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Exclusive: Zack Snyder talks Watchmen
The film adaptation is ready to go

05 October 2006  |  Written by   

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A few days ago Empire sat down with director Zack Snyder who, despite exhaustion from putting the final touches on Spartan epic 300 (watch the trailer for that here), found just enough energy to fill us in on the latest goings on with Watchmen. An adaptation has been long in the works for the Alan Moore comic book set in the mid-80s when superheroes are outlawed and now, at last, it seems things are progressing well.

“We’re getting ready to turn a script that we like into this studio,” says Snyder. “They’re pretty excited about it…I think the script that Alex (Tse) has done for us is the closest to the graphic novel it’s been [since development started], for better or for worse. I feel like Alex has done an awesome job. It’s keeping all the things that are cool about the comic”. And despite widespread assumptions, Snyder isn’t planning to update it from its Cold War setting to the present day, despite both eras sharing a political unrest.

“1985’s a problem for people,” he continues. “The Cold War’s a problem for people. But these are things I’ve been trying to [tell people] would be cool. I like that Richard Nixon is the president in it. I think that’s important. Those kinds of things tell you exactly what kind of movie this is – it’s not Fantastic Four, you know”.

Though Snyder’s adopted a heavily stylised, uber-true to the comic look for 300, he doesn’t plan to use any kind of similar blue screen technique for Watchmen. “There are places like Mars and Antarctica [which will need to be blue screen] and then there are certain places where you need to feel the reality…If you look at Sin City, a blue screen city, that’s kind of wrong for Watchmen…There are so many easter eggs in the frames (of the comic) so you want that level of detail in the movie itself. Even though it’s going to be harder to do…I did Dawn of the Dead and now I’ve done 300 and I feel like it’s a combination of the two. I feel like I know how to do it”.

Finally, though the script is almost ready, Snyder insists it’s too early for casting, despite numerous internet speculation (Paddy Considine for Rorschach! – sorry, it’s a habit). “I honestly don’t have anyone at all yet. But there are a lot of people interested. No-one’s seen the script, although I know there are people I could sign up without one”. Adds his producer, and wife, Deborah Snyder: “We’ve been getting a lot of calls since Comic Con…all the people who have clients who are fans of the Watchmen are like ‘Hey, just remember we’re here’".


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Your Comments

RE: WooH!
L: FoxDhoj I hope it won't be like the tacky Marvel films. I hope at least it will be done as tastefully-dark-yet-still-fairly-family-friendly as maybe X-Men 2 or Batman Begins, but I think a grittier, V For Vendetta or even Sin City style would work better for Watchmen. If this becomes anything like the League Of Gentlemen, I'll kill myself. sp; I agree. Watchmen is a classic graphic novel. The art work, the language and the story are just beautiful. Please, please please do not f**k More

Posted by unhingedmoviepigeon at 14:54 on 16 October 2006 | Report This Post

RE: dumbest adaptation idea
Ive got doubts. I would dearly love to see Watchmen as a movie but I think that the only way to do it justice would be to make at least two movies from the book. That would ruin the overall effect. The biggest problem is that audiences today need everything explained to them in detail. A superhero must have his origin explained etc. and to do a "scene setter" first movie would damage the flow of the book immensely. For once the characterisation isnt the main thing in the film / book. Its all ab More

Posted by Gothzilla at 18:01 on 09 October 2006 | Report This Post

dumbest adaptation idea
this is one of the dumbest adaptations you could think to try and make. Just as 'everything is illuminated' didn't ever manage to indugle half as much as the book did, i feel the same thing about Watchmen. The book is far too vast and the heavy amount of special effects/CGI is just going to ruin it. V for Vendetta was fine, From Hell was also fine, but i can't see this one working. Bring on a Swamp Thing movie instead. More

Posted by Chinolike at 18:25 on 08 October 2006 | Report This Post

AT ODDS...
ctfully beg to differ...   www.empireonline.com/forum/tm.asp?m=792876p;   More

Posted by Concrete Block 15 at 23:18 on 06 October 2006 | Report This Post

ODD CHOICE
LEE EVANS IS THE PERFECT RORCHACH. More

Posted by Doktoranimal at 22:57 on 06 October 2006 | Report This Post

Moore or Less
even the writer of watchmen doesn't want it made into a film, and who can blame him after what happened to some of his other work (notably the League of Extaordinary Gentlemen and V for Vendetta)?" rial]sp; ore's major beef with Hollywood arise from the question of the faithfulness or quality of the cinematic abortions that have been made of his work to date.t=arial] ng the release of ],terprising soul tried to sue Fox Pictures for plagiarism, claiming that Moore only wrote the comic vers More

Posted by Concrete Block 15 at 22:24 on 06 October 2006 | Report This Post

This is going to be interesting. Still, I'm a little worried - it's been in development longer than the Bible. Can it work out alright? Let's hope so. More

Posted by Anthropos at 20:45 on 06 October 2006 | Report This Post

casting
Mark Hamill would be perfect as Rorschack. Dr Manhattan will be a hard role to fill but I think it might fit Keanu Reeves More

