Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
The Making Of The West Wing
Subscribe To Empire Today
Save money and get 12 issues for only £25
London Film Festival 2014
Our round-up of the galas, films and interviews
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
YESTERDAY
First Look At Dad's Amy Remake
Don't Panic! Walmington-On-Sea's finest is here
New Trailer For Michelle Williams' Suite Française
Love in a controlled climate
Ben Wheatley Taps Luke Evans For Free Fire
'It’s a modern ‘70s movie. Muscular, tough and spare'
Warners Finding Female Director For Wonder Woman
Movie studio seeks F. Must have GSOH (Good Sense Of Helming)
Seth Rogen And More Head For Zeroville
James Franco's latest novel adaptation
Todd Solondz Returning To The Dollhouse
Wiener-Dog will revisit old friends
Podcast #134: Steve Carell, David Ayer
Shipping out
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
20 October 2014
Jason Momoa Opens Up About Aquaman
Now his casting is finally official...
More Movie News

RELATED FUTURE FILMS
Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice
25 March 2016
More Future Films

RELATED REVIEWS
300: Rise Of An Empire (2014)
Empire Star Rating
Man Of Steel (2013)
Empire Star Rating
Sucker Punch (2011)
Empire Star Rating
Legend Of The Guardians (2010)
Empire Star Rating
Ninja Assassin (2010)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

DC Confirms New Watchmen Comics
35-part Before Watchmen due this summer

02 February 2012  |  Written by Owen Williams  |  Source: DC Comics' The Source

submit to reddit

The storm has been approaching for a couple of years now, but it broke yesterday with DC announcing that Alan Moore's iconic graphic novel Watchmen is to finally get the franchise treatment. It's not strictly movie news (although there are possible implications) but we thought you might be interested...

The story dates back to a change of regime at DC in 2010. Despite the company's very public falling-out with the irascible Moore, DC's head honcho Paul Levitz was always adamant that Watchmen, at least in print form, was sacred ground not to be invaded. When Levitz stepped down, however, Watchmen was no longer sequestered by in-house defenders, and with Zack Snyder's movie propelling the book to the status of DC's all-time bestseller, the company's senior vice-president Dan DiDio made an expanded Watchmen universe a pet project.

Much speculation and rumour followed (largely fuelled by the alarmist fanboys at Bleeding Cool), but the result turns out to be seven inter-connected prequel comic mini-series, published weekly under the banner Before Watchmen, starting this summer.

Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets, Hellblazer) is writing the four-part Rorschach and the six-part Comedian. J Michael Straczynski (Amazing Spider-Man, Thor) gets four-part shots at Dr Manhattan and Nite Owl. Darwyn Cooke (Catwoman, New Frontier) is behind the four-issue Silk Spectre and the six-issue Minutemen. And Watchmen's original editor Len Wein is providing six issues of Ozymandias. Each issue will contain two pages of a new pirate story Curse Of The Crimson Corsair (again by Wein), and there'll also be a multi-authored Before Watchmen: Epilogue.

Original Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons is quoted in DC's press release cautiously wishing the project well. Moore though, true to form, was quick to denounce it, telling the New York Times, "It's completely shameless. I tend to take this latest development as confirmation that [DC] are still apparently dependent on ideas that I had 25 years ago. I don't want money; I just want it not to happen."

A defensive Straczynski confidently hit back, calling Moore's position "absolutely understandable and deeply flawed." He pointed out that "the Watchmen characters were variations on pre-existing characters created for the Charleton Comics universe."

"As far as I know, there weren't many prequels or sequels to Moby Dick," sniffed Moore. But Moore has spent much of the last decade writing The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen (using characters created by Jules Verne, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, Bram Stoker, HG Wells, H Rider Haggard and so on), and Lost Girls (a pornographic team-up of Oz's Dorothy, Wonderland's Alice and Peter Pan's Wendy). If Moby Dick never had spin-offs, it's possibly only because Moore never got round to using Ahab. Pot? Kettle?

