Right around the time that the Dark Knight trilogy was making dark and gritty superhero movies cool, Zack Snyder's Watchmen came along and upped the stakes with superheroes that were dark, gritty, and naked some of the time. Now, Screen Rant's Ryan George reveals what (probably) happened in the pitch meeting for Watchmen.
Based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Watchmen got off to a powerful start with a trailer featuring The Smashing Pumpkins' "The Beginning Is the End Is the Beginning," and live-action recreations of some of the most famous panels from the graphic novel. Throw in the fact that Snyder was still riding the high of 300's success, and it's safe to say that hype levels among comic book fans were off the charts.
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Set in an alternate version of history where costumed superheroes (and one extremely over-powered blue guy) exist, but have been outlawed, Watchmen kicks off with a murder mystery. The Comedian, a brash and violent member of the original line-up of superheroes called the Minutemen, has been thrown out of a window. Masked vigilante Rorschach, who pointedly ignores the laws forbidding his kind of justice, sets out to find the Comedian's killer - a mission that will eventually lead him to uncover a complex and devastating conspiracy.
While Watchmen is still viewed by many as an under-appreciated classic, its reception back in 2009 was mixed. Snyder was painstakingly faithful to Moore and Gibbons' novel in terms of Watchmen's visual style, but many fans were unhappy with a major change to the ending of the story. Meanwhile, the convoluted plot and unconventional take on the superhero genre proved alienating to mainstream audiences, and Watchmen failed to make a splash at the box office. Nonetheless, Snyder went on just a few years later to be selected as the mastermind behind Warner Bros.' planned cinematic universe of DC movies, so clearly Watchmen impressed the right people.
Watchmen is now set to return in an HBO TV series set in the modern day, decades after the original story. Created by Damon Lindelof and starring Jeremy Irons as (rumor has it) an older Ozymandias, what we've seen so far of the TV show reveals a strange future where even police officers wear masks, and where someone else has taken up Rorschach's signature look. Lindelof (who also co-created Lost) loves a big mystery, so we still know very little about this new take on the Watchmen universe. All will be revealed when the show premieres on HBO later this year.