See other weird comics stories here!
Story One: The Strange Affair of The Sniffer
Story Two: Comics and Dreams
Story Three: Why Superhero Comics Bite
Story Four: Goony and Phil Motion Comic
Story Five: Who is The Crimebuster?
Story Six: What is the Future of Motion Comics?
Story Seven: What was the original cast of the Watchmen in 1986?
Story Eight: Oriental Rock and Boy Comics #31 Motion Comic
Story Nine: Mr. Pipps and the Wide-Awakes Comic
Story Ten: The Wingless Griffin, an Illustrated Story
The Original Cast of the 1986 Watchmen Movie Proposal
I tirelessly probe the universe of comics, searching for the strange, the remarkable, and the combination of story and art that move the artform towards perfection. No comic can be ignored (except for a couple from Marvel and DC) because of the potential they hold.
In the nightmare world of 1986, Alan Moore's seminal comic The Watchmen was released to an unsuspecting public. Alan Moore wanted to make a comic starring Charlton Comics characters that hadn't been used in a while, like The Question and The Blue Beetle, but upon reading Mr. Moore's script, DC Comics decided they had better plans for those characters, and instructed Mr. Moore to create all-new characters like Rorschach and Nite Owl. So he did.
The comics world freaked out. No one had seen anything like this before. A comic commenting on modern superhero comics? A meta-commentary? That used the medium itself? This was magic! This was unbelievable!
Hollywood, long since run utterly out of ideas, pounced. They heard about this strange funnybook that all the nerds and perverts and little kids were flipping out over. Hollywood's last successful superhero property was The Greatest American Hero, and Hollywood needed lightning to strike again.
There was a problem, naturally. In 1986, no one in Hollywood had ever read a comic. No directors, no casting agents, no celebrities, not even any key grips or Best Boys had read a comic in their lives. Everyone knew television was where things were at. Television was the most successful medium of all time, having surpassed radio decades ago. Books? Books were constantly ridiculed in 1986 Hollywood. Much less comic books; comic books, Hollywood knew, were where the idea came for that Bat Man television show, but the last people who worked on Bat Man and who had read comic books were long since dead, or senile.
Before a movie could be written or produced, it needed to be cast. And movies needed celebrities, any gentile knew that; no sane production house would even read a script without a cast, not even if it was written by Coppola himself. But how could anyone possibly choose celebrities to appear in a Watchmen movie if no one in Hollywood had ever read a comic?
At last, a bold 73 year old casting director hit upon a brilliant idea: he would buy a copy of Watchmen, and read it, and then create a cast based on what he found in the comic book. The 73 year old Hollywood native, his name unknown to history, hopped on a jet and flew to a small town in Oregon with a comic book store. He hired a limo and was driven there immediately upon landing. He hustled inside, said "Gimme the Watchmen comic!" and plunked down a nickel on the counter. He was appalled to subsequently learn that comics cost a dollar and fifty cents. Bitterly complaining, he opened his coin purse and hunted for the change he would need.
And then the comic book was in his hands. Watchmen, by Alan Moore. He trembled at how history would soon be molded by his hairy arms and fingers. Bending the cover back so he could hold it in one hand, he began to read the comic.
Five long seconds later, having flipped through the comic and thrown it in a trash can, he was done. He went to a hotel room, wrote some notes, drank himself silly, and built a star-studded cast that reflected 1986 Hollywood's sublime understanding of Alan Moore's The Watchmen comic book, now fit for a major Hollywood motion picture made in Hollywood.
Comics for Grownups is pleased to share this image with you, our treasured reader. B-hold! The Original Cast of the 1986 Watchmen Movie: