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Jeffrey Dean Morgan would consider playing the Comedian again in “Before Watchmen”

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When DC Comics announced that they’d be working on “Watchmen” prequels entitled “Before Watchmen,” it brought mixed responses from comic book fans. Alan Moore’s original series has stood on its own for more than three decades, so it seems strange to tinker with that formula now.

But the joy of comic books is that they are stories that can be continually revisited, and it seems that DC decided now was the best time to revisit the Watchmen. It certainly helps that the 2009 big screen adaptation of “Watchmen,” directed by Zack Snyder, brought a renewed interest in the series. However, neither Moore nor original artist Dave Gibbons will be lending their talents to these new stories.

It seems natural that Warner Bros consider making a film adaptation of the prequels once all seven issues hit newsstands. The first film was considered a failure — it only grossed $55 million more than its budget — but still generated enough fan interest to make a prequel seem potentially worthwhile, especially if the prequel comics do well. IFC caught up with Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who starred as the Comedian in Snyder’s version of “Watchmen,” at the Film Independent Spirit Awards to ask if he’d ever be interested in returning to his mask and cigar.

“It would have to be the right people involved,” Morgan said hesitantly. “I would like Dave Gibbons, the creator of the [comic], to be behind it. I’d love to work with Zack again. Bur we always said when we did ‘Watchmen’ it was a one off. There’s no way there can be a prequel so I don’t know. It makes me nervous that they’re even talking about it.”

That being said, it seems as though this is the only way fans would be able to see Morgan as the Comedian again as he died in the first film. Since he played the Comedian in a variety of eras in “Watchmen,” Morgan agreed that it would make sense for him to return to the role in a prequel.

“If there was a way [Warner Bros] could squeeze a move out of it they’d probably try to find a way,” he said. “I don’t know honestly if they’d recast but since I play the Comedian from 18 to his demise at 60 I guess I would fit in there somewhere.”

Bottom line? “We’ll see,” Morgan said. “We’ll see.” Sounds like it’s up to “Before Watchmen” to be a success before we ever here official talks about the comic book being made into a movie. But at least it’s nice to know that Morgan would be game if it ever came to that.

Would you want to see Morgan reprise the role of the Comedian in a “Before Watchmen” adaptation? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Soap tv show

As the Spoof Turns

15 Hilarious Soap Opera Parodies

Catch the classic sitcom Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures Television

The soap opera is the indestructible core of television fandom. We celebrate modern series like The Wire and Breaking Bad with their ongoing storylines, but soap operas have been tangling more plot threads than a quilt for decades. Which is why pop culture enjoys parodying them so much.

Check out some of the funniest soap opera parodies below, and be sure to catch Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

1. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

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Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was a cult hit soap parody from the mind of Norman Lear that poked daily fun at the genre with epic twists and WTF moments. The first season culminated in a perfect satire of ratings stunts, with Mary being both confined to a psychiatric facility and chosen to be part of a Nielsen ratings family.


2. IKEA Heights

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IKEA Heights proves that the soap opera is alive and well, even if it has to be filmed undercover at a ready-to-assemble furniture store totally unaware of what’s happening. This unique webseries brought the classic formula to a new medium. Even IKEA saw the funny side — but has asked that future filmmakers apply through proper channels.


3. Fresno

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When you’re parodying ’80s nighttime soaps like Dallas and Dynasty , everything about your show has to equally sumptuous. The 1986 CBS miniseries Fresno delivered with a high-powered cast (Carol Burnett, Teri Garr and more in haute couture clothes!) locked in the struggle for the survival of a raisin cartel.


4. Soap

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Soap was the nighttime response to daytime soap operas: a primetime skewering of everything both silly and satisfying about the source material. Plots including demonic possession and alien abduction made it a cult favorite, and necessitated the first televised “viewer discretion” disclaimer. It also broke ground for featuring one of the first gay characters on television in the form of Billy Crystal’s Jodie Dallas. Revisit (or discover for the first time) this classic sitcom every Saturday morning on IFC.


5. Too Many Cooks

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Possibly the most perfect viral video ever made, Too Many Cooks distilled almost every style of television in a single intro sequence. The soap opera elements are maybe the most hilarious, with more characters and sudden shocking twists in an intro than most TV scribes manage in an entire season.


6. Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace

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Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace was more mockery than any one medium could handle. The endless complications of Darkplace Hospital are presented as an ongoing horror soap opera with behind-the-scenes anecdotes from writer, director, star, and self-described “dreamweaver visionary” Garth Marenghi and astoundingly incompetent actor/producer Dean Learner.


7. “Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive,” MadTV

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Soap opera connoisseurs know that the most melodramatic plots are found in Korea. MADtv‘s parody Tae Do  (translation: Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive) features the struggles of mild-mannered characters with far more feelings than their souls, or subtitles, could ever cope with.


8. Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks, the twisted parody of small town soaps like Peyton Place whose own creator repeatedly insists is not a parody, has endured through pop culture since it changed television forever when it debuted in 1990. The show even had it’s own soap within in a soap called…


9. “Invitation to Love,” Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks didn’t just parody soap operas — it parodied itself parodying soap operas with the in-universe show Invitation to Love. That’s more layers of deceit and drama than most televised love triangles.


10. “As The Stomach Turns,” The Carol Burnett Show

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The Carol Burnett Show poked fun at soaps with this enduring take on As The World Turns. In a case of life imitating art, one story involving demonic possession would go on to happen for “real” on Days of Our Lives.


11. Days of our Lives (Friends Edition)

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Still airing today, Days of Our Lives is one of the most famous soap operas of all time. They’re also excellent sports, as they allowed Friends star Joey Tribbiani to star as Dr Drake Ramoray, the only doctor to date his own stalker (while pretending to be his own evil twin). And then return after a brain-transplant.

And let’s not forget the greatest soap opera parody line ever written: “Come on Joey, you’re going up against a guy who survived his own cremation!”


12. Acorn Antiques

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First appearing on the BBC sketch comedy series Victoria Wood As Seen on TV, Acorn Antiques combines almost every low-budget soap opera trope into one amazing whole. The staff of a small town antique store suffer a disproportional number of amnesiac love-triangles, while entire storylines suddenly appear and disappear without warning or resolution. Acorn Antiques was so popular, it went on to become a hit West End musical.


13. “Point Place,” That 70s Show

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In a memorable That ’70s Show episode, an unemployed Red is reduced to watching soaps all day. He becomes obsessed despite the usual Red common-sense objections (like complaining that it’s impossible to fall in love with someone in a coma). His dreams render his own life as Point Place, a melodramatic nightmare where Kitty leaves him because he’s unemployed. (Click here to see all airings of That ’70s Show on IFC.)


14. The Spoils of Babylon

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Bursting from the minds of Will Ferrell and creators Andrew Steele and Matt Piedmont, The Spoils of Babylon was a spectacular parody of soap operas and epic mini-series like The Thorn Birds. Taking the parody even further, Ferrell himself played Eric Jonrosh, the author of the book on which the series was based. Jonrosh returned in The Spoils Before Dying, a jazzy murder mystery with its own share of soapy twists and turns.

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15. All My Children Finale, SNL

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SNL‘s final celebration of one of the biggest soaps of all time is interrupted by a relentless series of revelations from stage managers, lighting designers, make-up artists, and more. All of whom seem to have been married to or murdered by (or both) each other.

The 10 coolest vehicles from comic book movies

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Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” roars into theaters this weekend, leaving a trail of fire and burnt rubber in its wake.

Sporting a new set of directors and a reinvented take on the motorcycle-riding anti-hero, “Spirit of Vengeance” also features a new look at the way Ghost Rider interacts with his fire-spitting ride and anything else he gets behind the wheel of. Whether it’s on two wheels or a set of treads, every vehicle becomes an instrument of fiery retribution for Johnny Blaze’s demonic alter ego.

Still, Ghost Rider isn’t the first comic book character to bring a memorable ride along when making the jump from page to screen. In no particular order, here are our 10 favorite vehicles from the modern era of comic book movies.


