Before Legendary tapped Zack Snyder to bring his vision of Watchmen to the screen, and long before Damon Lindelof even dreamed of remixing it into the brilliant HBO series, screenwriter David Hayter (X-Men) had hopes. Some of his screenplay’s DNA remains in what Snyder shot, but until today, I didn’t know that Hayter had been up to direct his script, nor that there was test footage of two actors who have become better known in pop culture this decade. (Thanks to a Facebook post from Jamal Igle, now I do.)
In 2003, Hayter ran Ray Stevenson (Punisher: War Zone, Thor) and Iain Glen (Game of Thrones, Titans) through the classic sequence of Rorschach meeting up with Dan Dreiberg, the retired Nite-Owl, for the first time in years. In this case, I’ll grant that Jackie Earle Haley made more sense as Rorschach — Stevenson’s a good actor, a fun actor, but too bulky. Glen makes a good Dreiberg, certainly toe to toe with Patrick Wilson. (I love how both actors matched the hairstyle in Gibbons’ art.)
No matter how you feel about any of these adaptations, they’re clearly done with love for the original.