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Interview with Watchmen Director Zack Snyder

Director Zack Snyder Talks About Watchmen at the 2007 San Diego Comic Con

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Interview with Watchmen Director Zack Snyder

Teaser poster for Watchmen.

© Warner Bros Pictures

Warner Bros Pictures' 300 turned into one of the most anticipated films of 2007 after taking the 2006 San Diego Comic Con by storm, effectively setting a hype machine in motion that catapulted the R-rated action thriller into a huge box office success. And in the midst of 30 Days of Night, The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man, the release of 300 on DVD was generating a lot of buzz at the 2007 event.

Writer/director Zack Snyder was on hand at the largest comic book convention in North America to promote the 300 DVD, but more importantly, Snyder was present to announce the cast of his next movie - Watchmen. Inspired by what's referred to as the greatest graphic novel of all time, Alan Moore's work is going to transition to the big screen in Snyder's capable hands and will hit theaters on March 6th, 2009.

Following his Q&A with 6,500 fans, Snyder subjected himself to more Watchmen questions from a much smaller group of journalists.

People have labeled Watchmen as unfilmable. How hard is it to make Alan Moore's story into a feature film?
“The truth is the graphic novel as a verbatim shot-for-shot version, is that filmable? Of course it’s filmable. It’s a six and a half hour movie. You can do that. Is there anyone who will pay the $200,000,000 to do that? Probably not. My job is to try and distill the movie down. Like I say, we’re not inventing anything. We’re just trying to get the movie [to a decent length]. The script’s still 140 pages long. It’s not like a flimsy little document. It’s not a brochure - it’s fricking phonebook.”

Transformers was 2 ½ hours long and people still enjoyed it.
“Absolutely and that’s my argument. I feel like, and it’s an adult movie, and adults tend to not want to be out of the movie in two hours.”

How far are you in the process?
“Right now we have some sets built, and so that’s awesome. We have Blake’s apartment built, Moloch’s - his apartment where Rorschach [climbs up the stairs], that’s all built and also the staircase where he burns the SWAT cops and then jumps out the window. That’s all built. And then also we’re starting to break ground on Adrian’s office and also on the backlot, the New York City backlot that we’re building.”

And the casting is complete?
“Casting is pretty much done. The main cast is pretty much done except for Sally. And pretty much all the rumors are true. Let’s see, it’s Jackie Earle Haley for Rorschach. The Comedian is Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Ozymandias is Matthew Goode. Silk Spectre is two people – Malin Akerman… That’s the person we don’t have, is the original Silk Spectre. Patrick Wilson is Nite Owl.”

Was it hard to get this cast together? People were picturing some big stars in some of the roles.
“I tend to say… Like, every person I brought to the studio, they were like, ‘Who the f**k is this?’”

Rumors of the cast and who fans want in each of the roles has been all over the Internet for months.
“By the way, I’ve looked at all that. Just in case they’re wondering, I looked at that.”

How much do you follow what’s being written about Watchmen on the Internet?
“I follow a fair amount. You’d be surprised. I do look.”

Is there anything from Alan Moore’s story you’ve had to cut out?
“Not yet. The script is still getting a little tweaks. It becomes this liquid thing once I start drawing it. It all gets all crazy because I change it when I draw it, so no one knows what the hell’s happening!”

What do you think about TV shows and other movies that have pretty much ripped off scenes and storylines from Watchmen?
“You know, for me it’s like I believe Watchmen is the real deal and so in that way I just think when you give them the frickin’ hard cold real f**king stuff that everything else is going to be like, ‘Okay, that was bulls**t. I see the real thing.’ There was a version of it also where when those guys were saying, ‘Oh, we should update Watchmen and put it in the modern times, I go, ‘Well then we should have a scene where Hollis is suing Pixar because they ripped it off.”

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