"I don’t hear Alan suggesting that no one other than Shuster and Siegel should have been allowed to write Superman," says Straczynski. "Certainly Alan himself did this when he was brought on to write Swamp Thing, a seminal comics character created by Len Wein. The whole point of having great characters is the opportunity to explore them more deeply. That DC allowed these characters to sit on a shelf for over two decades as a show of respect is salutary, but there comes a time when good characters have to re-enter the world."

“It’s our responsibility as publishers to find new ways to keep all of our characters relevant,” said Didio. "Collaborative storytelling is what keeps these fictional universes fresh.”

DC's press release calls Before Watchmen "As highly anticipated as it is controversial." Controversial? You don't say. Give us your thoughts in the comments below.


Is DC right to produce new Watchmen?
Yes! Bring it! Moore is just being precious.
Yes, but they need to tread VERY carefully.
No, Watchmen is sacred and Moore is right.
No, because Watchmen is the most overrated thing ever.
Watchmen - that's a Canadian rock band, right?
  View results without voting


Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

Watson May Have Your Voice In My Head
For director David Yates
Denzel Washington Could Be The Equalizer
Update: He's in!

Your Comments

RE: I sometimes wonder...
L: horribleives Even if it's dreadful - who cares? It won't make Watchmen any less brilliant. As it is I'll be intrigued enough to read it. And I can't really dispute the comments about Moore having a bit of a nerve considering he wrote The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen either. Still, fanboys love nothing more than crying like babies so I'd hate to see reason and rationality get in their way. The difference between "reason" and "rationality" being....? And of course L More

Posted by cerebusboy at 23:36 on 04 February 2012 | Report This Post

RE: I'll be interested in what comes down
L: alsybroth Yes, Watchmen is a great comic and a bonafide classic, but Moore tuly is a stuck-up holier-than-thou elitist and let's face it, like stated above he DID start off by expanding on the Swamp Thing beofre creating V For Vendetta and Watchmen. So many other comic book writers do this; Garth Ennis worked on the Punisher and Hellblazer before he created his own masterpiece, Preacher - you don't see him growing a beard like some vagrant monk spouting delusions of granduer do y More

Posted by cerebusboy at 23:27 on 04 February 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Moore may be a moody git but
L: fish that roared te]This reeks of the Star Wars prequels and we all know how well they turned outExcept it, er, doesn't. The Star Wars universe is (legally, and, Kurtz and Kershner aside, morally) Lucas'. You might think the prequels suck balls, but it's Lucas' story and he can do what he wants. I read Batman comics because Batman is a great character, even in the hands of not-great writers.How true is that of the Watchmen characters? More

Posted by cerebusboy at 23:22 on 04 February 2012 | Report This Post

RE: I'll be interested in what comes down
"Elitist" in the pejorative sense? It is to LOL. Moore's work is indeed among the 'elite' which is to say "best" of comics, in a way that Ennis' (!) knock-off nonsense is not More

Posted by cerebusboy at 23:16 on 04 February 2012 | Report This Post

RE: It's Moores creation, respect his wishes ...end of
L: cerebusboy Empire's pop at Bleeding Cool was a bit childish too IMHO. There's no shame in being scooped! /quote] Yeah, just noticed that now. Rich Johnston is well known for his connections in the comics industry and was always the most likely person to get to this story before anyone else. Poor show Empire, poor show... More

Posted by Darth Marenghi at 22:00 on 04 February 2012 | Report This Post

RE: It's a comic book, not a holy scripture...
Indeed. Some of the statements on this thread make stereotypical "fanboys" look like reason itself. Read about DC using Steven (no relation) Moore's dying brother as leverage for some Watchmen prequels if you doubt who and who is not displaying "ethics" in this dispute. The characters in LoeG are largely no longer in copyright (and of course even if they were, they would be held by e.g. descendents of the original creators - which is not really the same thing as Moby Dick 2: Dick Harder, More

Posted by cerebusboy at 17:57 on 04 February 2012 | Report This Post

RE: It's Moores creation, respect his wishes ...end of in my opinion.
In my opinion it would be great. I will always waiting for its release. More

