November 26, 2019

'Watchmen': Check Out David Hayter's Original Test Footage From 2003

Before Damon Lindelof turned Watchmen into an HBO series, before Zack Snyder's 2009 film, writer-director David Hayter tried to bring the DC comic to life.

Watchmen fans are on the verge of obsessive behavior when it comes to the classic DC comic, thanks to Damon Lindelof's new (and highly-addictive) remix/sequel to it on HBO.

One of the book's biggest fans, screenwriter and director David Hayter (X2), adapted a take on the material for the big screen in the early 2000s. His script went through various changes and rewrites back when the project was set up at Paramount Pictures with Paul Greengrass -- hot off 2004's The Bourne Supremacy -- attached to direct.

Greengrass was in pre-production in 2005/2006 before budget and story concerns forced Paramount to pull the plug. (That was a fun time to be working at the studio; all of this went down as I was working in the marketing group.)

But before Greengrass was in pre-pro, in August 2003, Hayter took it upon himself to shoot test footage in London -- a proof of concept, basically -- of a key scene between Rorschach (Ray Stevenson) and Nite Owl (Game of Thrones' Iain Glen). Hayter recently posted the salvaged-from-VHS footage on Twitter and fans are kinda freaking out. Watch for yourself below:

Even the writer of an X-Men movie has to take it upon himself to help convince studios of the cinematic value of a passion project and world-renown graphic novel. So feel inspired when you direct or help execute similar POCs for your projects or those of your colleagues. 

While we don't know how exactly Hayter put this together -- Was it with his own funds? Did he build the sets in London where he shot it? -- we do know some behind-the-scenes tidbits about casting choices. See below:

Credit: Twiiter

Daniel Craig as Rorschach?! A pre-Bond Craig in this role -- that's worth pulling an HBO's Watchmen and living in an alternate 2019 for. 

What do you think of this footage? Tonally, is this the Watchmen you would have liked to have seen? Sound off below.      

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