Quint and Zack Snyder talk WATCHMEN at WonderCon!
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with my exclusive one on one with Zack Snyder from this year’s WonderCon. I swear, this is the last WATCHMEN story you'll see from me! Taking a look at the front page as I prepared this story I was worried we'd be hitting Watchmen overload at this point. This is, I believe, the fourth time I’ve spoken with Snyder and the third time we’ve talked about Watchmen, the first being at Comic-Con in 2007 (Read that interview here!) and the second being that weird PS3 digital press conference with Snyder and Dave Gibbons two weeks ago. But this is the first time I had a chance to talk with Snyder after having seen the movie. They weren’t doing any one on ones with any of the Watchmen people at WonderCon, but luckily for you guys I have some really solid blackmail material on the Warner Bros press reps and they set me up with Snyder immediately after the panel, while Zack was supposed to be eating… He did grab some bites during the interview, but he didn’t get much eating in, choosing to use his mouth for talking about the flick instead of eating a delicious looking roast beef sandwich. I also learned a lesson during this chat… as excited as you can be at finding a 24 pack of AA batteries for $3 at Big Lots, realize there’s a reason this no-name brand of battery costs $3… they don’t like to… what the word? Work. That’s it. They didn’t hold much of a charge, fresh out of the package, so they ran out half-way through the interview, but I think I was able to swap them out and restart the digital recorder in about 30 seconds, so there shouldn’t be much of an interruption. That said, we do talk about some spoilers and about a lot of details, both from the comic and the adaptation, so you've been warned. Hope you enjoy!
Quint: So are you just going to disappear over the weekend or are you going to be this Box Office Mojo every hour?
Zack Snyder: I don’t know. It’s hard to say, because I kind of hermit down a little bit. Do I get stressed out or think “Is this movie going to make a ton of money?” I really honestly try not to think about it like that. I think that’s a recipe for disaster.
Quint: Yeah, well that’s not your focus. You need to focus on making the movie.
Zack Snyder: And also, my biggest worry with the movie was just whether people would get the jokes and get the sort of irony and get the satirical elements or whether they though it was heart attack serious. I mean, it is heart attack serious on one hand…
Quint: That’s the complexity of the material, which is why everybody thought it was…
Zack Snyder: Unfilmable.
Quint: …unfilmable, exactly.
Zack Snyder: That’s the thing. It’s the same with DAWN OF THE DEAD. When I did Dawn, at the end we were getting ready for the movie to come out and I was like “Fuck, I hope people get this,” because there was a good chance people would think “Oh, this is a B-movie and it sucks… Zombies, how good can that be?” That makes me nervous, so when I hear them laugh at the McLaughlin Group, then I go like “OK they get it.” Do you know what I mean? It’s funny though, because it depends on where you show it, like when I was showing the footage in Europe, they don’t get… the McLaughlin Group… they don’t know who the fuck that it, they just think it’s some crazy cheesy talk show, but then you show it in New York to a bunch of New Yorkers and they think it’s the most hilarious thing.
Quint: And the Pat Buchanan thing got a big response too.
Zack Snyder: Yeah and that’s cool.
Quint: What do you think about that Playstation thing? The e-press conference thing.
Zack Snyder: It was whatever. (laughs) It was cool, I guess.
Quint: It was bizarre.
Zack Snyder: They didn’t let me run around enough, like they hand me my avatar and they are like “Okay, sit down!” I’m like, “Wait, you just handed me a game controller where I can control myself and you just made me sit down…” That is not fair!
Quint: And with that you can choose to dance and things, so before everyone showed up, all of the press guys were doing the mambas with their characters and they were like “We are going to stand up on the table and do that when we ask a question…” They were like “Don’t you dare. You can’t do that.”
Zack Snyder: I wanted to see some of that!
Quint: They were very serious.
Zack Snyder: “We will delete you!”
Quint: “You will be e-banned.”
Zack Snyder: “You will be deleted from the press conference,” which is weird because they would have the control to do that. The future.
Quint: Well I got to see the movie in Austin. They did the Myspace screening.
Zack Snyder: How was the sound there?
Quint: It was amazing. The Alamo’s set-up was perfect. The sound even came through here (in the WonderCon ballroom), which surprised me.
Zack Snyder: It was a little echoey, but not bad.
Quint: The sound design on the movie really is impressive. It really does rattle you.
Zack Snyder: It was cool, because I do like big sound design.
Quint: And there are only a few things that you have the ability to play with when you are adapting the material so closely, so the characters are there. Your job is to make sure that they get to the screen, but it’s within the visuals and the sounds that you actually really get a chance to play.
Zack Snyder: Absolutely. And also, just sort of working on the performances and trying to figure out where people are and what they are thinking and stuff like that.
Quint: I think I had read somewhere where you were talking about your use of slow motion in the movie, being like when you are reading the book and you get to a splash page. That’s the way I read… When I read a comic, I don’t really pay too much attention to the art on the first read through. On the second one, I will take my time, but I will read the story and then I’ll turn the page and there will be a splash then I stop and I will look at it and I read somewhere that visually that was what you were going for.
