Rorschach ( Walter Joseph Kovacs ) -
"... President Truman ... dropped the atom bomb on Japan and saved millions of lives ...
... all the whores and politicians ... could have followed in the footsteps of good men like ... President Truman ... instead they ... didn't realize that the trail led over a precipice until it was too late ... and the future is bearing down like an express train. ...".
Dr. Manhatttan ( Jon Osterman ) -
"... It is 1948, and I am arriving at Princeton University. It is 1958, and I am graduating with a Ph.D. in atomic physics. The cogs are falling ... It's May 12th , 1959: My first day at Gila Flats. ... It's August, 1959. .. I cross the square to the Intrinsic Field Center ... I can hear the shields sliding back from the particle cannons. ... The light is taking me to pieces ...
[ Jon's material structure is dissolved byhigh-energy Particle Interactions andEquilibrium Quantum Born Rule Processes. Since our 4-dimensionalPhysical Spacetime HyperDiamond Latticeis unique and rigid, and since Jon's structure of fermions atvertices and gauge bosons at links has been dissolved away, there isno way our 4-dimensional Physical Spacetime can carry the informationabout Jon needed for Jon to reassemble himself. However, if you alsoconsider our 4-dimensional Internal SymmetrySpace and unify it with our 4-dimensional Physical Spacetime, youget our high-energy unified 8-dimensionalspacetime with 8-dimensional E8 Latticestructure. In any given E8 lattice, each vertex has 240 nearestneighbors. However, there exist 7 inequivalent E8 lattices, and eachand every one of the 7 is equally related to our 4-dimensionalPhysical Spacetime, so our 8-dimensional spacetime is really aSuperposition of all 7 E8 lattices. Since it is a Superposition, itcan carry information ( such as Jon's structure ) by "tagging" each4-dimensional Physical Spacetime vertex with one, or a combination,of the 7 inequivalent E8 lattices, and Jon's QuantumConsciousness ResonantConnections as "remembered" in our 8-dimensional spacetime canenable Jon to reassemble himself in our 4-dimensional PhysicalSpacetime, using NonEquilibriumQuantum Processes that can violate the Born rule, and, asAntony Valentinisays in quant-ph/0203049, "... be used to send instantaneoussignals, to violate the uncertainty principle, to distinguishnon-orthogonal quantum states without disturbing them, to eavesdropon quantum key distribution, and to read all the results of aparallel quantum computation. ... pilot-wavetheory indeed allows ... one to consider arbitrary'nonequilibrium' initial distributions ...". ]
... Gila Flats closes down in 1970. On Laurie's twentieth birthday, we move into our new Washington apartment. ... In January, 1971, President Nixon is asking me to intervene in Vietnam ... It's March. I'm in Saigon, being reintroduced to Edward Blake, the Comedian. ...".
Comedian ( Edward Morgan Blake ) -
"... What's going down in this world, you got no idea. ...
... It don't matter squat because inside thirty years the nukes are gonna be flyin' like maybugs ... and then Ozzy here is gonna be the smartest man on the cinder. ...".
Dr. Manhatttan ( Jon Osterman ) -
"... [ The Comedian ] works mostly for the government now [ 1971 ]. ... I have never met anyone so deliberately amoral. He suits the climate here: the madness, the pointless butchery ... As I come to understand Vietnam and what it implies about the human condition, I also realize that few humans will permit themselves such an understanding. Blake's different. He understands perfectly ... and he doesn't care. It's May. I have been here two months. The Vietcong are expected to surrender within the week. ... Its June, V.V.N. night ... Blake, she was pregnant. You gunned her down. [ Comedian - Yeah. Yeah. that's right. Pregnant woman. Gunned her down. Bang. And y'know what? You watched me. ... You coulda teleported either of us to goddamn Australia. ... but you didn't lift a finger! You don't really give a damn about human beings. I've watched you. You never cared about whatsername, Janey Slater, even before you ditched her. Soon you won't be interested in Sally Jupiter's little gal [ Laurie ], either. You're driftin' outta touch, Doc. You're turnin' into a flake. God help us all. ] ...
... I think I'm close to locating a gluino, which would completely validate supersymmetric theory ...
... I am tired of this world; these people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives. ... and I'm gone. gone to Mars. ... Without me, things would have been different ... Am I to blame, then? ... Who makes the world? Perhaps the world is not made. ... Perhaps it simply is, has been, will always be there ...".
Nite Owl II ( Daniel Dreiberg, Sam Hollis ) -
"... Laurie, Wait! What is this? What are you going to do? ...".
Laurie Juspeczyk ( Sandra Hollis ) -
"... Jon, how did you know? I need to see you, you appear ...".
