Zack Snyder's divisive 2009 Watchmen film has a major fan in Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson, who calls the film's Ultimate Cut his favorite comic book movie of all time. Before Snyder's polarizing DCEU films Man of Steel and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice hit the big screen, he tackled an adaptation of Watchmen, a 1986 limited series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Long considered one of the very best comic book stories of all time, turning Watchmen into a film was considered to be a fool's errand; its thematic and structural complexities weren't made for movies.
The theatrical release of the movie was met with a fairly divided response; some people found it to be an amazingly faithful adaptation, while others found it to be a pale imitation of its source material. The Ultimate Cut has been met with generally higher acclaim, though, expanding the film's run time to a gargantuan 215 minutes and reinserting many elements from the graphic novel that were missing the theatrical release, including the crucial story within the story, "Tales of the Black Freighter," narrated by Gerard Butler, Snyder's 300 collaborator.
One fellow superhero movie helmer is heaping some high praise on that version of the film. Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson claims the Ultimate Cut of Watchmen is his favorite comic book film, and even comparing it to Ridley Scott's beloved sci-fi masterpiece Blade Runner.
WATCHMEN: THE ULTIMATE CUT is a DC film, and if I’m being honest, my favorite comic book movie to date.— Scott Derrickson (@scottderrickson) May 19, 2018
It is the BLADE RUNNER of superhero cinema.
This isn't the first time that Scott Derrickson has revealed his admiration for film. Last year, he called Snyder's Watchmen Ultimate Cut a "masterwork" around the time he was promoting the home video release of his Marvel movie. And despite several other comic book movies having released since that time, Derrickson still considers Snyder's 2009 film to be a masterpiece in filmmaking, especially for the comic book movie genre.
Even Snyder's detractors would likely have to admit the expanded Watchmen cut is a tremendous utilization of Snyder's talents; his love of superhero deconstruction, otherworldly visuals, and sprawling, sometimes scattered, storytelling all thrive in the world created by Moore and Gibbons. There were obvious reasons Warner Bros. couldn't release a 215 minute movie into theaters, but its legacy might be quite a bit different if more people had seen that version.
Despite the film's somewhat murky legacy and the enduring claims of the comic being unadaptable, audiences will soon be seeing another live action crack at Watchmen, this time as an HBO series from Lost and The Leftovers producer Damon Lindelof. Not much is known about that iteration yet, but evidence points to a fairly significant reimagining of the book's narrative, which is a given if it's going to be an ongoing television series. Snyder's film will likely stand as the most faithful adaptation of the comic, and it's one that deserves the legacy Derrickson envisions for it.
Source: Scott Derrickson