In 1986, the face of comic books was changed forever to a yellow smiley with a drop of blood. Alan Moore's Watchmen, to that date the most realistic and violent comic produced became the new standard for telling the tales of what we would call superheroes, but what Moore refers to as 'masks'. (Spoilers ahead)
Epic in scope, it was deemed unfilmable by the creator after an attempt to make it by the man who is 'crazy' enough to film almost anything, Terry Gilliam.
The movie languished in development hell for two decades with directors like Darren Aronofsky & Paul Greengrass and stars such as Tom Cruise attached.
Part of the problem was the jarring cuts in the time periods the movie covered and the 'comic within a comic', Tales Of The Black Freighter.
In 2007 the ball was passed to Zack Snyder who went to work on his adaption and we finally saw it reach screens 23 years after the original sale was made to Fox.
His adaption was faithful and very well received by fans, but casual fans balked at the violence, length and overall nihilism at the heart of the story. This was not your average hero movie, it was however, one of the most beautiful films yet made.
Fans of the book were hurt however by the changed ending from the comics - (Last Chance For Spoilers)
The original ending of Watchmen, while similar in tone, saw a squid/energy creature unleashed on New York City, rather than the Dr. Manhattan blast engineered in the movie. There are two reasons for the change, one the costs involved in filming such scenes would have almost doubled the already $130m budget and that someone had already released what was in effect that film!
The Movie With No Name
In 2007 a trailer was attached to Transformers that teased a potentially epic movie, being released in early 2008. No name was given on the trailer and it forced it's way into the internet's collective consciousness. Was it a Voltron movie? Was it Godzilla? Was it HP Lovecraft? All we knew was J.J. Abrams was involved and it looked AWESOME!
Six months later Cloverfield was released after one of the best viral marketing campaigns in history, something picked up on by The Dark Knight later that year. Cloverfield reinvigorated the 'found footage' genre and delivered tension, scares and an equally nihilistic finale. These two movies were not so much good bedfellows but could, with some clever editing be two sides of the same story!
How does this work?
Of course this would mean some changes to both films, notably losing the 'set up' aspect of the Watchmen's final crime, that could easily be achieved with some clever use of Ozymandias' screens showing the creature. Some of the more modern aspects of Cloverfield would need to be cut or toned down.
Even without changes... if you just skip to Cloverfield, rather than watch the final moments of Watchmen, you're in effect seeing Alan Moore's original vision of a creature destroying New York City, unleashed by Adrian Veidt in the name of saving the world from itself. You can then always skip back to Watchmen to see Rorschach's refusal to compromise and that the story is going to get out.