This edit is in the planning stages - as much of the changes I want to make require a great deal of work, this won’t be started until I’ve finished my Star Wars: The Trilogy edits (at least ANH and maybe ESB, depending on when Ady releases ESB:R). I also need to wait until the Super Extended Cut is released this winter that includes Tales of the Black Freighter incorporated into the film, along with the “bridge” scenes of the kid reading TotBF and the newsvendor talking to him.
But I’m starting this thread now to bounce ideas off of you guys, both for specific edits and for figuring out the more complex stuff that I don’t yet know how to do.
So, here’s my current plan (based on the Director’s Cut):
- Rebuild most of the audio from the ground up to remove most (if not all) of the songs (possibly to be replaced with more songs quoted in the graphic novel).
- Specifically, 99 Luftballoons, The Sounds of Silence, Ride of the Valkyries, I’m Your Boogie Man (maybe), Hallelujah (definitely), All Along the Watchtower (possibly to be replaced with Dylan’s original), and Desolation Row (likely to be replaced with Dylan’s original) will be either removed or replaced.
- Credits sequence will be removed, as will much of the Comedian fight intro - the film will open with a simple black-on-yellow (or vice versa) WATCHMEN title, followed by the pan up from the smiley-face pin to the cops talking about Blake’s murder, which will be intercut with relevant portions of the removed intro - Rorschach’s narration might start here as in the GN as well
- Cops seeing/shooting at Rorschach (added to DC) will be removed
- Hollis/Dan seeing Rorschach news story on TV (added to DC) will be removed (this also fixes an error made by the newscaster, who says that the Keene Act was passed “six years ago,” which would either mean the Keene act was passed in '79 when it was actually '77, or that the current year was '83 instead of the established '85)
- Dan asking Rorschach about the cops/news story (I believe this was added to the DC) will be removed
- Gunga Diner patron’s line “I’m glad I ordered the four-legged chicken” will be cut. I mean, really? What the fuck?
- Laurie/multiple-Manhattans sex scene shortened
- Over-the-top aspects of Laurie/Dan vs. knot-tops toned down
- Over-the-top aspects of Veidt’s assassination attempt toned down (perhaps - I don’t have a huge problem with the scene as is)
- “Fingerprint scan” in Dan’s goggles removed
- Sex scene shortened considerably, plus new music
- Prison fight sequence shortened considerably
- I’d love to get rid of the “Rameses II” book sitting right next to Veidt’s computer and let Dan figure it out the way he did in the graphic novel, but I don’t think it’d be possible
- I’d also love to insert an explanation for Bubastis and Rorschach’s mask, but I also don’t think either one of those would be possible
- No superhuman feats during the Veidt/Dan/Rorschach fight (though the bullet thing will, of course, stay) - this will be tricky
- Rorschach will die alone as in the graphic novel (I’ve decided that if I can’t make this work, I won’t bother with the rest of the edit)
- No Dan beating the shit out of Veidt after Rorschach’s death (since he won’t witness it this won’t make sense)
- Cut “Tonight, a comedian died in New York” narration at the very end - it will just be “Rorschach’s journal, October 12th, 1985,” then credits
- All Director’s Cut additions that are not mentioned in this list will stay
- Tales of the Black Freighter will be woven throughout the film (assuming it doesn’t hurt the pacing of the film too badly)
Here’s one thing I already know I’ll have trouble with:
It’ll be relatively easy to edit Dan out of Rorschach’s death with the exception of two shots. First, when Rorschach starts to take his mask off, Dan is in the background, and Dr. Manhattan’s glow is in front of Dan. I don’t know if I’ll be able to erase Dan without fucking up the blue glow. Second, when Manhattan explodes Rorschach, Dan is behind him as he explodes. It will be difficult to erase Dan while keeping all the chunks of Rorschach intact.
Much of the music that I’ll be removing will be replaced with Philip Glass - since this precedent is already set by the use of Koyaanisqatsi music during Dr. Manhattan’s origin story, I feel it’s appropriate.
Any and all suggestions and advice are welcome - that’s what I started this thread for, after all. So what do you guys think?