WATCHMEN Star Patrick Wilson Doesn't Think "Audiences Were Ready" For Zack Snyder's Adaptation

WATCHMEN Star Patrick Wilson Doesn't Think "Audiences Were Ready" For Zack Snyder's Adaptation

Patrick Wilson, who played Nite Owl II in Zack Snyder's 2009 Watchmen adaptation, says he doesn't think fans were "ready for" the divisive director's take on Alan Moore's seminal graphic novel...

By MarkCassidy - Jul 14, 2023 09:07 AM EST
Filed Under: Watchmen

Zack Snyder has always been (and will likely continue to be) a very divisive filmmaker, but it's probably fair to say that none of his films have drawn as mixed a response from fans and critics alike than his 2009 adaptation of Alan Moore's Watchmen.

A few notable changes (the squid, for example) aside, the movie was mostly pretty faithful (some would say overly so) to Moore's seminal graphic novel, but a lot of fans felt that Snyder missed the overall point of the story by either glossing over or completely ignoring its more satirical/subversive elements (the term "style over substance" came up a lot).

That's debatable, of course, and an actor who played one of the main roles in the film would certainly disagree.

During a video interview to promote Insidious: The Red Door, Patrick Wilson (Nite Owl II) reflected on his experience working on the movie, and he's of the opinion that audiences simply "weren't ready" for Snyder's interpretation of Watchmen at the time.

"Watchmen is the only movie of mine that I've watched front to back since a premiere," Wilson tells CinemaBlend. "I wanted to look at it as an older guy, as a filmmaker. I knew Zack was ahead of the curve, y'know, it's weird to say that audiences weren't ready for it, but you need a movie like that. You need movies to go so dark, so then Avengers can go so light. Bur yeah, I love that movie.. I mean, I'd love to do that movie now."

Watchmen was recently revisited for an HBO sequel series, that was much more positively received. A second season was discussed, but never came to fruition.

What do you guys make of Wilson's take? Do you agree that Snyder's Watchmen is underrated? Drop us a comment down below.

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CoHost - 7/14/2023, 9:13 AM
Nah, we were just ready for HBO's Watchmen.
Origame - 7/14/2023, 9:27 AM
@CoHost - ...that came out a full decade after the movie. And when we had a massive shift in mainstream superhero content.
marvel72 - 7/14/2023, 9:33 AM
@CoHost - Didn't like the show, they should have adapted Before Watchmen series.
iceballsreborn - 7/14/2023, 9:49 AM
@CoHost - the show was not watchmen. not in any way. just a weird mess shoe horning in as much diversity and cheap bad guys in as possible. It hit the market right at a point to maximise a certain feeling/ movement.

the watchmen movie was an awesome adaptation of source. maybe a bit too much. but aside from cheesy sex scenes, it was awesome.
soberchimera - 7/14/2023, 10:06 AM
@CoHost - That show was just bizarre fan fiction with a big budget.
mastakilla39 - 7/14/2023, 11:01 AM
@marvel72 @iceballsreborn @soberchimera - damn thought I was the only one who thought this as a fan of the original comic. Even Alan Moore said it was dumb because Watchmen comic was never about the problems of White Supremacy or privilege.

Good show and great acting, but not my ideal sequel. I was surprised that a bunch of people who saw the show never read the original comic or seen Snyder's version either because the show just starts without any universe explaining or major references to the events before it. I'm surprised they didn't get lost or confused.
Itwasme - 7/14/2023, 11:12 AM
@iceballsreborn - the movie was not Watchmen either... let's go there. lol.
iceballsreborn - 7/14/2023, 11:52 AM
@mastakilla39 - i watched the tv show and thought WTF is this. its like a black power tv show- they even made Dr Manhattan black. it wasnt watchmen.

but i disagree it wasnt a good show. it pandered. it was cheap. it was dumb, it had little to no good action. it was pure lindelof- overrrated rubbish.
iceballsreborn - 7/14/2023, 11:52 AM
@Itwasme - care to explain how.
Itwasme - 7/14/2023, 11:59 AM
@iceballsreborn - Moore didn't like superheroes. He made them the villains. Did you ever get that sense from Snyders film? You ever feel like he looked at those characters with disdain?
Origame - 7/14/2023, 12:43 PM
@Itwasme - I got that sense when they just killed millions of people and let the world believe it was all dr Manhattan.

