Are you superheroed out yet?

The movie genre of the summer seems to be the superhero flick, and I’ve enjoyed most of what I’ve seen so far, but I hope Hollywood won’t forget other kinds of movies. There is one I’m really looking forward to, and the news so far seems to be that it will be true to the book: Watchmen. Oooh, it looks good.


  1. says

    I saw The Dark Knight last night and thought it was incredibly amazing. There was a trailer for Watchmen and it looked pretty good too.

  2. says

    I really like movies based on comic book heroes, but as you said…they have been getting a little –too often.

    Personally, if Hollywood would produce an actual horror flick (real good ones are few & far between these days) I would be ecstatic!

  3. Ian says

    Do I get to be first for once? What a novelty! Never heard of Watchmen – but it looks cool. Bring it on.

    On the topic of “never heard of it” (how’s about that for a segue?), have you heard of this, PZ:

    It looks like they borrowed Mike the Mad Biologist’s picture for one of these books!

  4. GirBoBytons says

    I’m seeing Dark Knight this weekend.(Cant wait) I have never heard of Watchman, I am assuming I need to go fetch the book now don’t I?

  5. Jim A says

    Well I HAVE to see it. But much of what made Watchmen great had to do with how they exlored the confines of the graphic novel as a medium. Yes the story was good, but what was amazing was the storytelling. And much of that won’t really translate.

  6. chancelikely says

    I’m glad that the superhero movie genre has gotten enough credit and enough quality behind it that a serious Watchmen treatment is possible.

    Wonder how the movie will deal with Nixon.

  7. Tim Drake says

    As I lifelong comic fan and collector to this day, I can only hope that Hollywood stops making comic book movies. 90% of them are terrible (Spider-Man trilogy) and I’m sick and tired of being continuously disappointed in them (Superman Returns) or hearing asinine comments from nescient movie goers about how the few good ones are terrible (Hulk 1).

    I’m excited to see The Dark Knight, but for the love of Galactus, please! No more comic flicks!

  8. yttrai says

    I think the comic book burnout would be worse, but the quality of the movies has been stellar! Their humble comic book origins are tangential at this point.

    Ironman? Solid A. Easily the best hollywood movie of the summer.
    Wanted? At least a B. Flawed, but brilliant in parts and fun.
    Dark Knight? A +. My gods that was a fun ride. I’m SORE from being tense and enjoying the visceral thrills.

    Haven’t seen Hulk yet, and it’s going to be torture to wait for Watchmen, and the other followups to Ironman and the greater DC universe.

    I think the curse that comic books spawn crappy movies is over. Thank the gods, because there is so much quality source material – 30 Days of Night for example? The GameKeeper? Snakewoman? THINK of the possibilities :)

  9. Slaughter says

    As a guy who still has a smattering of DC icons at his desk (The Flash was my favorite), I must admit that the best such movie I’ve seen so far was this summer’s Iron Man. Some reviewers have been disappointed in Dark Knight, but that won’t keep my from seeing it Sunday.

  10. says

    I will never get tired of a good superhero movie and look forward to the day when they’re considered good movies instead of good superhero movies.

  11. Josh West says

    I’ll be seeing Dark Knight either today or tomorrow.

    The Watchmen trailer gives me a big stiffy, I have high hopes.

  12. says

    Zack Snyder seems to be a real fanboy, he tried to get the job because he really wanted Hollywood not to scew this one up, and is fighting to keep his 3 hour cut. And it is a hard R-rated flick! Imagine, they had the guy who wrote X-Men doing an adaption….
    The ending is changed quite a bit though, it seems the interdimensional creature destroying the city is cut. Also the pirate storyline is out but they intend to release that as an animated feature on DVD.
    The trailer looks way cool but I’m still not sure how they are handeling their ages, all the pics untill now show them as being way too young, and Night Owl not nearly fat enough.
    Can’t wait though… WANT!
    And I still need to wait another week before The Dark Knight premieres here… and Wall-E…
    Luckily there is a 1,5 km fun fair happening here now for the coming 10 days, all big powerfull machines with bright colourful lights! Yey!

  13. tsg says

    I’m burned out on them. Do we really need another Batman series?

    Hollywood is just out of ideas.

  14. Rhuvaughn Pynnonen says

    The comic I’d like to see the most is THE SPIRIT. But it’s got Frank (“everything-I-touch-turns-to-shit) Miller behind the camera, so it can’t help but suck.