Zack Snyder: We did that definitely on 300 like crazy and you know, there’s not that much slow motion in WATCHMEN...
Quint: Definitely not, but the way you would pick which scenes, where it’s not always necessarily in support of an action scene, but it was in support of those big moments like when Comedian is going out the window or when Manhattan is in Vietnam.
Zack Snyder: Because you are thinking if you were going to shoot the scenes without the drawings, I don’t know that the big slow motion would be when he breaks through the glass. That seems like a slightly odd spot for it, but it does support… even like Manhattan in Vietnam, there are these moments where I was like “Man.” I really tried to approach it that way in the sense of “What stuck with my from my first read?” As far as when I turned a page and was like “OK, that’s awesome.” Or that moment or that idea…
Quint: The moments that would stop you in your tracks that you would want to let the details sink in.
Zack Snyder: Absolutely. So that was kind of how I was thinking about it.
Quint: When you came on board… This had been a project unlike anything except maybe JOHN CARTER OF MARS, where it’s been tried and has gone into production and then gone out of production, then again. When you came on board, did you take any time to look at what Gilliam or Aranofsky or Greengrass had done or did you just start with the original material?
Zack Snyder: No, I didn’t, because I was afraid that those ideas might just be awesome. I’m sure they were, so I was just trying to… I knew that whatever point of view we wanted to go to hopefully would just be our own. I acknowledge those guys as being amazing and even just like the TVs blowing up, that’s an homage to the beginning of BRAZIL, because I just wanted to say “I know you guys are out there.” Debbie (Snyder) read all of the scripts and there are seven scripts. She read all the way back. I just read the last one.
Quint: There must be a fascinating book in that.
Zack Snyder: There’s got to be, because there was some crazy shit they were thinking about doing.
Quint: Going back into the days when Joel Silver had it and he wanted Schwarzenegger to be Dr. Manhattan and just trying to think of the level of effects at the time and how they would have…
Zack Snyder: They would have just painted him blue. It would have looked like Blue Man Group.
Quint: He would look like Mr. Freeze in BATMAN AND ROBIN.
Zack Snyder: Yeah. But that would not be good. I don’t think that’s cool. He would have been like Jambi.
Quint: But without the turban. Then he’d start granting wishes… I guess that is actually kind of like Dr. Manhattan…
Zack Snyder: It is! (laughs, then calls out to Billy Crudup at another table, calling him “Jambi!”)
Quint: I was at a Disney panel yesterday and they were talking about 2D animation. The guy on the panel was under the impression that the Rorschach mask was done with 2D animation and not computer animation. Is that true?
Zack Snyder: There was 2D. We had rendered it first in 2D, but then there is no way to put that on his face.
Quint: I was watching… I grew up and love movies that have the 2D animation effects mixed in. Those are very nostalgic for me, like SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES and that kind of stuff.
Zack Snyder: Even like GHOST, right?
Quint: Exactly with the little demons.
Zack Snyder: Yeah, but no. It’s just whether you could make the argument that… Okay, it was done, like the actual squishing together of the rorschachs was done in 2D, but then it had to be bent in the computer, so that’s 3D.
Quint: I had a lot of conversations with people after seeing the movie and no matter what their overall opinion is, whether they loved it or hated it, we always kept coming back to just how crazy it is that you were able to navigate this film through the studio system. It really does blow my mind that this movie is out R-rated with a huge budget…
Zack Snyder: Lloyd (Levin) and I were just talking about that . In the end you can say what you want about the movie, whether you like it or not, but it has to be acknowledged that the tone of the movie, the sort of confidence level of the movie itself is crazy. Hollywood has no business making a movie like that.
Quint: Nobody would have imagined that it would have been that violent and that crazy.
Zack Snyder: Yeah, really and the director’s cut is even more violent, but I just didn’t know… Maybe it’s me, but I just didn’t know how else to do it. It’s funny because when I started drawing the movie and started talking to the studio, I didn’t say I was against PG-13, because I didn’t know what that meant. I have never made a PG-13 movie and so when I started drawing and showing the studio my drawings, they were like “This is not PG-13, I don’t know what you think it is, but you can’t have lesbian whores in a PG-13 movie. You can’t write that in blood on a wall…”
Quint: “In the opening credits.”
Zack Snyder: I was like “What? Really?”
Quint: “That’s not the F word!”
Zack Snyder: Yeah, I didn’t say “Fucking lesbian whores…” That’s when I think they stared to realize what kind of movie we were going to make. I think if we had made a PG-13 movie, we would have had even more money, but it wouldn’t have been this movie. It would have been a crazy movie.
Quint: When I wrote up my review, I was talking about how people always associate the novel with Alan Moore’s writing, which they should, because that’s what makes WATCHMEN WATCHMEN, but people forget that there has to be spectacle to it to or else the characters don’t work. The whole point of the characters is that they are these real flawed characters in this world that is recognizable as a super hero world and the point I was trying to make was like “Can you imagine this movie without Mars? Can you imagine it without Antarctica? Can you imagine it without the Vietnam sequences?” Those are huge spectacle scenes.
