EDITORIALS

Early Reaction: More Watchmen Footage Revealed and Updates!

by
October 1, 2008

Watchmen

Warner Brothers just finished a special presentation for Watchmen today on the lot in Hollywood and showed roughly 26 minutes of footage to members of the press. Additionally, Zack Snyder was in attendance to introduce the footage and follow-up with a brief Q&A. My initial reaction to what we were shown was that of utter amazement - this looked absolutely phenomenal. I've been very excited for this, but this surpassed even my expectations. We were shown the opening scene and opening credits, a montage sequence of Dr. Manhattan's origin, and a fight scene in jail. I got constant chills watching every last scene and sat in awe throughout the entire presentation. Watchmen looks like it's going to be The Matrix all over again. This movie is going to take us on one hell of an incredible ride next March.

The highlights from the presentation in regards to tidbits of news include that the current running time is 2 hours and 43 minutes. I spoke to Zack afterwards about the length and he seemed rather confident that that was how long it needed to be to tell the story on top of featuring a few (obviously badass) action sequences. Snyder also mentioned that there won't be a sequel and there won't be a prequel - at least if he's involved. He just laughed and said it definitely won't happen, which debunks any rumors about a sequel being put together. As for when we might see another trailer? Zack said it should be attached to Quantum of Solace and it's pretty badass, or so he said (I haven't seen it). Either way, it's only another month to wait.

Lastly, Zack mentioned that they're working on a version of the film that implements the "Tales of the Black Freighter" story from the comic into the actual movie. He said they shot actual intro and outro scenes from Watchmen. For those unfamiliar with the "Black Freighter" story, within the Watchmen universe, there are actual comics (a universe within a universe) that feature stories about pirates. This has been announced before, but the actual "Tales of the Black Freighter" film will be animated. There are transitions that were shot and will be implemented on DVD versions of Watchmen. So you'll be able to watch a complete movie that includes all of those stories, just like reading the graphic novel in its unabridged format.

I compare Watchmen to The Matrix because I really believe it's going to be one of the few films in this century that truly pushes the boundaries of cinematic storytelling. I said that The Dark Knight would revolutionize Hollywood and it's already starting to do so. When I say that Watchmen will change our lives, I really mean it. It doesn't have any technological revolutions, per se, but I truly believe it's going to be one of the best comic book movies of our generation. It's definitely going to give The Dark Knight a run for its money (only in the sense of being one of the best movies of all-time). And I say this entirely off of watching 26 minutes of footage. That's because I could truly sense how extraordinary this movie was in the opening credit sequence alone (that featured Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'" throughout it).

This isn't the typical superhero movie where a group of guys go around and kick ass - this is so much more. Those familiar with the story know that it's much more about the characters and a world where superheroes truly exist. When this movie first was announced, one of the biggest concerns from fans was that it wouldn't be able to encompass all of the very extensive and complex elements of the story found within the pages of the graphic novel. However, the sequence we were shown where Jon Osterman is disintegrated and reformed as Dr. Manhattan encompassed multiple time periods and told an extensive story within a few minutes. Obviously Zack Snyder has found a way to show this and still have it feel smooth and complete. Even I was truly impressed. And this was all just a small taste of things to come.

