Woo wee! Nary a week to go before we find out whether the Squid/No Squid rumors are true and today turns out to be a fun time if you’re a fan of ink blot masks, Owl fetishes or Roman sock-puppet gods and the authors who worship them.
I really don’t think that The League would—well, it could have worked. There was a time I would have said that if any of my books could work as films, it would have been that first volume of The League. It was pretty much structured so it could have been made straight into a film, and it would have been as powerful as it was in the original publication. But that is to overlook the proclivities of contemporary Hollywood, where I really simply don’t believe that any of my books could be benefited in any way by being turned into films. In fact, quite the opposite. The things I was trying to instill in those books were generally things that were only appropriate to the comics medium.
They were only about the comics medium, in a certain sense. To transplant them to the screen is going to chop off a good 30 or 40 percent of the reason why I wanted to do the work in the first place.
And he goes on to cite the best “Worst” example to date:
It’s like the idea about the Spirit film that’s being done. I mean, I would have thought that it was fairly obvious that The Spirit is not about a guy who wears a blue mask and who fights crime from his supposed grave in a cemetery. What The Spirit is actually about is the panels on the page, the way that the eye moves from one panel to another. It’s from the innovative shapes and layouts and designs that Will Eisner brought to the medium. You can’t translate that into a film. Much as Eisner loved the film medium and tried to get as many techniques to comics as possible, there are things about the Will Eisner page you simply cannot translate back into cinema. I think Will would have certainly been intelligent enough to know that.
I think that adaptation is largely a waste of time in almost any circumstances. There probably are the odd things that would prove me wrong. But I think they’d be very much the exception. If a thing works well in one medium, in the medium that it has been designed to work in, then the only possible point for wanting to realize it on “multiple platforms,” as they say these days, is to make a lot of money out of it. There is no consideration for the integrity of the work, which is rather the only thing as far as I’m concerned.
In Moore’s novel, Rorschach’s intense meetings with Cosby-like shrink Dr. Malcolm Long send the good doctor down his own dark, downward spiral. In Snyder’s film, the subplot is nonexistent. “That’s very indulgent. We didn’t quite go that far, but I would have loved to,” he said of Dr. Malcolm’s scenes at home.
Drinks Are on the Comedian
In the novel, a tense flashback has Laurie confronting Edward Blake and throwing a drink in his face. In the movie, the scene doesn’t exist. “Yeah, I didn’t put that scene in. I felt that I could only have one Comedian/Laurie flashback,” Snyder explained. “So I stayed with the one outside the Watchmen headquarters.”
Screeching to a Halt
In both the novel and film, Archie is the vehicle of choice for breaking Rorschach out of prison, but the movie version doesn’t give us the ear-piercing Screechers that disable the guards and convicts. “The Owl Ship does have Screechers; you don’t hear them,” Snyder said. “But in the director’s cut, when they are escaping from prison, there’s a scene when they are up on the rooftop and Dan says, ‘I had to turn the Screechers off, so we’re going to be drawing fire soon!’ So there’s a little reference.”
Become a Blot
Following their confrontation with Ozymandias, Rorschach is blown to
bits by Manhattan. In the novel, Nite Owl misses the kill because he’s
with Silk Spectre. In the film, Dan Dreiberg watches helplessly as his
old partner is killed. “I just felt that I needed a moment at the end,”
Snyder explained. “That relationship between Rorschach and Nite Owl is
a sweet relationship that we establish in the movie. We get a glimpse
of what their partnership was like. … I thought it was nice [for Dan]
to see Rorschach die, and also it motivates him to come back in [to
confront Adrian] and be mad. You think, for a second, maybe, ‘Whoa,
this is going to be a superhero movie!’ But he has no chance against
It’s hard to find a person who didn’t like 2012’s Dredd, a film that stands alongside RoboCop as the ultra-violent, dystopic film fans needed at the time, but a sequel to the movie hasn’t been forthcoming; in fact, over the past few years, the likelihood of a second outing for Olivia Thirlby and Karl Urban’s chin has hovered around zero. Read more