Zack Snyder: Of course those are the scenes were they would go “Are those necessary?”
Zack Snyder: Yeah.
Quint: I would have thought they would have wanted them just for advertising.
Zack Snyder: I thought so too and that was my argument for why to keep them.
Quint: That’s what you sell the movie on.
Zack Snyder: They were like, [“Take them out] in order to streamline the movie…” [Loud noises are heard in the background] What the hell is going on back there? [Waits a bit for the rumbling to stop, then continues on anyway] Those are the sequences that stick out in my mind as the reason to make the movie… What could sound like this for so long?
Quint: My guess is it’s the train crash scene from KNOWING.
Zack Snyder: OK.
[The sounds stop]
Zack Snyder: There we go.
Quint: The Rorschach stuff is my favorite part of the film. I mean, obviously he’s going to be the fan favorite character, but the middle of the movie is my favorite section. And I don’t say this about almost any movie, the middle is almost always the part where everything gets quiet and you have to build up to the end, but the middle of this movie, with all of the prison sequences, with the Night Owl and Silk Spectre romance, that to me is my favorite.
Zack Snyder: Oh really? That’s interesting.
Quint: I think Jackie [Earle Haley] just knocked it out of the park. At the Myspace screening, there was a huge… It wasn’t like a quiet screening, but when he screams “Give me back my face” people applauded and then when he has his “I’m not stuck in here with you” moment, people went apeshit. They love it.
Zack Snyder: They lost their minds there, but that’s good. In some ways it’s interesting because I’ve looked at the movie so much, it’s interesting that that scene comes… It’s a little bit of a reward for having… There are a couple of things, I was conscious of trying to sort of reward the audience for having to deal with some shit that they... I kind of looked at it as “Yeah, it’s a fan movie, but it is going out to the world” and so even at first people were like “Oh, you don’t need that fight at the beginning of the movie…” It was like “help me, a little bit.” It’s WATCHMEN, we know what it is.
My whole thing is once the Comedian dies, it’s a lot of talking for a long time for the Comedian’s funeral, so you want to add a bit of honey to help swallow the bitter pill of drama that is coming, you know? But there’s an interesting sort of cadence to the movie, because I personally think the tone of the movie is more the movie than the movie and that’s a thing that I’m obsessed about anyways, so that part of the movie I am probably the most happy with, just the way it feels. It feels like WATCHMEN or what ever that is. It’s inexplicable or impossible to explain or talk about, but if it wasn’t that, then it’d be a huge disaster. I think the trick is that part of it is the way the film feels boutique-y. That’s what helps it.
Quint: Yeah definitely.
Zack Snyder: When we were making 300, we were pretty sure that we were making a boutique movie that fanboys would like and that would be it. We approached WATCHMEN with the same attitude. The material is different, but we were like “Look.”
The studio was thinking we were making a movie for mass audience, but I was like “Look, I’m just going to make this movie for me, a movie I would want to see and then we will see how it goes out into the world.”
Quint: The movie’s that are different are the ones that live. You are going to have people who go see it thinking it’s a big straightforward action superhero movie and they will be disappointed, but at the same time you are going to have people going in who are surprised by that, just like how everybody was surprised when the comics came out.
Zack Snyder: Exactly, that’s what I’ve been saying. It’s funny because in some ways I think the uninitiated WATCHMEN person, like someone who doesn’t know anything about WATCHMEN, that experience is the purest experience. If you have read the book a bunch of times, watching the movie is like a different thing. You’re ticking boxes as you’re viewing it. But if you go into that movie, if you are smart and you go into WATCHMEN thinking that it’s a superhero movie… I just want to know what that’s like.
Quint: At our screening, the people who hadn’t read the graphic novel were more enthusiastic than the people that had, but I have also read the other way where say it’s dense and people don’t….
Zack Snyder: I always say, “Look, if you are going to go, then pay attention,” because by the way it is all in there, if you pay attention, it really is. There is nothing, except for Bubastis (Ozymandias’ pet lynx thing) that you would have to… although he does say in the interview “You know lunchboxes, genetic engineering…” It’s a throwaway, but…
Quint: The big fan thing and something the fans have been holding on to, something you have addressed a billion times, so I don’t want to go into it, but the Squid thing… it has to be addressed. I can feel the fan nervousness and as I was watching it, I missed the squid, too. But the second it was over I was thinking about it and what I love about what you have done with the new ending is that you place character first. You took something that was already a part of Alan Moore’s world and underlined it. I’ve always appreciated that conflict within Manhattan as he wrestles with his disconnect with humanity and his God-like abilities, but elevating him to a God status, especially from the point of view of everybody watching the catastrophe… I thought that was a really interesting idea.
Zack Snyder: For me, that idea of that that’s God, is pretty elegant. It was difficult for me, because once I was exposed to that, it was difficult for me to turn away from it. I had felt like I found that spark.
Quint: And it plays. It plays well with the character and the material is already there, all you are doing is shifting the focus on to something that is already in the graphic novel.
