Jeffrey Dean Morgan says Zack Snyder's Watchmen was 'ahead of its time'

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Apr 6, 2018

For a long time, many comic book nerds felt that Alan Moore's and Dave Gibbons' groundbreaking graphic novel Watchmen was unfilmable. Guys like Terry Gilliam, Darren Aronofsky, and Paul Greengrass all tried and failed to get a movie adaptation off the ground. When Zack Snyder, fresh off the success of 300, finally did make the film, it was nearly three hours long and as faithful as one could want to the source material (for the most part).

However, critic reviews were polarized mainly due to a complex plot and long running time, which proved both confusing and unwieldy for those not familiar with the comic. Meanwhile, hardcore fans didn't like the poetic license taken with certain aspects of the story and characters such as Snyder doing away with the giant "alien" at the end and Ozymandias' suit turned into a parody of Joel Schumacher's bat nipples. Be that as it may, Snyder's Watchmen is one of the more accurate comic book adaptations in existence and remains a labor of love for those who helped make it. 

Speaking on the red carpet of Rampage's world premiere in Los Angeles Wednesday night, Jeffrey Dean Morgan commented on his affection for the project, how it was misunderstood in 2009, and the semi-cult status it has achieved (and will achieve). Morgan (Negan on The Walking Dead) played Edward Blake/The Comedian, the retired and sadistic hero whose mysterious death sets off the entire plot of the graphic novel.  

“I’m very proud of that movie," he told Variety. "People are still finding it and watching it, and I think it’ll have fans forever. But I think it was ahead of its time. I don’t know what else to say, other than I’m extremely proud of it. Not long ago, I caught the second half of the film, just flipping channels, and loved it. It was great.”

Less than 10 years on from the film's release and HBO is already developing a TV show based on the comic with Damon Lindelof (Lost) at the helm. This is arguably the best way to go when adapting such a large tome, as you don't have to trim out things like Tales of the Black Freighter or The Comedian's murder of Woodward and Bernstein before they could crack the Watergate scandal (hence Nixon remains in office). Nicole Kassell will direct the pilot episode.