Watchmen Movie Casting Announcement

Well, they’re doing it.

It has been reported in multiple sources, most notably Ain’t It Cool News, that David Hayter, co-writer of X-Men and X-Men 2, is going to direct a film adaptation of Alan Moore’s Watchmen and John Cusak (known in my household as “The Great Cusak”) is attached to play Nite Owl. AICN’s Moriarty reviewed the script last year and said it had the potential to be “The Godfather of superhero movies.” Me? I am skeptical of the whole endeavor. I don’t think there’s a studio executive yet born that would put the millions upon millions required into a movie with that ending. If the ending is changed, the whole thing will be a monumental waste of time. But I am encouraged by the Cusak announcement if it turns out to be true. He’s one of the greatest actors of his generation (even if he does choose some crappy but well-paying roles), and Nite Owl is the emotional center of the story. Can we hope they’ll pull off the impossible?

He better start working on enlarging his (slight) pot-belly, if he’s going to be the Owl…

And aging about 15 years…

Nothing several dozen doughnuts and a little makeup can’t accomplish.

As long as sister Joan isn’t Silk Spectre…

I’ll believe this one when they actually start filming.

I think we’ve seen threads on this line before. Is the film going to stick with the ending from the book (if they have the guts for it) or go for the one that was hinted atearlier?

more’s the worry (no pun intended) has there EVER been a good film adaptation of an Alan Moore book?

I still think Terry Gilliam’s idea of a twelve-part TV miniseries, with a film budget would be a MUCH better way of handling the story. His concept meant each episode would adapt an issue of the comic, and follow that pacing a lot closer.

As much as I love Watchmen, I really hope this doesn’t happen.

yeah, I kinda concur Cisco…

If they MUST do it, get Studio IG to do it and make the whole damn thing animated and spectacular, and don’t change the story, or the costumes or anything dammit!

The problem is even if they wanted to use the original ending, it no longer really works. Watchmen was a reflection on a cold war world that no longer exists.

This is going to be VERY hard to adapt into film format. For starters, a lot of the fun of Moore’s storytelling was done in an atypical format, such as the “Pirates of the Carribean” stuff the kid was reading between stories, or the newspaper clippings that followed the end of every issue. Half of the mystery of the story came from subtext, and I’ll be severely impressed if they pull of that element in the film.

…also, movie villains tend to come off as really cheesy. (I’m having flashbacks to Sean Connery in The Avengers. I love the guy, and he couldn’t make it work.) Ozymandias is going to need both a REALLY good actor AND really good writing in otder to be convincing.

I agree completely. Cusak is an interesting and cool choice, but I still hope the movie is never, ever made.

I with the camp of “Please don’t let this be so.” It’s a great story that, if done right, will still suck as a two hour movie. The miniseries idea sounds good, but I think there’s a lot of stories out there that would make great mini-series, but they don’t seem to be popular enough to do properly, either. And as much as I love John Cusak, I don’t see him as Night Owl. Already, by trying to throw in the star power in a role that’s not quite fitting, I see this movie having some issues. I hope it follows the way of “Good Omens”; great concept that would be fun to see on the big screen, but is doomed to never happen.

I’m sensing some serious trepidation here! I have serious doubts as to whether it could be done in one movie, too, but the trend lately has been to film multiple installments of the same story at the same time to save money (LOTR, Matrix Recrapulated, Kill Bill). How about that tack? But my impression from the Moriarty article was that this is a one-movie script. I assume that most of the subplots have been shed in favor of sticking to the mask-killer investigation.

The reason I started yet another Watchmen movie thread is because these reports seemed more serious than other similar gossip.

Little Nemo said:

I disagree:

I guess your problem is that with no impending world-ending nuclear war Ozymandias’ motivation is no longer operable. While that was a pretty compelling reason for what he did, why wouldn’t putting it in a contemporary setting with most of the world at each other’s throats and destructive wars raging all over the planet work, too? Ozymandias’ motive was to bring lasting world peace, which IMHO still works. Plus, the destruction of New York has particular resonace now. But I will miss the Richard Nixon being president for life gag. That was a hoot!

I see your point, but I don’t think it’s a deal killer.

I’m on board for that!

Well, she could play the “beauty gone to seed” thing…

And that’s going to run up the price unless the stars can be convinced to do it for a lower salary or work for a piece of the action.

:smack: Come on. The guy’s very likable, and he’s a competent actor. Beyond that, fans tend to oversell him.

