Sunday, November 9, 2008

Zack Snyder talks Watchmen

Zack Snyder, director of 300 and Watchmen, has shown a half-hour of his films to selected audiences. Dark Horizons not only got to see this footage, which consisted of three different segments of the film, but also got to sit down with Snyder and talk about the heavily anticipated film, Watchmen.

Dark Horizons explains about the footage it saw.

"In regards to the footage, the highlight is the opening credits montage which sets up an alternate version of history from the 1940's through the 1970's in which superheroes were around - all set to Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changing". Scenes included Dr. Manhattan shaking JFK's hand, the Comedian being JFK's assassin on the grassy knoll, Ozymandias outside Studio 54 with David Bowie & the Village People, Kruschev and Castro watching American fighter planes soaring over Moscow, Andy Warhol & Truman Capote looking at a Nite-Owl themed painting, and a lesbian version of that famous sailor-nurse post-WW2 kiss photo.

Another impressive sequence explored the origin of Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup), a scientist in 1959 who becomes a blue God-like creature who helps America win Vietnam. Some bits weren't so effective - the opening Comedian attack scene and more notably a later jailbreak scene were shown and were fun action moments but seem a little frivolous. Similarly some of the line deliveries felt a little stiff. Nevertheless this was rough footage and further post-production tweaking can make all the difference in the world when it comes to these very minor haggles."

"The film's pretty much done in my book," Snyder said in the interview with Dark Horizons. "There's still some visual effects shots which I'm reviewing... there's probably close to 2000 effects shots in the film." There's also mixing, telecining and coloring to go - plus he's finishing up the 'Black Freighter' version for the Director's Cut DVD release which will incorporate that 'comic within the comic' sub-story from the graphic novel.

A second official trailer for Watchmen will be coming out before Quantum of Solace.
"Snyder says 'I just saw the final version of it this morning... it's a little bit more story, a teeny bit more like a full trailer. This is much more like someone is picking off costume heroes. You'll get a sense of the characters plight you know, we were supposed to make the world a better place... what happened to the American Dream.' Some elements have had to be changed for the trailer, most notably Dr. Manhattan's exposed genitals have had to be 'defocused' to be granted approval by the MPAA. He also confirms a third trailer will hit early in the new year.

What's the final runtime? "I'm hoping 2 hours 42 minutes, with credits," Snyder said. That theatrical version however is just one of three versions of the film planned for the eventual DVD & Blu-ray release. There's also a three hour director's cut of the film with "the scenes all fleshed out", and the 'Black Freighter' version which will combine that Director's Cut with the 'Black Freighter' short film that will clock in at three-and-a-half hours. How the Black Freighter version will be incorporated and packaged is still undecided.

Check out the rest of the interview from Dark Horizons to hear about how Snyder chose music for the film and how the ending of the film might not be exactly the same as that of the comic book.

More news to come! Catch ya' later!

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