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  • Squiggly
    I'm so excited for this movie. I haven't heard anything lately about the business with FOX. Is that still an issue with the future of the film, or is that being resolved behind the scenes?
  • Foshi
    Man, I cannot wait. I love the book so much that I've dreamt about a movie and judging from the first trailer this is looking stunning.
  • CSpuppydog
    OMG Alex I am so jealous! I cannot wait for this movie! *Giggles like a little school girl*
  • For some quick clarification before it's otherwise addressed... It was within about 5 minutes that I got the feeling that this could be the next Matrix. What I mean by that is that I think Watchmen is one of the only films in the last few years that has the *potential* to become the "next" Matrix. As in, it's one of those movies that I think will end up being talked about for years and years to come. It looks that amazing and I think it will be and it's one of the only movies in the recent few years that I've felt that way about.
  • Matthew
    Anyone have a link to some good Watchmen info for a newbie? I'm intrigued by everyone's hype and from what I've seen it's a movie no doubt I'll go see. However I'm just not sure what is so amazing about the world so I'd like to catch up, anyone help would be appreciated (p.s i'd like to avoid the inevitable "buy the comic" route)
  • Janny
    wow... if only somehow one could bend space time to see this movie or perhaps get the DVD its nice to hear that the DVD will contain the black freighter story, i guess some people would not understand it if it was in the movie watchmen is a very impressive and complex comic book... the first trailer sold me on the movie and I can't wait for a second trailer to further the already agonizing wait to see this movie my only small, insignificant nag is that in the first trailer rorschach said "the world will look up and shout save us... and i'll whisper 'no" I really hope thats cut up and they will use the actuall lines from the opening of the comic which set the tone and feel of the whole thing: "The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over all the vermin will drown. The accumilated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politians will look up and shout 'save us!'... and I'll look down and whisper 'no.'" (thats not the opening there was a few lines before, its just the relevant part to looking up an shouting)
  • You lucky bastard Alex. I've got to move to LA. Glad to hear that Watchmen is living up to everyone's expectations.
  • Mani
    to *5 I'm from Argentina, and I couldn/t get the comics or graphic novel anywhere... download it... you will be amazed
  • m4st4
    Men...I'm so excited about this movie, 'Watchmen' is my personal TOP 3 graphic novel of all time (others are: 'TDK Returns' and 'Sandman') and I've red it a couple of times (and will continue to do so) XD Finally, some words about the second trailer (Thnx Alex!!!), BUT, am I the only one starting to get scared every time I think about that Fox lawsuit? I mean, WE REALLY NEED TO SEE THIS IN MARCH!!!
  • Jaf
    I just hope Snyder tones it down with the slo-mo Overhype-machine please fail me now
  • Keith
    Watchmen, FUCK YEAH!
  • Rich
    @5 - Matthew In every sense, you are really missing something if you don't buy and read the comic. Seriously, it's a comic. It's not a difficult read. In fact, it is an entirely pleasurable read. If you don't mind spoilers, the Wikipedia entry on Watchmen is top-notch. There are also extracts from Alan Moore's Annotated Watchmen guide easily Google-able. But read the damn comic! Given that Alan Moore has commented specifically on the intention to tell the story as a graphic novel (not a film, a prose novel, in song or vaudeville theatre) it really should be appreciated as such. (Unlike, say, the Nolan Batman films which don't necessitate reading BatmanYO, DKR, and The Killing Joke.) This story was developed for a specific medium, and is a story that contains themes and tropes based on that medium itself. It's called Formalism. There's a reason that as good as the BBC production and Eurythmics-themed film versions of '1984' are, they don't quite have the same impact as the novel. And the novelisation of 'Ghostbusters' doesn't work. But please read Watchmen! Everyone! Now! You'll like it. Really. Do it now. With your eyes and stuff. Why aren't you reading Watchmen yet?
  • I read Watchmen probably once every year. I always find something new in it, each time. It surpasses the comics storytelling medium. It's an actual masterpiece, and I hope this film opens people's eyes to what is possible not only in movie-making, but especially in comics.
  • It'll be interesting to see how subtle Snyder is in presenting the Easter Eggs that are packed into the narrative. I'm watching the new Indiana Jones film and I'm nearly choking on them. Very heavily-handed. 😮 (Spielberg, you muppet). Roll on March, may those "ides" be good ones!
