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http://www.aintitcoolnews.com/display.cgi?id=22841

AICN EXCLUSIVE!! WATCHMEN Has A New Director... Almost!!

Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...

Although I can’t publish my full detailed report until May, I had a very interesting visit this week to the editing room of the new Warner Bros. film 300, directed by Zack Snyder. I walked into the encounter thinking he was a talented guy who had made a pretty good first film. I left the encounter convinced that Snyder is one of the best-kept secrets in Hollywood right now, a visionary with a wicked eye and a real feel for how to bring fantastic material to the bigscreen.

While I was there, I noticed a copy of the WATCHMEN graphic novel sitting on the desk of his office, and in our conversations about Frank Miller and his newfound luck in film translations of his work, the subject of Alan Moore came up. Snyder mentioned that he was about to meet with the producers of WATCHMEN to discuss whether or not he would come aboard to direct the long-in-development film.

I’ve been able to confirm now that Snyder has entered negotiations with Warner Bros. to helm the project, which is fantastic news. I know that all you guys have seen so far is DAWN OF THE DEAD, so that’s all you can judge him on, but trust me... 300 is a whole different ball game. When you get a load of what this guy is capable of... when you see how far he pushes things with bringing Frank Miller’s world to life... you’ll be just as excited as I am. I’ve always said that WATCHMEN had the right producers and writer attached, and I think there have been some interesting directors (Aronofsky and Greengrass) attached to it in the last few years. But with Snyder, I think the WATCHMEN may have finally found the perfect guy for the job, and I am absolutely rabid to see what he’s going to do.

And speaking of that script... I’ve heard there are some revisions underway to really fine-tune the various Hayter drafts and make sure that what ends up onscreen is the most perfect realization of Moore’s book possible. I’m hoping I can work something out where I can track down the new writer and talk with him about the work he’s doing, because I know how important this book is to so many of you. Zack Snyder said the same thing about it to me, talking about the responsibility of bringing something like WATCHMEN to life. “If I screw up 300, that would be heartbreaking, but ultimately, it’s not as well known a property. If you get WATCHMEN wrong... well...”

He didn’t have to finish the sentence, and he doesn’t have to worry. I have utmost faith that he’s going to knock it out of the park. I’m as sure of that as I am of the fact that when the trades finally report Snyder has signed as director, they won’t mention that the story broke here first. Take that to the bank

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Didnt i already announce this about a month ago. I'm so fucking hollywood

It takes a bloody long time for stuff to filter into West Midlands :wub:

We've only just found out there's an Internet Explorer 4.

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"Because there are good film ideas and there are evil film ideas, and evil must be punished. Even in the face of armageddon I shall not compromise this. But there are so many deserving of retribution... and there is so little time."

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One of the great things about Watchmen was its brilliant attention to detail. The extracts from Hollis Mason's Memoirs, the hospital files on Rorshach's childhood, the Pirate Comic strip, all that brilliant stuff would be lost.

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One of the great things about Watchmen was its brilliant attention to detail. The extracts from Hollis Mason's Memoirs, the hospital files on Rorshach's childhood, the Pirate Comic strip, all that brilliant stuff would be lost.

I think a good director could manage it. You'd have to use a combination of flashback, voice over, maybe even split/multiple screens, but someone with artistic vision could manage it.

I say this because it's not a novel (which can be genuinely unfilmable) but a graphic novel. Anything in comic book forn should translate to film, no matter how much text is there. As long as the director and the script are good enough.

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I say this because it's not a novel (which can be genuinely unfilmable) but a graphic novel. Anything in comic book forn should translate to film, no matter how much text is there. As long as the director and the script are good enough.

I agree with this. When I read the graphic novel, I always saw it in my head as a set of storyboards for a film. The opening pull back from the smiley badge up to the detective on the balcony, for example.

The unfilmable part for me would be the length and depth of the story. It would be very difficult to fit everything into a three hour film and, as many have said, would be perfect as a mini-series. If I was screenwriting it, I would have to leave out all the Black Freighter stuff. Maybe reference it as stills from the comic juxtaposed against scenes in the real world, but not film it at all. You could do a lot with the background details for the fans though and put those kind of things in.

Another tricky part would be whether to update the story from a Russian/Soviet menace to something else. I would prefer to keep the story as it was written and not update it to make Al Qaeda (or whoever) the enemy; partly because the whole plan wouldn't work against such a disjointed enemy as that.

I liked the DOTD remake, so hopefully this will get some traction and finally get made.

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I agree with this. When I read the graphic novel, I always saw it in my head as a set of storyboards for a film. The opening pull back from the smiley badge up to the detective on the balcony, for example.