  15. says

    The graphic novel of this was mind blowing for me back in the 80’s, and while I don’t think they will get every little detail I want them to get right will be in there, from what I saw of the trailer it will be good enough.

    But if you haven’t read the Watchman, pick up a copy. You will understand why people can’t wait for this movie.

  16. says


    30 Days Of Night has come and gone. As for the Watchmen, I detested the premise of the book so I don’t care how the movie is. The justification for mass murder used in The Watchmen is pretty much the same as the one the boob in the white house used to justify his pet wars. Of course I also consider Alan Moore as a overrated whiner.

  17. says

    Supposing comic-book adaptations have been proven profitable in the studios’ eyes, a frightening thought occurs: What will Hollywood do with Transmetropolitan, Preacher and Sandman?

  18. says

    They should do Frank Miller’s “Elektra: Assassin” with a decent actress. The twist at the end would be incredible.

    Give it to Guy Richie to direct.

  19. Kseniya says

    And much of that won’t really translate.

    Like those Fearful Symmetries, for example. :-)

  20. says

    The hair is standing up on my arms. Beautiful.

    I’ve been following this production for awhile. The rest of the cast looks good, but Jackie Earle Haley as Kovacs/Rorschach is PERFECT casting. Oh man oh man oh man!

  21. Bill Dauphin says

    Kseniya (@26):

    Hooray! Great to see your pixels; I was beginning to worry.

  22. william e emba says

    For those too young to remember, WATCHMEN was the #1 comic book event of all time. On-line, the Usenet rec.arts.comics newsgroup ended up getting overwhelmed once a month, with about three weeks of intense commentary towards the end as each issue came out, swamping all other discussion, and then a breather where other discussions were possible.

    Way cool.

  23. forti says

    Awesome. I can’t wait to see it. Now if they only made an adaptation of the goddamn Sandman…

  24. Christiaan says

    Wow, never thought you’d blog about this, PZ! It’s my favourite comic book, and I’m excited about how they’re handling the material since I first heard about this project 3/4 years ago…

    Somehow, I’m worried about this quote from Patrick Wilson: For the script we started with, every scene has something different than what’s on the page…

  25. says

    I finally got around to reading the Watchmen a few months ago. It is now one of my all time favorite comics. I let out a nerdy squee of delight when I saw the trailer yesterday. It was very pretty looking and if they stay true to the book it will be amazing. I haven’t been this excited for a movie in quite some time.

    I’m definitely going to see The Dark Knight later this evening. If it is anything like Nolan’s first Batman film, it will be well worth seeing.

  26. Hank Fox says

    tsg (#17) Hollywood is just out of ideas.

    Don’t be absurd. Hollywood is NOT out of ideas.

    There’s still the Mr. Whipple movie, The Green Giant Story, and Captain Crunch: Pirate of the Carob Bean.

  27. says

    Interesting note: the script is by David Hayter, who got his break doing voice acting for a wonderful series of video games called Metal Gear Solid. He’s described as being a genuinely nice guy, as described in his Wikipedia bio.

    It’s not that I’m a Hayter fanboy (fan, yes; fanboy, no). It’s just that when someone does things right like adapting faithfully a good book or comic book, I like to see them credited. It seems like a lot of times, commenters on the web only point out when people screw up. That, and writers don’t get noticed nearly enough these days.

  28. Hank Fox says

    I went to see the 12:01 a.m. screening and … whoa. I’m really torn about saying this, because I love the superheroes with actual superpowers, but this is probably the best “superhero” movie ever made. The acting throughout was stellar — there wasn’t so much as an eyebrow out of place — but the writing, the dialogue, all the rest of it was incredibly good too.

    Oscars: Yes, Heath Ledger deserves an Oscar for the chilling, deadly Joker he created. But Michael Caine deserves an Oscar too, for his supporting role, and Aaron Eckhart deserves at least a nomination.

    Sitting in the theater and looking around at the audience, I didn’t see another person my age in the room. I don’t know whether they had all grown up and left Batman behind, or maybe were just at home in bed at this unreasonable hour. And all the young people sitting around me — how did they come to know and like the Batman? Was it the movies? The hype about THIS movie? The graphic novels?

    It’s amazing the stuff you can find inside yourself: At one point I actually looked around and sniffed with disdain at that audience of 20-somethings. None of these people were REAL fans like me, whose life has encompassed most of Batman’s 69-year history, and who has been a reader of comic books since I learned how.

