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I’ve heard this one rumbling for a while now. First there was the story that DC Comics Publisher and President Paul Levitz had personally prevented any Watchmen 2 projects, because, despite their differences, he believed that as this would be against Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ wishes, it would cause bery bad feeling in the creative community and would be a creatively bankrupt move.

Moore fell out massively with DC Comics, and Paul Levitz specifically, not only choosing not to work with them any further, but scuppering spinoff projects, removing his name from any movie credits and any money due to him from said movies, and taking his one final project The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, from Wildstorm, a publisher DC had purchased.

But in the wake of the movie, Watchmen the comic became DC’s best selling publication of all time. One might say partly because it had remained undiluted after all this time.

But there were moves. A Wizard splash showing DC’s Countdown multiverse had Rorschach as one of the combatants and it was rumoured one of the universes in the DC 52 Multiverse was intended to be the Watchmen world. Instead, Earth 4 became a world inspired by elements of Watchmen and the Charlton Heroes universe but with other aspects such as the laws of physics being altered.

But the news broke that Paul Levitz was stepping down from DC Comics as both President and Publisher, I wondered what that meant for the possibility of a Watchmen sequel. Certainly in a hundred years, you couldn’t expect there not to be one.

Well, it seems to be happening a lot sooner than I thought. I understand now that this considered a pet project of Dan DiDio, SVP-Executive Editor. That he is determined to impress new bosses by building on DC’s biggest selling comic book of all time with multiple prequel comic miniseries and spinoff ongoing projects.

I understand that both Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons have to be offered first refusal before any of these titles could be published. But if they don’t want to work on them themselves (and Alan Moore is never going to agree), DiDio has been sounding out people who might be willing to take on the task.

While some creators are reticent, the argument goes if there are a number of Watchmen spinoff projects, any blame or shame can be spread on many shoulders. The sales are expected to be massive, whatever the hardcore fanboy reaction and such expected sales benefits will be shared amongst the creative teams.

In contrast, not only would Levitz not allow any new Watchmen stories but even the video game was restricted to material in the graphic novel and film, nothing brand new was allowed to be invented. Despite differences with Moore, Levitz has held fast to the committment that the comic is the comic is the comic.

It seems that this may now change.

At this stage, having disowned himself of much of it, Alan Moore is likely not to care. Though we might get an eviscerating blast at some point if this all comes to pass.

Both Jim Baike, Rich Veitch and Gene Ha/Zander Cannon are artists who have taken on writing chores on books previously written by Alan Moore, to continue the storyline. The most creatively-acceptable solution would be Dave Gibbons writing and drawing new Watchmen titles. But DiDio’s plans seem much larger than just one book.

And of course, in those initial movie contracts with Fox, there was a clause that included sequels to a Watchmen movie.

When asked, Dave Gibbons only replied “Hurm…”

Of course, this is from Bleeding Cool, so take it with a grain of salt.

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Actually, David Hayter said that he did work out a decent possible sequel idea, but it was never actually worked on, and he eventually decided that it was a bad idea overall.

I think it involved something having to do with the modern-day consequences of the events in Watchmen. Because logically, there's no way that it'd turn out all happy-go-lucky for very long.

I wonder if maybe someone at WB has some of those writings Hayter made. (if he actually wrote any of it down, that is) It could be... interesting.

And by "interesting," I mean "a bad idea."

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If there ever was a Watchmen 2, it would prove that DC/WB were a desperate, money-grabbing company. Whilst you coud cite other examples to prove that point, the very idea of making a cash-in sequel to Watchmen is pathetic and shows, to borrow the phrase, creative bankruptcy.

That being said, the article is pretty damn speculative at best. The thrust seems to be that because the guy vetoing a second Watchmen project is stepping down and because Watchmen is, well, Watchmen, then there might well be a second Watchmen project! That's like saying because I'm crazy for Rosamund Pike, and because she broke up with her film director fiance, then we're destined to be together. It's a statement that overlooks certain things, like her being a working, professional actress in her early thirties whilst I'm 300 miles away in Newcastle with a beer gut, poor financial circumstances and a patchy track record with women. As such, I won't be adding Bleeding Cool to my bookmarks list.

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If there ever was a Watchmen 2, it would prove that DC/WB were a desperate, money-grabbing company.

Isn't that Fox?

There's many companies that are, although, in fairness, capitalism/corporations run on turning profits by neccessity. That being said, there are limits and exceeding those limits expose your company as being desperate & money-grubbing. For example, the many direct to video/DVD sequels that Disney made for pretty much every one of their famous animated movies, under the direction of Michael Eisner.

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  • 5 months later...

It reads like an odd situation. Either Moore gets the rights to Watchman back if he signs off on prequels/sequels, or if he doesn't take Watchmen back, DC/WB could just make such movies regardless. Whichever way you look at it, the door stays open to extend the "franchise" of Watchmen. Checking my stats, the film didn't even make all that much and needed the worldwide gross to make its money back.

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I think the world that was created has a lot of potential. I don't necessarily mean that you'd have a direct sequel or prequel to the original book, but maybe you could just have new stories told in the same universe. Watchmen's universe is really unique, and I think it'd be really cool to see it fleshed out a little more.

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  • 3 weeks later...

For a lot of negativity towards a sequel it sure left an open ending.

Whilst that may be true, it's a testament to creative bankruptcy if a sequel to Watchmen is commissioned some 25 years after it was originally released. It'd be the Cats & Dogs 2 of the comics world, were Cats & Dogs originally a masterpiece.

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I was watching a few minutes of the WATCHMEN movie on cable last night, and I found myself musing on the notion of a “prequel” or sequel to the original comicbook series.

In WATCHMEN, Moore inverted — I might say perverted — pretty much everything the superhero genre is all about. He was not the first to do so, but WATCHMEN was the first time we got it all in such a concentrated dose. Largely, this seems to have happened because Moore is very much a one trick pony. The one trick works for him and his fans, so no problem there, I guess. But this got me to thinking about who would be a suitable candidate to produce another round of WATCHMEN.

The thought began to take shape in my head that any revisiting of those characters should be a continuation of the “tradition” of WATCHMEN. That is, as Moore trashed everything superheroes were all about, the next go-round should do the same with WATCHMEN itself. So the ideal candidate for doing the project should be someone who is equally a one trick pony, but from the opposite end of the spectrum. Immediately, one name sprang to the forefront: Rob Liefeld.

No, I’m not kidding. Liefeld would be to WATCHMEN what Moore was to superheroes in general. And it would be such fun to watch a whole flock of retailer’s heads exploding, as they tried to serve two entirely different faces of mammon!

- John Byrne


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