The world is currently ravenous for Watchmen thanks to Damon Lindelof’s new HBO series which is exploring new territory in it’s dramatic mythology and taking audiences for one hell of a trip along the way.
This fascination with Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s comic book opus is also bringing up new interest in the past of the series, including it’s many adaptation attempts.
While Zack Snyder achieved his Watchmen adaptation back in 2009, before him directors including Terry Gilliam and Paul Greengrass had tried to make the material work, but failed to do so.
Another director who was high on the list of adapters was David Hayter (X-Men, X2) and back in 2003, Hayter had been tasked to bring the graphic novel to life.
While the film never went into production, it did move pretty far into the pre-production phase with Hayter even shooting test footage for the film.
Well now that footage has arrived online and it makes for an interesting snapshot of what could have been. Check it out below:
Highlighting the meeting between Rorschach (Ray Stevenson) and Daniel Dreiberg (Iain Glen) better known as Nite Owl, as they discuss the death of The Comedian, and what this could mean for the masked community.
Hayter took to Twitter to explain his choices and casting further, saying that Glen was his choice for Dreiberg and that Stevenson has replaced Daniel Craig for Rorschach, who dropped out of the role at the last minute. Along with his casting as Rorschach, Hayter also expressed an interest in having Stevenson cast as The Comedian, making the argument that this piece of test footage was about testing out the character fit and chemistry of the actors.
X2 was finished by this point. Iain nailed Dan. Ray stepped in when Daniel Craig bailed on us at the last minute. Ray would have made an amazing Comedian as well. The knife was for Dan’s defense, and Rorschach was going to use it in a later killing, drawing Dan in.
— David Hayter (@DavidBHayter) November 26, 2019
While the film never did get off the ground, and this scene is far from complete, it’s very interesting to see what could have been, and the thoughts of a different creative team at work here.
Watchmen airs on Monday’s on SoHo at 2.00pm and 9.30pm and will air later that night on Neon, with repeat screenings on Wednesdays on SoHo from 10.30pm.