Posted by Fergie Boy at 20:30 on 06 October 2006 | Report This Post

Very eager!!!
I'm really excited about this. Read the novel again earlier this year, and had forgotten what an awesome story it is, hell I'd even forgotten the end. I'm with Twig, Buscemi would be perfect for Rorschach, and evey movie he's in is better for it. Can't wait!!! More

Posted by Ste M H at 20:05 on 06 October 2006 | Report This Post

Zack Snyder Is Good
Now, I love my Romero Dawn Of The Dead, almost religiously, but as its own thing, I think Zack Snyder's sequel showed us all what a talented director he is. The Dawn remake was a ride and a half; especially, the first 20 minutes, which excelled in creating frenetic suspense.  I have 100% faith that he will make a fab Watchmen. More

Posted by El-Branden Brazil at 18:49 on 06 October 2006 | Report This Post

V for Vendetta was excellent (Portman's accent apart) but yes, League of extrao.... was about as true to the spirit of the novel as Bill Clinton is to Hilary . The thing with hollywood films, or even films in genreal sourced from comics, is that they get the spirit of the thing right. V did, Spiderman does, even FF did, FF for me was the most childlike comic and is reflected, I feel, adequetly by the film (my kids at school loved it, i thought it was childish) but titles like V and Watchmen sh More

Posted by LegendaryManimal at 18:09 on 06 October 2006 | Report This Post

why?
just leave it alone. why when someone comes up with a good story do people feel compelled to make a movie about it. yes some of the recent comic book adaptations have been pretty good, but only because the original creators have had a big hand in their production. even the writer of watchmen doesn't want it made into a film, and who can blame him after what happened to some of his other work (notably the League of Extaordinary Gentlemen and V for Vendetta)? oh, but i forgot, hollywood i More

Posted by elphantasmo at 17:16 on 06 October 2006 | Report This Post

I think they may have missed a beat by not updating the novel. But nonetheless, should be as great as V for Vendetta. More

Posted by doctorolorinbats1975 at 16:04 on 06 October 2006 | Report This Post

Steve Buschemi(sp?) is perfect for Rorshach, and if not him, then Alan Cumming is a very close second. More

Posted by Twig The Wonder Kid at 15:04 on 06 October 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Watch this space...
eallyto 'get it', despite not that much experience, his work clearly shows the structure for a decent Watchmen film.t="trebuchet ms"] feel will be a very special film. More

Posted by JIm R at 15:00 on 06 October 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Watch this space...
Couldn't be happier!!! Cracking job with "Dawn" ,what looks like a superb rendition of "300"."Watchmen" is a brilliant graphic novel that really laid the ground work for "Planetary" and "League".I have had sleepless nights wondering how the hell they would ever get this filmed and now I can rest easssssyyyyyy! All hail THE ZACK. More

Posted by Dances with Weasels at 10:06 on 06 October 2006 | Report This Post

Watch this space...
This is exciting. What I remember being shocked by when this came out, is how it looked like any other superhero comic, and then the dark ambiguity of the story and some of the characters gradually becomes clear and is shocking. No dark gritty rain filled streets please - this is a bright 4 colour nightmare - and I don't mean "Batman and Robin"... More

Posted by The Voice of Fate at 06:53 on 06 October 2006 | Report This Post

refreshing
I enjoyed Dawn of the Dead, 300 looks amazing, snyder is saying all the right things, i rekon hes probably going to nail this. Setting it in the 80s is a good call, especially since the Hayter's modern day script just didnt seem right. But weres is this getting shot?? When the Greengrass project fell apart the british film industry missed out on a massive production which would of employed alot of people. More

Posted by weeklyreverse at 20:50 on 05 October 2006 | Report This Post

ZACK YACKS!
g script almost ready... mid Eighties setting... Nixon... not being exclusively shot on bluescreen... This is gnd promising... omising... t=arial]]TCHISON RORSCHACH! ttp://www.empireonline.com/forum/tm.asp?m=792876]http:/ /www.empireonline.com/forum/tm.asp?m=792876nt] More

Posted by Concrete Block 15 at 19:04 on 05 October 2006 | Report This Post

I Hope
This could be a very very good film, hopefully it will be as good as the first 2 X-Men, Sin City and V. More

Posted by matthewforan at 18:31 on 05 October 2006 | Report This Post

WooH!
I hope it won't be like the tacky Marvel films. I hope at least it will be done as tastefully-dark-yet-still-fairly-family-friendly as maybe X-Men 2 or Batman Begins, but I think a grittier, V For Vendetta or even Sin City style would work better for Watchmen. If this becomes anything like the League Of Gentlemen, I'll kill myself. More

Posted by FoxDhoj at 17:51 on 05 October 2006 | Report This Post

cure gastroparesis
now neil gamens- the sandman.......... More

Posted by dan8210 at 17:31 on 05 October 2006 | Report This Post

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