Unlike its live-action cinematic ventures, #DC has found great success with its animated adaptations. With over 20 films already released, the impressive catalogue is only expected to keep growing in the next few years, as the company explores new territory in the medium.
One of the most meaningful risks the franchise has taken have been its two R-rated films: #TheKillingJoke and #JusticeLeagueDark. Both projects paid off quite well for the company in the end. Now, thanks to that success, Warner Bros. and DC are dipping their toes in those waters once again with... drumroll please... #Watchmen.
Warner Bros. has a program called "A-list Watchers," which asks subscribers to give their opinion on upcoming or already-released movie and TV projects. The latest survey asks subscribers about an upcoming R-rated animated Watchmen movie.
The text is quite small, so in case you can't make out what it says, here it is:
"Below is a brief description of an upcoming made-for-video movie, 'Watchmen'.
A faithful adaptation of the 'Watchmen' graphic novel executed in an animation style that mirrors the source material (Anticipated MPAA R rating).
In an alternate world where the mere presence of American superheroes changed history, the US won the Vietnam War, Nixon is still president, and the cold war is in full effect. 'WATCHMEN' begins as a murder-mystery, but soon unfolds into a planet-altering conspiracy. As the resolution comes to a head, the unlikely group of reunited heroes--Rorschach, Nite Owl, Silk Spectre, Dr. Manhattan and Ozymandias--have to test the limits of their convictions and ask themselves where the true line is between good and evil."
Aside from the announcement itself, there are a few things to pick up from this description. For starters, this will be adapting the original Watchmen comic book instead of its updated prequel/sequel, #BeforeWatchmen.
Secondly, while no release date was given, the film seems to be pretty deep in development going by the in-depth plot breakdown, so we should probably expect it in the next year.
This announcement got me thinking of something...
DC Is Breathing New Life Into Watchmen
Not too long ago, it was revealed that Warner Bros. and Zack Snyder were in preliminary talks with HBO to develop a live-action series based on the comic book. As HBO stated:
“Preliminary discussions regarding ‘Watchmen’ have occurred but we have no additional information and no deals are in place.”
More recently, DC brought the Watchmen into its main continuity through DC Rebirth, a story dealing with characters like Batman, Superman and The Flash trying to unravel the mystery of Dr.Manhattan stealing years of their lives by creating he #New52 universe. All that attention tells us something: Warner Bros. and DC have big things in mind for the property.
In fact, this new animated movie could very well be a way for the studio to test the waters and see how a new take on the characters would work in our new age of superhero cinema.
- The Pros and Cons Of Resurrecting 'The Watchmen' In A Comic Book Run
- Anatomy Of A Moment: 'Justice League' Needs To Break Zack Snyder's Biggest Bad Habit
- Batman And The Flash Are Diving Deep Into The Mysteries Of DC's Rebirth
Still, there's something to consider with that direction:. If the Watchmen don't get a new type of exploration soon - either through #DCRebirth or any other potential comic book storyline - Warner Bros. has to be careful with how much attention is given to the comic book. It is, after all, just one story.
With that said, I'm really excited to see what Warner Bros. animation does with the property. Hopefully it'll be a fun adaptation that manages to live up to fans' expectations and solidifies the brand for any future plans that may be in place for it.
What do you think about an R-rated animated 'Watchmen' adaptation?