  • K
    NICE! This is my most anticipated movie ever! After reading the graphic novel a couple years ago I was blown away. Never seen or read anything like it. This "could be" one of the greatest movies ever. Until some other genious comes along and creates something we never thought possible. I LOVE MOVIES!!!
  • Luis M
    Will any of the scenes in Watchmen be symmetrical, as one of the chapters in the comic was? Have to keep an eye out for that, when the movie comes out.
  • Darrin
    this is getting an IMAX treatment right?
  • vegeta
    Zack Snyder was the perfect choice after all. Looking forward to this.
  • Cody
    I am really starting to get the notion that for the next decade anything with Snyders name on it is going to be the best movies ever.
  • Florian
    Can't wait for this movie! New trailer :-)... to being more and more "émerveillé" !
  • Wicked. I actually just finished Watchmen again last night. Constantly wondering how they were going to do this, would that feature etc ... yes, school girl giggles and yes excited. However..... The running time will have an impact on its commercial success. I don't think its too long. I have the attention span and I know most of you do too. The fan boys definitely do, but the layman .... many will be put off by that. And before you go shouting "but the LOTR did it" etc... yes, but the LOTR has 50 years to build up a fanbase who would be prepared to sit through it. Now, is this a bad thing ? no. Not at all. Do I care whether its a commercial success ? No, not really. I want it to be an awesome movie and I want to enjoy it, all 163 minutes of it... and I want to watch it in a relatively quiet cinema wher I don't have to put up with impatient little sheeits fidgeting and kicking the back of my chair.... so all good really :o) #5 Mathew, buy the book you heathen. No seriously, do. Its all the way up there. All the way.
  • Peloquin
    "The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over all the vermin will drown. The accumilated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politians will look up and shout 'save us!'… and I'll look down and whisper 'no.'" I get goosebumps when I read that and I know nothing about the character...it's so poetic for a comic and I simply love it... I'm debating if I should engulf myself in the graphic novel or just wait for the film and be completely blown away...
  • JL
    @#22 Peloquin, If you wait to see the movie, you won't read the graphic novel. You'll say you will, but you won't. And then you'll be missing out on something. Trust me. Go get it and read it right fucking now. I implore you.
  • Peloquin
    Thanks for the advice JL...I just picked up the hardcover on Amazon...I didn't realize that Alan Moore wrote this initially! I friggan love V for Vendetta which is another he's created.
  • Shanice
    GAH this news makes me even more excited!
  • Red Buttons
    Yes. Peloquin. This is an amazing story/universe.
  • Will S. (Co Springs)
    Very, very excited. I'm just starting to read Watchmen again. I'm very excited for the DVD release though, as that portion is vital to the story in my opinion.
  • Kail
    Movie :]
  • Andrew
    I can't stand waiting for this, it's too much! 163 minutes sounds long enough to get all of the story in there, and if not then there's always the extended version on DVD. I've watched the first trailer so many times that it's permanently ingrained into my consciousness. And to think the second trailer's in front of Quantum of Solace, which looks so damn awesome!
  • Squiggly
    Actually, #10 makes a good point... Alex, was there a lot of Slow-motion in the clips that you saw, or was it less of an issue that it was in the trailer. When i watched the trailer originally I got a feeling that they were slowing the footage so they could get away with cutting it to the music without giving away a lot of the shots. Some people had reservations, so it would be nice to know for sure if it's in the movie that way.
  • LeeMan
    i read on this site somewhere that they have changed a couple of scenes including the ending. i really hope they do, cuz w/o giving away 2 much, i really think that the ppl who go see the movie w/o reading the novel first will really dislike the ending. it seemed to be very anti-climactic compared to the rest of the extremely awesome book. i wonder if they'll keep the monster exploding part...
  • Itri
    Now the wait to March has become unbearable once again...
  • safichan
