At the time, Watchmen was a little unloved. Fans of the comic pointed to the big change with the climax, eschewing a world-ending, manufactured space squid for something that actually makes sense thematically. They also disliked the lack of Tales Of The Black Freighter as interludes.
The movie failed to find a mainstream audience, being a dark, R-rated, serious deconstruction of superheroes and proving that geek culture and normie culture don’t always bleed into each other. To geeks, the graphic novel was the ultimate touchstone. To normies, it made absolutely no impact whatsoever. Box-office disappointment followed, as the film ultimately grossed $185.4 million gross from a $130 million budget.
The movie has undergone something of a re-evaluation lately, with people starting to really appreciate exactly how far ahead of its time it really was as a movie, and how solid it is. One person speaking up for the movie is one of the cast. Out doing promotion for the fifth Insidious film, Patrick Wilson speaks highly of Watchmen, and even says that without it, we may never have got as far as team-ups like The Avengers.
Speaking with ReelBlend, Wilson says he is proud of Watchmen, and that it is one of the few films of his that he can rewatch:
“Watchmen is the only movie of mine that I have watched front to back since a premiere. That movie’s awesome. I wanted to share it with my son. I also probably wanted to fast-forward the scene with me and Malin [Akerman] in the ship.
I needed to stay close by. No, I wanted to look at it as an older guy, as a filmmaker. I knew Zack was kind of, he was ahead of the curve. You 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 that then Avengers can go so light. I do believe in that. But yeah, I love that movie. I’d love to do that movie now. I would, honestly, I think that’d be so awesome to just do it now.”
The movie was certainly far better than the disappointing television series that followed. Revisiting Watchmen recently, it still stands out just how faithful; to the source material it is, right up until the switch at the end. What is surprising is just how well it has aged. Could it be on a journey towards a future classic?
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