Dr. Manhatttan ( Jon Osterman ) -
"... An hour into my future we're on Mars, talking. ... You're going to try to convince me to save the World. ... Why does my perception of time distress you? ... Everything is preordained even my responses. ... [ Laurie - And you just go through the motions, acting them out? ... you're just a puppet following a script? ] ... We're all puppets, Laurie. I'm just a puppet who can see the strings. ... This is where we hold our conversation. It commences when you surprise me with the information that you and Dreiberg have been sleeping together. [ Laurie - You know about me and Dan? ] No, not yet. But in a few moments you're going to tell me. [ Laurie - When you're like this I can't even talk to you, let alone debate the what was it ... ] Destiny of the World. ... [ Laurie - I mean, this is ridiculous. Why hold a debate when you already know the goddamned outcome? ] ... because ... There is no future. There is no past. Do you see? Time is simultaneous, an intricately structured jewel that humans insist on viewing one edge at a time, when the whole design is visible in every facet. ... What is your earliest memory? ... [ Laurie - I was five ... My Dad yelled and sent me to bed. He was always yelling, probably because he knew I wasn't his. ... That's probably why I'm edgy in relationships with strong, forceful guys ... with Dan ... As a lover he's more sort of receptive; the type you can pour your troubles out to ... ] ... I said, often, that you were my only link ... with the World. ... Now you have replaced me, and that link is shattered. ... Don't you see the futility of asking me to save a world that I no longer have any stake in? ... My Red World here means more to me that your Blue one. ... I read atoms ... Beside this, human life is brief and mundane. [ Laurie - Can't you tell me how this conversation ends and spare me the agony? ] ... It ends with you in tears ... I return to Earth ... There are streets full of corpses. The details are vague. ... There's some sort of static obscuring the future ... The electromagnetic pulse of a mass warhead detonation might conceivably cause that ... We near the Valles Marineris ... Does the human heart know chasms so abysmal? ...".
Laurie Juspeczyk ( Sandra Hollis ) -
"... Yes, mine right now! ... Jon, you've seen ... me, when I'm miserable ... [ Jon - Yes, I remember a banquet in 1973 ... ] ... It was a dinner in honor of Blake [ Comedian ]. ... By then, I'd read ... about him assaulting my mom. ... [ Comedian - I just gotta look at you, I see your mom ... your mother ... was a peach ... [ Laurie - Is that what you told her before you tried to rape her? ]] ... You can take me back to Earth ... and listen, you wre wrong, see? You said it ended with me in tears, and look at me: not a moist eye in sight! ... [ Jon - If you'd only relax enought to see the whole continuum, life's pattern or lack of one, then you'd understand my perspective. You're deliberately shutting out understanding, as if you afraid; as if you're too delicate ... I think you're avoiding something ... ] ... Don't be stupid. there's n-nothing to avoid ... [ Comedian - What do you think I am? ] ... No. No not him not ... No. No. No, she wouldn't. She couldn't have not after he ..., No! No, you're not. You're not! Your not my fuh, my fuh, fuh ... [ Comedian - Can't a guy talk to his, y'know, his ... daughter? ] ... Nnnaaaaooohh! ...".
Rorschach ( Walter Joseph Kovacs ) -
... Veidt ... usually works here until early in morning ... chart ... is ... global population ... nuclear hazard escalation index ... environmental decline ... multiple crisis graph, lines converging mid 1990's. ... World on verge of apocalypse. ... Veidt ... Allegedly smartest man on earth. ... Cannot imagine more dangerous opponent. ... Veidt is faster than Dreiberg. Perhaps faster than me. Return from mission seems unlikely.
This last entry. Will shortly mail journal to only people can trust. ... If reading this now, whether I am alive or dead, you will know truth: Whatever precise nature of conspiracy, Adrian Veidt responsible. ... For my own part, regret nothing. Have lived life free from compromise and step into the shadow now without complaint. Rorschach, November 1st, 1985. ...
... Blake understood. ... treated it like a joke ... He saw the cracks in society ... the true face of the twentieth century and chose to become a reflection, a parody of it. No one else saw the joke. That's why he was lonely. ...".
Ozymandias ( Adrian Veidt ) -
"... Edward Blake ... was in Dallas, minding Nixon, the day Kennedy died. ... We all realized how bad things were. ... I had life's black comedy explained to me by the Comedian himself ... in '66. ... He discussed nuclear war's inevitability; described my future role as "smartest guy on the cinder" ... and opened my eyes. Only the best comedians accomplish that. ... For the first time I genuinely understood that Earth might die. ... I saw East and West, locked into an escalating arms spiral ... as computers reduced human involvement, the spectre of accidental apocalypse stalked ever closer. ... Other factors emerged ... To repay soaring debt interest, nations like Brazil levelled their forests. ... War aside, ... deadlock guided us downhill towards environmental ruin. ...