Seriously, what did the comic do that made them more villains than the movie? If anything, movie watchmen were more villains because they had a larger body count.
Itwasme - 7/14/2023, 2:11 PM
@Origame - they lost and didn't have much choice at that point. Dr. Manhattan wasn't shown to be very empathetic, but clearly Rorschach, Nite Owl, and Jupiter lost.

1) he gave everyone superpowers
2) he stylized the fighting "making it look cool (appealing)"
3) he gave most of them heroic moments

Compare the treatment of the characters in Watchmen to The Boys and tell me which one handled the superheros as villains better. Snyder even made Rorschach a hero.

Moore hated the movie - granted he hates everything so....
Scarilian - 7/14/2023, 2:49 PM
@CoHost -
The show was not Watchmen and personally the changes made alienated me from watching it.

The film was not Watchmen either, but it had its appeal in the story it was trying to tell and the changes made did not damage the core premise for me (Other than the idiotic decision of blaming Dr Manhattan other than a non-human force)
Origame - 7/14/2023, 2:58 PM
@Itwasme - dude, that's exactly how it happened in the comics. Ozimadias set the "alien" loose before the watchmen arrived, and the team had to just let him go. All they changed was how ozimadias did his kill plan. Did you read the comics?

1) they didn't have superpowers. Only dr Manhattan did. Even the bullet catch was in the comic. Also, having powers doesn't make you a hero or make you heroic.

2) cool fighting doesn't make them villains.

3) what heroic moments did he give them that wasn't in the comic?

Ok, this is just you failing to understand what the comics were doing. The watchmen was a critique of the very concept of a superhero. Not that perceived superheroes are actually villains. The boys is about superheroes as actually terrible people.

Also, Moore never even saw this movie. He gave up on his adaptations after league of extraordinary gentlemen and hates the very concept of film adaptations (he's a purest).
Itwasme - 7/15/2023, 2:41 PM
@Origame - you act like you've never heard this critique before.... Snyder's Watchmen has been divisive since it's release. That article I shared is the tip of the iceberg. People punching through stone walls don't have superpowers? Lol... ok there. Snyder didn't sensationalize the violence? Moores point was a criticism of the macho nature to comics, and the entire fantasy of being a superhero. His point was to show that if it was actually real these people would be psychopaths. Not heroes, anti-heroes or anything else.

It feels like the point of the story went over your head and you've never actually been in a comic store or talked to anyone about it.
Origame - 7/15/2023, 4:42 PM
@Itwasme - 1) I never said I haven't heard that before. But it's showing me you haven't actually thought about this yourself. Anyway, the moment you brought up he punched through dry wall. Something I did by accident before. And that's not even as crazy as the bullet catch, which was in the comics. If you count what they do in the movie as having superpowers, then the characters in the comics have superpowers.

2) yeah, and these superheroes are psychopaths. Dr. Manhattan can't relate to humanity to the point a dead person isn't any different as a living person to him, nite owl and silk spectre use the thrill of near death to get their hearts pumping for sex, rorschach is murdering and dismemberment criminals left and right, and ozimadias plans to kill millions of people around the world in order to maintain peace. Why do you think these aren't psychopaths?

And yes, they're heroes. The point is that this is the inevitable outcome of superheroes because it's simply not practical in the real world. These people started out as good people trying to help.
Itwasme - 7/15/2023, 5:43 PM
@Origame - it was a solid stone pillar. Watch the movie.
Origame - 7/15/2023, 5:48 PM
@Itwasme - dude, I'm not gonna argue this with you any further.