Posted by xman88 at 12:55 on 04 February 2012 | Report This Post

RE: It's Moores creation, respect his wishes ...end of in my opinion.
L: Darth Marenghi The best discussions I've seen on this are: it-sparkles.blogspot.com/2012/02/no-fun.htmle Comics' publisher Eric Stephenson gives his thoughts. 4thletter.net/2012/02/newsarama-needs-to-do-better/spon se to an astonishing Newsarama op-ed about the prequel series. everydayislikewednesday.blogspot.com/2012/02/six-though ts-that-occurred-to-me-after.htmllink=http://mindlesson es.com/2012/02/02/the-second-coming-of-night-owl-and-ot her-stories/#more-23418]htt More

Posted by furrybastard at 00:07 on 04 February 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Moore may be a moody git but
L: Darth Marenghi The best discussions I've seen on this are: it-sparkles.blogspot.com/2012/02/no-fun.htmle Comics' publisher Eric Stephenson gives his thoughts. 4thletter.net/2012/02/newsarama-needs-to-do-better/spon se to an astonishing Newsarama op-ed about the prequel series. everydayislikewednesday.blogspot.com/2012/02/six-though ts-that-occurred-to-me-after.htmllink=http://mindlesson es.com/2012/02/02/the-second-coming-of-night-owl-and-ot her-stories/#more-23418]htt More

Posted by furrybastard at 00:07 on 04 February 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Moore may be a moody git but
L: Darth Marenghi L: King of Kafiristan I thought this was an excellent editorial, which basically sums up my thoughts on this whole fracas:  badassdigest.com/2012/02/02/the-devins-advocate-beyond- watchmen-continues-80-years-of-creator-exploitat//quote ] The best discussions I've seen on this are: it-sparkles.blogspot.com/2012/02/no-fun.htmle Comics' publisher Eric Stephenson gives his thoughts. 4thletter.net/2012/02/newsarama-needs-to-do-better/spon More

Posted by furrybastard at 00:06 on 04 February 2012 | Report This Post

RE: It's Moores creation, respect his wishes ...end of in my opinion.
L: bronco3114 Personally I'd love to see these titles and I probably will be buying them. But (now I'm gonna sound completely hypocritical) I don't think these should be made. The man has expressed an explicit wish that he doesn't want it to happen. You don't have to agree but you should respect it. Yes the studio own the rights (thats why they can just ingnor him obviously) but there's something wrong with a world where a bloke can create something special and has zero control of what ca More

Posted by JIm R at 22:25 on 03 February 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Moore may be a moody git but
L: King of Kafiristan I thought this was an excellent editorial, which basically sums up my thoughts on this whole fracas:  http://badassdigest.com/2012/02/02/the-devins-advocate- beyond-watchmen-continues-80-years-of-creator-exploitat / he best discussions I've seen on this are: http://it-sparkles.blogspot.com/2012/02/no-fun.html - Image Comics' publisher Eric Stephenson gives his thoughts. http://4thletter.net/2012/02/newsarama-needs-to-do-bett er/ - A respon More

Posted by Darth Marenghi at 18:52 on 03 February 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Moore may be a moody git but
Can't see Moore being involved & It's not the 1st time DC's ripped him off without asking something came up a few months ago online about a story he created in the 80s were there would be a global sought of Superhero war Superman family vs The Marvels etc with the humans resistence being led by Batman & the other human capes anyway it got turned down by DC BUT! low & behold bits of it turned up a decade later in Kingdom Come. More

Posted by Wild about Wilder at 17:18 on 03 February 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Moore may be a moody git but
L: horribleives L: King of Kafiristan I thought this was an excellent editorial, which basically sums up my thoughts on this whole fracas:  badassdigest.com/2012/02/02/the-devins-advocate-beyond- watchmen-continues-80-years-of-creator-exploitat//quote ] I was about to read that then decided not to after clicking on the Ernie Hudson link first and realising what a horrible, spiteful little person the boy who wrote it is. evin Faraci is certainly a polarizing fi More

