Zack Snyder Talks WATCHMEN + Newly Revealed Dave Gibbons Poster
by Alex Billington
July 28, 2007
One of the biggest films that has news hitting from Comic-Con is (of course) Watchmen, the holy grail of comic books. We brought you the official cast list earlier in the week, which you can see in its entirety in this article, but as of yesterday, director Zack Snyder brought some news and updates on the film, including a new poster and a release date of March 6th, 2009.
First up, Warner Brothers has launched a new website for the film, www.watchmenmovie.com, one of the very best film websites I have ever seen. And as confirmed, the release date has been set officially for 03-06-09, as in March 6th in 2009. Quite a while to wait, but if it's going to be anything like 300, that's certainly worth the wait.
During the Warner Brothers panel yesterday, Zack Snyder also revealed a special poster that illustrator Dave Gibbons put together specifically for him for Comic-Con, which you can see to the right. In addition to the poster, Snyder spoke quite a bit about the film (which you can read all of in the live panel blog), with the most important details below.
Zack started off by saying that everyone has a different experience when they first read Watchmen, and said that "it combines all the things that comic books can be, as far as being intellectual, being action, representing something bigger than what's just on the page… not just only being about the drawings but being about ideas as well." And as for the film, Zack thinks "that's a super, huge, cool concept that needs to be nurtured."
Zack continued to discuss the current process of pre-production, including when to set the film and the basic concept. "I don't know if Watchmen should come to the people, or if the people should come to it. So that started us into, ok, it's 1985."
Snyder then moved on to the rating of the film, considering what would be the right feeling, saying that "this doesn't feel like it's PG-13". In turn, Snyder says that "it's an R-rated superhero movie" confirming that the studio and Snyder are going to be making an adult, R-rated superhero movie and taking a gamble yet again, just like 300. And in one of the best statements you'll ever hear from a filmmaker which ensures endless confidence in Snyder's ability: "we're not going to make it accessible to you teeny boppers [just] because it 'needs to be.'"
On discussing the characters from the film and the casting choices, Snyder did confirm that Dr. Manhattan, played by Billy Crudup, will be just himself when the character is young, but when he is older and actually Dr. Manhattan, he will be fully computer generated / 3D with his face and his performance scanned, not using make-up. For all of the casting choices, Snyder said that he's choosing younger actors because there are a lot of flashbacks in the graphic novel and that he didn't want to hire multiple actors for the same character, and instead will use make-up and effects to make the same actor look older and younger.
In terms of the style and whether it will look and feel like 300, Snyder said that it wouldn't and instead "it's not Sin City, it's more like Se7en." Although Zack is following the same process of developing it from the original comic book frames, the style won't be the same as 300 - all for the better.
The film has another 20 months until it hits theaters and of course we'll be covering this in-depth as it moves from pre-production to actually shooting to post-production. It won't be the biggest films of 2008, but it most certainly will be one of the very biggest films of the decade when it hits in early 2009. Stay tuned and keep watch!