    Get it? I felt SUPERIOR for a moment. Because I’m a better comic book fan.


  29. Colugo says

    Natasha Yar-Routh: “I detested the premise of the book so I don’t care how the movie is.”

    Spoiler alert (is it really necessary?)

    Watchmen really does have a heinous ethical parable: the threat of mutually assured destruction is so terrible that it is better to slaughter much of New York. The first season of Heroes had a similar premise, except it was the bad guys who were trying to do it and they were foiled. In Death Note, the Ozymandias analog, Light, is a powermad villain who gets his just desserts.

    I liked Moore’s Swamp Thing, at least his early issues, but I hate what he did do Alice, Dorothy and Wendy in Lost Girls.

  30. andyo says

    I have no idea what you guys are talking about. Looks like a cool movie though, and the right director for the genre.

    So you guys are liking The Dark Knight, right? Anyone seen it on IMAX? What are your opinions? I tried to get tickets for Monday, but no good seats left. If I’m gonna pay $12.50 for a freaking matinee (regular is $16), I’ll better be seated in the damn straight center of the auditorium. Got my ticket for Thursday.

  31. Kseniya says

    The ending is changed quite a bit though, it seems the interdimensional creature destroying the city is cut.

    WTF? What’s the point of making the movie, then?

    The justification for mass murder used in The Watchmen…

    On the other hand, I have have misunderstood Moore’s point, there. What justification, besides Ozymandias’s, which IIRC was neither approved nor shared by his peers? I was pretty young when I read it; maybe I missed something…

    Also the pirate storyline is out

    I expected that…

    but they intend to release that as an animated feature on DVD.

    Cool. :-)

  32. Kseniya says

    Argh! I forgot to include a spoiler alert – I’m sorry.

    Hmmm. I should read the Watchmen book again. I was pretty young when I read it, which was around nine or ten years ago. So I would have been 14 or 15…

    Oh, and Bill, thanks for your concern. I’m fine. I’ve got a lot on my mind, and I’ve been a little burned out on blog-commenting. Plus, it’s the middle of the summer and the weather has been gorgeous (if hot) for the most part, so I’ve been spending less time on the computer. In other words, all is as it should be. Now if only my dad could find a job…

  33. says

    I say Transmetropolitan as a weekly series, r-rated and all.
    As I don’t have a TV (or not even a house at the moment for that matter) I would have to watch it on my laptop (probably ilegally) and wouldn’t leave the screen for all 60 hours. Blissssssssssss
    Alan Moore could play the role of Spider when he still has hair!

  34. MH says

    Juri #32 “I finally got around to reading the Watchmen a few months ago. It is now one of my all time favorite comics. I let out a nerdy squee of delight when I saw the trailer yesterday. It was very pretty looking and if they stay true to the book it will be amazing. I haven’t been this excited for a movie in quite some time.”

    You took the words out of my mouth, so to speak. Especially the “squee” bit!

    To all other commenters: PLEASE DON’T REVEAL SPOILERS! Thanks.

  35. says

    I’ve got a lot on my mind, and I’ve been a little burned out on blog-commenting. Plus, it’s the middle of the summer and the weather has been gorgeous (if hot) for the most part, so I’ve been spending less time on the computer. In other words, all is as it should be.

    So you’re saying it would be exactly the wrong time to nag at you for not having joined our Pharyngula group on Atheist Nexus?

    Best of luck to your dad, K.

  36. mandrake says

    Kseniya said:

    On the other hand, I have have misunderstood Moore’s point, there. What justification, besides Ozymandias’s, which IIRC was neither approved nor shared by his peers?

    I agree with you. I think that’s made clear when the big blue dude talks to him near the end, there, & with the varying responses of the different characters (NiteOwl, Rorschach.)
    And damn, that’s the reason that the ending is *crucial*!
    for many reasons, esp. the turnaround of the omnipresent “disaster narrowly avoided” scenario, and the fact that it was one of the good guys who caused it – and not accidentally. The typical human reaction I think would be Nite Owl’s, with its “if we tell the truth the good done will be undone and all these people would have died for nothing”, and Rorschach is… well, himself. Weirdly honorable.
    In any case, I think the reading of “Ozymandias good” is really wrong.
    Wow… went on longer than I thought. Guess I have more of the fan in me than I realized. Well, “Watchman” really was a turning point in the comics field.
    Insanely detailed online annotations here:

  37. aratina cage says

    I thought I was hearing Billy Corgan in the Watchmen trailer, and sure enough, they mixed it with The End Is the Beginning Is the End. This is the first time I have heard of Watchmen but I love the music choice and I think it already looks visually stunning.

