David Bowie could have played Rorschach in Terry Gilliam's "Watchmen" adaptation

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/10/16/david-bowie-could-have-played.html

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I can’t really imagine the ethereal Bowie playing the decidedly gutter-level Rorschach. However, I’m sure the Gilliam would have done something interesting with the “Watchmen”; unlike Zack Snyder.

As the original comic that was all about deconstructing the superhero comic narrative, making a shot-for-frame recreation of the main storyline seemed totally reductive and pointless; though unsurprising, coming from the creator of “Sucker Punch”.

Maybe Gilliam would have used the project to have a swing at deconstructing the vocabulary of western action cinema; that could have been far more interesting.

I’m not holding out much hope for the TV series. I’m expecting a fairly generic edgelord superhero tale in the manner of “Titans”.

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and cover up his face!?

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Movie adaptions, eh? :smiley:

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Rorschach is supposed to be a visually ugly, almost repulsive looking guy. I presume if Gillian really wanted to give Bowie such a look they could’ve done it but my hunch is that they would’ve wanted to have Bowie recognizable to audiences in order to get butts in seats. Still i would’ve loved a Gillian version of the story and with Bowie being part of it, would’ve been immensely weird.

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Sorry - but Bowie is obviously Adrian Veidt.

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I thought the guy they got for the Hollywood version was damn near perfect casting for that character.

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You could’ve put him in nearly any of the roles and i would’ve been on board, though Veidt would have fit him the best.

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I wasn’t either, but I’ve seem some encouraging things that make is sound interesting: https://tv.avclub.com/damon-lindelof-s-watchmen-is-a-reckoning-worth-waiting-1839036902

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The inclusion of Damon Lindelof is always a warning bell for me :smiley: But, who knows, he might prove me wrong. That article certain gives me some hope.

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“We could be heroes…”
*destroys Manhattan

Yup, works for me!!

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It would be great to live in an alternate world where the studios recognised Gilliam’s talent and didn’t interfere in his process or career.

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Someone on Youtube made a good point about the main issue with Snyder’s Watchmen (and his DCU movies): he got stuck on a very basic level of understanding in what ways the comic is a deconstruction, so he pretty much took it as “FUCK YEAH DARK AND EDGY”.

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Watchmen is a sharp criticism of multiple issues, societal, political and of what it means to be “superhero” when they’re still fallible, vulnerable people (and the consequences of having that kind of responsibility and power). The movie ultimately suffers because it isn’t subtle or nuanced, it mimics the source material without knowing why it was great or what the point it was trying to make… which is obvious to tell because Snyder changed the ending.

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‘Outside’ makes me think he could have somehow done it

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Yeah, I’m guessing the movie would have been nothing like the film that was made - or the source comic, for that matter.

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It definitely would’ve had its own spin and deviated from the source material. Could’ve good or bad, but even bad Terry Gilliam movies are interesting which i can’t say the same for Snyder movies.

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I wonder if Alan Moore would have been on board with a Gilliam film? He refuses to anything to do with any of the movies based on his comics thus far (I think because of his experiences on League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which he hated).

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He may have been less hostile, though as i understand part of the issue as far as Watchmen goes is based on the rights to the comic. He and DC had an agreement that the rights to the IP would revert back to him as long as DC kept their hands off it for a period of time… which they did for some time and then started to do stuff with the property against his wishes so at this point it looks like he’ll never get it back. I’m sure Alan Moore has other issues with the industry but i’m more familiar with the Watchmen thing.

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Well he seems really well disposed to the idea in the BBC interview where he tells the story. He even chuckles about an alternative world where this happened.

Frankly I’ve never heard him sound less testy about a movie.

My problem with the one made. Well it was long and boring to start. But anyway it used the comic like a storyboard and then fleshed out the action sequences into long and boring fights rather than the elegant and efficient few panels in the book. Changing the ending didn’t bother me - the giant squid was so awful its hard work remembering it anyway.

When I first read watchmen I thought “that’s it, superhero comics are over now. Somebody pointed out in a successful comic that they are all wearing fetish gear.cant put that back in the bottle”. But no, they are eating the world now and the movie even managed to miss the fact that night owl could only have sex if they were wearing the fetish clothes. In the movie they made it that the action had made him feel like a real man again or some Frank Miller shit like thst.

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