably dwarfed that of your average Vertigo comic today, so yeah, I shall stand by my claim that copies of Miracleman are not hen's teeth.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:31 AM on August 22, 2008


Really? i've actually got some of those. They're a bit shit.
posted by Artw at 9:34 AM on August 22, 2008


Hmm... looks like theres copies of #1 and #2 floating around for a few dollars, and then you get to #15 and this happens.
posted by Artw at 9:39 AM on August 22, 2008


'Supreme Power' is owned outright by Marvel. Besides, Hyperion is the best re-imagination of Superman since Alan Moore's Jon Osterman/Dr. Manhattan. As much as DC likes to sell Action Comics, they seldom deal with Kal-El's interiority.



My problem with Supreme Power is that it just kind of peters out. If they had kept with a tighter story arc, it would have been waaaay better.

My idea is to do a retelling of Red Son, except instead of Russians, superman is raised by San Francisco libruls. It'd be an over the top condemnation of liberal principles on one level, but really a deconstruction of how silly radical conservative stereotypes of liberals are. I'm thinking of calling it Blue Son, but that's only temporary.

Also, my favorite re-imagination of Superman is Bendis' Superman analog in Powers whose name escapes me. He eventually becomes so powerful that he grows completely detached from humanity and tries to blow up the earth I believe. Wish I could remember more. That'd be a sweet series to convert into a movie.
posted by Telf at 9:41 AM on August 22, 2008


Supermans powers DON’T detach him from humanity. That’s kind of the point of the character.
posted by Artw at 10:01 AM on August 22, 2008


Pink Son, Telf. Pink Son.
posted by longbaugh at 10:11 AM on August 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


Also if you wnat to talk about power inflation, there's Swamp Thing... jesus.
posted by Artw at 11:35 AM on August 22, 2008


1. They nailed Jesus to a wooden cross.

2. Swamp Thing is made of plant matter.

3. Swamp Thing Jesus took on Jesus' powers via osmosis.

4. Prophet!
posted by longbaugh at 12:12 PM on August 22, 2008


I think something along those lines may actually have happened in Hellblazer at some point.
posted by Artw at 12:24 PM on August 22, 2008


Fox On Watchmen Lawsuit: Don't Blame Us!
posted by homunculus at 1:01 PM on August 22, 2008


Supermans powers DON’T detach him from humanity. That’s kind of the point of the character.

Yeah and Superman was raised by middle American farmers who instilled good old-fashioned American values into him. That's kind of the point of Superman too. Hyperion plays with that presupposition. Re-imagining a character allows you to you know, tweak things a bit. Superman is essentially immortal, what would happen if he died? Etc. (Not a whole heck of a lot apparently.)

I think that's a lot more interesting than doing a Supreme: Story of the Year type of retelling where you're essentially just repeating the Superman story except with slightly different names and a lot of self awareness. Not to belittle Moore's work on Supreme, but it got a bit laborious to read at times.

Additionally, Superman is pretty freaking boring as he is. I think most people will attest to that. Reading most Superman story lines is like playing a video game in god mode with unlimited ammo.

That being said, I respect that you know a lot more about this stuff than I do, and I think your opinions are completely valid. I just like the idea of messing with these archetypes that have been established for 60+ years.
posted by Telf at 2:24 PM on August 22, 2008


It’s a potential flaw of Superman stories, but not an inherent one. There’s plenty of ways to avoid it, usually using his links to his humanity. Moore’s Superman stories do a good job of that, the animated series did a pretty good job, Grant Morrison’s doing a blinding job of it on All Star Superman right now.

Of course, if you want a great example of power inflation leading to loss of humanity you can’t do much better than Doctor Manhattan.
posted by Artw at 3:07 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


My problem with Supreme Power is that it just kind of peters out.

You did notice who wrote it, right?
posted by phearlez at 9:25 PM on August 22, 2008


So Kevin Smith is now basically a one-man publicity machine... got a geek-friendly movie, just show it to Smith and he's guaranteed to go into orgasms over it
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:20 AM on August 23, 2008


The world will look up and say “sue us.” And I’ll look down and whisper, “okay.”
posted by homunculus at 4:59 PM on August 24, 2008


@Auden:"HBO's Rome cost about $100 Million ... I don't understand why they didn't produce Watchmen as a 12 episode, high-quality television/DVD series."

$100 Million was the number that Paramount wrestled with for years as the Watchmen budget.The project ultimately moved on because the Paramount/Viacom folks felt that was too much. At the same time, Snyder made '300' for $65M --- and 'Watchmen' is a work of considerably greater stature.

I wrote a letter to HBO suggesting a miniseries about 4 years ago. I don't know if Paramount was out of the picture at that point, but I was writing just to suggest that HBO -- a Time-Warner company -- produce this DC Comics series -- another Warner Bros. owned company -- as a miniseries.

Mr. Colin Callender or his secretary returned my nice letter with a nasty, red "UNSOLICITED" stamped across the top -- as if I actually had a hrse in that race.

I wouldn't have been in the cue of people getting residuals from the DVD sales of their 12 episode miniseries, yet I got the spec-monkey treatment. I guess Mr. Callender didn't want the bonus.

Who was it that said that T-W was set up as 12 internally competing fiefdoms? I guess they're also incapable of taking free advice...
posted by vhsiv at 4:59 PM on August 25, 2008


Well, it's not just FOX that sues people - returning your note stamped UNSOLICITED was probably a bit of ass covering in case you might be the next Sophia Stewart.
posted by Artw at 5:47 PM on August 25, 2008


Generally Hollywood people won't read unsolicited ideas or manuscripts. You typically have to ask them first if it's okay to send them something. They won't even listen to pitches, in most cases.
posted by empath at 7:49 PM on August 25, 2008


@empath:"Generally Hollywood people won't read unsolicited ideas or manuscripts."

There was no manuscript, nor a suggestion thereof. Only a friendly 1-page letter suggesting that Time-Warner exploit one of their properties in a certain fashion. I had no horse in their race, just making a suggestion about how they might proceed with something that I ACKNOWLEDGE that they already own.

OTOH, HBO does seem to be developing the lower-profile 'Preacher' (also published by DC/Time-Warner) as a miniseries, helmed by the Daredevil hyphenate, Mark Steven Johnson.

@Artw:"returning your note stamped UNSOLICITED was probably a bit of ass covering"

Last time I checked, I didn't have $100M to fund a miniseries to fund a literary adaptation that I don't own the rights to.
posted by vhsiv at 7:08 AM on August 27, 2008


They don't know any of these things.

They do know that (a) the world is full of litigious jackholes and (b) it's easier to avoid potential trouble and assume the legions of working producers will come up with enough good ideas and approaches to keep them making money.
posted by phearlez at 7:34 AM on August 27, 2008


OTOH, HBO does seem to be developing the lower-profile 'Preacher'

Not any more...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:32 AM on August 27, 2008


HBO felt it was just too dark and too violent and too controversial.
posted by Artw at 10:35 AM on August 27, 2008


HBO felt it was just too dark and too violent and too controversial.

Like Carnivale?
posted by vhsiv at 9:46 PM on August 28, 2008


vhsiv - here.
posted by Artw at 10:01 PM on August 28, 2008


Clock Ticking on Watchmen Trial, Delayed Release
posted by homunculus at 5:19 PM on September 5, 2008


Alan Moore on 'Watchmen' movie: 'I will be spitting venom all over it'
posted by homunculus at 3:45 PM on September 19, 2008


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