The unfilmable part for me would be the length and depth of the story. It would be very difficult to fit everything into a three hour film and, as many have said, would be perfect as a mini-series. If I was screenwriting it, I would have to leave out all the Black Freighter stuff. Maybe reference it as stills from the comic juxtaposed against scenes in the real world, but not film it at all. You could do a lot with the background details for the fans though and put those kind of things in.

Another tricky part would be whether to update the story from a Russian/Soviet menace to something else. I would prefer to keep the story as it was written and not update it to make Al Qaeda (or whoever) the enemy; partly because the whole plan wouldn't work against such a disjointed enemy as that.

Length would be a problem, for sure. Leaving out the Black Freighter parts wouldn't be a disaster, as they are a story-within-a-story and used to emphasise the fact that Ozymandias is writing his own lurid fiction (on the canvas of the real world) as much as the writer of the Black Freighter (whom he kidnaps) was writing (what he believed to be) something utterly fantastical and unmentionably horrible. This aspect could be told using other threads from the storyline, I think.

It would be harder, in my opinion, to leave out the Blood on the Shoulder of Pallas bit, notes on Rorschach (he would be the book's 'hero' if not for reports on his own lunacy and violence) etc.

Also, they *can't* change the story from being about the escalation of the Soviet threat to something else - the entire tale is totally bound-up in its story: Nixon's re-election, the nuclear threat (post Cuban Missile Crisis), the victory in Vietnam, the heating-up of the Cold War - they are immutable. There's no need to change them as they are presenting the end of the century as it would have been in an alternate reality. A few lines at the start of the film, saying (perhaps in one of the character's voices) that JFK was never in power, the Cold War never ended and the Soviet Union still exists would be enough to place people in the right head-space.

It's different in V for Vendetta: an alternate Britain that took Thatcherism as its starting point, relied on a civil war in the US for ascendancy and was under the cosh from a totalitarian regime is easily re-worked to fit peoples' current perceptions post 9/11. Placing the events of Watchmen into context without the US/Soviet conflict and Nixon's continued presidency would be suicidal. The story would lose its equilibrium.

Sorry to rattle on like that.

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Sorry to rattle on like that.

Don't be. That's some good reading there.

My worry about updating the story would be that writers may think that the Cold War is too far in the past for a potential Watchmen audience (15-25yo males?), so would try and put a modern twist to the story.

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UPDATE - 23/6/06

From Joblo.com

Rumors hit earlier this year that Warner Bros. was looking at Zach Snyder to take over the directorial duties on the long-gestating WATCHMEN project. Today, almost four months later, Warner Bros. has confirmed that Snyder has signed on to develop and direct WATCHMEN. Alex Tse, who doesn't have many credits on IMDB other than a gig writing Spike Lee's SUCKER FREE CITY, will get a first crack at writing a new script for Snyder. As previously reported, WB was looking at Snyder after being wowed with what he's doing for them on 300, the Frank Miller adaptation he filmed in Montreal using a style similar to what Robert Rodriguez used on SIN CITY. Snyder is expected to be a guest at the Comic-Con next month promoting 300 so expect your trusty JoBlo reporters to corner him and shake him down for WATCHMEN info galore.

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Christ... why do they always have to start from scratch with the scripts every time? I thought everyone was in fair agreement that the Hayter script was excellent. Is it ego stuff?

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Christ... why do they always have to start from scratch with the scripts every time? I thought everyone was in fair agreement that the hayter script was excellent. Is it ego stuff?

For some Hollywood types it would be the equivalent of wearing your older brothers underpants.

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In the style of Sin City... this has suddenly peaked my interest. They can't possibly do a Sin City, Watchmen is far too big... or is it? Will they commit to it and do a Lord of the Rings 3 hour extravaganza? Even then they'd be pressed for time. This film has such great potential. With the right case and style, this could be something very special. It could finish off what Sin City started, a comic book adaptation for "adults".

Of course, they could get it completely wrong and end up making it too glossy and shit, with lead roles going to the likes of that bloke from Fast and the Furious.

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The Pirate story and all the exerpts from the book are going straight out. Probably a lot of the stuff about the old heroes aswell, or at least it'll be shortened into a few flashbacks.

Edit: I just read the other posts about this. I agree.

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Christ... why do they always have to start from scratch with the scripts every time? I thought everyone was in fair agreement that the Hayter script was excellent. Is it ego stuff?

It's what worries me as well. Everybody said Hayter's script was amazing.

I like what Snyder did with Dawn of the Dead and I'm sure 300 will be quite the spectacle, but I'm saddened that Greengrass isn''t doing this. He had scuh a clear vision of this project.

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