Bleats

Never Mind Batman, Remember What Zack Snyder Did To One Of The Greatest Comic Books Of All Time?

Happy 10th anniversary to the most misguided comic-book adaptation ever made.

DC has released several utterly brilliant comics over the last few decades, but the one that remains at the pinnacle of them all is Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ unparalleled 1986 masterpiece, Watchmen.

There really hasn’t been a comic before or since that managed to seamlessly weave in heavy philosophical themes about the humankind’s folly while subverting superhero tropes in ways readers haven’t seen yet. The complexity of the narrative was so great that it’s no surprise why a Watchmen film adaptation didn’t come about until 2009 when Zack Snyder decided to work his “magic”.

And as the movie turns 10 years old, Snyder’s Watchmen still remains the most visually stunning yet tone-deaf comic book comic adaptation ever made this side of Batman v Superman, which happened to also be directed by Snyder.

The best moment was when Snyder perfectly captured every Watchmen fan’s dream of a good film adaptation going out the window.

The laundry list of just why Watchmen didn’t click would span the length of Rorschach’s journal, but the basis of all these problems stem primarily from Snyder being the completely wrong person for the source material.

Whereas Snyder put the Watchmen comic and heroism on a pedestal (just watch 300 and you’ll know what I mean), Moore basically hates superheroes and portrays them as seriously flawed and utterly ridiculous.

So immediately from the onset there’s a disconnect between a director who wants to celebrate superheroes, and the source material’s entire point, which is to completely deconstruct the hero trope and render them into nothing more than useless people who wear dumb costumes.

Seems like misunderstanding all the important things is a recurring theme in Snyder’s adaptation.

The comic was a product of the 1980’s Cold War era and was thematically outdated by the time 2009 came around. But rather than update the story to a more contemporary backdrop, Snyder stubbornly stuck to the comic’s setting and added nothing new or interesting, essentially missing a great opportunity to update the comic to younger audiences.

The film’s characterisation of the comic’s characters is also wide off the mark. Rather than depict them all as flawed people who are in over their head as the comic did, Snyder couldn’t help himself and turned them all into badass fighters straight out of a John Woo flick. Watchmen didn’t have any of the visceral fight scenes as seen in the film and what action scenes there were present in the comic are all depicted as horrific and unforgivable acts.

On top of just not understanding the comic, Snyder’s direction also resulted in some truly weird and awful bits that still grinds my gears, such as Matthew Goode’s uncharismatic portrayal of the ridiculously charming Ozymandias and that “so bad it’s funny” sex scene set to Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”.

If there was one silver lining, it’s that Snyder absolutely nailed the visuals because Watchmen is probably the best-looking flop of an adaptation we’ve ever seen, right down to the painstaking detail in getting Doctor Manhattan’s swinging blue schlong just right.

Far too many hours and dollars was spent animating that penis.

It ultimately stands to reason that Snyder was simply not the right person to adapt Watchmen as a film, no matter how much of a fan he is of the comic. Hell, he should steer clear from comic book stuff for a while after what he did to Superman and Batman.

We’re going to get a new adaptation soon as Damon Lindelof is working on a brand new Watchmen series for HBO, but it remains to be seen how that goes. For now, we have Zack Snyder’s film as a shining example of how you can love a comic book to bits and yet still not understand a single thing it is trying to say.

A New Image Of Joaquin Phoenix's Joker Tells Us It Will Be Much Different Take To Heath Ledger's Version

This is shaping up to be one of the more interesting takes on the Joker in recent memory.

We’ve had a bunch of cheeky looks at Joaquin Phoenix’s take on the Joker now that have ranged from seedy mature-age uni student to full-blown nightmare fuel.

But the latest look at the character is the clearest indication that the upcoming Joker will be something much different than what comic book movie fans are used to.

The film’s director Todd Phillips is neck-deep in editing Joker right now but he managed to find the time to share a snap of Phoenix as Arthur Fleck/Joker on Instagram, and it is a look at the character that we’ve never seen before.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and there is much to glean from this new image of Arthur Fleck.

It looks dark and melancholic, not unlike a Nick Cave album cover or something out of a western film shot by Roger Deakins. The aesthetic and framing also screams “struggling stand-up comic”, which is perfect given how Joker will apparently lean heavily into Arthur failing as a comic before turning into the Clown Prince of Crime.

Look carefully and you’ll also see a bullet hole in the wall, which could mean anything at this point. Did it come from a moment of frustration from a gun-wielding Arthur? Did Arthur have some seriously dark thoughts and thought about ending it? Or was the bullet hole from the previous occupant of the room? Who knows at this point.

What we can conclude from the new photo is that Phoenix’s take on Arthur/Joker will be something completely unexpected and dark. Given how talented of an actor he is, the pieces are in place for this version of the Joker to match the masterclass that was Heath Ledger’s Joker.

We won’t have to wait too long to see some actual footage of Joker as the film is scheduled to come out on October 4 so expect a trailer for it quite soon.

With the super lighthearted Shazam! coming out in April, followed by this and then Birds of Prey next year, the DC movie universe suddenly seems a far more interesting place to be in than it was a year ago.

Disney Sheepishly Rehires James Gunn To Direct Guardians Of The Galaxy 3

Gunn was fired last July after some alt-right trolls dug up some unsavoury old jokes tweeted out by the director.

Time to rejoice, internet, because after months of public apologies, online petitions from fans, and open letters from the entire Guardians of the Galaxy cast, Disney has sheepishly decided to rehire James Gunn to direct GOTG 3.

According to Deadline, Disney had been second guessing its decision to fire Gunn and secretly decided to make the decision to unfire the director months ago.

Presumably the news only broke now since all the hooplah after Gunn’s firing has finally died down to manageable levels.

Every Marvel fan right now after hearing about James Gunn’s rehiring.

Just a reminder how we got here in the first place, Gunn was fired after some alt-right troll dug up some of the director’s old tweets in which he made a bunch of pedophilia and rape jokes. The resulting furor from that caused Disney to fire Gunn from GOTG 3 in a knee-jerk reaction.

As for why Disney decided to change its mind, apparently the studio’s chairman Alan Horn met with Gunn after the whole tweet saga and was persuaded by the director’s sincere apology and handling of the aftermath of his firing (i.e not criticising Disney for its decision, unlike, say, Kevin Hart and the whole Oscars debacle).

Furthermore, it was reported that Disney never met with or considered any other director for GOTG 3, which suggests that rehiring Gunn was always on the cards.

Following the news of his rehiring, Gunn has tweeted out a heartfelt message of thanks to all his fans who supported him the whole time.

Gunn’s rehiring did initially hit a hurdle because he officially signed on to direct and write the Suicide Squad sequel a couple of months ago, which would’ve made for some awkward conversations at Marvel given how DC is its big rival in the superhero landscape.

But to the relief of DC and Marvel fans everywhere, a deal was worked out in which Gunn is free to work his magic on the Suicide Squad sequel first before resuming work on GOTG 3. Details on the GOTG film remain scarce and it is likely that it won’t be released until after 2020 at the earliest, though we do know that Gunn had written the script for it before being fired.

This is absolutely the right move from Disney because the GOTG films are so uniquely “James Gunn” that no director could really hope to emulate that magic. There will undoubtedly be some who will gripe about Gunn’s unfiring, but rather than say something dumb, I’ll let Star Lord respond to any and all detractors.

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