Zack Snyder: It was all within the book. Adrian uses Dr. Manhattan’s energy to teleport the creature, his technology.
Quint: Was there a point where you decided that or did you know from the very beginning that the Squid just wasn’t going to work? Did you try to fit it in and just realized that you would have to sacrifice too much?
Zack Snyder: With the script that I got that I was rewriting, had the Squid out. We did talk about, when I started saying “OK everything’s got to go back.” Alex (Tse) and I talked about the Squid. Debbie and I talked about it, too. And we started to say “Okay, let’s outline what we would need to do in the movie to get the Squid back in.” I had a timeline, because basically what would have had to have happen was we would be intercutting to this other story, sort of like they did in the graphic novel, where they are on the island and you see weirdness and then the monologue would have had to have been crazy to explain it. It’s already a crazy monologue anyway, but it would have been another bunch of info. I just felt like “Ugh” and honestly we were trying to figure out how gory the movie was going to be and would that have put us over the edge? To do it with all of the dead bodies… I don’t know, it just started to add on and it felt like another 15 minutes of material that would have killed us in the end.
There’s the interview. The bit that was lost in the 30 seconds of battery change involved Snyder talking about working with the studio to push his R-rated agenda and the compromises he made (most of which end up in the director’s cut and involved Manhattan’s junk). I’d like to thank Orna and Anne from Warner Bros and Bebe Lerner for making this interview happen. Also much thanks to Muldoon for turning out the transcription so quickly.
I hope you guys enjoyed the chat. I’m very curious to see what the overall reaction of this film is going to be… Both from the fanbase and from the uninitiated. I have no doubt it’s going to open huge. The second time I saw it at the regular word of mouth screening here in Austin they had two theaters open and a line around the building, which is usually a good indicator of whether a movie is going to have a big opening or not. There’s no doubt in my mind that the Warners marketing will pack them in this weekend. The real test will be next weekend.
On the second viewing I felt the length a bit more, but I was also able to fall immediately into the world unlike the first time where I was disconnected for the first reel, mentally looking out for the next scene from the comic, not just watching the movie unfold.
Also, Malin Ackerman grated on me a little bit more than she did the first time. I see why people have a problem with her. The old age make-up is still bad, but other than those few things the flick held up and even improved. I still love the new ending, all the hate-mail I get for thinking that be damned.
Got a few more chats from WonderCon coming in soon, including Ben Foster and Pete Docter. Also lining up some things for SXSW and just locked in my attendance for ShoWest, so it’s going to be a busy month for me! Stay tuned!
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March 6, 2009, 2:35 p.m. CST
How Tommy Wiseau genuinely started to believe that The Room is a 'black comedy' when people showed up to laugh at it. Keep telling yourself that Watchmen is a silly satire if that makes you feel better about the fact you did an ambitious but ultimately meh and tonally off key job. I mean come fucking on, Hallelujah?
March 6, 2009, 2:40 p.m. CST
March 6, 2009, 2:41 p.m. CST
March 6, 2009, 2:42 p.m. CST
when your movie is already more violent than the book itself, and yet the PG13 The Dark Knight was far more terrifying?
March 6, 2009, 2:43 p.m. CST
by wampa 1
...but it sure smells good!
March 6, 2009, 2:46 p.m. CST
...How was it terrifying? Yes it might have been a litlle chilling at some moments, but not terrifying...
March 6, 2009, 2:50 p.m. CST
March 6, 2009, 2:50 p.m. CST
He really hates the Comic! So he trashed the film! I get it now! Ha ha ha funny!
March 6, 2009, 2:53 p.m. CST
I remember opening night of TDK the audience was all amped up to a see a superhero movie and months later it's easy to see the creaky plot holes but at the point where the mayor is getting shot at during a police funeral you could feel the silence in the audience, looking back on a movie nightmare that was paralleling what they feared the world had become. Watchmen makes you go "oh, right, this was like the 80s or something". Greengrass was absolutely right in his instincts to update this to the war on terror.
March 6, 2009, 2:55 p.m. CST
Where's the talkback dedicated to his review?<p> Seriously, we need another review!
March 6, 2009, 3:01 p.m. CST
No squid. Haley and Dean Morgan aces. Crudup and Wilson solid. Akerman poor and Goode miscast. Ending works, kind of. Visuals good. Brave stab at the unfilmable. Ultimately, flawed masterpiece but Director's Cut Blu-Ray should rock.<p>Oh, and there's no squid. There. Does that about do it?
March 6, 2009, 3:10 p.m. CST
Bring on "The Catcher in the Rye".
March 6, 2009, 3:14 p.m. CST
Needs more blue guys.
March 6, 2009, 3:14 p.m. CST
F* Vorbinski! <p> Synder can handle sfx, action and philosophy, create faithful reproductions of alternate retro worlds and make it all look good to boot. He would be THE choice for that film.
March 6, 2009, 3:20 p.m. CST
Harry for Big Daddy?
March 6, 2009, 3:24 p.m. CST
At this point I'm ready to talk about Paul Blart 2: Blart Harder. OVERKILL!
