A series of spin-off comics to Alan Moore's landmark graphic novel Watchmen have been announced by DC Comics.
Moore's classic series was adapted for the screen by Zack Snyder in 2009, after the likes of Terry Gilliam and Darren Aronofsky attempted to translate its complexity for the big screen.
But the likes of Rorschach, Dr Manhattan and The Comedian could return to cinemas after DV announced seven prequel mini-series to Watchmen, due for release this summer.
"Essentially, we're looking at old characters through new eyes," creator Len Wein told Wired. "What we're doing is filling in a lot of the blank spaces in a story that has already, to some degree, been told," Len Wein, who will write new stories for Ozymandias and Crimson Corsair, told Wired.com.
"There were still a lot of gaps in the histories of Watchmen's characters," he continues, "and events only mentioned in passing or touched on briefly in the original story. We're filling in those gaps in the most creative and inventive ways we can."
Original artist Dave Gibbons will not be involved but has wished the project well while Moore, famously protective of his work, denounced the plans as "completely shameless".
"I tend to take this latest development as confirmation that [DC] are still apparently dependent on ideas that I had 25 years ago," he told the New York Times. "I don't want money; I just want it not to happen."
J Michael Straczynski, who will write prequels for Dr Manhattan and Nite Owl, said Moore's stance was "absolutely understandable and deeply flawed".
"I don't hear Alan suggesting that no one other than Shuster and Siegel should have been allowed to write Superman," Straczynski added.
"Certainly Alan himself did this when he was brought on to write Swamp Thing, a seminal comics character created by Len Wein.
"The whole point of having great characters is the opportunity to explore them more deeply. That DC allowed these characters to sit on a shelf for over two decades as a show of respect is salutary, but there comes a time when good characters have to re-enter the world."
The new comics are set for release this summer and with the Watchmen film making the graphic novel DC's biggest seller, it seems likely the Before Watchmen tales will find their way to the big screen.
Source: DC Comics' The Source/Hollywood Reporter/New York Times