No One Will Watch The Watchmen / Mute Miyazaki

Random surfing led me to the following nuggets of information at Sci Fi Wire:

  • The Watchmen movie isn’t happening any more. Oh well. As I wrote a while ago (in response to a comment telling me that a Watchmen movie was in the works), I had my doubts about how well they could adapt it. I’m still not going to stop compiling my dream cast list when bored on the bus though. Recently, Dennis Hopper came to mind as The Comedian.

  • The person making an English dub of Howl’s Moving Castle had to do so without any input from original director Hayao Miyazaki. Upon sending a long list of his questions to Japan he was warned that Miyazaki probably wouldn’t answer, and true enough, he didn’t.

    “We didn’t add anything that wasn’t there in the film. So, of course, we are faithful to the dialogue that’s there. But in the end, you just kind of have to trust your own instincts on a lot of things, and that’s apparently what Miyazaki [who did not respond to Docter’s questions] expects from us.”

    I don’t know if the English dub of Spirited Away was done the same way, but if it was then I guess that might be one reason people don’t tend to be that satisfied with it. And unlike Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle is pretty damn incoherent to begin with. It seems a curious way to do things to me – certainly an interesting experiment in film interpretation, but not the best way of producing the only version of Howl’s Moving Castle most casual English-speaking viewers will ever see.

9 comments

  1. I don’t understand why they can’t just release the Japanese version with subs in the theater. It just doesn’t sound right with English. They did the same thing to Princess Mononoke. Claire Danes as the voice of San? Come on now. Really people.

  2. Thank goodness they’re not doing Watchmen. I’d hate to have seen Hollywood maul yet another Alan Moore classic (this one being my personal favourite, too).

    Their track record on his creations has been rather poor, to say the least (From Hell was off-topic, Constantine was senseless and I won’t even get started on LXG). I cringe at the thought of how the Wachowskis will destroy “V for Vendetta”.

  3. Fear not yj, V for Vendetta isn’t happening any more either! (Can’t Google it right now, but it was announced somewhere in the past week.)

  4. Hi Michelle,

    don’t know if you’re aware of the cult cartoon “the magic roundabout”- it was a french cartoon that crossed the channel to England and the script was given to Emma Thompson’s father to translate into english. Whether he didn’t speak french or was taking some mind expanding drugs at the time, i don’t know but he decided to throw out the french script and look at the cartoons and write a totally new script for the action on screen and that is one really trippy children’s cartoon.

  5. Oh dear, it hadn’t occurred to me that when I see Howl’s Moving Castle (it opens in America on Friday) it would be an English dub. I just sort of assumed without thinking about it that it would be Japanese with subtitles. The thought is kindof annoying.

  6. Well I watched Spirited Away with the subtitles and English audio, and even those two English versions were significantly different. I can’t imagine what the Japanese actually means. Without learning the language, which I’ll never use but for a couple of films…

  7. Well Matt, I daresay you might find Japanese useful for appreciating all sorts of products of the fine and extremely wide-ranging Japanese film industry. Subtitles just don’t do justice to “Do me bad things!”

  8. Michelle, do you think that if Dr Manhattan was CGI then Hollywood would have deemed it acceptable for the viewing public to see his wang?

    I think Dennis Hopper would be too old to be the Comedian, personally.

    I found a complete lack of understanding of Japanese was in no way a hinderance to me understanding the nature of “Godzilla: Final Wars”, but this may be due to the baddie perfectly pitching his performance as pantomime and, indeed my fluency in the international language of Godzilla. RAAAAAAAWWWGGGG!!

  9. John: I’d always assumed most of Dr Manhattan would have to be CGI (ha, for once there would be little difference between acting to a blue screen and acting with a human actor) but can safely say the larger wang-revealing implications of this never occurred to me. This is, however, an amazing marketing opportunity in itself eg. “Happy Meals have never given more bang for your buck!” Also, no one would download or buy pirated DVDs if it meant they were foregoing the opportunity of seeing a huge blue wang on the big screen.

    And yes, Dennis Hopper is a little old but they could dye his hair black. The Comedian’s a hard-living sorta guy, some wrinkles aren’t too out of character. And I’m sure he’d be better than Burt Reynolds, who is the only other person I can think of who has enough resemblance!

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