Watchmen is often cited as one of the first pieces of superhero content to be regarded as ‘serious literature,’ helping to erase the stereotype that superhero stories are only for children.
Image via SyFy Wire
For those who don’t know, Watchmen takes place in an alternate 1980s, one where the U.S. won the Vietnam War. The plot follows retired heroes Rorschach, Nite Owl II, Silk Spectre II, Doctor Manhattan, and Ozymandias as they investigate the murder of one of their colleagues. Watchmen expertly uses each hero, and illuminates their individual backstories, highlighting larger societal issues and asking viewers to analyze intense moral gray-areas.
Watchmen, today, remains one of the most influential superhero tales in our current culture, and that’s why HBO’s adaptation has been so highly anticipated. Directed by Damon Lindelof, who is best known for his work on Lost and The Leftovers, this adaptation is set 30 years after the events of the original.
Image via Men’s Health
Many fans have been burned by the word ‘adaptation’ in recent years, as flops like Aladdin (2019),and Kim Possible(2018) are constantly being pumped out in a last-ditch attempt to capitalize on millennial nostalgia. Lindelof, feeling the pressure, posted a statement on Instagram that explains his intentions with handling the material.
Basically, he explains that he has no intentions of altering or disregarding the original work in any way, as Watchmen has been one of his favorite works since childhood. However, if you’d like to compare the two side by side, now is the time!
Adaptations galore is coming this fall season! What are the ones that you should look forward to most? Well, stay tuned!
It Chapter 2
Image Via Vanity Fair
A sequel to the horrifying film It, the ‘Loser’s Club’ is back twenty-seven years later (or two years later). The group returns to Derry, Maine, where the Losers must finish what they started: destroy Pennywise.
Who from our lovely ‘Loser’s Club’ will be lost in the ensuing bloodbath? How will these losers defeat Pennywise? Well, it’s based on a Stephen King novel that was released back in 1986, so the answers are out there and, um, it’s pretty wild. Remember to sing your praises to Maturin this September 6th!
Image Via Variety
An original standalone origin story for a character who infamously doesn’t have a definitive origin, this movie starring Joaquin Phoenix has clearly taken cues from Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke by making Arthur Fleck, a mentally ill man disregarded by society, into an up-and-coming comedian. In the iconic comic book, the unnamed man’s career in comedy ends in a chemical bath, but Arthur Fleck’s story might end on a different note entirely.
Is that scene, where Arthur Fleck, in full-fledged Joker makeup, goes on stage with Robert Di Niro a callback to The Dark Knight Returns scene when the Joker poisons the audience and the talk show host alike in a scene of ‘hilarious’ death?
We’ll find out this October 4th.
Having been around since 1930, Nancy Drew has been around longer than your parents (not judging) and she’s spent her time well: solving mysteries even when people told her she couldn’t.
This series has been around forever and if you haven’t read it, you’ve definitely heard of it. Well, we’re getting an adaptation of this series that’s set to debut on October 9, 2019 on the CW.
Miles Halter is our man and through his eyes we are introduced to Alaska Young. A new student meets a timid young girl? Sounds like a love story made in heaven, until Miles soon learns that her life isn’t as perfect as he originally thought.
We’ll get a chance for our spirits to rise and our hearts to grow and break and grow again this October 14th.
Another (sort of) Alan Moore adaptation, this version of Watchmen will be, in the words of showrunner Damon Lindelof, “a remix.”
For those of you who need to be brought up to speed, an alien invasion took place which ended the Cold War, but it was all a fake-out. Rorschach, before his untimely demise, sent his journal to the press where he laid a bread crumb trail to the truth.
What is known about this HBO series is that it takes place thirty-four years after the original comic left off. Taking place in an alternative reality in 2019 where this is no internet or smartphones, we are introduced to a United States where Robert Redford is now the longest-serving president, having been elected in 1992, a feat accomplished thanks to President Nixon abolishing the two-term limit back before the original comic book. Things are in disarray. A white supremacist group calling itself “The Seventh Cavalry,” with members who all wear homemade Rorschach masks, commits simultaneous attacks on the houses of police officers. Because of this, the police start wearing masks themselves.
What is this leading up to? Where are the original characters? Tune in to HBO October 20th find out.
Another Stephen King adaptation, this one is an adaptation ofDoctor Sleep, a sequel to The Shining. While the movie won’t be based on the Stanley Kubrick version, since the movie departs too much from the source material, this standalone is clearly drawing on the imagery set forth by Kubrick. Will it be any good? What’s going to happen?
