Nite-Owl and The Comedian in Watchmen comic

An Animated Movie Runtime Isn't Enough For Watchmen

The theatrical release of Zack Snyder's Watchmen movie was 163 minutes, i.e. a little over two and a half hours. That's already longer than the average running time for that kind of blockbuster, but the Watchmen story is dense, so those extra minutes are needed. Later in 2009, the director's cut of the movie was released, which incorporated deleted scenes and added approximately 24 minutes. That was followed by the Ultimate Cut, which took the director's cut and sprinkled in the Tales of the Black Freighter animated movie that had been released separately earlier in the year. That brought the running time to a whopping 215 minutes, i.e. over three and a half hours.

In contrast, DC's previous direct-to-video animated movies usually only last around 75 minutes. As stated in the previous section, Watchmen is a dense story, and there's no way you can properly tell it in such a short amount of time. It's possible DC could take the plunge and make this animated Watchmen movie two or three hours, but then you run into the problem of how many consumers would actually be interested in something like that. Watchmen is fairly well-known, but it's not at Batman or the Justice League's level of popularity.

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