|Sorry to spoil your day folks, but we've got some sad and tragic news: Watchmen is in trouble. Paramount have put the film in turnaround (which is pretty much code for trying to sell it to another studio with impossible conditions attached), and sent producers Lloyd Levin and Larry Gordon off into the world with cap, and script, in hand. Fortunately, word is it's a bloody good script, which sources on the production have told Empire is "still breathing", which is always a positive sign.|
The reason for Paramount's sudden change of heart seems to stem from a shuffling of top brass; the man in the top spot, Brad Grey, recently replaced Donald De Line with Gail Berman in the position of studio president. It's a twisted tradition in Hollywood that whatever the old guard was working on gets shelved when the new blood comes in, and that seems to be exactly the case here. Bizarre, we know, but that's the way it goes in Tinseltown. But for Watchmen this is an additional twist of the knife, given that at the time of the switch, De Line was already meeting with Watchmen director and Empire award winner Paul Greengrass. to discuss cutting the film's budget to $100 million. Both of these are moves that we can only plead with Paramount to reverse, and buck the trend – take Watchmen back, and give it the love it needs! Let it grow!
This is the latest in a plague of setbacks for the project, which has spent more than it's fair share of time in development hell (don't even ask). But if we're looking on the bright side – and surely we must – the last successful project to be in this position was a little number which went under the working title of The Lord Of The Rings. And then consider that the big release coming out of the DC stable this year is Batman Begins, which will heat up the rivalry – and consequently output – between the comic giants. All these things weighed up, and things start to look promising. Hope and pray, good people, hope and pray.