The Watchmen: Zack Synder vs. Alan Moore

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  • Topic: Watchmen, Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons
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  • Published : May 1, 2013
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The Watchmen:
Alan Moore vs Zack Synder
When the movie trailer for The Watchmen was released I knew I wanted to watch the movie, especially since I had learned that the process of turning the novel into a film was a controversial one. Allow me to clarify, the movie rights to the graphic novel by Alan Moore was given the green light in the late 1980’s, however, Alan Moore declined all requests to write a script and gave his rights away. So the studio tried to find other directors to write a script, one of the directors they approached was Terry Gilliam, and he ultimately decided the novel was unfilmable. His main reasoning was the technology wasn’t available at the time, CGI wasn’t developed yet, therefore it would cost beyond millions of dollars to try and produce the movie. The rights were eventually sold to Paramount then to Warner Brothers. Darren Aronofsky was then asked to help with the film. The problem was Aronofsky wanted to produce the movie in a current setting; he was going to replace the Vietnam War in the novel with the terrorism war in Iraq. Warner Brothers didn’t want the film to stray too far from the novel and thought the Iraq war scene may be too uncomfortable for their audience. Finally, Zack Snyder of the film 300 took on the burden of delivering a film that Alan Moore’s fan would be happy with. The Watchmen became one of Snyder’s success stories; he was able to capture the essence of the novel, despite a few differences, because he based the storyboards on the actual graphic panels from Alan Moore’s novel— and by doing so he was able to emphasize the main question portrayed in the novel, “Who watches the watchmen?” “Quis custodiet ipsos custodies?” Is actually a Latin phrase associated with the Roman poet, Juvenal from one of his Satires. The quote translates into “Who will guard the guards themselves?” The quote can be linked to a problem of political corruption or a personal conflict, but Alan Moore used it to analyze the role of Superheroes; what will humanity do if their hero falls? In order to answer that question we must review the story quickly, the graphic novel is based on a murder of an infamous superhero, the Comedian. Here is a synopsis quote from an infamous film website, Fandango.com: “300's Zack Snyder brings Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' critically acclaimed comic book Watchmen to the big screen, courtesy of DC Comics and Warner Bros. Pictures. Set in an alternate universe circa 1985, the film's world is a highly unstable one where a nuclear war is imminent between America and Russia. Superheroes have long been made to hang up their tights thanks to the government-sponsored Keene Act, but that all changes with the death of The Comedian, a robust ex-hero commando whose mysterious free fall out a window perks the interest of one of the country's last remaining vigilantes, Rorschach. His investigation leads him to caution many of his other former costumed colleagues, including Dr. Manhattan, Night Owl, Ozymandias , Sally Jupiter, and her daughter, The Silk Spectre. Heralded for bringing the world of superheroes into the literary world, Watchmen gave the super-powered mythos a real-life grounding that had been missing in mainstream comics to that point. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi The mysterious free fall out of the window at the beginning of the film was similar in each way with the fall in the novel; the comedian is assaulted by an unknown dark figure and then thrown through a window of a high-story building where he falls to his death. The fall was emphasized, and for a good reason. It was repeated more than once, both in the novel and the film, as the scene plays out there’s a sense of slow motion to exaggerate the fall. The fall was an important turning point in the story because it resonated with many Greek tragedies where the hero is humbled then meets a certain fate at the end, but unlike a Greek tragedy the Comedian’s fall was not the end of the story, it was only the beginning. His...
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