Warner Brothers is Making an R-Rated Animated 'Watchmen' Movie

They're calling it a "faithful adaptation."

by Monica Hunter-Hart
Photo via DC Comics

Popular DC Comics series Watchmen will soon get a Warner Bros. animated film adaptation.

Warner Bros. announced the project, which is already in progress, on its “A-List Community” program. A notice describes the forthcoming film as a “faithful adaptation” in an “animation style that mirrors the source material.”

It is expected to have an R rating.

The original Watchmen comics, created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons and published in 1986-1987, follow a group of superheroes in an alternate history of the year 1985. The darkness of the story line — it portrays historical events in a realistic and cynical light — was rare for comics up to that point, and ushered in the so-called “Dark Age of Comics.”

Warner Bros.’ description of the forthcoming film’s plot is as follows:

“In an alternate world where the mere presence of American superheroes changed history, the U.S. won the Vietnam War, Nixon is still president, and the cold war is in full effect. Watchmen begins as a murder-mystery, but soon unfolds into a planet-altering conspiracy. As the resolution comes to a head, the unlikely group of reunited heroes — Rorschach, Nite Owl, Silk Spectre, Dr. Manhattan, and Ozymandias — have to test the limits of their convictions and ask themselves where the true line is between good and evil.”

An image from the "Watchman" comics.

Photo via Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, John Higgins, and DC Comics

You might ask why we’re getting another adaptation of Watchmen when there’s already an R-rated live-action movie from 2009 and a motion comic, which is as faithful an adaptation of the original comics as you can get.

Because people freaking love Watchmen, that’s why. Even though it was a limited series, lasting only two years, it’s been one of the best-selling graphic novels ever. Time called it one of the greatest works of literature in the English language since 1923; BBC Culture noted that its publication marked “the moment when comic books grew up.”

So the appetite for Watchmen is insatiable. In fact, Watchmen characters were recently integrated into the DC: Rebirth universe, and there may even be a television series in the works, too.

Creators Moore and Gibbons were not mentioned in the announcement, so it’s unclear whether or not they support this new project. Fans, however, must be stoked. Stay tuned for a premiere date and more details.

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