Watchmen - Spoilers like a Psychic Undersea Gargant!

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Watchmen - Spoilers like a Psychic Undersea Gargant!

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Aug 03, 2007 2:41 pm UTC

From the guy who did 300

Watchmen would not work as a 2 hour movie. We're talking at least a four hour, if not longer.

That's assuming Watchmen would even be apropriate. It would not.

You cannot replicate the tone of Fearful Symmetry on film. The pirate comic would be removed completely, as would the newstand, even though they're both fairly important parts of the story. They're just too ... subtle of relevancy, it'd not make sense to split up the pirate bits between scenes as it does in comic form, not to mention that you'd have to choose between doing it live action or just panels on the screen.. and still panels on the screen would be boring in a theater.

I think Watchmen is one of those things that cannot be translated to another medium. And they're doing it anyway.

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Postby Belial » Fri Aug 03, 2007 2:58 pm UTC

The director at least seems to "get it" judging by quotes he's made regarding the project.

Something about getting the studio execs to understand it's less "Fantastic Four" and more "Dr Strangelove"
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Postby Rodan » Fri Aug 03, 2007 3:11 pm UTC

I'm expecting one of those movies that sucks, and makes me afraid to wear a Watchmen shirt or talk about how awesome Watchmen is...
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Postby SecondTalon » Fri Aug 03, 2007 3:15 pm UTC

Hm. So The Black Freighter is going to be in the movie.

I am even more fearful than I was of the Transformers movie.
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Postby Malice » Fri Aug 03, 2007 6:07 pm UTC

I'm mainly concerned about the choice of director.

Specifically, the guy who made 300.

He got some things right in that movie--like the visuals.

He got some things wrong in that movie--like everything that wasn't originally in the book.

He missed some things entirely--like any sense of meaning or character.

The fact is, Watchmen isn't really about visuals, which despite being spectacular (Mars, for example) are downplayed and made more realistic in the comic.

Watchmen doesn't need anything else added, and it would be extremely hard to do so anyways, given the extraordinarily complex writing.

The main parts of Watchmen are the meaning(s) and the characters.

This man is probably not right for this movie.

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Postby Castaway » Sun Aug 05, 2007 5:24 pm UTC

If he hadn't added stuff, 300 would have been 10 minutes long.
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Postby Bakemaster » Mon Aug 06, 2007 4:24 am UTC

I'm looking forward to this. It might be crap, but it has reminded me that I need to read Watchmen again. And it might not be crap. Decent movies are still fun to watch.
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Postby toysbfun » Mon Aug 06, 2007 5:18 am UTC

From what I recall from Wizard, Alan Moore liked the screenplay more than he did any of the movies based on his books. He also said he won't be seeing it though because The Watchmen is a comic book and was written to take advantage of the medium comic books provide.

Almost endorsed by Alan Moore. It can't be too bad.

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Postby Belial » Mon Aug 06, 2007 5:27 am UTC

From what I recall from Wizard, Alan Moore liked the screenplay more than he did any of the movies based on his books.


I've always found it sortof annoying that Moore trashtalks all the movies based on his work. If he didn't want his stuff butchered, he shouldn't sell the rights.

Or, he should sell the rights for *slightly less money*, on the condition that he gets some degree of creative control.

But no, he sells the rights for the most money possible, and then bitches and moans about what they do to it.

Man writes damn good comics, but....such douchery.
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Postby xooll » Mon Aug 06, 2007 5:31 am UTC

I will most certainly watch it.
Whether it will be good remains to be seen. I liked 300, but I didn't love it. If I'd read that comic, I might have stronger feelings one way or the other.
Watchmen, on the other hand... he'd better do it right.
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Postby Rodan » Mon Aug 06, 2007 5:50 am UTC

Belial wrote:
From what I recall from Wizard, Alan Moore liked the screenplay more than he did any of the movies based on his books.


I've always found it sortof annoying that Moore trashtalks all the movies based on his work. If he didn't want his stuff butchered, he shouldn't sell the rights.

Or, he should sell the rights for *slightly less money*, on the condition that he gets some degree of creative control.

But no, he sells the rights for the most money possible, and then bitches and moans about what they do to it.

Man writes damn good comics, but....such douchery.

Wouldn't DC have the rights? (my knowledge of such things is limited.)

