I'd imagine that most BMD readers have heard the story about how, back in the late '80s, Sam Hamm was hired to write an adaptation of Alan Moore's Watchmen for 20th Century Fox, and how Terry Gilliam was in line to direct, and about how the screenplay they ultimately landed on bore very little resemblance to Moore's source material (if memory serves, that script opens with the Watchmen getting into a rock 'em, sock 'em brawl at the Statue of Liberty, but I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong on that).
Here's a bit of trivia you might not know, though: back in 2003, David Hayter was hired to write and direct an adaptation of the film. Hayter eventually walked away from the gig (citing the dreaded "creative differences"), at which point several other filmmakers flirted with the project, among them Darren Aronofsky (who'd also previously flirted with a Batman: Year One adaptation, don'tcha know). None of those directors took the job, but eventually Zack Snyder came along, and his adaptation of Watchmen landed in theaters a few years later, in 2009.
Now, many years later and with a very new Watchmen unfolding on HBO, Hayter has made available the test footage he shot during pre-production on his version of the film. Starring Punisher: War Zone's Ray Stevenson as Rorschach (!!!) and Game of Thrones' Iain Glen as Night Owl/Dan Dreiberg, this footage is some of the weirdest shit we have seen in some time.
Take a look:
So, as you can see, that's the classic "Rorschach breaks into Night Owl's place and eat some beans" scene, which appears in both Alan Moore's comic series and Zack Snyder's film. It's clear these aren't intended to be the characters' final costumes (Rorschach's outfit looks like a Spirit Halloween Inspector Gadget get-up), but you can see what kind of tone Hayter would've been going for. Doesn't look terribly far removed from the Snyder version.
Anyway, what a surprising thing to see after all this time! Sometimes the internet vomits up fun stuff! Sound off below if you've got anything to add here.