Throughout April, we’re counting down to the release of Marvel’s Iron Man 3 with our picks for the Greatest Comic Book Movies of All Time; here’s #13…
Directed by Zack Snyder.
Starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jackie Earle Haley, Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Carla Gugino and Patrick Wilson.
For a long while, it looked as if we’d never get to watch the Watchmen. Writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons’ sprawling superhero opus was first optioned back in 1986, and passed through the hands of several studios, screenwriters and directors over the next two decades, including Sam Hamm (Batman), Terry Gilliam (Brazil), Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler), Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Supremacy) and David Hayter (X-Men).
Eventually the task of adapting what is arguably the greatest comic book story of all-time fell to Zack Snyder, who was fresh off another hit comic book movie in 300. Snyder chose to adopt the same process as he did on 300, using the original comic panels as his storyboard, and delivered a mostly faithful adaptation of Moore’s complex, multi-layered tale as Watchmen finally arrived in cinemas in 2009. Alongside the 160 minute theatrical cut, Snyder also released a 186 minute Director’s Cut on DVD and Blu-ray, followed by a four-disc Ultimate Cut which inserted the animated Tales of the Black Freighter into the story and raised the running time to 215 minutes.
Watchmen marks the third (and highest) appearance in our list of the Greatest Comic Book Movies for Alan Moore after The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (#49) and V for Vendetta (#15), although as with both of those films, Moore himself had no interest in the final product. It also marks the second (and highest) appearance for Zack Snyder, with 300 coming in at #32. Next up for Snyder is another comic book adaptation with this summer’s hotly-anticipated Superman reboot Man of Steel.
Keep up to date with our entire countdown here.
Holy Franchise, Batman! Bringing the Caped Crusader to the Screen – Available now via Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.