Alan Moore Says He Turned Down Rights to ‘Watchmen,’ Refused to Write Prequels or Sequels
Due in large part to the historic falling out between DC Comics and Alan Moore, the creator’s ongoing criticism of the state of the comics industry, and his deliberate disassociation (even financially) from film adaptations of his works, fans have traditionally balked at rumors of auxiliary “Watchmen” stories. Not even those tied to the “Watchmen” movie think a prequel or sequel would necessarily be a good idea. Still, according to Moore, the publisher went to some lengths to get him to take the gig.
“They offered me the rights to Watchmen back, if I would agree to some dopey prequels and sequels,” More told Wired.com in a recent interview, “So I just told them that if they said that 10 years ago, when I asked them for that, then yeah it might have worked,” he said. “But these days I don’t want Watchmen back. Certainly, I don’t want it back under those kinds of terms.”
Wired.com also spoke with DC co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee, who responded to Moore’s comments stating, “Watchmen is the most celebrated graphic novel of all time. Rest assured, DC Comics would only revisit these iconic characters if the creative vision of any proposed new stories matched the quality set by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons nearly 25 years ago, and our first discussion on any of this would naturally be with the creators themselves.”
Moore’s statement doesn’t specify just when DC supposedly tried to cut a deal, meaning it could have happened before or even after the “Watchmen effect,” (that spurred the printing of more than 1 million copies of the graphic novel to coincide with the movie’s release) occurred. No matter when the alleged offer was made or declined, Moore still stood to make a considerable amount of money by agreeing to whatever terms were or weren’t offered.
Fans have often cited “Watchmen” as a complete work with no need for a prequel or sequel. Since its debut in 1985, Moore’s collaboration with artist Dave Gibbons has been so celebrated among its fans that many considered it “unfilmable.” The somewhat polarizing adaptation did happen, however, which caused further concern that supplemental material outside of Moore and Gibbons’ initial vision could eventually manifest and dilute the original work.
As rumors of “Watchmen” prequels or sequels in any form come and go, one thing is certain: Alan Moore won’t be involved in any future projects.
“I don’t even have a copy of Watchmen in the house anymore,” Moore told Wired.com. “The comics world has lots of unpleasant connections, when I think back over it, many of them to do with Watchmen.”