  38. AdamK says

    I don’t care much if they screw it up, I just want to see Dr. Manhattan on the big screen. I just looked at the trailer and was too awe-struck to even squee.

    And the showed a brief glimpse of Rorschach’s mask in the shadows, and you could see just a little corner of the inky part…changing.

    Now I know what the religious folk are talking about when they go on and on about their ineffable indescribable experience of transcendent joy and all that.

  39. IceFarmer says

    The sound quality and imagery is seemless, gripping and every bullet tears through the audience.

    The whole movie is fantastic (no spoilers here), better than Batman Begins. The writing is grittier, more sinister and hits closer to home in a few places (as the Dark Knight version of Batman should). Honestly, I think that despite it’s length (well over 2 hours and never checked my watch once) they could have stretched it out a bit longer. I hope that they release an extended version.

    Everyone plays their roles perfectly but Heath Ledger steals the show. If I had to go out on a good note as an, this is one you could definitely hang your hat on.

    Best comic adaptaion this summer. Ironman was awesome, a solid #2 (not a bathroom code) but I’d say is not even close to being as good.

    Watchmen has potential but I’m saving any judgement.

  40. says

    @ william e emba: Ah, yes, the Usenet days. Some of my first Internet posts had to do with Watchmen while it was coming out…

    @ GirBoBytons: Yes. Absolutely yes. You have to go out and read it. All of it, including the material at the back of each issue. (One of the reasons that translation of the comic to film is going to be difficult is that a lot of the story telling involves using comic book conventions (such as captions and frame transitions and such) in innovative ways.)

    And of course PZ would be a Watchmen, given the nature of Ozzy’s big project…

  41. Chief says

    I am most definitely not superheroed out. Every other movie (and Hulk was most definitely not a superhero movie) has been a build-up to tonight.
    I have tickets to the 11:00 and cannot wait.
    I was also wondering why the Dark Knight is my favorite of the superheroes, and whether or not my reasoning applied to like-minded individuals.
    Who is your favorite superhero, and why? Does the Batman appeal to you because he is just an extremely driven (albeit extremely rich) regular guy? Does Superman seem more like a minor god? Are the rest too scientifically improbable?

  42. James Taylor says

    For those tired of the super-hero movie, Watchmen is an anti-super-hero story. There is only one character with actual super-powers. All other characters are basically vigilantes. One of the underlying themes challenges the reader to answer the question “Would you really want super-hero/vigilantes in society?”

    I still have my originals bagged. I fondly remember reading them reverently as they were released.

    Who watches the Watchmen, indeed.

  43. MH says

    Brownian #45 “The cake is a lie.”

    Now you’ve spoiled the whole thing. You might as well have revealed the ending, where Kitler’s army of Oompa-Loompas take over the Universe, due to his acquiring the nine Jaffa cakes of power.

  44. Kirk says

    Hmm. The links I’ve found indicate that the ending was NOT substantially changed, contrary to the rumors that were out there. But maybe the overall event happens, but the way it happens has changed. So, just as massive, just as intentional and planned, and same moral quandaries.

    And for those who think that the book made a clear moral choice and don’t like it because of that, you might not have read it closely. The various characters had different moral justifications for all their actions throughout. It does end up a certain way, but it’s left up to the reader to decide whether it was worth it or even whether it really worked out the way it was intended.

    “Nothing ends, Adrian. Nothing ever ends.”

  45. James Taylor says

    Also heard that the Black Freighter will not be in the movie, but it has been hinted to be included as a stand alone short on a future DVD release.

  46. Kseniya says

    Thanks, Kirk. That’s kinda how I remembered it: Not as a morality play with a definitive conclusion, but as a humongous, betentacled mass of tangled ambiguities… LoL

  47. Karley says

    I wouldn’t mind seeing more comic book movies. Just maybe less superhero movies. Lots of people seem to think they’re synonymous.

  48. Stwriley says

    Not That Louis @ #18

    I’ll second that, or any other of those great old First comics. The ideal one for Hollywood would be Nexus, of course. A great opportunity for action/effects while it has a pretty nice array of story elements for a filmmaker. Still, Whisper is a pretty nice story too, and doubtless much cheaper to shoot.

