Moore doesn't care about Watchmen
The original author of Watchmen, currently being adapted for film by Zack Snyder, has said that he doesn't care about the film, and while I understand that he's annoyed about the lack of control over his comics on screen, I can't help but wonder if he's hurting himself, his fans, and the original material by not getting involved.
Couldn't he be getting involved and trying to make the films as he would want them?
Alan Moore is the creator of Watchmen, along with the artist Dave Gibbons. Now while Gibbons works on the project. While Moore says he is happy with Gibbons working on the project, he has famously distanced himself from all the film adaptations and asked for his name to be removed from them all.
In an interview at Wizard Universe through Comic Book Movie he says that he signed the waiver to allow the writers profits from the film to go Dave Gibbons, and not himself.
“I got a piece of paper—they must’ve learned something from the “V for Vendetta” debacle. I got a piece of paper a couple of months ago saying, “I, the undersigned, hereby give you permission to take my name off of the film and to send my money to Dave Gibbons.” So I sent that back to them all signed and sealed, which means that now I don’t have to rant and spew about the film. I’m just simply not interested in it...
...he asked me if I was interested in being kept up to date on it, and I was saying, “Well, it’s always nice to talk to you, but not really.” I don’t really know much about it. I believe that it’s going ahead. I won’t be watching it, obviously. I can at least remain neutral to it as long as they’re taking my name off of it and not playing these silly, ultimately futile games like they were doing last time, which worked out so well for them. No, I’m keeping well away from all of that.”
So I can understand that if he's been messed about and his work ruined before that he would want to walk away from it, but at the same time just look and see what Frank Miller has managed with his works and going into partnerships with film-makers, albeit very carefully selected film-makers.
I do feel that if Moore could keep closer control of his work and deal himself in when the film projects begin, perhaps he could have more control in moulding them and creating them the way he'd like, rather than turning his back on them and just letting them be made any way possible.
Surely he must recognise that there's something different happening with Watchmen, that there are some film-makers working on this project with a real passion for the subject matter and that this could really turn out strong?
Of course, there's more to this than a beef with the film adaptations, and from what I can gleam from a story regarding V for Vendetta (Filmstalker review), it all lies with DC Comics. Here's what he said way back in March of 2006:
“A couple of weeks ago I did ask DC Comics to take my name off the book. This was after a long, long string of gradually worsening relationships which had been kind of obliviously ignored by DC comics. It's got to the point where I've become very, very distanced emotionally from a lot of the work which I don't own...
...It was when I realized that in fact Watchmen and V for Vendetta had been taken from me. And I though, all right, fair enough. I was fooled once, and I decided I didn't want to work for DC Comics again or indeed for any of the big American comic companies...
...I had an American producer actually lying about my involvement in the film, which made me look like a liar...
...but wouldn't it have been better for Paul Levitz to think about that before his company cheated me out of the ownership of my work and then peddled it to another part of their parent company? This wouldn't have arisen if they hadn't done this initial unfair act and despite the fact they've been given several opportunities to put it straight and logical reasons to do so when in fact it would have made them more money. Can you imagine how nicely this could have gone? It could have gone swimmingly.”
So you can see that the issues are deeper rooted than just a beef with the film adaptations. This is a real shame, and I would have thought that Zack Snyder would have tried to mend those paths in some way and fought for Alan Moore to be involved in some positive way on the film version of Watchmen.
For future projects perhaps Moore can follow the example of Miller and get involved to make sure his work is done just right on screen, but it's a shame that this means he misses out on one of the most well known of his works, and perhaps of comic books in general, Watchmen.