The Owl Ship (“Watchmen“)

No matter what you think of Zack Snyder’s live-action adaptation of Watchmen, it’s difficult not to be impressed by the film’s version of the Owlship, Nite Owl’s high-tech flying headquarters. Not only is it intimidating, but it gets bonus points for staying true to the comic and actually looking like an owl’s head. Sadly, it loses some of those bonus points for playing host to one of the worst sex scenes ever filmed, but I digress…


The Blackbird (“X-Men” 1-3, “X-Men: First Class“)

While there’s nothing too fancy about the sleek jet used by the X-Men to get around the world, there’s something to be said for the fact that almost everyone associates the silhouette of the Blackbird with Marvel’s mutants even though it was based on a real-world plane developed way back in 1964. Heck, there are more than a few people who might not believe you when you tell them the SR-71 Blackbird was a real plane — it’s become associated with the X-Men that closely.


The Batmobile (“Batman” & “Batman Returns“)

Fans of Christopher Nolan’s big-screen Bat-verse might scoff at the choice of this version of the Batmobile (from Tim Burton’s “Batman” and “Batman Returns”) as my favorite of the bunch, but in my mind, this version of Batman’s ride offered the best balance of form and function for The Dark Knight. Designed by Anton Furst, who won an Oscar for conceiving of both the Batmobile and the noir-influenced take on Gotham City seen in the film, this Batmobile exists equidistant from Nolan’s military-style “Tumbler” and the glowing, missile-like Batmobile from Joel Schumacher’s “Batman & Robin.”


Ghost Rider’s motorcycle (“Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance“)

I mentioned this one earlier, but once you see “Spirit of Vengeance” you’ll understand why it’s on the list. The bike Johnny Blaze rides is already pretty sweet in its normal form (read: not engulfed in flames), but once he becomes Ghost Rider things move to a whole new level of bad-assery. Like a good horse, Ghost Rider’s bike comes when he calls it, and always makes a great first (and second, and third) impression with flames that seem to pour from every crevice and a roar that sounds more bestial than mechanical. It’s truly a ride fit for a demon.


A Horse with Gatling Guns (“Jonah Hex“)

One of the funniest images from 2010’s live-action “Jonah Hex” movie wasn’t intended to be humorous — but it quickly became a popular symbol of everything that was wrong with the studio’s attempt to bring DC’s famous bounty hunter to the big screen. While the memorable image of Jon Hex unveiling his completely implausible combination of horse and heavy weaponry is burned into fans’ brains, it’s worth noting that the original version was even more ridiculous. According to “Jonah Hex” star Josh Brolin, an early design for the horse-mounted gun had the barrel placed underneath the horse’s belly on a rotating mount — which seems fine until you consider what would happen when the barrel swings from side and shoots off the horse’s legs. Owch.

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“Watchmen” prequels are on the way as DC Comics goes official with “Before Watchmen”

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It’s been rumored, debated, and passionately discussed for years now, but DC Comics made it official this morning: Watchmen will get the prequel treatment.

Yes, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ classic saga of superheroes gone wrong will get not only one, but seven new prequel series published under the collective banner “Before Watchmen.” Each series will focus on a particular member of the team, as well as their predecessors, the Minutemen. There will also be a backup story titled Crimson Corsair and a single-issue story with the title Before Watchmen: Epilogue. (Don’t think about the implications of that last one for too long, or it will hurt your brain.)

Originally posted on the official DC Comics blog, the description of the new line features an impressive cast of creators lending their talents to the books — a move the publisher certainly hopes will counteract the flood of negative feedback the news has received thus far.

Among the creators on the Before Watchmen lines is award-winning screenwriter J. Michael Straczynski, who’s no stranger to comic book fans, as well as original Watchmen editor Len Wein, who will be writing one of the seven miniseries. Celebrated creators Brian Azzarello, Darwyn Cooke, and Jae Lee, Amanda Conner, and other writers and artists round out the prequel team.

While the line is set to launch this summer, we can expect to hear a lot about it between now and then, as there’s been no shortage of passionate debate about potential additions to the Watchmen saga ever since Bleeding Cool revealed some of DC’s early plans for the project back in February 2010.

With Watchmen already holding the title of one of the best-selling comics of all time, there’s certainly a high bar set for the prequels. Although it’s safe to say that the first issue of each series will almost certainly sell well (and be trumpeted as proof of the project’s success), it remains to be seen whether the books will capture readers’ attention beyond the initial hype.

You can see the covers for each of the Before Watchmen comics at Wired, USA Today, Hero Complex, The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, and Comic Book Resources.

What do you think of DC’s plans for the “Watchmen” prequels? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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