Watchmen's Running Time Gets Shorter, But Does That Matter?
by Alex Billington
December 3, 2008
The last time we talked with Zack Snyder, he mentioned that the running time of Watchmen was expected to be around 2 hours and 43 minutes. The Dark Knight, in comparison, ran 2 hours and 32 minutes, slightly shorter. While referencing running times to judge how good or bad a movie might be is foolish, we thought it'd worth mentioning that the movie has been getting shorter, only for the sake of talking further about the Watchmen universe. In an interview with SciFi recently, Zack and his wife / producing partner Deborah Snyder revealed that the running time is now closer to 2 hours and 35 minutes.
So why does this really matter? Well, fans have been impressed by the trailers so far, so the only thing they're still hesitant about is whether the story lives up to the very extensive one found in the graphic novel. To most, that story is part of what makes it such an incredible book. Obviously to tell that complete story in the movie, it will have to be quite long, which is why a running time that long actually makes sense. But Snyder says there is more. "The director's cut [of Watchmen] is about 3 hours and 10 minutes long. It has even more than the theatrical version, as far as the detail that gets even closer to the graphic novel."
So what else is Snyder planning to fit into Watchmen? We previously explained that Snyder is planning to implement the "Tales of the Black Freighter" comic-within-a-comic story into a complete version of the movie. "The Black Freighter version of the movie that we're working on--which has the ins and outs of the Black Freighter comic book woven through it, with an animated version of the Black Freighter--will be about 3 hours and 40 minutes," Zack told SciFi. "So there's a huge epic version of Watchmen, which will probably come out after the movie's theatrical release, for hardcore [fans]." Which I'm sure there are plenty!
For me personally, I think it would be a dream come true to see this "epic version" released in theaters. That will depend entirely on the success of the regular Watchmen version - if it makes as much or more than 300, I'm sure Warner Brothers might consider re-releasing the epic version in theaters later on. "As you watch it, you can have this experience where it's like the graphic novel," Snyder said. "I haven't shied away from trying to enjoy the artwork. It's been fun to make some of those pictures real."