March 6, 2009, 3:26 p.m. CST
if people cannot see the parallels between the cold war and what is currently happening, especially when we went to war over wmd that didnt exist and are told to be constantly fearful of iran...then fuck them..."nothing ever changes, adrian"...oh, and what happened when they updated that cold war masterpiece, the manchurian candidate....or thats right, it sucked ass
March 6, 2009, 3:26 p.m. CST
Zack: Hell yes!
March 6, 2009, 3:50 p.m. CST
shes gonna off herself.
March 6, 2009, 3:53 p.m. CST
Number one, even more fanboys (a relatively small audience) would have hated that many changes to the book.<p>They still probably would have had to take out the squid or not done it well.<p>And I don't see religious fundamentalists (christian, muslim or other) coming together in brotherhood over an alien menace. I see it driving them all apeshit for the apocalypse.
March 6, 2009, 3:56 p.m. CST
It'll sure beat the hell out of reading YET ANOTHER WATCHMAN TALKBACK!<p> Seriously, me and Watchmen talkbacks, we are fuckin' done professionally
March 6, 2009, 3:57 p.m. CST
Did AICN declare March 6th a new holiday? It's Watchmen Day folks. AICN is gonna force so much Watchmen news on ya, you"ll feel like Sally Jupiter as The Comedian is forcing himself on her. You"ll wonder if anyone will bother to make a movie again? Watchmen has cometh... Are you ready?
March 6, 2009, 3:58 p.m. CST
by Jackie Boy
anyone know of a link?
March 6, 2009, 3:59 p.m. CST
the war on terror is a complete farce, and it's sad to me to see people who respected the original Watchmen graphic novel get sucked into the propaganda and genuinely believe it would elevate the movie in any way whatsoever. there are no scary arab terrorists lurking around corners to hurt you, it is in your mind. basically im saying stop being a pussy.
March 6, 2009, 4:04 p.m. CST
In his best Christopher Walken impression "Gimme more Watchmen! My site needs more Watchmen! I got a fever, and that fever is more WATCHMEN!!!!"
March 6, 2009, 4:32 p.m. CST
is limitless. <p>i mean,who the fuck are these guys who comment: <p>-That’s the complexity of the material, which is why everybody thought it was… -Unfilmable. -…unfilmable, exactly. <p> just pay attention to the specific use of the words. <p>EVERYBODY.what everybody? of course us,the fanboys,the comic geeks,the people who have read the GN and know what the fuck its all about.so right now Mr Quint believes that he express the opinion of everybody,the fanboys,Mr Moore,Gilliam etc.he speaks on behalf of us,on behalf of everybody. <p>but the real problem,is not if u can talk for behalf of the majority,but what how mr Quint continues his sentence: he says that we the people,thought,THOUGHT,pay attention to the past tense of the verb think,that the film was unfilmable.which in other words means,that WE the fanboys at least,we were wrong about our belief that the film was unfilmabe,we CHANGED our opinion about how well the GN can get adapted and that we accept NOW,we accept a fact,A FACT that the film is filmable meaning at least a good adaptation of the original GN. <p>so Mr Quid,together mr Snyder,are now telling in an interview that at this point of time,the comic is filmable.they think its a fact,they acknowledge what they believe to be the truth.a truth accepted finally by the rest of the people who have the opposite opinion. <p>and i wonder. why these 2 people think they are so almighty right on what they state? and its ok if they think they speak on behalf of me,the fanboy,when they say that the film is filmable.But when the same opinion comes from the Mr Moore,the sole creator of the GN (fuck the money-whore gibbons),and Mr Gilliam one of the best film directors ever,then what mr Quid and Snyder do is not just,misguiding the viewer who reads their interview now.They do more than that,they make a hybris,they insult,they fart at Moores and Gilliams direction. <p>and that,personally makes me angry.who are these 2 idiots who act like that? what the fuck are the credentials,what special have they done in their lives so that they have use such heavy,false,selfmade statements of something that has not yet been achieved? one mediocre reviewer and one hack director who hasnt yet created something of its own,are so full of their selves that they believe that indeed a film has been made of an ...unfilmable material. <p>well who the fuck are you mr Quint and Snyder? <p>anyway,i am sorry for the outbust,i just dont like,behind the words,egoistical messages.not that they give a fuck.especially Snyder right now is going to be a permament visitor of boxoffice for the next 2 weeks,regardless of what the money-whore says.
March 6, 2009, 4:35 p.m. CST
watched the movie and hated it. I have a feeling a lot of the genreal public will go into the movie expecting it to be a standard superhero comic fare and have no idea what its about and leave disappointed.
March 6, 2009, 4:47 p.m. CST
"Meka lake hi, meka choney ho"<p>JAMBI!!