  49. Pierce R. Butler says

    Blake Stacey @ # 24: “What will Hollywood do with … Sandman?” & forti @ # 30: “Now if they only made an adaptation of the goddamn Sandman…”

    There are occasional hints at Neil Gaiman’s blog (though none I could find in the current manifestation) about such a project – e.g., comments about taking a jaunt to Hollywood to participate in the casting of Death – that imply such a prospect is on the horizon.

    Or was that just a dream?

  50. says

    It’s been awhile since I’ve seen it, but Pixar’s The Incredibles reminded quite a bit of Watchmen, not in plot or character but in its gleeful deconstruction of superhero tropes. (Of course when I mentioned this to the folks I watched the movie with, I was met with blank stares). Plus the extras on the DVD reminded of all the auxiliary material (clips from biographies, psych reports, EC comic homages, etc) at the end of each issue.

    I’ve liked a lot of superhero movies, and I understand why people love Batman–he’s a guy with no supernatural abilities–but my favorite comic book movie, and still I think the best in terms of its ability to evoke both real pathos from the character as well as acknowledge its inherent ridiculousness–is the original 1978 Superman. Then again, I first saw it in 1978 in a theatre larger than life when I was seven years old, so that might have something to do with it. That, and John Williams’s score. What’s Spider-man’s theme music again?

  51. tsg says

    Don’t be absurd. Hollywood is NOT out of ideas.

    There’s still the Mr. Whipple movie, The Green Giant Story, and Captain Crunch: Pirate of the Carob Bean.

    Feh. The latest incarnation of “guy with a bunch of kids marries girl with a bunch of kids – hilarity ensues” was enough to convince me.

    Of course, they haven’t quite exhausted the “make a movie out of old sitcoms” meme yet.

    My short list of bad movies I expect to see in the next few years:

    I Dream of Jeannie
    Three’s Company
    Full House
    Green Acres
    Too Close For Comfort
    Bosom Buddies
    Charles in Charge
    Who’s the Boss
    Chico and the Man
    Harper Valley PTA
    F Troop
    Gilligan’s Island (not counting the TV movies)
    Fantasy Island
    Mork and Mindy
    Night Court
    Sanford and Son
    Welcome Back Kotter

  52. sov says

    I would prefer some really good SF movies with believable science. I haven’t seen such a movie in years.
    I think movies based on comics are infantile. Some are indeed well directed and acted, but the fact that the action is so childish ruins them for me.

  53. IceFarmer says

    Batman’s appeal lies in the fact that he is truly just a man. He has no special powers and most of his crime fighting is down to his wit, powers of deduction and physical prowess. He does have his gadgets and cars but those don’t make Batman who he is. He is more realistic compared to aliens or mutants with special powers in most comics.

    His story is a fabulous interpretation of the hero’s quest. The catch is that he never is truly accepted and brought into a state of grace but condemned to live in the shadows. It’s as if his guilt and wealthy position condemn him to this lowly position. But what would a pretty boy Batman be? Boring, dull and uninteresting. It’s better that he have more in common with an anti-hero than a conventional hero.

    I also think that many people identify with his motivation. He lost his parents to crime, has some guilt and firm resolve to not take it anymore when the system fails. Who doesn’t feel that way when law is handed down in place of justice? He does what most people wish they could in an ethical fashion, unlike the Punisher, he doesn’t kill.

    Another aspect which draws people to him is the Jungian duality of man. People have two parts within themselves. Bruce Wayne/Batman are the two sides that make him complete. He has to play the billionaire playboy but be Batman at the same time. He is not truly one or the other. Batman hides his face behind a mask and the night, while Bruce Wayne hides behind decadence, arrogance and high society. They are both very much alone having very few close friends who truly know him/them.

  54. Rey Fox says

    “What will Hollywood do with Transmetropolitan, Preacher and Sandman?”

    Last I heard, sometime last year, is that folks at HBO are trying to get Preacher off the ground as an hour-long series (which is good, since trying to shoehorn it into a three-act popcorn flick would have certainly been problematic). The writer/producer is the guy behind the recent movie versions of Daredevil and Ghost Rider, which is certainly cause for alarm, but he seemed really eager to stay faithful to the comics, and at one point even declared he wanted to do each issue as a separate episode. Since then, plans have changed, but I believe Ennis is intimately involved, and the rumor mill has (had?) Robert Rodriguez as director. The most recent story I found was here:

    So naturally, all this is to be taken with a grain of salt.

  55. Rey Fox says

    “What’s Spider-man’s theme music again?”