Posted by King of Kafiristan at 15:59 on 03 February 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Moore may be a moody git but
L: King of Kafiristan I thought this was an excellent editorial, which basically sums up my thoughts on this whole fracas:  http://badassdigest.com/2012/02/02/the-devins-advocate- beyond-watchmen-continues-80-years-of-creator-exploitat / was about to read that then decided not to after clicking on the Ernie Hudson link first and realising what a horrible, spiteful little person the boy who wrote it is. More

Posted by horribleives at 15:49 on 03 February 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Moore may be a moody git but
I thought this was an excellent editorial, which basically sums up my thoughts on this whole fracas:  http://badassdigest.com/2012/02/02/the-devins-advocate- beyond-watchmen-continues-80-years-of-creator-exploitat / More

Posted by King of Kafiristan at 15:22 on 03 February 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Moore may be a moody git but
I share Moore's scorn for the adaptations of his work Hollywood has given us thus far. As far as I'm concerned, each has missed the mark by a wide margin. I was especially turned off by the marketing campaigns for V and WATCHMEN, which went out of their way to position those films as hyper faithful adapatations. James McTigue and Snyder repeatedly told the press that they approached those movies as if Moore's work was gospel, and yet when I sat in the theater I learned that they'd changed key d More

Posted by King of Kafiristan at 20:50 on 02 February 2012 | Report This Post

RE:
L: clarkkent Also, why is EMPIRE MAGAZINE covering a story about a comic? sp; 's a good one, oh that's funny, oh fantastic   py07.gif]py07.gif] More

Posted by JIm R at 16:08 on 02 February 2012 | Report This Post

RE: I sometimes wonder...
Having said that, I agree, the title is terrible and doesn't really make sense. More

Posted by horribleives at 16:03 on 02 February 2012 | Report This Post

RE: I sometimes wonder...
Even if it's dreadful - who cares? It won't make Watchmen any less brilliant. As it is I'll be intrigued enough to read it. And I can't really dispute the comments about Moore having a bit of a nerve considering he wrote The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen either. Still, fanboys love nothing more than crying like babies so I'd hate to see reason and rationality get in their way. More

Posted by horribleives at 16:01 on 02 February 2012 | Report This Post

RE: It's a comic book, not a holy scripture...
I don't understand. At which point did having a modicum of integrity mean that you were pathetic and elitist? Some of these comments really make me sad. I have a sad face. More

Posted by gunstar at 13:25 on 02 February 2012 | Report This Post

RE: It's a comic book, not a holy scripture...
L: Nicky C ... if there's an audience for it, then what's the problem? Moore should get involved and steer the whole thing. His pride and refusal to get involved will mean that this (as with the movie) will not be quite as good as it could be. and their negative attitudes, eh? Patheticuote]   lly, just an individual wishing to honour his own creation and concepts in a world where people will sell themselves for the quickest $. You'd have to look at the morals currently being held More

Posted by JIm R at 13:15 on 02 February 2012 | Report This Post

RE: I'll be interested in what comes down
But at least he sticks by his words & didn't take a penny from the movie not many people who would do that now days. More

Posted by Wild about Wilder at 11:53 on 02 February 2012 | Report This Post

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Empire Podcast: David Ayer Talks Fury
Plus Steve Carell talks Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Avengers: Age Of Ultron Trailer Reaction
We dive under the hood of Whedon's sequel teaser

10 Of The Most Impressive In-Universe Movie Tie-In Websites
From Blair Witch to Days Of Future Past, expand your cinematic horizons online

The 12 Apps Every Film Fan Needs On Their Smartphone
The handheld essentials to enhance your movie life

Empire Meets Jason Bateman And Tina Fey
The stars of This Is Where I Leave You hang out

The Scariest Film Of The Year? Jennifer Kent On The Babadook
The director talks us through her terrifying new film

10 Horror Spin-Offs We Want To See
After Annabelle, what other supporting characters deserve their own film?

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)