    i have to agree at one point and disagree at another point... first..i do agree watchmen is going to be HUGE when it will be release at some point in next year... but both TDK and watchmen are totally different...TDK's story is much on realism, while watchmen storytelling is much focusing on mutants...which is a too fiction... second...i disagree watchmen can overtake TDK on financial success...why??? bcoz batman has a huge fan base worldwide rather than watchmen, considering it has been created since late 1930's... watchmen only being much known in the States...not enough to push TDK to the bottom of its feet... whatever it is TDK and watchmen are masterpiece at their very own class...you cant compare both of it...its not fair...its too different...both of the movies are hard act to beat... anyway...All Hail WB for keep producing great movies!!! keep it up WB!!!
  • kitsune
    Erm... you clearly haven't read Watchmen safichan. It has nothing to do with "mutants". In fact, there are no mutants in Watchmen. O_o I think Watchmen is actually a much more realistic story, emotion wise. These are really just a bunch of people with different levels of love, emotion and sanity that just happen to also be super heroes. But anyway, Watchmen is going to be amazing. I just know it and have complete faith in Snyder.
  • safichan
    kitsune... of course watchmen has to do something with mutant...some of the characters in the book has a superpower and abilities beyond normal human being...but the story itself does not dig into superhuman matter (such x-men) but more on politic and moral issues...i already know that... thats why i had to stress this thing up....its totally different from TDK...TDK is a story about normal human being + doing some superhero act...just like iron man...not more that that... but i do agree with u...watchmen gonna be HUGE...but in its own class... its has nothing to compare with TDK...bcoz both of it are from different act... respect both film for its achievement and superiority... batman never going to be watchmen...and vise versa...
  • Andrea
    safichan... None of the costumed heroes have ANY superpowers. They are all just regular joes who put on costumes to fight crime, just like Batman and Iron Man. There is ONE super-powered being in the whole story of Watchmen, the big blue guy. And he's not much of a costumed crime fighter. But I do agree with you that Watchmen and TDK are too different to be compared. But they are similar in one very important way: they are adult, mature takes on the "comic book movie" genre. This movie had BETTER be a masterpiece. The graphic novel deserves nothing less.
  • This movie is going to be so fucking awesome. Ama shit myself when I see that trailer, Alex you lucky son of a bitch. I love you Alex. lol
  • Tony
    Great post as usual,Alex! The Watchmen is NBC's Heroes on steroids! LOL! For that matter,Heroes is a shameless ripoff of the classic Marvels! Heroes,like Smallville,bites the big one by the way! LOL! To Matthew,cough up the 25 bucks you cheap bastard and buy the godamn book already! One cannot fully appreciate a movie like Watchmen without having read the classic book! As for all you idiots complaining about the running time,I guess a movie that exceeds two hours is too much for your puny brains to handle! LOL! I tip my hat to Zack Snyder for having the balls to make a nearly three hour movie about a bunch of washed up costimed heroes coming out of retirement during The Reagan Era. I don't know about you naysaying clowns out there but I smell an epic in the making!
  • cheater
    any idea of the rating yet
  • moviekid10
    I am so jealous of you now! Watchmen is the best graphic novel on the planet! It looks like it is going to be up there with The Dark Knight!
  • Tony
    It will have to be PG-13 to grab a wider audience even though the book itself pushed Rated X! It won't make as much as Dark Knight did but it will still clean up at the box office next spring. Just wait till The Dark Knight Returns hits theatres! Snyder wants to adapt Miller's Batman Bible too!
  • nmaudlin
    It WILL NOT be PG-13. Other reviews of this showing said Zach Snyder definately mentioned that the rating is R and will not change.
  • tzarinna
    When I finished the GN I had so many questions and it just leaves you wanting more, hopefully this movie will captivate the audience the way the GN does. March '09 seems so far away.
  • Tony
    Do you guys have any idea how hard it is for a Rated R movie to break the bank??? Granted,there have been some Rated R hits like Godfather and Exorcist but a top grossing Rated R feature is very rare indeed so don't look for a Rated R WATCHMEN to go breaking box office records such as it is!!
  • Mike
    I might actually shit myself...yep. There it is.
  • Tony
    I loved the book. If you guys haven't read it yet,you should! And the trailer was impressive! So I'm looking forward to this one. I just hope Snyder and company can pull it off! Others have tried so...
  • Tony
    Rorschach is my favorite character. The Comedian was amusing. It's funny,when I read the book I always envisioned a Rated X movie because of all the violence and sex! Now, it's coming to the Big Screen. Will be interesting to see how this one plays out. Will Snyder have to water it down a bit?

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