March 6, 2009, 5:20 p.m. CST
March 6, 2009, 5:31 p.m. CST
....is reasonably smart and certainly competent, even though Watchmen is clearly a pretty flawed movie in spite of its great strengths (many of these are just casting coups like Hayley).<p> However, he proves his enormous stupidity with this quote about why he didn't even BOTHER with the work done before him, "No, I didn’t, because I was afraid that those ideas might just be awesome. I’m sure they were, so I was just trying to… I knew that whatever point of view we wanted to go to hopefully would just be our own." Look, Gilliam and Greengrass are FAR better filmmakers than Snyder. It's fine for Snyder to want to preserve his own vision and use it, but are you seriously not going to see what brilliant minds did? Because "it could be too awesome"? What a moron. This is where you use any collaborative spirit you may have and see if anything positive can be taken from their work...especially if you admit it's probably "awesome" and could add to your own vision, making it better. What an arrogant prat.<p> He didn't even bother with the scripts, leaving them to his wife. Nice going, director. <p> Sorry, visionary director.
March 6, 2009, 5:37 p.m. CST
George Romero must be pissed?
March 6, 2009, 6:18 p.m. CST
Seriously. It would have been the trippiest, most horrific, biggest freak-out ending of all time. Just five solid minutes of people climbing out of the rubble all around, surround by the dead, going insane, as the camera pans back and back and back until finally the while ugly thing is revealed and you realize what Ozzy has done.<p> Someone needs to remake this movie.
March 6, 2009, 6:23 p.m. CST
by Bill Clay
Snyder couldn't have been more obvious if he gave Ozy a Snidely Whiplash mustache to twirl. I saw Watchmen today with a non-fan who doesn't read comics and had never heard of it before seeing commercials advertising the movie. After the show, I asked if the reveal that Ozy was the villain was a surprise. She said, "No, he looked like a bad guy right from the start of the movie."
March 6, 2009, 7:01 p.m. CST
I agree that you could tell that something was fishy with Veidt from the start, but as with the comic, I thought that his reasoning behind the plot was the real twist.
March 6, 2009, 8:08 p.m. CST
by Bill Clay
In the original book, for all intents and purposes, Ozy looked like Steve Rogers in a toga. He was charismatic and beloved by the public. Imagine if he had been cast and played that way in the film. Captain America murdering millions of people for their own good! THAT would have been a kick in the nuts at the movie's climax. Instead we got a shifty-eyed fey know-it-all.<P> But, frankly, I'm just happy this movie was finally made. An imperfect Watchmen is better than none.
March 6, 2009, 8:38 p.m. CST
Thanks for asking about the squid, you are a man of your word. Thoughts after seeing the Watchmen.. Visually perfect, without flaw. Didn't mind the old age make up even. The story was fantastic in the first 2 acts. The 3rd act fails so completely it over shadows the rest of what could have been a great movie. I testify that the confusion felt by most fans, critics, and even casual movie goers is this paradox. The movie is so perfect for the first 2/3 rds it's impossible to believe how utterly and completely it fails in the end. The Nite Owl death scream has erased the Vader "Noooo" from RoTS as the single most over the top forced emotional scene ever. It destroys the Rorschach death scene which should be the paramount emotional moment in the movie.
March 6, 2009, 8:55 p.m. CST
by Alex Mack
What kind of gay fanboys are you that like this film? First you get all excited like giggling schoolgirls over the movie "300" which features big, sweaty, muscular men half naked wearing speedos, and now you fanboys get all excited over a movie that features full frontal male nudity!!!!!! YOU'RE SO FREAKING GAY!!! If you're gay then just come out and admit it! Seriously, how can any straight guy watch this stuff. At least "Street Fighter" had that hot ass Kristen Kruenyk or whatever the hell her name is.
March 6, 2009, 8:58 p.m. CST
by Alex Mack
The movie was so bad, that alot of people (non fanboys) actually walked out! And this was in Burbank. Hahahaaha! Now that was funny.
March 6, 2009, 9:06 p.m. CST
how can anybody want to hear what he has to say? he's one of the most generic, gaudy hacks ever and anybody that would want to sit through two and a half hours of his hollywood gloss is crazy. and i loved the watchmen comic.
March 6, 2009, 9:10 p.m. CST
I believe what Snyder was going for was that if he found either of the other versions to be awesome, somehow it might have found its way into his version. Then he'd have more of a legal struggle with using material from other folks, unless he plagiarized. So, it's best that he didn't look at any of it.
March 6, 2009, 9:35 p.m. CST
Agree. It would've invited WGA arbitration problems and arguments over single title credit or "Written by" credits -- a major hassle. Weren't those set up at other studios also? Geezus, the red tape alone would've bled the budget enough to delete the fx budget for the squid.
March 6, 2009, 9:49 p.m. CST
Alex did your tiny pecker get a hard on with your bullshit, infantile insults. Fuck off!
March 6, 2009, 10:52 p.m. CST
Mailin Ackerman's cornpoop.