The world's present would end.
Its future ... would also vanish.
Even our past would be cancelled. Our struggle from the primal ooze, every childbirth, every personal sacrifice rendered meaningless, ... tossed out on the void-winds. ...no human vestige would remain. ... as if it had never been. ...
...[ To see how to improve our fate, Adrian must consider all possible past and future histories of our Many-Worlds
so I edited a panel by adding an s to the word "world" ]...
Unable to unite the world by conquest ... I would trick it; frighten it towards salvation with history's greatest practical joke. That's what upset the Comedian ... professional jealousy. ... Returning from Nicaragua by air, he spotted a ship docking at an uncharted island. ... Imagine ... the perfect fighting man discovering a plot to put an end to war ... Blake found on the island ... a collection of missing artists and scientists, working on a monstrous new life form. ... to frighten governments into co-operation, I would convince them that Earth faced imminent attack by beings from another world. ... Blake understood, too. He knew my plan would succeed, though its scale terrified him. That's why he told nobody. ... But he understood.
At the end, he [ Comedian ] understood. ...
... Jon proved teleporation possible ... Jon, being too powerful and unpredictable to fit my plans, needed removing. Thus, Dimensional Developments hired his past associates ... [ Nite Owl II - and gave them cancer? ] ... Yes. ... I neutralized Jon. Stolen psychiatric reports indicated his mental withdrawal. The cancer allegations made it physical [ to Mars ]. ... without Jon's guiding mind, teleportation proved limited. Anything living died of shock upon transfer, or materialized in an occupied space as exploded ... [ but teleportation ] ... works fine, assuming you want things to explode on arrival. Teleported to New York, my creature's death would trigger mechanisms within its massive brain, cloned from a human sensitive ... the resultant psychic shockwave killing half the city. ...
I did it thirty-five minutes ago ... [ 1 November 1985 PM 11:25 ] ...".
Dr. Manhatttan ( Jon Osterman ) -
"... Midnight, November second. ... The static interference ... wasn't caused by a warhead detonation. ... Yes! Definitely! A squall of tachyons. ... there's apparently more than one generator. ... a pulse from the southern polar region is strong ... Veidt. Of course. Who else has the intelligence or resources for tachyon interference ... he killed Blake and half New York. Excuse me, Rorschach. I'm informing Laurie ninety seconds ago. ... Rorschach ... Where are you going? [ Rorschach - Back to America. Evil must be punished. People must be told. ] ... You know I can't let you do that. ... [ Rorschach - Of course. Must protect Veidt's New Utopia. One more body amongst the foundations makes little difference. Well? What are you waiting for? Do it. ] ... [ Jon disintegrates Rorschach ]."
Sandra Hollis ( Laurie Juspeczyk ) -
"... Mother ... He was Dan Dreiberg. We're Sam and Sandra Hollis now. ... Goodbye, Mom. ... [ Sam - Nite Owl and Silk Spectre. Sounds neat. ] ... Silk Spectre's too girly, y'know? Plus, I want a better costume, that protects me: maybe something leather, with a mask over my face ... also, maybe I oughtta carry a gun. ..".
Hector Godfrey ( Editor, NewFrontiersman ) -
"... Seymour, bring that in here and open it! ... [ Seymour - Uh, this first one's some journal ... ] ... Sling it on the crank file ...
... Seymour ... You got two more pages to fill before you eat, thanks to this goddamned, asskissing accord! ... Nobody's allowed to say bad things about our good ol' buddies the Russians anymore, so bang goes a two-page column! Get some filler from somewhere ... [ Seymour - Hm. Well, then I guess it's something from the crank file. ... Well, which piece should I run? ... ] ... Seymour, for God's sake! I'm asking you to take responsibility for once in your miserable life, while I eat lunch! ...
R. J. White maintains aWatchmen web site with annotations by Doug Atkinson.
Julian Darius has aWatchmen Continuity Page, first published online: 24 March 2001,in which he says:
"... Watchmen is probably the best American graphic novel ever. ...
... Sam Hamm (writer of the script for 1989's smash hit, Batman) wrote a script and, unhappy with it, [ Terry ] Gilliam and Charles McKeown rewrote it. But the story ... ended up as "just a bunch of super-heroes" ... For example, it seemed that The Comedian, whose murder provides the genesis of the plot, was dropped entirely. ...".
