Watch test shots from the 2003 scrapped Watchmen movie by David Hayter

David Hayter lives a double life: While many know him as the voice of Solid Snake, he is also a respected screenwriter and director in Hollywood. After making comic heroes and anime fighters in the 1990s, Hayter started taking on films such as 2000 X-Men, The Scorpion King, and X2. And then there were guards.

The idea of ​​turning Watchmen began in late 1986, before the latest comic book by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons appeared. After Moore had rejected 20th Century Fox’s initial decision to write the script – as if he wanted something to do with an adaptation – the studio assigned screenwriter Sam Hamm of Batman (1989) to the non-traditional superhero plot understand . Terry Gilliam became a director, the designs became huge action movies that were unlike comics, and producers made names like Arnold Schwarzenegger float for Doctor Manhattan. The 80s!

Guards were in limbo for more than a decade before Universal exercised their rights. Following the success of X-Men, in 2003, the company commissioned Hayter to write and conduct an adaptation. Of course, that did not work either: Hayter finally overcame creative differences, while Darren Aronofsky and Paul Greengrass both played with the production of his screenplay. In the end, Zack Snyder shot the Watchmen movie in 2009, mixing parts of Hayter’s designs with his own ideas.

While most of Hayter’s days at Watchmen focused on countless designs and changes to Moore’s story, his screenplay was supposed to give Doctor Manhattan Laurie the anniversary-like power to shoot blue energy from her fingers, and a ray of space radiation destroyed New York instead of psychic Cuttlefish – the scriptwriter and director went far enough with the project to take test shots with cinematographer Tony Pierce-Roberts (Howard’s End, Underworld). Thanks to HBO, which triggers World Watchman fever, we can finally see this footage.

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Hayter went on Twitter this week to share the test scene with Ray Stevenson (Punisher: War Zone) as Rorschach and Iain Glen (Game of Thrones and now Batman of Titans) as Dan Dreiberg. It is a classic part of the Watchmen dialogue in which former costume heroes discuss the murder of The Comedian. In the true fashion of the early 2000s, the scene was torn from VHS and transposed into the YouTube embedding below.

The test material is a long way from Snyder’s hyper-glossy, hyper-realistic approach to the 2009 film and the prestige TV sheen of Damon Lindelof’s new sequel. But can we really get to know Watchmen live unless we see Arnold Schwarzenegger sitting on Mars painted blue? Hayter’s test material will be sufficient for the time being.

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