March 6, 2009, 10:55 p.m. CST
March 6, 2009, 11:57 p.m. CST
***SPOILERS****OK. I did love this movie a lot more than I thought I would. Zach did a great job with condensing the story to fit a movie. Everything was perfect BUT the ending. I'm sorry but it just doesn't work for me. We talked about comparing Doc Manhattan as a god but that still doesn't work. I think where we were disagreeing was the fact I don't think it's the "big threat" that's is the main point of the end. It is also about perspectives as often stated within the movie. ALIENS would bring about new perspectives for you average citizen to contemplate when thinking about WORLD WAR THREE. It's more than the fact DOC is a powerful threat. That is already known throughout the movie. It's already established he is an agent for the U.S. by ending vietnam in a week. I believe it is preposterous to think the Russians would think he still wasn't at the end. Plus if someone transcends into Godhood why would he just selectively destroy random cities? If he's God why not just kill everyone or no one at all. It just doesn't make sense therefore making the big hoax not very convincing. It makes the story just a common frame up job. It makes it mundane. IT did exactly that in the movie. It was fantastic until the story was revealed and it just made it mundane. DISCOVERY of alien life would be earth shattering. It would fundementally change how people view the universe. It is one of the many different layers of the graphic novel. Sure, the movie ending works fine but doesn't work brilliantly like the comic. I just feel it was dumbed down so your average joe would understand it, even though i overheard many people shaking their heads in confusion at the end. That is why I am really upset. Zach should have just left the ending alone. I don't buy the story it would have made it longer. Only a coupld of scenes I saw in the movie could have been tweaked to include it. In fact I do believe all that talk about framing Doc about the cancer his first girlfriend and associates had was added therefore making it longer? Anyway again I am getting metaphysical, but I think that was the point of the GN. The movie's ending for me sucked out all that metaphysical and just made it another crime drama. I am torn. I loved the first 98% of it. It's just that last 2 i have a problem with, although I'll still see it again and still buy the bluray...lol
March 7, 2009, 1:05 a.m. CST
can't wait to see what he does next.<p> We need a good blockbuster maker. get rid of the Bays and Emmerichs and let this guy make some movies.
March 7, 2009, 1:12 a.m. CST
STOP CLICKING ON THEM. duh.
March 7, 2009, 3:38 a.m. CST
I went to see Watchmen in IMAX tonight with three people; my girlfriend, her best friend and one of my friends. All three knew instantly that Ozy was the villain. I believe exact words were "There were brilliant parts but the whole thing was kinda predictable." And I abhor all of the morons masturbating while screaming "SQUID!" upon climax, but i do think the film would've had a "whoa, THAT part wasn't predictable" punch if the squid was kept in. But then it would've needed to be at least 45 minutes longer. And honestly, whether or not these dumb fanboys think so, you just can not do that in Hollywood.
March 7, 2009, 4:18 a.m. CST
Saw film today- really enjoyed it- perfect? nope flawed? yep at times glorious? YES SIR WE HAVE A WINNER! read the entire line of comments before posting my two bits- WOW people- this much anger and backstabbing towards each other over a movie reveiw? If the film- which most people said they had'nt even seen yet- but already hated cuz they had a friend who had a friend who said NO SQUID- NO PEACE- thought it was gay- well maybe this film isn't for you- but I waited through almost 15 years of half starts re-vamps- rumored casting- only to be told it was studio poison and no one cared or would get it- guess what- I got it my friends got it- and it was a much better spent friday afternoon then sitting around saying I wish someone would make a great comic book movie...guess what- someone did and the movie was called WATCHMEN! ok you can got back to whatever you do between bitch slaps- xoxo N-
March 7, 2009, 4:45 a.m. CST
by most excellent ninja
the way he was pretty much the bad guy from the start, he didn't have that charisma and demeanor of Adrian and the fact he looks ridiculous with that skinny body and that skinny head. Ahh.
March 7, 2009, 4:51 a.m. CST
by most excellent ninja
FUCKKKKKK!!!! When I first read the comic I thought "this would be a sight to see, but no way in hell would anyone have the balls to do it". That would totally mind fuck the audience, you didn't have to do the island and the artists, just mentioning genetic engineering and the kidnapping of genetecists and space experts or something then drop a big alien(didn't have to be the squid, if peopel accepted Cloverfield, they'll accept a big monster) or monster into New York, their WTF? is offset by the images of hundreds of bodies.
March 7, 2009, 5:08 a.m. CST
by most excellent ninja
reason? Suddenly things like nationalities and tribes and race don't make a difference anymore. It's humans uniting as a race against something that suddenly makes what they believe in feel irrelevant. That's the beauty. I know it was an outer limits episode but either way, making it Doc Manhattan makes it lose all it's profundity.
March 7, 2009, 7:51 a.m. CST
I thought the movie was pretty damned fine. Not having any particular expectations or ideas about 'how it was supposed to be' made the story fresh and fascinating. My problem, such as it was, was that the movie was like sitting down to a 50-course banquet of all my favorite foods...I couldn't have more than a taste of any one thing before something new and wonderful came along, and then more and more. I don't know if I'll see it again at the theatre [saw it at the IMAX, baby!] but I eagerly await the super-duper, extra hour-plus version to take it all in again. More than this, I can now, finally, read the original graphic novel and see what the shouting is _really_ all about.
March 7, 2009, 8:47 a.m. CST
Are they making some movie about Celestial TimePieces or something-?