    That would be the little ditty plucked out on a violin by the Chinese lady in Spiderman 2.

  56. fatewilleatyou says

    I’m greatly looking forward to Watchmen. For those who don’t know, it’s one of the most highly regarded graphic novels. If they can bring that same sense of brutal reality to the screen then it should be marvelous.

  57. John Robie says

    #59 – Neil Gaiman is in the process of doing a movie of “Death: The High Cost of Living.” (I think he might be directing it, I’m not sure.) The Sandman movie is currently stuck somewhere in development purgatory, and as far as I’m concerned, it can stay there. The story in the comics is too big and too good to be compressed into a couple hours of film.

  58. forti says

    @59 – Then why not make an entire series? You can’t seriously expect anyone to squeeze the Sandman in a single movie. It would kill it, especially if they’d keep the ending.

    Also, Sandman > Watchmen, if you disagree you’re a blasphemer. :D

  59. Gustav Nyström says

    Will E: “What’s Spider-man’s theme music again?”

    Rey Fox: “That would be the little ditty plucked out on a violin by the Chinese lady in Spiderman 2.”

    And it kicks John Williams ass!

    forti: “Also, Sandman > Watchmen, if you disagree you’re a blasphemer. :D”

    Visually maybe. But Alan Moore’s genius is tough to but when it comes to everything else.

    A blasphemer. And proud of it.

  60. bartkid says

    The one comic book movie I saw twice this year was Persepolis.

    The first time I saw it, the dialogue was in French, with Catherine Deneuve playing Marji’s mom.

    The second time I saw it, the dialogue was in English, with Sean Penn as Marji’s dad and Iggy Pop as her uncle.

    I think this was the first movie I have seen twice in a movie theatre since Blade Runner.

    Quite the hidden treat.

    But go on, go back to your men-in-tights films. Call me when they get around to Ambush Bug: The Movie.

  61. forti says

    @70: OK, using the word blasphemer was a bad idea in this particular context.
    Since I’m a fundamentalist Gaiman fan…oh wait. *facepalms*

  62. Jim A. says

    …Welcome back Kotter… rapper Ice Cube is going to play the title role. Truth is stranger than fiction.

    As for non-superhero comics, there was some talk about an animated version of MAUS, but I don’t think that it’s currently in the works.

  63. Matt A says

    I sort of feel sorry for Zack Snyder. For one, his parents were cruel enough to couple Snyder with Zack when choosing his given name; really, it’s like having the surname Jars and christening your son Hugh. For two, what has he done? A remake and two comic-book adaptations. No matter how Watchmen turns out, the absolute best he can hope for is people saying, “It wasn’t entirely unfaithful to the source.” It’s like Gus Van Sant’s shot-for-shot remake of Psycho; We have seen this already, show us something new. Hitchcock, bless his corpulent corpse, is one of the few to remake a movie and improve it – The Man Who Knew Too Much is better with Jimmy Stewart, as are all movies Jimmy Stewart ever appeared in – and I will grudgingly put Michael Mann in that category, too. Grudgingly, not because Heat is bad – I’m not blind, deaf and insane, it’s unmitigated brilliance fom fade up to credits roll – but because since hardly anyone saw L.A. Takedown, it sort of doesn’t count as a remake. The desire to remake is understandable – the entertainment industry is, after all, an industry, and seeks primarily to return profits to its investors – but it’s still irritating; six iterations of Star Trek (counting the animated series as separate) versus one half-season of Firefly is not a fair and balanced world. Yes, I know Star Trek is Paramount and not Fox, just hang on tight and don’t look down while I ride this ideological bronco for all it’s worth. To paraphrase Saint Yahtzee, stop taking no risks and pushing no envelopes; if you must present us with Jacob’s Cream Crackers, have the decency to slather on some butter and brie, and see if you can throw a crunchy nugget of Branston Pickle into the mix to spice things up a bit.

    Having moved from “sympathy with overpaid twat” to “British culinary humour” via “obscure internet phenomenon reference”, I play Mornington Crescent and claim victory…

  64. says

    I’m with Blake on wanting to see what Hollywood does with Transmet, Preacher and Sandman. I’d also like to see some kind of live action adaptation of 100 Bullets, perhaps as an HBO or Showtime series.