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Postby Belial » Mon Aug 06, 2007 6:06 am UTC

Wouldn't DC have the rights? (my knowledge of such things is limited.)


I was under the understanding that the author retained the rights to the story to some degree. If that's not the case, then I retract my criticism.
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Postby Malice » Mon Aug 06, 2007 6:17 am UTC

toysbfun wrote:He also said he won't be seeing it though because The Watchmen is a comic book and was written to take advantage of the medium comic books provide.


As far as I can recall, Watchmen doesn't really do anything as a comic book that movies can't do (they're very similar formats, after all). (One or two things which would be more difficult, simply because in a comic you can read three simultaneous word bubbles and get the meaning, while in movies you can't really, but nothing that's impossible.)

What it does do is specifically talk about comic books. It'd be like filming a Scott McCloud book, in a sense. Just kind of weird.

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Postby toysbfun » Mon Aug 06, 2007 6:43 am UTC

Malice wrote:
toysbfun wrote:He also said he won't be seeing it though because The Watchmen is a comic book and was written to take advantage of the medium comic books provide.


As far as I can recall, Watchmen doesn't really do anything as a comic book that movies can't do (they're very similar formats, after all). (One or two things which would be more difficult, simply because in a comic you can read three simultaneous word bubbles and get the meaning, while in movies you can't really, but nothing that's impossible.)

One of the examples given was with nine panels laid out 3x3 showing bits of Doctor Manhattan's life. It was supposed to convey to the reader how Doctor Manhattan can perceive past, present, and future at the same time just as the reader can perceive all nine panels on the page showing past, present, and future at the same time.

I didn't pick up on that while reading Watchmen either.

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Postby Malice » Mon Aug 06, 2007 8:48 am UTC

Hm. I didn't either.

But it took me approximately 1.2 seconds to realize, Hey, movies can split their screen too!

And since each panel would actually move forward in time, movies do that better.

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Postby SecondTalon » Mon Aug 06, 2007 11:55 am UTC

Belial wrote:
Wouldn't DC have the rights? (my knowledge of such things is limited.)


I was under the understanding that the author retained the rights to the story to some degree. If that's not the case, then I retract my criticism.


Retract. Moore doesn't own the rights. They'll revert to him as soon as Watchmen goes out of print.

Watchmen has never gone out of print.

*edit* Last I knew, he also doesn't own John Constantine, or much of anything else he came up with in the 80s, early 90s.. common practice then was that the company retained all rights to anything created by a writer/illustrator while they worked for the company. The creator-owned movement is relatively new. Granted, he did own V, but he sold it years ago. From Hell and the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen are the only two I know that he still owns, and I think it's those movies that made him realize he can't just license out stuff he owns and expect it to not make everything involved with it look ridiculous.
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Postby Lester :P » Tue Aug 07, 2007 12:49 pm UTC

And these reasons are why he hates both Marvel and DC...


I think Adrian Veidt will be played as a villain, which will suck, and Rorschach as a hero, which will suck, the whole point of the movie is that it's depressing, that no-one is really right, that everyone makes sacrifices and those that don't get killed, or don't care.

I assume the majority of the stuff they'll cut out is flashbacks, because the plot only takes like 6 comics worth, the rest is character history.

If this was filmed by an indie director maybe it could capture the depression/defeatism/moral quandarys, as it is, there is no way it will be *as* good as the comic.
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Postby Zohar » Tue Aug 07, 2007 1:29 pm UTC

When The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (I think) came out Moore asked not to be connected to the film. Then someone (either at the movie studios or at DC) was asked in a press conference what the author's feelings about the project are and he replied that's he's very enthusiastic and working closely with them.

Since then Moore stopped working with DC completely. Also, he started relinquishing all rights to his franchises since then. Basically, he writes and then lets everyone else butcher his work.
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Postby Sprocket » Tue Aug 07, 2007 1:32 pm UTC

Yeah, I'm not too worried, though I thought the 300 was really stupid, and I'm sure I'd like the comic.
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Postby SecondTalon » Tue Aug 07, 2007 2:27 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:When The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (I think) came out Moore asked not to be connected to the film. Then someone (either at the movie studios or at DC) was asked in a press conference what the author's feelings about the project are and he replied that's he's very enthusiastic and working closely with them.


