Finally we are getting a movie version of the DC Universe — one that’s cool enough (arguably) (really, really arguably) to compete with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s going to have Flash, Wonder Woman, Cyborg and probably other very generically named characters, like Flying Dude or Aqua… ahem. The point is that there’s finally a cinematic DC Universe, called the DCEU and everyone is very thrilled for it to be here. Saying all of that… it’s time for the Watchmen to enter the scene.
Yes, the Watchmen (or, well, technically, the characters from Watchmen, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ masterpiece) are most likely going to enter the scene soon. The DCEU is only just beginning but this will blow it the heck up. But why would they add Watchmen characters? Well, it may sound super weird to suggest, but we have a bunch of reasons for it. There have been dozens of crossovers before, of course, but this would be the ultimate one (at least within one publisher). Just think about it: the Watchmen and the Justice League? Sounds like a match made in movie heaven to us, and there are quite a few very good reasons it may happen. Then again, there may be more it won’t. Here, then, is our DCEU Watchmen possibility our breakdown.
15. WILL: ZACK SNYDER
Zack Snyder is the head of the DCEU, and while all of his decisions may not be universally beloved, let’s all at least admit that Dawn of the Dead is one of the best horror movies ever and that Sucker Punch is an underrated flick. Cool? Cool.
Anyway, one of the other things he did was direct Watchmen, which of course was the highly anticipated adaptation of Moore and Gibbons’ fantastic, world-changing graphic novel. Watchmen shares more than a creative head with the DCEU, though. Unsurprisingly, given his singular style, it has a similar tone, a harshness and grit to it, even the same washed out look. Could that be more than just a directorial aesthetic thread, though? Could it, and Snyder’s involvement in general, be an indication that, like the comics are doing currently (more on that later), the DCEU and the Watchmen universes are set to collide? Stranger things have happened.
14. WILL: HAPPENING IN DCU
As we just mentioned, despite it sounding like something you’d find in someone’s online fanfic, the characters from Watchmen are invading the mainstream DC Universe as we speak. It began innocuously enough in DC’s Rebirth event one-shot, with small hints about the Watchmen universe. And then, as the pages turned, things became more and more clear, until finally, the Comedian’s button, still covered in blood, which became THE icon of the book, showed up in Batman’s cave.
Since then, we’ve gotten a bunch of oblique references, hints that something is wrong with the universe. And then, at the end of The Button — a Batman/Flash crossover focused on the titular object — we see Doctor Manhattan’s hand. Then there’s an ad for a new event coming called The Doomsday Clock… in November. Yes, yes it’s really happening in the comics. And as we all know, when things begin to smoke in the comics, it usually means there is a fire sparking in the movies (and vice versa).
13. WILL: GEOFF JOHNS
Geoff Johns, for those not in the know, is basically the Godhead of DC Comics. But that’s not all! He’s now working on the films for the DCEU as well. In the comics, he’s at the helm of Rebirth, a banner under which the Watchmen characters will come to the DC Universe proper. So, what’s he going to do with the films? He’s said that Rebirth was done as a way to relieve the darkness and reintroduce hope and that he’s going to try and make the films lighter. And yet, he has also said that the Watchmen’s arrival is about testing that new hope.
Look, we’re not saying he’s coordinating the movies to go with the comics. That would be weird! It would be like making more Peter Parker comics when a new movie comes out or releasing a second Civil War comic when the movie adaptation is made. Or adding in weird, out of nowhere characters from the movies to the universe. Oh wait, those are all things Marvel has done…
12. WILL: POPULAR
Look, we’re not messing around here. The first movie that does a successful crossover will make more money than any human being has ever seen before. Ever. Remember The Avengers? Imagine that, but times 10. Sure, there’s a chance that it’ll happen whenever Marvel and DC get bored enough to do a Versus movie, but what if DC did one better, and sooner, and added Watchmen characters to their Universe?
If you did a Watchmen meets the DC Universe movie, every single nerd alive would go see it, and a few recently dead people would dig themselves out of their graves to see what it is. Good or bad, everyone would want a chance to feast their eyes on… whatever the heck that movie could be.
