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‘Watchmen’ winds up in turnaround

Par's comic adaptation stalls out after Grey appointment

Paramount has stopped watching over “The Watchmen.”

After two months of speculation, the studio pulled the plug on the action-adventure and put it into turnaround over the weekend. Producers Larry Gordon and Lloyd Levin were taking the project, with British director Paul Greengrass (“The Bourne Supremacy”) attached, out to other studios.

“The Watchmen,” based on the DC Comics series of the same name, came under heavy scrutiny even before Par chief Brad Grey’s surprise move to replace Donald De Line with Gail Berman as studio president in late March. De Line found out about the change while in London meeting with Greengrass about “The Watchmen” and the need to cut its budget, rumored to be $100 million.

Par had been aiming for a summer start but began releasing crews working on pre-production at that point.

“The Watchmen” was previously set up at Universal, where David Hayter signed a seven-figure deal in 2001 to adapt with an eye toward directing. Story, set in the 1950s, centers on an ordinary man donning superhero garb to track down criminals and being joined by other vigilantes.

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