The Flash and Zack Snyder Assured Bottle Rocket’s Two Watchmen Game Concepts Never Saw The Light of Day
In 2009, more than 20 years after it was originally published, DC Comics and Warner Bros. finally made a Watchmen movie adaptation happen. Under the direction of Zack Snyder, working off a scrip from David Hayter and Alex Tse, the cinematic version of Alan Moore's and Dave Gibbons' celebrated superhero saga was above all else, memorable. As was customary at the time, a tie-in video game was in the works, and Warner Bros. heard a number of pitches from various studios.
Though we ultimately got the unremarkable Watchmen: The End is Nigh, there was once a chance Bottle Rocket Entertainment could have handled the development of some slightly more ambitious Watchmen adventures. Until now, we never knew what could have been, but thanks to Unseen64, we now know a bit about what Bottle Rocket had planned, and how its ideas were ultimately abandoned thanks in no small part to Zack Snyder and DC hero, The Flash.
After departing Sony to form his own studio, Bottle Rocket founder Jay Beard was in talks with DC and Warner Bros. to develop a Batman video game for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. In the video above, you can see some early prototype test footage of how BRE envisioned its Batman game would work, though Warner would eventually award the license to Rocksteady Studios. I believe we all know how that turned out. Fortunately for Bottle Rocket, at the same time, Warner was looking into developing a Watchmen video game to center on the film version of the comic, and the developer put together two different pitches set in that universe.
The first would have been a prequel game of sorts that showcased the Comedian, Rorschach and Nite-Owl during their superhero days before it all went to hell. The three heroes would have brought distinct playstyles to the table, with the Comedian being the guns and muscle, Rorschach being more stealth-oriented, and Nite-Owl relying on his gadgetry to get through a mission. While no actual test demonstrations are available, missions would have included assassinating JFK and escaping, surviving the registration riots, and more.
The second pitch was almost entirely focused on Rorschach, though the concept was more of an open-world action game. The focus would have been on melee and crime scene investigation, though this was the more threadbare of the two concepts. Art exists for this idea, but no mechanics were ever thought through or tested in any way.
Both pitches however had the eye of Zack Snyder, who shared some conceptual work from his film with the game developers, which in turn inspired the ideas behind the prequel game. Bottle Rocket's games would have had Snyder on board in an oversight position, but when it came time to draw up the contracts, Snyder had some qualms with Warner's wording. He requested the contracts be redone, which not only pushed development on the games back by weeks, but also put Bottle Rocket in an uneasy financial position. Without moving forward, the developer was hard up for cash to keep things afloat, which is where the Flash comes in.
Brash Entertainment had acquired the license to make a game based on DC's Flash, and having been fans of Beard's work at Sony, tapped Bottle Rocket to come on board and develop the Scarlet Speedster's game. With few other options and Watchmen hanging in the air, Bottle Rocket took a chance on the Flash, leaving Snyder and Warner burned in the process. Unfortunately for Bottle Rocket, the Flash never saw the light of day either, and soon after Brash Entertainment folded.
You can check out the video above for a closer look at Bottle Rocket's plans, and like us, wonder about what could have been.