Well.. you may be mixing two events. Larry Wackowski's rambled something about Moore being all "Yay! Kittens! I love this movie!" when V was about to come out.

League involved some asshats suing Fox over ideas that were supposedly stolen from them and Moore had to testify. In his eyes, at least, it was a very humiliating event. According to him all of the contested elements were stuff not even in the comic, but added later by the producers, but he was still named in the lawsuit if I'm remembering correctly. Fox settled out of court, which to Alan was akin to Fox saying "We stole it, here's money, shut up about it", so.. there's that.

Moore seems to have a strong personality, one that I could see easily rubbing people the wrong way.. but he's also been dicked over quite a bit too, so it's kinda easy to see why he'd lash out with such venom at times. Hell, last thing he did for Marvel was let them reprint some stuff... which, due to a printing error, his name was omitted.
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Postby Rodan » Tue Aug 07, 2007 4:46 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:When The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (I think) came out Moore asked not to be connected to the film. Then someone (either at the movie studios or at DC) was asked in a press conference what the author's feelings about the project are and he replied that's he's very enthusiastic and working closely with them.

Since then Moore stopped working with DC completely. Also, he started relinquishing all rights to his franchises since then. Basically, he writes and then lets everyone else butcher his work.

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen wasn't even published by DC, but by Alan Moore's own company, America's best comics.
Also, I didn't notice the afore-mentioned thing involving Dr. Manhattan, but that's one of the things that makes Watchmen so amazingly awesome.

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Postby william » Sun Aug 12, 2007 4:53 pm UTC

Lester :P wrote:And these reasons are why he hates both Marvel and DC...


I think Adrian Veidt will be played as a villain, which will suck, and Rorschach as a hero, which will suck, the whole point of the movie is that it's depressing, that no-one is really right, that everyone makes sacrifices and those that don't get killed, or don't care.

I assume the majority of the stuff they'll cut out is flashbacks, because the plot only takes like 6 comics worth, the rest is character history.

If this was filmed by an indie director maybe it could capture the depression/defeatism/moral quandarys, as it is, there is no way it will be *as* good as the comic.

Go watch The Departed. Hollywood isn't as inflexible and Bowlderian as you and Alan Moore seem to think.

Also, it is an awesome movie.
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Postby william » Sun Aug 12, 2007 5:03 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
From what I recall from Wizard, Alan Moore liked the screenplay more than he did any of the movies based on his books.


I've always found it sortof annoying that Moore trashtalks all the movies based on his work. If he didn't want his stuff butchered, he shouldn't sell the rights.

Or, he should sell the rights for *slightly less money*, on the condition that he gets some degree of creative control.

But no, he sells the rights for the most money possible, and then bitches and moans about what they do to it.

Man writes damn good comics, but....such douchery.

I think that right now he's writing porn so that Hollywood won't adapt it.
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Postby cephalopod9 » Tue Aug 14, 2007 5:40 am UTC

They Should NOT try to turn the comic book into a movie. However, I think the book tells a story that could be adapted to film. With that understood, I think we could get a good movie.

While 300 was stupid, it did know it's audience and had quite a comic book look. These might be good with Watchmen's golden age/ silver age look and rabid fans.

On the downside, Hollywood does tend to have a need to polarize and moral things. 300 was worse than terrible about that. Was that a feature of the comic book? A hero-villian setup and moral ending would ruin Watchmen, I'm with you guys on that.
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Postby Malice » Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:12 am UTC

Lester :P wrote:If this was filmed by an indie director maybe it could capture the depression/defeatism/moral quandarys, as it is, there is no way it will be *as* good as the comic.


I'm going to ignore the fallacy here and just say, Dude, there's no way this movie could be made by an indie director. Why? Because there's no real way to make Watchmen for under (to be conservative) 100 million dollars.

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Postby SecondTalon » Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:55 pm UTC

cephalopod9 wrote:On the downside, Hollywood does tend to have a need to polarize and moral things. 300 was worse than terrible about that. Was that a feature of the comic book? A hero-villian setup and moral ending would ruin Watchmen, I'm with you guys on that.


