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Christopher Nolan Calls Zack Snyder’s ‘Watchmen’ a Film ‘Ahead of Its Time’: It Should Have Been Released Post-‘Avengers’

Christopher Nolan is praising Zack Snyder’s “Watchmen” for pushing the boundaries of superhero films.

Snyder’s 2009 adaptation of Alan Moore’s graphic novel infamously underperformed at the box office, and starred Patrick Wilson, Malin Akerman, Jackie Earle Haley, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Carla Gugino.

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Now, “Oppenheimer” director Nolan is calling the film over a decade later “ahead of its time,” especially when capturing a superhero ensemble that Marvel’s “Avengers” made popular years later.

“I’ve always believed ‘Watchmen’ was ahead of its time,” Nolan told The Hollywood Reporter. “The idea of a superhero team, which it so brilliantly subverts, wasn’t yet a thing in movies.”

He added, “It would have been fascinating to see it released post-‘Avengers.'”

Later in the article, Snyder addressed his other superhero team-up movie, DC’s “Justice League,” which was theatrically released with Joss Whedon’s reshoots; the Snyder Cut debuted on Warner Bros. streamer HBO Max after fans pushed for its release.

“We cared deeply about what we were doing,” Snyder said of his “Justice League” cut. “We weren’t trying to make an ‘Avengers’ movie. We weren’t. We didn’t know how, quite frankly. They brought someone in that did. I’ve never seen the [Whedon version], but it wasn’t the answer.”

The “Rebel Moon” director is now considering adapting “Elektra Lives Again” within the “Daredevil” Marvel universe, or continuing on “The Dark Knight” trilogy Nolan’s turf with a “Dark Knight Returns” adaptation that is more of a “true representation of the graphic novel,” Snyder said, when asked if he would be open to working with Marvel or DC.

“Watchmen” actor Wilson echoed Nolan’s sentiments about that film earlier this year, saying it’s the only one of his movies that he’s acted in that he’s watched “front to back” since its premiere.

“I knew Zack was ahead of the curve,” Wilson said of Snyder. “It’s weird to say that audiences weren’t ready for it. But you need a movie like that. You need movies to go so dark that then ‘Avengers’ can go so light. I do believe in that.”

He added of revisiting the “Watchmen” role, “I’d love to do that movie now. It would be so awesome to just do it now.”

Snyder previously told Uproxx in 2021 that he would “consider” helming a “Watchmen” adaptation again. “By the way, I love ‘Watchmen.’ I have no regrets. I love that movie 100 percent,” Snyder said. “It’s exactly what I wanted.”

“Watchmen” creator Moore has since slammed the HBO-Damon Lindelof reimagining of the IP for a TV series. Moore also told The Guardian that Nolan’s “Batman” films helped legitimize the superhero genre, for the worse.

“I didn’t really think that superheroes were adult fare,” Moore explained. “I said round about 2011 that I thought that it had serious and worrying implications for the future if millions of adults were queueing up to see ‘Batman’ movies. Because that kind of infantilization — that urge towards simpler times, simpler realities — that can very often be a precursor to fascism.”

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