Check Out A Very Different Rorschach In Test Footage From 2003’s Aborted ‘Watchmen’ Film

HBO’s Watchmen is one of the most discussed shows on TV right now, and it’s stirred up a lot of interest in previous attempts to adapt Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ classic comic. Even before Zack Snyder’s 2009 movie (which is great, I might add) there were other attempts by Warner Bros., including a 2003 version that would’ve been directed by David Hayter. Hayter would go on to be credited as a co-writer in Snyder’s film, but footage from his earlier attempt is out there and…well, it’s probably best to have gone unproduced.

The test footage from Hayter’s Watchmen has Ray Stevenson, a terrific actor, under a very cheap-looking Rorschach mask. It’s one of the movie’s critical scenes, when Rorschach encounters Night Owl, played by Game of Thrones actor Iain Glen. 

I’m not knocking Stevenson or Glen in this scene. I think Stevenson captures Rorschach’s intense, mercurial nature quite well. I’m just a huge fan of what Jackie Earle Haley did in the role, and the faithfulness that Snyder brought to the film. Looking at this footage you can tell it was made in the early 2000s when the standard for comic book movies was Sony’s Spider-Man.