  65. Rey Fox says

    “Also, Sandman > Watchmen, if you disagree you’re a blasphemer. :D”

    Kinda problematic to compare a 75-issue “ongoing” series with tons of spinoffs to a complete 12-issue story. But whatever floats your boat. I read Watchmen a few years back, and I can’t say it had a huge impact on me. Possibly because there have been so many superhero deconstructions since then that none of Watchmen seemed particularly exciting to me. I can certainly understand it being The Shit back in the mid-80s.

    But as long as we’re talking about comic adaptations that we’d like to see, I think Bendis & Oeming’s Powers begs for a big-screen treatment. In fact, I often wonder why none of the superhero movies ever call Bendis in for writing or script-doctoring. The Spiderman movies could have really used his touch. Must be a union thing.

  66. Hank Fox says

    Mighty Mouse: The Movie. A live-action Mighty Mouse (“Heeer I come to save the DAAAaaay!”) defends Mouseville against an attacking horde of cats riding invisible bicycles and staring malevolently out of holes in the ceiling.

    Directed by Brian DePalma.

    Expect blood.

  67. Hank Fox says

    And while we’re on the subject of screen adaptations, this moment in political/social history would be a great time for a movie of The Stars My Destination. Gully Foyle is a sort of superhero, when I think about it.

  68. Pierce R. Butler says

    Hank Fox @ # 82: … a movie of The Stars My Destination.

    Gawd no: absolutely no one presently in Hollywood could do that right. Long ago, I swore a mighty vow to remove everything by Alfred Bester from my bookshelves if I got the word that Lucas or Spielberg would be dropping by.

    Hell, they’ve never even mustered the talent to do right by Heinlein or Asimov.

  69. mayhempix says

    Just saw “”Dark Night” in Buenos Aires.


    Heath Ledger as the Joker is amazing and the rest of the cast is first rate.
    I never liked the Burton movies. This one has a superb script and never takes the easy way out.

  70. says

    It wasn’t quite half a lifetime ago that I encountered Watchmen which represents a big phase change for me. I was just sitting down to work out how to make animated vehicles on a $10K IBM PC AT with its 20Mg hard drive, driving a nine pen plotter for a studio that had been employing JMS before he created B5 to world-build for He-Man, and the writer from West Hollywood, whom I’d been giving a ride to work, until he almost learned how to drive his own car (“John Shirley? His driving is like his writing–sometimes brilliant but usually dangerous,” said Wm. Gibson), paid for gas with a copy of Neuromancer and the three installments of The Watchmen available at the time. It plugged me right back into the world of what mattered in a way I hadn’t thought about since learning to read on Silver Age comics. It’s telling that Watchmen will get a respectable adaptation long before Neuromancer ever will, because Gibson’s world has long since ceased to be remarkable.

    Such a fanboy. I’m sitting here wearing a t-shirt of Dream/Daniel, penciled for The Wake who is clutching opium poppies.

  71. Josh says

    #21, #36: You must have been really disturbed by Moby-Dick, which suggests that it’s okay to kill yourself and the whole crew of your ship in pursuit of a creature who only harmed you when provoked. It’s a strange fundamentalist reading that thinks a story endorses the decisions it depicts –particularly in the case of Watchmen, which hammers its message in rather aggressively by comparing its chief villain to the guy in the pirate comic. Indeed, I used to think Moore was awfully heavy-handed: look at the final panel of V, in which the story’s moral center, Eric Finch, provides a down-to-earth counterpart to the power fantasies of the title character and his successor– but people still seem to miss his points.

  72. Eric Paulsen says

    … now after seeing that I’ve messed my underwear… thanks a lot. :P I hope it’s as good as it looks to be! – Chris Swanson

    The mess in your underwear?!? I’ve never been into corprophagy but by all means – let us know if it is as good as it looks… ;P

  73. Carlie says

    “What’s Spider-man’s theme music again?”

    That would be the little ditty plucked out on a violin by the Chinese lady in Spiderman 2.

    Which will always now be tainted in my mind by this.

  74. Julie K says

    I’m not so much superheroed out as never being superheroed in to begin with. I did enjoy the two Hellboy movies (after the first one drew me in with the Lovecraftian elements) but otherwise superheroes/comic book adaptations just leave me cold.

    What I really want to see is a big budget, faithful adaptation of Lovecraft. And no, I don’t think del Toro’s ideas for At the Mountains of Madness are right.

    Yes, I’m feeling very cranky about movies right now.

  75. Zeph says

    yawn… call me when Hollywood decides to make a good, original movie that’s not a sequel, a remake, based on a book, based on comic books, based on newspaper articles… etc. etc.