Yeah, that's one of the reasons I'm afraid.
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Postby william » Tue Aug 14, 2007 3:14 pm UTC

cephalopod9 wrote:On the downside, Hollywood does tend to have a need to polarize and moral things. 300 was worse than terrible about that. Was that a feature of the comic book? A hero-villian setup and moral ending would ruin Watchmen, I'm with you guys on that.

For 300, that was a feature of not only the comic book but the original historical story from Herodotus.
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Postby cephalopod9 » Wed Aug 15, 2007 12:50 am UTC

Thinking it over, the good guys end up dead in 300. So I guess it's not entirely "good wins, bad loses".

Here's him talking at comic-con http://www.comics2film.com/index.php?a=story&b=28416. I'm still kind of undecided. It'd be nice to see him out side of... talking to comic book fans.
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Postby Bakemaster » Wed Aug 15, 2007 4:44 am UTC

cephalopod9 wrote:A hero-villian setup and moral ending would ruin Watchmen, I'm with you guys on that.

Well, it didn't *ruin* V for Vendetta, although the movie was definitely the worse for it.
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Postby trefusius » Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:30 pm UTC

Spoilers for Watchmen, The Incredibles and Heroes below

Spoilly McSpoillerson wrote:I think there's a danger that the ending of Watchmen could be seen as rather derivative, though of course it greatly pre-dates either of the things I mentioned. The Incredibles had the bad guy trying to create a massive disaster by sending something that (iirc) would be assumed alien into the middle of a city, so he could save the day. Heroes had Lindeman and co. trying to cure the world by blowing up New York. A lot of people have been inspired by the comic, and there's a danger that the film is one of the less impressive things inspired by it.

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Postby Malice » Fri Aug 17, 2007 2:56 am UTC

Without being all spoily, I think Watchmen's ending is different enough for that to not be a big deal.

Y'know, besides the story, I'm most concerned about how the film will look. Watchmen made a point of looking more like a realistic soap-opera strip instead of the normal superhero comic books--I do hope they keep the look of the film as restrained and down-to-earth.

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Postby cephalopod9 » Mon Aug 20, 2007 10:35 am UTC

It's a story about comic book characters, ergo, I want to see the comic-book-y-goodness in the visuals. Alternatively, in a rigorous, real world setting I worry it would come accross as "fantasy hits reality, hilarity ensues". Moore's writing does a wonderful job of creating it's own universe, and while as I've said, I don't want to see them try and reacreate the comic book verbatum, I don't think it would work well too far removed from what it was written to be. The important thing is that it take itself seriously and is consistent.

I'm much more concerned about content. Starting from the sheer amount, the writing for this movie will be tough.
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Postby cephalopod9 » Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:41 am UTC

Furthermore, the more I read about how Snyder stepped in to keep 'em from making a PG13, updated to current events, inoffensive nightmare, the more I think we should count our blessings.

Dont' get me wrong, it's still on shaky ground. Watchmen is an amazing amazing comic; the panel lay-out, the chapter set up, pacing, coloring schemes, and drawing style are all intensely awesome. Next to none of that can be translated to moving pictures and sound. Movies can do stuff comics can't, tone, speed, and such can only be hinted at. So, all in all, it's a matter of exchanging one type of awesome for another of equal value. A risky awesome transplant, if you will.

If I haven't mentioned it already, I think it's a mistake to write the guy off as an idiot. 300 was an excedingly stupid movie, however, it so fully realized and took advantage of the concept.
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Postby Malice » Sun Aug 26, 2007 8:35 am UTC

cephalopod9 wrote:Dont' get me wrong, it's still on shaky ground. Watchmen is an amazing amazing comic; the panel lay-out, the chapter set up, pacing, coloring schemes, and drawing style are all intensely awesome. Next to none of that can be translated to moving pictures and sound. Movies can do stuff comics can't, tone, speed, and such can only be hinted at. So, all in all, it's a matter of exchanging one type of awesome for another of equal value. A risky awesome transplant, if you will.


Lies! Movies can do just about anything comics can, although some things which achieve the same ends will work better in different ways.

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Postby dansez dansez dansez » Sun Aug 26, 2007 8:37 am UTC

Alan Moore will hate it. Without a doubt.