March 7, 2009, 10:05 a.m. CST
And was blown away! I am a gigantic fan of the comic too, and was a bit surprised when I heard that the squid was out, but the end really does work for what they needed it to do. Although I was a bit surprised at the sanitized version of the end after all of the proceeding violence (awsome, BTW!!). HOWEVER, given the over-all story-changing effect of Manhattan's last line in the comic, and NOT having him say it himself was a complete bitch-out!! It's nearly a throw away line now, said by what amounts to, in the end, a minor character. Also, there were moments where I could FEEL where the missing stuff is going to go back in - one great example is the scene where Manhattan bugs out of the news show and goes to mars....there's a DEFINITE feel of something missing there, but it still worked to get him where he needed to be, wasn't "skippy", and allowed Snyder et al to get a bit excised out for the theatrical release. And I read recently that Brad Pitt was once being considered for Ozy...that would have been SPECTACULAR. Sort of like grabbing Alec Guinness for SW - it would have lent the film (and Ozy) a bit more weight, and might have worked as a draw to the uninitiated. One more thing to consider is the issue over the past drafts : Even Gilliam said it was "unfilmable", but that was WHEN, exactly? Late 80's/early 90's? Think of how far we've come with SPFX...likely he meant BACK THEN. Overall, the 2.75 HR movie flew by in a flash, and I loved it!! I can't wait for the extended edition!!
March 7, 2009, 12:29 p.m. CST
by Bill Clay
In the original graphic novel Adrian Veidt looked like Steve Rogers in a toga. He was charismatic and beloved by the public. Imagine if he had been cast and played that way in the film. An iconic Captain America-type hero murdering millions of people for their own good! THAT would have been a kick in the balls at the movie's climax. Instead we got a shifty-eyed fey know-it-all who was an obvious villain from the first scene he appeared in.
March 7, 2009, 12:31 p.m. CST
by Bill Clay
Sorry, jumping back and forth between talkbacks I'm repeating myself.
March 7, 2009, 1:46 p.m. CST
by most excellent ninja
played by Brad Pitt.
March 7, 2009, 1:47 p.m. CST
by most excellent ninja
reason is people don't think about it. having Manhattan say it and Ozy going "what do you mean?!" would make the audience remember it. Having the line with Laurie was unintelligent.
March 7, 2009, 3:32 p.m. CST
O.K. I'll admit I was wrong. The cancer set up of Doc Manhattan was originally in the G.N. my bad, but everything else I said applies...lol
March 7, 2009, 3:48 p.m. CST
Go get yourself laid fast or sweet jesus, take some uppers, something, anything.
March 9, 2009, 1:06 a.m. CST
Ending of Watchmen the comic is about humanity choosing love over hate. It really is. The Russians stop their hate out of compassion for an enemy that isnt human therefore humanity comes together through love to oppose threat. Movie ending has humanity coming together through fear.....any Bill Hicks fan might know that this is a choice we all face. Love or fear. The movies ending shows the world needs to fear God to come together. Not Moores message, in fact the complete opposite of what hes saying, and not a nice one either. It takes violence to end voilence. Not Moores message, hence he doesnt associate with these things coz people could turn to him and say "is that what you think, beardy?" and he would have to defend himself 50 times over. But i enjoyed the film somehow, i think coz as someone says lots of people walked out and i liked that. It means it wasnt made for the masses and is kind of brave and pretty experimental in that way. RIght, im off to bed Night Night lumpkins x
March 9, 2009, 1:07 a.m. CST
March 9, 2009, 1:09 a.m. CST
i mean russia had compassion for their enemy because their enemy was at least akin to them whilst what was attacking them was.....you guessed it! A squid. x
March 10, 2009, 7:03 a.m. CST
Well, I've sort of realized that this is in fact, on of the Watchmen film's greatest innovations. That this shifty-eyed, clearly messed up, villian-y guy is a SUPERHERO.
March 10, 2009, 7:19 a.m. CST
As I realized, would just be a regurgitation of ' The Dark Knight '. Specifically Christian Bale's Batman towards the end. In this post-Bush era of neo-con moral entitlement, that may only, and quite wrongly, lead people towards believing that he is the GOOD guy, and is something that the film, or even Alan Moore himself, would endorse. Snyder was completely on target when he's emphasized this is ' satire ' - the comic was satire as well - as Ozy's character and the denouement, was specifically made to LAMBAST that. In all it's self-important, bloated hubris of the ' superhero ', which deems persona ascendant than anyone else - and it's fitting irony how the staunch, brain-damaged Objectivist is the one who gets to point that to him first. This point is punctuated further but what I perceive to be ( this can easily just as well be a supposition on my part ), Snyder making the narrative construction, and manner of denouement ITSELF complicit to the blandness of such a worldview. </p> In the end, this is pretty much a legitimate, post-modernist interpretation of the character and his relevance - a darker, grittier, and uglier one at that.</p>
March 16, 2009, 3:56 p.m. CST
and no, snyder, the book does NOT say that Veidt used Doctor Manhattan's powers to teleport the squid, you douche.
March 17, 2009, 10:28 a.m. CST
Feb. 15, 2010, 2:39 a.m. CST
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