  76. Kseniya says

    Julie, I’m guessing you didn’t think much of Gordon’s Re-Animator or From Beyond.

    Zeph, I take it you’re a Charlie Kaufman fan…?

  77. Julie K says


    I didn’t like From Beyond but I did get a lot of laughs from Re-Animator. Lovecraft intended it to be trashy and the film captures that spirit quite well. I also enjoyed Dagon and Dreams in the Witch House but I would like to see something without the Stuart Gordon additions which aren’t at all Lovecraft.

  78. says

    I don’t know why anyone would expect Hollywood to be original *now* when it never was in the past. Birth of a Nation, Dracula, Frankenstein, Citizen Kane, Wizard of Oz, The Big Sleep, Double Indemnity, From Here to Eternity, Psycho, Sound of Music, Godfather, Jaws, Gandhi, Silence of the Lambs, Goodfellas, Forrest Gump, Shawshank Redemption, Sense & Sensibility, Fight Club… classics from every decade of film have been based on books, plays, musicals, & real people. Why should today be any different? Sure, great original movies exist (Chinatown, Taxi Driver, and Pulp Fiction say), but before one dismisses current Hollywood output as somehow *more* derivative, a cursory knowledge of its history might be in order.

  79. says

    One thing about Watchmen: isn’t it’s message more or less the opposite of 300? I don’t see how one guy can believe in the points both are making. What are Zack Snyder’s views on the material?

  80. Pierce R. Butler says

    Clan:Rewired @ # 16: … the pirate storyline is out…

    OMFSM – has anyone calculated the potential global-warming consequences of this rash decision?

  81. says

    Alan Moore is brilliant. Usually his books are better than the films but at least the films give attention to the books. His best, IMO, is From Hell.

  82. Ab_Normal says

    Stwriley #58: If we’re thinking about First comics, I’d vote for The Badger.

  83. Hank Fox says

    Ab_Normal #100: Stwriley #58: If we’re thinking about First comics, I’d vote for The Badger.

    What? Are you suggesting “Badger Badger Badger: The Movie”?

    Okay, THAT would be the definitive sure sign of the death of ideas in Hollywood.

  84. Nothing Sacred says


    “Persepolis” the film* is indeed wonderful, as is the graphic novel. I wasn’t a girl who grew up reading comic books, but I read “Watchmen” this summer and loved it. Capes and tights don’t do much for me, but anti-heroes, historical fiction, meta-fiction, political satire/social commentary, and moral dilemmas definitely do. Give Watchmen a try: it turns the superhero archetype on its head and the results are wonderfully dark and engrossing.

    *I refuse to see the dubbed version, though, because 1) that is what ruined Miyazaki for me, and 2) I am morally opposed to celebrity casting for voice-over gigs. I have an inner elitist, too (just like everyone else.)


    Psst… google “The Thirty-Six Dramatic Scenarios” or “Hero Journey” (Campbell’s ideas are a bit reductive, but still relevant.) No story is “new” or “original.” Try to write an original story or play and you will quickly learn this.

  85. Monkey's Uncle says

    Oh Yes. Oh Yes Oh Yes. I ‘Squeeed’. A lot.
    Please let me just say to all the nay sayers…give it a chance, OK?

    I was given a copy of Watchmen (the compendium of all the comics) to borrow by a friend, a long time ago. I used to read the DC/Marvel stuff in the 70’s when I was a kid, and chatting about this to my friend and expressing incredulity that grown ups read comics, he handed me a much worn out copy of Watchmen. I read that in about two days, re read it properly over a few times, then got chatting with someone at work about comics.

    “Here, ” I said, ” read this, it’s excellent.” They went away and I confessed to my friend that I had let someone borrow it.

    ” That’s ok, I borrowed it off of someone else too!” Turns out that this copy has been going around and around turning people into Watchmen disciples for a long time. And the person who I gave it to passed it on to others, too.

    I have my own copy now of course, but I think the other one is still out there, somewhere….

    I don’t know if this is a testament to the story, or the uniqueness of the content, or something else, but all I know is I’ve been waiting a long, long time for this movie. And if the trailer is anything to go by, it looks (to use a UK phrase) the Dog’s Bollocks.

    Now my goosebumps have gone down, I think I’ll watch the trailer again :-)

  86. bartkid says

    >Bah! I know the movie that PZ will really be able to get into…Cthulhu.

    Thank you very much for the best laugh I have had today.
    The credits end with “And Tori Spelling”!