Ain't It Cool News has a21 October 2002 web page in which Moriarty reviews David Hayter'sWatchmen script, saying:
"... WATCHMEN has long been held as one of the finest moments in comics history ... David Hayter takes a lot of shit in this town. People say terrible things about him. ... I know the original WATCHMEN quite well, and I'm familiar with the Sam Hamm version that was commissioned in the early '90s. Still, I'd heard that Hayter had gone back to zero and started fresh, so when I picked up the draft dated 08/02/2002, I figured this was a chance, at last, to read something that was written entirely by him. And I'll admit... my hesitancy had to do with more than just Hayter. I mean, Terry Gilliam himself backed away from this material, saying he didn't believe it could work as a feature film. He said that it might work if someone would give you ten hours for a cable mini-series, but that there was no way to condense it into something smaller. Gilliam is one of my very favorite filmmakers, period, so how could someone like Hayter, someone so unproven, ever hope to pull it off? I had my answer within the first ten pages of the script. Hayter has done the unthinkable. He's written the first comic book screenplay to treat its source material as literature, and he's crafted this with all the care and complexity of end-of-the-year Oscar bait. This is an epic story about responsibility and mankind's worst nature and hope, and in the shadow of September 11th, it feels more important than it ever has before. ... This isn't just great film writing; it's the very model for how to adapt something and preserve it intact while still making the hard choices that anyone faces when translating something from one media to another. And on top of that, it happens to be the single most intense, bone-crunching, bad-ass superhero story I've read so far in screenplay format, and if filmed, it's going to redefine what we're allowed to do. ... Pick up the graphic novel. The one thing you will not see in the film is the material that appeared at the end of each chapter of the original publication. No excerpts from UNDER THE HOOD or TALES OF THE BLACK FREIGHTER. And, to be quite honest, you'll never miss them. Yes, they added a remarkable texture to the world that Moore and Dave Gibbons created, but they were the type of thing that really would only work in print. When you're holding a book in your hands, and all of a sudden you're looking at perfectly art designed pages from different types of books or you're looking at Rorshach's psych file or the front page of the NEW FRONTIERSMAN, it works. But that's not the narrative itself.
Moore's story is remarkably elegant, and Hayter has been very careful not to upset the way Moore constructed it in the first place. Dialogue, descriptions, even camera angles seem to be carefully transcribed. There is essentially no invention here. I can count the number of things that Hayter has created for this script on one hand.
There's a scene towards the end of the film, after the events of the graphic novel, that not only adds a fairly high-stakes action beat, but it also provides the audience with a moral closure that Moore refused to offer in the original. Moore is a cynical man, and his work is fascinated with the darker aspects of our nature, but Hayter seems to need to let some light in, and the result actually strengthens the overall piece.
Hayter has also taken a cue from THE ABYSS (but just the director's cut) that pays off when he quotes a song... just one line at just the right time... in a moment that devastated me. It's emotional and it's daring, and it works. It just lays bare the human heart of this story in a very direct way that forces you to react. You will not be able to sit impassively through this film. It is determined to make you feel something, and to make you think, and it pulls out every trick in the book. By streamlining the material down from 324 pages to a mere 127, he's forced everything to the surface. ... Hayter's written very real, very honest characters, all of them capable of good and bad in equal measure. ...
My favorite chapter from the original is Chapter IV, which deals with Dr. Manhattan's self-imposed exile to Mars, where he finds himself adrift in time, buffeted by memory like a storm, and I was sure that this would be short-changed in the film. Instead, it's preserved intact, and itís just as haunting and poetic and sad. ...
The one big question that has to be on the minds of anyone who's read the original is Do they really do it? Do they still do what they did in the book? Do they still do that to New York? Yes and no. The version in the book is wet and horrible and nearly impossible to imagine as a live-action image. The implicit horror would be too much to take, I think. What's been done instead accomplishes the exact same goal, but it's less bloody, less directly shocking. It'll still hurt, and it's going to shake those who don't know it's coming, but it won't make people sick to their stomachs, and a direct translation risked causing that exact reaction. He didn't tone down the idea... just the stink and the stacks of bodies. He doesn't rub our nose in something that would be unbearable. Instead, he's found an elegant way to handle it. And it's not because he's afraid of getting a little mussed, either. Rorshach is still a violent psychopathic killer, and when he escapes from prison, there's a memorable moment involving Big Figure, a crime boss from his past, that has been reproduced exactly. It's pitch black stuff, and it took real courage to include it. ... It's appropriate that the film starts with a murder and doesn't stop moving until there is a reconciliation, a moment of healing. ...
For the first time, I believe that WATCHMEN can work. ... With the right support and the full weight of the studio on his side, David Hayter is poised to make the GODFATHER of superhero films, that rare thing which transcends the genre it represents and becomes something unforgettable. Cross your fingers now. I did. "Moriarty" out. ...".