Do you consider catching a bullet to be something a human can do?
ebrandonje - 7/14/2023, 9:15 AM
I agree with Patrick Wilson, I feel like the movie came out years ahead of when it should have.
soberchimera - 7/14/2023, 10:04 AM
@ebrandonje - It would have fared far better in a post-Deadpool (2016) market.
xfan320 - 7/14/2023, 9:15 AM
I agree, this movie is SO UNDERRRATED. I think post MCU/endgame, this movie would have hit so hard at the Box Office and set the stage for Superhero Cinema Gen. 2
iceballsreborn - 7/14/2023, 9:53 AM
@xfan320 - personally my favourite comic book movie of all time. it looks stunning, it feels hard/ raw. rorschach's narration..

i think the super hero window has broken. too many crap/ cheapr MCU and CDO efforts.. the average audience cant be bothered with.. i think the sweet spot would ahve been around 2015, 2016
TheHumanSpider2 - 7/14/2023, 10:21 AM
@xfan320 - Movie has two issues:

1 - the theatrical cut is SHIT
2 - even the director's cut, which is pretty good, as an adaptation, its terrible
mastakilla39 - 7/14/2023, 11:10 AM
@TheHumanSpider2 - I prefer the theatrical cut, all that extended footage is unnecessarily long and pointless to the main narrative.

@xfan320 @iceballsreborn - Overall movie is okay, but felt like Snyder tried to hard to make the Watchmen look "cool" and superior. The Watchmen weren't supposed to be viewed like gods or trained combat specialists. He nailed the story beats but completely got the meaning of it wrong and thats why its so divisive among fans of the comic.
TheWalkingCuban - 7/14/2023, 11:29 AM
@xfan320 - no the best time was post avengers, post endgame is way less hopeful. Like by that time it was mostly MCU getting butts in seats
iceballsreborn - 7/14/2023, 11:56 AM
@mastakilla39 - ok, but how much has the MCU changed the comics? in like a billion ways. does that make them bad/ inferior?

I never read the comic before. so I guess im judging it on its own merits initially and now with an understanding of the comic, i personally like the changes.
ObserverIO - 7/14/2023, 12:59 PM
@xfan320 - 2019 would have been the perfect time for it. Joker proved that after Endgame, people wanted a post-modern, more adult palette-cleanser.
TheWalkingCuban - 7/14/2023, 9:20 AM
6 dragonballs. It was cool but it was just the right amount of boring to knock it off it’s HIGH @$$ HORSE!!!

It insists upon itself.
“What does that even mean?!”

bobevanz - 7/14/2023, 9:27 AM
I strongly think it's because we just had a financial crisis in 08, nobody wanted a depressing superhero movie. I loved it, aside from the literal ending
Rosraf - 7/14/2023, 9:29 AM
I like the movie because it is such a great cinematic presentation of the original comic book pages. I think a lot of the movie audience had trouble orienting the Watchmen movie within the context of superhero movies/summer blockbusters than the original comic book's audience did within the context of 80's comic books.
Fares - 7/14/2023, 9:29 AM
Watchmen is such a mood bro. That intro remains unmatched and the scene about Dr. Manhattan's origin is just chef's kiss. As a kid, I wouldn't say I had any sort of clue that a comic book film would be so different from what I had seen before, so in a sense, I wasn't ready for it because it caught me off-guard.
TheVandalore - 7/14/2023, 9:55 PM
@Fares - that's how the comic hit me. Watchmen is hands down my favorite comic. I read it in college at a point when my love of comics was dying and it completely reignited my passion for comic books. It let me know there was a different flavor out there to find. Completely took me by surprise.

The book is a masterpiece and the film does its best to try to capture the magic, but honestly the only reason WATCHMEN isn't a perfect film is because it wasn't made NOW as a MAX 12 episode limited series. If Zack made the comic panel for panel, issue per episode, it would be the greatest comic book live action work ever. Visually it's unmatched still.

Also, leave the psychic squid.
marvel72 - 7/14/2023, 9:30 AM
This was my favourite DC comic book movie for years, then Joker knocked it off the top spot.
DarthAlgar - 7/14/2023, 9:36 AM
I really like the film. Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach was top tier casting.
marvel72 - 7/14/2023, 9:37 AM
You guys should watch The Ultimate Cut, it adds Tales of the Black Freighter animated scenes plus additional scenes.
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