It has been revealed that David Bowie wanted to play the role of Rorschach in an adaptation of superhero comic series Watchmen.
Written by Alan Moore who worked alongside cartoonist Dave Gibbons and colourist John Higgins, Watchmen was first published by DC Comics in 1986 and went on to become both a commercial and critical success.
Such was the unconventional storylines and its ability to satirise the role of superheroes, filmmaker Terry Gilliam was attached to a project fronted by Warner Bros. in an attempt to turn Watchmen into a major Hollywood film. However, given Gilliam’s tendency to run over budget, final financing would later see the project dissolve after they only managed to raise $25million in total—a figure which would have only covered half of the required amount.
Prior to this breakdown, however, Gilliam and Warner Bros. had the Watchmen wheels very much in motion and had been in regular contact with original writer Alan Moore in regards to the finer details of their adaptation plans. Now, in an interview with the BBC’s Paperback Writers: Graphic Content series, Moore explained that Gilliam had been contacted with by David Bowie in the hope of landing a role in the pre-proposed film.
“I did hear that when Terry Gilliam was supposed to be doing Watchmen back in the 1980s,” Moore said. “I remember he told me that he’d had a number of phone calls from David Bowie asking to play the Rorschach character.”
“There’s an alternate world we can only imagine,” Moore said in the interview.
The news of Bowie’s potential inclusion has arisen as a new Watchmen TV series is due to premiere on HBO on October 20th.