‘Watchmen’ Actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan On Film’s Rape Scene: ‘It’s Rated ‘R’ For A Reason’

When “Watchmen” adapts Alan Moore’s uniquely dark vision of the superhero genre to film this year, audiences would do well to prepare themselves to see some of the ugliest sides of human behavior that come with it. In the “Watchmen” comics, one of the heaviest flinch-inducing moments comes from a flashback scene involving the rape of Minutemen member Silk Spectre by her teammate, The Comedian. The actor portraying The Comedian, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, confirmed to MTV that director Zack Snyder did not overlook the event’s significance.

“It was a three-day process shooting that particular scene, and it was hard,” Morgan told MTV News. “It was three of the hardest days of filming I have ever had to do. It was really very violent.”

Embedded in the colorful pages of the comic, the sequence stands out as a moment when “Watchmen” really broke away from the safety-netted standards of normal monthly comics. As Morgan explained, decisions had to be made as far as how much weight to give the rape in the movie.

“When you’re looking at the comic book you only get a couple panels so there is a lot of stuff there that needs to be filled in,” he said, “so we fill in the blanks there between three and four panels, and it turns out to be one hell of a violent scene. And it’s all intact, [Hooded Justice] comes in and interrupts the attempted rape — it’s all there. We stayed very loyal to it, and I haven’t actually seen the scene yet, but I did see a piece of playback when we were filming it and it’s a lot.”

Asked if he thinks the general public is ready to see a rape scene pulled from the pages of a comic book, Morgan expressed faith in Snyder’s dedication to the material.

“I know certainly the fans of the novel are [ready] and now it’s a matter of reaching an audience that isn’t familiar with the novel,” said Morgan. “I think Zack is the guy who is going to stay true to the novel and be able to reach a main stream audience as well. If they are ready for it? I don’t know, we will see. It’s rated ’R’ for a reason.”

Do you think filmgoers who haven’t read the comics will be ready for the darker scenes in “Watchmen”? Which moments set the book apart as a mature title for you when you first read it? Sound off in the comment section.