Robert Redford Watchmen

The Watchmen administration of President Robert Redford has proven sturdy over the decades, with few prominent leaks to be found. However, an individual with ties to the President’s communications office connected us with a source that could answer our burning questions. We’ve also spoken with historian Jeff “Doc” Jensen (with some assistance from someone named Damon Lindelof), who specializes in the history of alternate universes, to confirm and clarify some of these behind-the-scenes statements.

Here is the true history of President Robert Redford in the world of Watchmen.

Now that Robert Redford is President of the United States, what is the status of the Sundance Film Festival? 

The essay that accompanies The Book of Rorschach provides some insight into the Sundance situation. From the essay:

Originally launched as a foundation for independent filmmaking, The Sundance Labs transformed into a network of art colleges after Robert Redford entered politics in 1988 and divested from the enterprise.  The early days of the music-centric L.A. campus was an incubator of protest rock.  Rage Against The Machine.  Body Count.  Hiroshima Lovers.  By [1993], the fragile hope produced by Redford’s victory over Ford in ’92 precipitated a shift.  “The mandate was ‘the new optimism. … Everyone wanted to be the Spin Doctors.  [We] wanted to be Pink Floyd.”

After 1993, Redford maintained an appropriate distance from Sundance, for fear of that his political enemies would accuse him of using the institution as a mechanism for promoting his political agenda in the culture. But his commitment to the arts has long been a defining characteristic of his administration, beginning with his appointment of Andres Serrano to rebuild the National Endowment for the Arts following decades of reduction and gutting by the Nixon and Ford administrations. And his passion for cinema remains strong. In 2001, as the Redford administration began taking steps to accelerate the complete reintroduction of electronic media into the public sphere, the president appointed Martin Scorsese to oversee the National Film Foundation, devoted to the preservation and flourishing of cinema as society began experimenting with new mediums that could profoundly change our relationship to screens and our understanding of worldwide audiovisual entertainment. Redford has no plans to re-engage The Sundance Labs in a leadership capacity after leaving office; he’ll be too busy building his presidential library along the Blackfoot River outside Missoula, Montana. But he does relish the prospect of attending the Sundance Film Festival simply as a moviegoer. He wishes he could attend this year: the new picture by the prolific Terrence Malick, “To The Wasteland (Vol. V),” sounds like an extraordinary return to form.

 

Does President Redford still keep up with the film industry? Does he ever reflect on what his career would’ve been like had he avoided politics and stayed in the world of entertainment? 

Over the years, Redford has made frequent references to a list that he has kept since entering politics in 1986 — a list of movies he’s seen that made him go: “I would have liked to have done that if I wasn’t president.” Most reporters thought this was something of a joke. But just recently, appearing with Scorsese at an event to promote the National Film Foundation, Redford revealed that the list was, in fact, real. He pulled a small spiral-bound notepad from his pocket, and over the next hour, he shared all of it with the public. The list was eclectic and surprising. We don’t have time to transcribe all of his comments about each film, but here’s the list, with the actors who got to play all the roles he wished he could have played, and all the films he wished he could have directed…

PROLOGUE: 1986-1994

Redford’s final film as an actor was Out of Africa. Following the tragedy of 11/2, he ran against Nixon in the 1988 presidential election. He lost. In the aftermath, Redford thought of quitting politics. He lined up several acting and directing projects over the next year and then Nixon died in office. Gerald Ford was easy pickings, so Redford immediately threw his hat back in the ring and rode to victory in ’92. But he retained a producing credit on those projects he put into development before attaining the White House. In doing so, he became the first president to be nominated for an Oscar while in office (an unusual feat, for sure, unlikely to ever be duplicated).

