British filmmaker Paul Greengrass, who shot the summer hit "The Bourne Supremacy," is set to direct "The Watchmen," a project based on the seminal DC Comics limited series of the same name.
Darren Aronofsky ("Pi") had been attached to direct the Paramount Pictures project but bowed out because of scheduling conflicts. He is shooting "The Fountain," starring Hugh Jackman.
"The Watchmen," created by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons and originally released in 1986 as a 12-issue comic book, is credited with redefining the superhero genre. It tells a crime-conspiracy story that provided the first realistic look at the behind-the-heroics lives of superhero archetypes.
Set in an alternate America, "Watchmen" follows the costumed hero Rorschach, who is living a vigilante lifestyle because most masked heroes have retired or been outlawed. While investigating a murder, he learns that a former masked-hero colleague has been killed, prompting him to begin investigating a possible conspiracy.
With Greengrass aboard, the project is now eyeing a possible 2006 release date. Greengrass, known for his gritty style, also wrote and directed the critically lauded Irish saga "Bloody Sunday."
Reuters got both Hugh Jackman's and Dave Gibbons' names wrong in the story (I've corrected them above), calling them Jackson and Gibbon. They're really on the ball.