Julian is excited at the prospect of a Watchmen movie. Why?
Terry Gilliam had the right idea – a Watchmen movie needs to be 12 hours long. There’s no way to fit it into two or three hours without entirely slashing the plot, nor would it be possible to develop all the characters in any satisfying way.
Furthermore, the plot of Watchmen is stuck in the cold war; without a Soviet threat, it’s hard to know what the story is about. And how does the story end? It’s not like we can just cross out “Soviet” and write in “Bin Laden”; if an (apparent) alien crash-landed in New York City and killed a million people, Bin Laden wouldn’t offer peace terms, he’d give a prayer of thanks and offer the aliens a road map to L.A..
Even if that problem is solved, I can’t imagine U.S. movie audiences – especially post-9/11 – accepting an ending in which a main character commits a hideous act of terrorism, murdering thousands of New Yorkers, and (bad dreams aside) gets away with it. Even worse, in the comic Adrian comes off as a morally ambiguous figure – is there any way mainstream movie audiences would accept someone who makes Bin Laden look like an amateur as morally ambiguous? On the other hand, if Adrian Viedt is just killed off in the end, like an ordinary movie villain (maybe Rorsharch could impale him with a gigantic piece of the set! Ooooh, that would be original!), that would feel dumb and cheap compared to the comic book’s more sedate ending.