The film arrives in theaters this November 8th.
The Good Liar
Catherine McKenzie brought us The Good Liar, and Warner Bros is bringing us the film adaptation. Ian McKellen is going to grace the screens as seasoned conman Roy Courtnay.
After he meets Betty McLeish online, he decides to steal a glorious amount of cash from her. But Betty McLeish, played by Helen Mirren, is too much for the conman and he finds herself falling for him. How will this sinister love affair turn out? See it in threaten this November 15th.
First, T.S. Eliot brought us Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats in 1939. From there we got a play, and now we’re getting a movie. The plot is hard to describe, but it basically follows a tribe of cats known as the ‘Jellicles’ who gather together to make the ‘Jellicle choice.’ Those who get the ‘Jellicle choice’ mean they can now be killed so they can go to heaven and come back because, you know, cats have nine lives.
Don’t get it? Doesn’t matter! There’s singing and there’s dancing and there’s this purr-fect trailer! It comes out December 20th.
His Dark Materials
Image via Amazon
This series has never been adapted before (we don’t talk about that other thing) and so THIS will be the first adaptation of Phil Pullman’s epic book series, His Dark Materials, in our books. The first season will draw upon the first book in the trilogy, following the life of a young Lyra (Dafne Keen) who is an orphan living with the tutors at Jordan College, Oxford. It’s not the Oxford you and I know, however, it’s an Oxford in an alternative world where all humans have animal companions called dæmons, which are the manifestations of their souls.
Lyra’s search for her missing friend will lead to uncovering a massive conspiracy linked to a mysterious substance called Dust and secrets from these two mysterious people, Lord Asriel (James McAvoy) and Marisa Coulter (Ruth Wilson).
If the first season is good (please let it be good), then we’ll be getting at least two more seasons! BBC One and HBO are teaming up, so hopefully they won’t disappoint us… In the meantime, however, I just want them to give a release date that’s more specific than “autumn.”
The stories follow Geralt of Rivia, played by Henry Cavil, a solitary monster hunter who struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts. What will become of Geralt?
Check out the series on Netflix this sometime “late 2019”.
A new television series based on Alan Moore’s Watchmen is coming to HBO this fall. It’s not the first of Moore’s works to be adapted and it won’t be the last. It also won’t be the last time Moore publicly disapproves of someone adapting his work.
Moore has never been a fan of Hollywood adapting his writings and has been vocal about how he wants as little involvement in these productions as possible, even going so far as to have his name removed as a credited writer on these adaptations. Showrunner of the upcoming Watchmen series, Damon Lindelof, is aware of this. During a talk at the Television Critics Association, Lindelof commented on Moore’s disapproval and going on with the adaptation anyway:
“The wrestling match will continue. I do feel like the spirit of Alan Moore is a punk rock spirit, a rebellious spirit, and that if you would tell Alan Moore, a teenage Moore in ’85 or ’86, ‘You’re not allowed to do this because Superman’s creator or Swamp Thing’s creator doesn’t want you to do it,’ he would say, ‘F— you, I’m doing it anyway.’ So I’m channeling the spirit of Alan Moore to tell Alan Moore, ‘F— you, I’m doing it anyway.’”
The new series will take place after the events of the graphic novel, and follows a police officer who turns to vigilantism after the rise of a cult inspired by the iconic Watchmen character, Rorschach. The universe in which the show takes place will feature Robert Redford as President, include no internet or smartphones, and will tackle the issue of white supremacy.
Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta is being developed as a TV series by Channel 4. This seems like a good move.
The series is in the earliest of early stages of development, but Channel 4 has previously brought us fan-favorites like Black Mirror and Humans, so we can hope for something high quality.
Image Via DC Comics
The dystopian story follows a vigilante named V who takes down a fascist regime through an elaborate revenge scheme. Think The Count of Monte Cristo crossed with Reagan-era political paranoia.
The 2005 adaptation of the graphic novel starred Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving, and received middling reviews. Honestly, I thought it was pretty cool. The graphic novel is a surprisingly nuanced analysis of the relationship between fascism and democracy, between individuality and groupthink. The 2005 movie was more of a Bush/Blair-era action movie that was somewhat politically minded, but more explodey-minded. Still, it’s an entertaining watch (besides the thirty minute torture sequence).
This news follows the recent announcement that Moore’s Watchmen began production as a series over at HBO. It’s a good year for Moore fans, but probably a bad year for Moore, who notoriously hates adaptations of his work.