Paramount didn’t "get" The Watchmen enough to commit to a budget befitting a project of its scope, size, and importance. Whether it was the difference of ten million bucks or whatever is beside the point. They didn’t get it, or at least they weren’t confident enough in its potential to earn to pull the trigger. Some people see this as a case of a great project dying on the vine, but it isn’t. It’s just a case where the studio and the filmmakers couldn’t come to terms. It’s a part of the business and it’s not like there’s any bad guy in this.
The makers of the film were prepared for this and fully intend on setting it up at a different studio. With the great script. With the great director. With the same goals. It’s turnaround, yes, but it’s merely a bump in the road on the way towards providing audiences with the adventures of Dr. Manhattan and gang.
I’m not going to act as if they wanted Paramount to abandon the project, but these are smart people and they know that the overriding issue isn’t making money or hitting a release date but actually making a Watchmen movie. Few people understand how played out the comic book craze is and how in need audiences are of a filet mignon of a comic property instead of the Fatburgers they’ve been getting.
It certainly isn’t good news, because it does slow things down a good bit but I know that the people behind the scenes have a game plan and are operating under the principle that this might be a liberation of sorts.
So, yes… the film is no longer a Paramount property but it is still very much alive. Just be patient and positive. This is far from a death knell. For an idea on what to expect when it does arrive, check out Devin’s phenomenal interview with Paul Greengrass.
You will see a Watchmen movie.
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