11. WILL: DARK
The DCEU has been, to put it lightly, criticized for its unrelenting darkness. We have a Superman who broke his first villain’s neck, a Batman who openly uses guns and couldn’t care less about collateral damage, and a Wonder Woman who, uhm… well, okay, she’s cool, but the point is, the world is very, very dark. What if… and hear us out here… what if the Watchmen Universe — like in the Rebirth comics — has somehow previously, in an unseen move, distorted the DCEU?
What if its famed grit and darkness is why we have the DCEU with which we have been lumbered? Just as it has in the comics, that would certainly make it all a bit more palatable to some fans. As it is, the darkness seems like a poor choice but if it was because of a long-game plot reason (however invented), then all the previous critiques would fall flat because someone has been messing with their Universe! It may seem far-fetched, but then again, the mainstream audience is now used to evil versions of DC properties on-screen, as well as tainted multiverses.
10. WILL: DCEU’S EASTER EGGS
Despite Watchmen and DCEU seeming completely separate, there are actually a couple of connecting strands in the cinematic universes. See, both Man of Steel and Suicide Squad have some Watchmen Easter Eggs in them. In Suicide Squad, in addition to there being a huge smiley face, one of the buildings is named the Osterman Building — which is Doctor Manhattan’s human/real name. But that’s not all.
There’s also Watchmen style grafitti in Man of Steel. That’s cool and all, but then came Batman V. Superman: Long Title. It has Rorscach’s “End is Nigh” graffiti on signs and it has the Latin version of “Who watches the Watchmen?” painted on the side of a building. Are these just small signs and cute little asides… or hints that the Watchmen are invading the DC Universe?
9. WILL: REBOOT
Look, we’ve tried being nice, but let’s face it: unless Wonder Woman can save it somehow, the prognosis for the DCEU is grim. Of course, the actors and directors involved are talented, but the path it’s being taken in is just so dark and uninteresting that the movies aren’t doing as well as they should. That is a shame, because it means that maybe the DCEU will fail and it’ll be rebooted with different actors, different directors, and different stories than the ones in the DCEU.
Saying that, there is a way to reboot it without actually rebooting it. Do a Rebirth! In the comics, Rebirth didn’t just introduced Watchmen into the DCU, it also allowed characters to change and grow and be different without rebooting the whole universe. It worked great on the page, and it could work just as well on the screen.
8. WON’T: BAD WATCHMEN RECEPTION
Watchmen wasn’t great. It was fine, but the general consenus was a stiff acknowledgment that it existed and then moving on. While some of us are great fans of the flick, not everyone was, which is one reason the DCEU might be wise to avoid directly using The Watchmen characters. Sure, the DCEU hasn’t had a great reception either, but it’s not quite as bad as the reception to The Watchmen.
Remember how after The Incredible Hulk, Marvel jettisoned almost everything about it? While the idea of Watchmen characters showing up sounds rad as heck, if they do, it’ll most likely be in the same way the Hulk showed up in The Avengers; i.e., as almost a completely different character. If Watchmen characters do show up, they won’t be the same as in the movie we saw. Which is a shame, cuz Rorschach was dope.
7. WON’T: CONFUSING
For a long time, the popular belief was that you couldn’t have a superhero on film and on television at the same time. After all, what audience member wouldn’t naturally assume that… they’re the same character? We’re not entirely sure what the logic behind it was, but for a very long time, television and film worked together in that manner. Recently though, we’ve realized that having two Flashes — one on tv and one in film — is just super cool. However, there is a solid chance that if you introduced Watchmen characters into the DCEU, people would start expecting them to show up in the TV shows.
Can you imagine Gotham‘s Jim Gordon meeting the Comedian? Yeah, that’d be awesome, but also super confusing. The Watchmen are from a completely different Earth. It just wouldn’t make sense. Heck, doing it at ALL wouldn’t make a lot of sense, so there’s a solid chance it won’t happen, ever.
