Depending on who you ask, Snyder’s 2009 film is one of the better comic book adaptations of the past couple decades. Made just before the great MCU/DCEU/DCU glut of the 2010s, Snyder’s “Watchmen” was hailed in these hallowed pages as “the best-case scenario for anyone adapting the comic.” That is, until Lindelof’s “Watchmen” hit HBO, garnering praise from comic fans and agnostics alike. The one person who remained unimpressed by both is Alan Moore, the writer behind the original comic series.
Lindelof returned “Watchmen” to a gritty and whip-smart satire of the grim cost of vigilantism, keeping very much in line with Moore’s vision. But Moore went on the record at the time of the HBO release as being “the last person to want to sit through any adaptations of my work,” even signing off a response to a personal letter from Lindelof with the lines, “Look, this is embarrassing to me. I don’t want anything to do with you or your show. Please don’t bother me again.”
We don’t yet know whether the new “Watchmen” film will be a direct adaptation of Moore, artist Dave Gibbons, and colorist John Higgins’ comic or a riff like Lindelof’s series. We can hope that the creators put the goal of pleasing Moore out of their heads, and we can speculate on the newly titled “Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths.” Adapted from Marv Wolfman and George Pérez’s twelve-issue maxi-series, “Crisis on Infinite Earths” was a major crossover event when it was published in 1985, and signaled the official foundation of the DC Universe through the unification of several multiverses. The comic contained characters we’ve met in the DC cinematic universe, like Superman, The Flash, and Supergirl, and the movie will introduce us to more, like Harbinger and Pariah.
“Watchmen” and “Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths” will be released on home video sometime in 2024.