His thespian abilities have become extremely hyped since High Fidelity.

OK, Moody. Who is better than he is?

Here’s his filmography.
In the “Good Performance” column under Cusak, we have

Better Off Dead
Say Anything
The Grifters
(brilliant job!)
Shadows and Fog
Bullets Over Broadway
Grosse Pointe Blank
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Pushing Tin
(good performance in a bad movie)
Cradle Will Rock (played Nelson Rockefeller)
Being John Malkovich
High Fidelity
(uneven performance, but he was instrumental in making this movie happen)
Let’s look at some of the folks he came up with.

Sean Penn: better, but a little older.

Robert Downy, Jr.: About equal. Good in The Pickup Artist, Less Than Zero, Short Cuts, Natural Born Killers. Could be better if he could get the monkey off his back.

Johnny Depp: OK, he’s better.

Rob Lowe (starred in Class, Cusak’s first movie): greatest moment–his uncanny Robert Wagner impression in The Spy Who Shagged Me.

Anthony Micheal Hall (Sixteen Candles): Nope.

Anthony Edwards: Did some good stuff (Revenge of the Nerds!), but he certainly doesn’t have better chops than Cusak. Cusak’s nerd in Sixteen Candles was just as good as his, IMHO.

Kiefer Sutherland Doesn’t have the range Cusak has demonstrated.

River Phoenix: Dead. Has a reputation for greatness that is not born out by his filmography (Mosquito Coast and My Own Private Idaho are the best ones there.)

James Spader Sean Penn’s age. Good in Pretty in Pink and Less Than Zero. Excellent in Sex, Lies, and Videotape and Secretary, but he has more trash on his resume than Cusak. And that’s saying a lot.

Cusak’s accomplishments stand up very well next to these actors. So, I stand by my assertion that Cusak is “one of the greatest actors of his generation” and invite others to point out any that I have missed.

First of all, Robert Downey, Jr. could act rings around JC. Agreed, his problems hamper them from showing that more.

I just don’t believe the guy brings any emotional depth to his roles. Even when he’s ostensibly standing in for Woody Allen (Bullets Over Broadway), he’s still playing John Cusack: a likable guy with a fairly limited range. (Though I will say he isn’t as blatantly John Cusack in every movie as Woody Allen is Woody Allen.)

Let me put it this way: you filed all of the films you mentioned under a “Good Performances.” I submit that any flicks of his that even you, an admirer, would file under “bad performances” show him offering the exact same mannerisms and technique.

P.S. One final bitch- I’m tired of people sidestepping One Crazy Summer! A mondo fun flick that suffers unjustly in the shadow of Better Off Dead. Both are great, though OCS is the one where I really started to notice JC. (BOD came out first, right? So I was a little behind my peers.)

Your opinion is not an uncommon one. I grant that he has been too willing to accept typcast romantic leading man roles since his iconic performance in Say Anything. I am not going to defend Serendipity, for example. But my reading of your argument is that he basically plays Lloyd Dobbler in every role, and that is pretty close to his real personality. You’re saying he’s like John Wayne or Cary Grant-- a one note actor who is more valuable for his name recognition and pretty face than his acting chops. I believe that when challenged with a role he can sink his teeth into he can do a great job. The Grifters is a prime example of that. He is not likable in that movie. He intentionally shows that he can turn the “nice guy” routine on and off at will in order to fleece his marks. The scenes with Anjelica Houston are infused with incestuous sexual tension. He didn’t play John Cusak in Max–he played a former soldier scarred by war and saved by his love of art. Although his performance here was a tad uneven (his Chicago accent came through every now and then, which was a little jarring), he certainly wasn’t a romantic leading man. I left movies like Serindipity off of my list of good performances precisely because he was just leaning on his leading man persona. And his Rockefeller in Cradle Will Rock wasn’t anything like Dobbler.

I like One Crazy Summer too! It’s one of my SO’s favorites.

A Downy’s horribly overrated. He is just as guilty of playing his type as Cusak–but his type is a dead ender, drug-crazed egomaniac. This is true even in Chaplin, IMHO.

This has been a very stimulating discussion. I wasn’t aware that I cared so much about defending John Cusak!

He was outstanding in The Grifters. I wish he would do more edgy stuff like that.

Max, unfortunately, I still haven’t seen. Is it worth a rental? I was intrigued by the premise.

I enjoyed the discussion as well! :cool: