Why hasn’t there ever been second series of Watchmen comics? It’s not as though Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons actually own the characters. Well, apparently, any talk of a sequel had been squashed, time and again, by Paul Levitz, former president of DC comics. He was very protective of the title, even denying the creators of the tie-in videogame to invent any new material at all. This was sacred stuff to him.
Now, though, he’s not in charge of the comics at all and is the Contributing Editor and Overall Consultant of DC Entertainment, the spin-off and movies arm. He’s not going to be able to do anything, directly, to stop any Watchmen sequel. More importantly, though, it seems that Dan DiDio, SVP-Executive Editor of DC, has made it his mission to realize not only a sequel series but also several prequels. Why? I suppose he’d say Why Not? And there’s good reason to believe they’ll be coming to screens as well as pages, too.
Rich Johnston at Bleeding Cool has the story. I was gobsmacked but, as I can count Rich as a close friend, I called him up and checked his sources and, let me tell you, this is solid stuff. Here’s Rich on what involvement Alan and Dave might, or might not, have:
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.
Now, if I was Alan Moore I’d sign on right away and twist this entire project into a pretzel. But he’s not me, so no matter how subversive the possibilities, I still think he’d rather not meddle with what is certainly a neat and tidy work of great completeness, not even to derail a publisher’s attempt to exploit it.
So, someday soon it looks like somebody else will be writing Watchmen comics and I sure wouldn’t be surprised to see them headed to the big screen, if most likely after Levitz has departed DC Entertainment too. Sadly, for the cast of the first film, they all had sequel clauses in their contracts so, no matter how much an embarrassment it might be considered, they’d find it very hard, or expensive, to get out of taking the job on.
Funnily enough, Rich actually broke the news on the Watchmen sequel clauses too, back when he was at Comic Book Resources.
I’ve got that same horrible taste in my mouth that I had when Disney’s Circle 7 were working on a non-Pixar Toy Story 3. That story had an unexpected ending – can we really hope Alan and Dave will give us one here? Will they step up and give us a Watchmen 2 that isn’t peeing in the pool>