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Rorschach Actor Jackie Earle Haley Criticizes How Superhero Shows Handle Killing

Jackie Earl Haley as Rorschach in Watchmen

Actor Jackie Earle Haley who played vigilante Rorschach in Zack Snyder’s Watchmen took a pop at the hypocritical handling of killing in superhero TV shows. The actor made the comment at a Watchmen Q&A panel that was part of a special three-day charity event held by Snyder over the weekend featuring director’s cut screenings of Watchmen, Dawn of the Dead and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.

It’s been a decade since the original release of Watchmen and although Snyder’s adaptation of Alan Moore’s classic graphic novels polarized critics, it quickly became a cult favourite amongst superhero movie fans. At a time when The Dark Knight trilogy and Iron Man were all the rage, Watchmen was a fresh antihero spin on a genre that was perhaps becoming a bit hackneyed. Judging by his recent comments alongside things Haley has said about playing Rorschach in the past, it seems the movie made quite a big impact on the actor, too.

Related: Zack Snyder's Watchmen Forced Superhero Movies To Grow Up

So much so, in fact, that Twitter user Vamos Ramos reports Haley made some rather critical remarks at the Q&A about how superhero TV shows tend to handle issues of violence and killing. Responding to a conversation about how critics reacted toward Snyder’s Batman V Superman, Haley stated that a lot of TV shows (and critics too) seem to be against violence perpetrated by superheroes, but are seemingly fine with violence committed by police officers. Using Netflix's Marvel shows and The CW Arrow series as examples, the actor said:

“You’ve always got, like, the cops going after the Green Arrow or whoever like, ‘Man, you’re out there killing people!’ And the characters are always so worried about like, ‘We can never hurt anybody, we need to do the right thing.’ But during the whole damn show the cops are just constantly shooting anybody that moves, you know? And then they’re judging him.”

It seems Haley wasn’t the only panel member with strong opinions on the subject. Snyder himself had a lot to say about attitudes toward violence and superheroes. Speaking of the moral ambiguity of the antiheroes in Watchmen as compared to the more wholesome heroes seen in other media, he said: “It's a cool point of view to be like 'my heroes are innocent'…That's cool. But you're living in a f***ing dream world.”

Interestingly, Haley and Snyder’s comments about the hypocritical treatment of violence in superhero movies and shows come ahead of the impending premiere of HBO’s TV adaptation of Watchmen. Although Snyder was originally attached to the project, it’s now in the hands of Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof. Despite Snyder’s lack of involvement in the show, some pretty big talents have been confirmed so far, including Academy Award-winning British actor Jeremy Irons who fans are speculating may be playing Ozymandias. Could it be that Snyder and Haley are a tad wary of how their beloved Watchmen will fare when it’s adapted for the small screen?

That’s understandable considering it’s the things that made Watchmen different from fellow superhero movies - its R-rating, its violence, the moral ambiguity of its heroes - that made it so great. If Haley and Snyder think such aspects may be watered down in the property’s transferral to TV, they’ve got a right to be concerned. However, as there’s still some time before HBO’s Watchmen airs, it’s probably best to hold off judgment in the meantime. There’s a lot of talent attached to the show so far and the proof, as they say, will be in the pudding.

Next: Who Is Watchmen's New Rorschach? Everything We Know About HBO's Replacement

Source: Vamos Ramos/Twitter

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