1986 Legal Eagles (replaced by Bill Murray, who earned a Golden Globe nomination)

1988 The Milagro Beanfield War (directed by John Sayles)

1990 Havana (replaced by Kenny Rogers; winner of multiple Raspberries)

1992 A River Runs Through It (directed by Ridley Scott, who earned an Oscar nomination and won the DGA Award; best picture nomination for Redford)

1993 Indecent Proposal (replaced by Michael Douglas)

1994 Quiz Show (directed by Milos Forman; best picture nomination for Redford)

1995 to the present

1996 Up Close & Personal (starring Jeff Bridges)

 1998 The Horse Whisperer (starring Scott Glenn)  [The Horse Whisperer came late in a wave of “rural chic” films that began in the late eighties amid the urban flight movements that followed the Dimensional Incursion Event of November 2, 1985. Directed by George T. Miller, it was a modest success but and successfully launched the career of Scarlett Johansson, who is perhaps best known for her role as the swashbuckler-spy Black Sash in Charlton’s Marauders franchise; she’ll next be seen in Crisis On Infinite Seas.]

 2001 The Last Castle (starring Peter Fonda) [Set during a fictional war, The Last Castle was one of many films that began to reassess the Imperialism during the Nixon era and America’s conduct during the Liberation of Vietnam.]

2004 The Clearing (starring Russell Crowe)

2005 An Unfinished Life (starring Sam Shepard)

2007 Lions for Lambs (starring James Earl Jones)

2012 The Company You Keep (starring Dustin Hoffman)

2014 Charlton’s Marauders: The Winter Pirate (the Admiral Pierce role, played by Terry O’Quinn)

2015 A Walk In The Woods (Nick Nolte in a dual role)

2015 Truth (starring William Hurt) 

2018 The Old Man & the Gun (starring John Cazale)

 

What about Sneakers – I’ve heard that’s a script floating around that President Redford was interested in at one point. 

Sneakers was never made, as “hacking” never became a pop culture thing in the nineties due to the absence of computers and Internet in mainstream society. But one might assume that it might become a thing in years to come as the Internet rolls out.

 

Did President Redford ever consider asking his friend and frequent co-star Paul Newman to join his ticket as VP? 

Having two actors on the same ticket would be ridiculous… especially as Mr. Newman was unwilling to divest from his multi-billion dollar salad-dressing empire.  In fact, President Redford has had several VPs over the duration of his multiple terms. In his failed bid to oust Nixon in ’88, his running mate was Jerry Brown. Recalculating in ’92 to appeal to more centrist voters, Redford selected Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey, who served as his V.P. until 2000.  With the beginnings of a liberal Supreme Court starting to take shape and with his approval in the mid-sixties, Redford made the bold move of replacing Kerrey on the ticket with Illinois Senator Carol Mosely Braun. V.P. Braun held office until 2009, at which point she resigned for reasons unknown. With his popularity slipping in the middle of the country and under incredible pressure from the right and the Independents who elected (and re-elected and re-elected) him, Redford appointed Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura to the Vice Presidency.  Despite rumors that Ventura had leveraged the Administration with evidence about the government’s involvement in 11/2, the gambit paid off and Redford/Ventura eked out a victory in 2012. Unfortunately, V.P. Ventura passed away two weeks after the election (under mysterious circumstances to say the least), forcing yet another appointment. Again, appealing to the center, Redford appointed Delaware Senator Joe Biden, who remains his Vice President to this day (and is most certainly going to run in 2020!)…

 

Author John Grisham is retiring from the Supreme Court soon. Care to comment on his tenure on the court?

John Grisham was appointed and confirmed during a contentious process in 2002. Of the 13 novels published under his name between the years of 1989 and 2001, all but four were made into films. Our favorite was The Pelican Deposition starring Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington. (Note: there have been rumors that Grisham has continued to publish novels under different pseudonyms, but he has insisted those rumors are not true.)

 

Assuming Hollywood gets around to making a movie about the Redford Presidency someday, who would be best suited to play Mr. Redford on the big screen?

Patrick Wilson, fresh off his Emmy-award-winning turn in the first season of American Hero Story, could make for a very compelling Robert Redford.

 

Is the mysterious figure known as “Lube Man” really Robert Redford in disguise?

No comment.

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