You know, I don’t know if this bolds well for the film version of Watchmen, or if this is a bad thing, but here goes…
David Hayter, who you might know best as the voice of Metal Gear Solid’s Solid Snake, but is just as known as the writer of X-Men, X2 and yes, Watchmen, has a little something to say to the fans.
Basically, he wants…nay, needs the nerd populace to see Watchmen a second time this weekend.
The gist of the letter is that even though Watchmen had a solid opening weekend take, it’s the second and third weeks of release that really show how strong a film is, and given that Watchmen is such a tough to produce yet faithful interpretation of the property, a great second and third weekend will tell the Hollywood Studios to make more comic films that are JUST as faithful.
Here’s part of his letter, to accentuate his point (the full letter is linked below):
This is a movie made by fans, for fans. Hundreds of people put in years of their lives to make this movie happen, and every one of them was insanely committed to retaining the integrity of this amazing, epic tale. This is a rare success story, bordering on the impossible, and every studio in town is watching to see if it will work. Hell, most of them own a piece of the movie.
So look, this is a note to the fanboys and fangirls. The true believers. Dedicated for life.
If the film made you think. Or argue with your friends. If it inspired a debate about the nature of man, or vigilante justice, or the horror of Nixon abolishing term limits. If you laughed at Bowie hanging with Adrian at Studio 54, or the Silhouette kissing that nurse.
Please go see the movie again next weekend.
You have to understand, everyone is watching to see how the film will do in its second week. If you care about movies that have a brain, or balls, (and this film’s got both, literally), or true adaptations — And if you’re thinking of seeing it again anyway, please go back this weekend, Friday or Saturday night. Demonstrate the power of the fans, because it’ll help let the people who pay for these movies know what we’d like to see. Because if it drops off the radar after the first weekend, they will never allow a film like this to be made again.
In the interests of full disclosure, let me also point out that I do not profit one cent from an increase in box office, although an increase in box office can add to the value of the writers’ eventual residual profits from dvd and tv sales.
But I’m not saying it for money. I’m saying it for people like me. I’m saying it for people who love smart, dark entertainment, on a grand, operatic scale. I’m talking to the Snake fans, the Rorschach fans, the people of the Dark Knight.
What do I think? I’ve seen the film twice at this point, and even with it’s flaws, I feel it really opens up from a second viewing. But that’s from the “geek” perspective. Not John Q Public.
The difficult part of the movie is this…it’s too faithful. Lets be honest, even though I’m speaking directly to you, the “geek”, there is a whole section of the world, arguably the majority, to whom this film just won’t speak to. On any level. Could such an adaptation be shooting itself in the foot? Maybe. And maybe we should let it find it’s audience naturally.
I’ve long been afraid about this adaptation, not out of want to prevent Alan Moore’s “holy words” from being “raped”, or some sort of hyperbolic fanboy statement…but because of what it could do to the superhero genre.
I am unabashedly a fan of how common the superhero film has become in recent years. I grew up a superhero fan, I will die a superhero fan. But the fact is this, superhero films will only continue to be made for as long as the idea is profitable.
And if the “Best Graphic Novel of All Time”, arguably intepreted as the best superhero tale of all time, turns off mainstream audiences…what does that say about the Superhero genre?
Food for thought.
Original Post: An Open Letter From WATCHMEN Screenwriter David Hayter – HardcoreNerdity.