Test footage from the 2003 “Watchmen” movie has resurfaced following the sequel series on HBO from Damon Lindelof that has received critical acclaim…
Several years before Zack Snyder took a stab at a “Watchmen” movie and long before Damon Lindelof crafted a sequel to the iconic graphic novel from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, there was another film that looked to bring the superhero story to the big screen.
Back in 2003, David Hayter — who is best known for his writing in films such as “X-Men,” “X2,” and “The Scorpion King” — was tasked with giving his take on “Watchmen”. The production got as far as test footage being filmed for the movie and now some of that video has been released.
This version of “Watchmen” features “Game of Thrones” star Iain Glenn as Dan Dreiberg aka Nite Owl and Ray Stevenson, who was the lead in “Punisher: War Zone” as Rorschach.
The scene was shot in London and features a famous moment from the comic books when Rorschach shows up unannounced at Dan’s apartment to tell him about The Comedian being murdered and the investigation he was launching into his death.
Back in 2008, Gizmodo actually broke down a trio of different “Watchmen” scripts that had been circulating ahead of Snyder getting the job to make the film that eventually came out in 2009. Here’s an excerpt from that story with details about that version of the “Watchmen” from 2003:
Dr. Manhattan is much more godlike in this script, creating a “magic mirror” for Laurie that can allow her to see any point in her past. This only seems to serve as a plot device so that we can see her fighting with The Comedian in the past.
Dr. M also uses his abilities to give Laurie one of the lamest superpowers since Jubilee: she can now shoot a blue ball of energy from her fingers, slingshot-style.
She uses this power to try and stop Adrian, but he catches the ball and pummels her. Not quite as dramatic as catching a bullet, is it?
Instead of a vat-grown alien-tentacled telepath, Veidt fires a concentrated beam of radiation at orbital mirrors which reflect into New York City, killing 20 million people.
Night Owl and Veidt square off in the end, and although Veidt beats the crap out of him, Night Owl still wins by tricking Veidt with an Owl-o-rang and killing him. Yes, really.
“Watchmen” was a project that toiled around Hollywood for years because nobody could seem to crack the nut on how to adapt the legendary story into a screenplay. Judging by this particular script, it seems the problem was everybody writing a “Watchmen” movie was desperately trying to improve upon an already flawless story.
Snyder did make some changes to his version of “Watchmen” but he was mostly loyal to the original source material. Meanwhile, Lindelof has called the “Watchmen” comics his bible when making the series currently airing on HBO and he treats that book as canon, which means if it happened in the comic, it already happened in his show.
Either way check out the test footage and see what you think of this version of “Watchmen” from 2003.