6. WON’T: DCEU IS STILL DEVELOPING
Despite the fact that Watchmen fighting the Justice League would be neat, maybe the Justice League should form first and have a few adventures under their belts. This is honestly the biggest obstacle to the Watchmen characters ending up in the DCEU: just the fact that the DCEU isn’t really formed yet. Starting the MCU off with Guardians of the Galaxy wouldn’t have worked, after all — the MCU needed to build to get to that level of weirdness.
In the same manner, the DCEU needs to establish all of its characters before turning into a weird, multi-universal spectacle. And that still seems years off, at our most generous. So, sad to say, we’re probably not going to get Rorschach fighting Batman — not this century at least. But don’t worry, it might happen, at… some point… eventually? Maybe?
5. WON’T: OTHER AWESOME STORIES
While adding Watchmen to the DCEU would be unquestionably cool, there’s still a ton of amazing stories that DC could choose from that don’t involve a giant, blue penis. Heck, the series has just begun and all it’s done so far is “Batman fights Superman,” “Superman fights Zod,” and “Wonder Woman in a war.” Do you know how many more stories there are than that? Over 70 years worth of them.
There are dozens and dozens of awesome stories, including Crisis on Infinite Earth and Final Crisis, just to name a few. Plus, there are a bunch of stories that don’t even have the word “Crisis” in their titles! So even though having Superman punch Doctor Manhattan in the nose would be awesome, there are a few other stories to tell first.
4. WON’T: WATCHMEN THE TV SERIES
Another big reason that the Watchmen won’t be showing up on screen in the DCEU is because they’re already set to show up on television, which means that the movie is probably being silently slipped under the rug, thankfully. In production currently, a Watchmen television series is being helmed by Zack Snyder. That makes a lot of sense because the comic book is huge and has so much detail that trying to fit it into a movie — even one that’s ungodly long — is a bit of a fool’s errand. Snyder tried — and did his best — but so much was left out that making it a tv series that could fully dig in is probably the best idea anyone has had about Watchmen since the book first came out.
3. WON’T: REBIRTH JUST HAPPENED
One thing that might keep Watchmen from joining the DCEU right now is the fact that Rebirth just happened. There’s been scarcely any time for people to get used to the idea of Watchmen characters in comic books, let alone them appearing up on the big screen. Another thing is, we definitely don’t know all the details yet. If you add Watchmen characters to the films, it might run the risk of pulling a Game of Thrones and having the adaptation spoil what is happening in the original.
However, at the moment, having Watchmen characters in the DCU is a weird, special, unique thing. DC is probably not in any hurry to make Watchmen V Superman a normal, boring thing. It’s special right now. So let it be special and singular.
2. WON’T: MIGHT NOT HAPPEN IN DCU
Now, there’s a good chance that everything that’s happening over in Rebirth — the Comedian’s button, the OZ sigil, the blue hand, the Mars reference — is actually a Red Herring. Something else might be coming. It might even be Superboy Prime. That idea makes a ton of sense, given that Mr. Oz (commonly thought to be Ozymandias) first appeared to Superman, that Superman was the first to change due to Rebirth, and that the next Rebirth storyline is going to focus on Superman.
Even if, though, Superboy Prime isn’t the secret villain of the Rebirth story, there’s a chance it could still be something else. For all we know, all of this Watchmen stuff will lead down a much different, weirder path. If, in fact, the characters of Watchmen don’t merge in the DCU then having it in the movies would be even weirder than it already admittedly is.
1. WON’T: WE DON’T NEED IT
Of course, there’s the most logical reason of all — who needs it? Heck, people are already against the Watchmen showing up in the DCU and they haven’t even technically appeared yet. Adding the Watchmen characters to a mainstream superhero Universe would bring a lot of attention to the flaws of the Universe. After all, Watchmen was done as a deconstruction of that type of Universe. Including them would, to put it in a theatrical sense, show the strings pulling the puppets. It might cheapen and weaken it.
That opens up another complaint — that adding the Watchmen characters in nothing but a cheap marketing trick. No matter your feelings on that, you can probably agree that the DC Universe can stand without the Watchmen. So maybe, in the end, it won’t happen simply because there’s no need. Now, about that MCU/DCEU crossover…
Do you think The Watchmen could come to the DCEU? If so, how would you like to see it happen? Let us know in the comments!