I expect I'm in a minority, but I actually don't like any Alan Moore I read. V for Vendetta was okay, but not worth finishing. Watchmen I never gave a fair shot, I was reading on the computer and thats a pain with how much text it had. Promethea hugely sucked. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was an awesome idea, but he made a really bad choice with the War of the Worlds plot. I spent the whole second volume waiting for them to get to the real conflict because I "knew" that the aliens would all die of the cold anyway.

Grant Morrison on the other hand...
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Postby cephalopod9 » Sun Aug 26, 2007 8:57 pm UTC

Malice wrote:
Lies! Movies can do just about anything comics can, although some things which achieve the same ends will work better in different ways.


So you're saying xkcd could go straight to film?
"just about" leaves out a lot of things that make Watchmen really awesome. The essays at the beginings of the chapters, the warm-cold-warm-cold color patterns on some pages, the dialogue overlap between the main story and The Dark Freiter with the speech bubbles crossing panels, and all, I suppose you could try and force that into a movie, but the effect would be mangled beyond all recognition.

I doubt Moore would say he liked it, if only because it would encourage people to try and make more movies of his stuff.

And dude, the comic should be read in book form.
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Postby Jesse » Sun Aug 26, 2007 8:59 pm UTC

So don't try and 'recreate' Watchmen the comic. Take the message from it and put it in a different format. Get the same point across within the film conventions, rather than attempting to put comic conventions into a film.

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Postby scrt_rbt_agnt » Sun Aug 26, 2007 9:11 pm UTC

the best person to do the watchmen would be jj abrams (creator of lost), and it would be best done in a miniseries form instead of a movie form.
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Postby cephalopod9 » Tue Aug 28, 2007 12:28 am UTC

No.

Also,

Jesster should have wrote:I agree with what cephalopod9 has been saying all throughout this entire conversation, because my scroll bar works, and I know how to use it wiht my attention span that lasts more than 3 seconds.

They Should NOT try to turn the comic book into a movie. However, I think the book tells a story that could be adapted to film. With that understood, I think we could get a good movie.

while as I've said, I don't want to see them try and reacreate the comic book verbatum, I don't think it would work well too far removed from what it was written to be.

So, all in all, it's a matter of exchanging one type of awesome for another of equal value. A risky awesome transplant, if you will.



Sorry, that was harsher than need be, but of things that get me angry, feelin' like people are ignoring me is really high on the list.
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Malice
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Postby Malice » Wed Aug 29, 2007 1:01 am UTC

cephalopod9 wrote:
Malice wrote:
Lies! Movies can do just about anything comics can, although some things which achieve the same ends will work better in different ways.


So you're saying xkcd could go straight to film?
"just about" leaves out a lot of things that make Watchmen really awesome. The essays at the beginings of the chapters, the warm-cold-warm-cold color patterns on some pages, the dialogue overlap between the main story and The Dark Freiter with the speech bubbles crossing panels, and all, I suppose you could try and force that into a movie, but the effect would be mangled beyond all recognition.

I doubt Moore would say he liked it, if only because it would encourage people to try and make more movies of his stuff.

And dude, the comic should be read in book form.


No, XKCD could not go straight to film. XKCD has no narrative and is little more than a blog-comic with a theme (illustrated quite nicely by today's "may you have an interesting life" strip). Could you make a movie out of it? Certainly. There's a theme, there's an art style; it would be possible to invent a story to go with it, one in keeping with the spirit of the strip.

Although some people wouldn't call XKCD a comic at all, since it's a one-panel deal. But that's besides the point.

Note that the opening essays were extra material added for the book, not present in the original comics. But they're still very, very easy to include in the movie--you've just gone from adapting a comic to adapting a novel, and that's easy.

Warm/cold color patterns happen in films, too; it's a cinematographical effect, creating a sense of atmosphere or tone by changing the color or quality of the light (or the set design). See "The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover", or even "The Matrix" (which colors most of its in-Matrix scenes a subtle green to connote the idea of being inside a computer system).
Having them side by side requires split-screen, which any super-faithful adaptation of Watchmen is going to need, anyways. So no problems there.

The overlapping dialogue in a Watchmen adaptation would be tricky, but possible. It's easy to do--films can mix sound much more precisely than comics can suggest it, and films can do true overlapping speech--the tricky part is making sure the audience can understand what it needs to understand without the freedom of slowing down to read panels several times. But it can be done.

Anything else?


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