WATCHMEN Interview: Snyder and Gibbons speak in NY -

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WATCHMEN Interview: Snyder and Gibbons speak in NY

Sequel, Burt Reynolds and Ink Blots

By Robert T. Trate     October 08, 2008

Watchmen's original artist Dave Gibbons on the movie set of WATCHMEN(2009).
© Warner Bros

For those of us that live and breathe comics, movies and pop culture 'Watchmen' is common knowledge. Love it or hate it, it has been in the pop culture mainstream for years. Since its initial release on the comic rack, through the turbulent development hell years, to this year with its impending litigation, 'Watchmen' is at the very heart of pop culture. As the clock gets closer to zero hour Zack Snyder and Dave Gibbons (the comic’s co-creator) spoke to numerous media outlets (even Popular Mechanics was there) in New York and revealed even more about what has gone into the making of the film.


Mania: Dave, what is like to see something that you created in another medium?

Dave Gibbons: I am unique in the world sitting there watching this because, you know, based on what I read in Alan’s [Moore’s] script I ran a little movie in my head how this would work and the moment to pick to design the whole thing. To sit in a darkened theater and watch it unfold it is kind of easy to confuse it with being in my mind’s eye. Particularly because it is so precisely what I did draw. 'Watchmen' was conceived as a comic book and that is 'Watchmen'. What I’ve seen here is a really good movie. If it had been a literal translation of a comic book it wouldn’t have been so good. I think Zack has taken it by the scruff of the neck and has turned it into a really good movie. So with that being said, I am thrilled with it.

Mania: After seeing Rorschach in the movie, is that how you envisioned his mask brought to life?

Dave Gibbons: Yeah, I’ve seen people at costume masquerades before who got a static mask and that is unnerving enough to look at somebody with a static blot. But the way that it squirms around it’s got all the creepiness and disorientating feeling that I always saw.

Zack Snyder: We actually take a lot of cues from the book when we go for the Rorschachs. We created our own density of ink but then we always tried to revert back to the graphic novel for a specific moment if Rorschach is experiencing a certain emotional response. There are a couple, like ‘embracing couple’ as we call it. Basically he gets an ink blot test, when he goes to prison and one of the ink blots he’s shown is what looks like an embracing couple. He flashes back to his childhood sees his mother, whose is a prostitute, with a John. That ink blot is really important and it shows up a couple of times during the film.

Mania: Dave, were you involved with any decisions in casting the film?

Dave Gibbons: I know this is a favorite internet game: cast the 'Watchmen'. But I am really pleased that the actors in it are not overly familiar. I think it is a great strength that you don’t get when you see Tom Cruise or Jude Law. At one time I liked Burt Reynolds as the Comedian. He could probably play him in the later years but not the earlier years. I wasn’t involved at all with the casting. I have no expertise in that. I am absolutely thrilled with the cast that has ended up in it.  

Mania: There is that internet rumor that a sequel is possible. True?

Zack Snyder: That’s crazy.

Dave Gibbons: I don’t think that’s possible.

Zack Snyder: The video game [the downloadable one] is as close as you are going to get.

Mania: Are either one of you getting tired with the 'Watchmen'?

Zack Snyder: No, I don’t think so. It’s exhausting. I wouldn’t say I am tired of it. It tires you out. I dig it and I think it’s cool. It’s fun for me.

Dave Gibbons: I was lucky enough to design the characters to be characters that I really liked. I still enjoy drawing them and seeing them in the movies. It really has invigorated them for me. I am not tired of them yet.

'Watchmen' is still slated for a March 6, 2009 release date.


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finnishline 10/8/2008 6:41:50 AM
"Love it or hate it, it has been in the pop culture mainstream for years." I don't know how accurate a statement this is. Maybe 10% of the population knew what Watchmen was or what it was about prior to the movie trailer. Five per cent is more likely. That's not pop culture mainstream in my eyes.
scoundrel 10/8/2008 9:10:55 AM
I agree with Finnishline. When my wife saw the bit in the trailer where it called it "the most celebrated graphic novel of all time," she looked at me and said, "Huh?" I think it has had an amazing impact on comics and even other forms of medium, and its following has always been growing, but I don't think it's been in the view of popular or mainstream culture until recently. Nice interview, though.
DarthDuck 10/8/2008 11:24:01 AM
Sorry to be boring but I'd agree with both of you. Very few people outside of regular readers of comics and graphic novels are at all familiar with Watchmen. None of my non-comic friends knew what the hell they were seeing when the trailer come on before Dark Knight. I was dead set at first against this movie, but recently my curiousity has taken over. Especially after hearing what Kevin Smith had to say. He's an authority on these things and was absolutely right about Dark Knight so we'll see. And kudos to Snyder for stamping out any questions involving a sequel. Now if he'd just leave 300 alone...
NotAFan 10/9/2008 1:25:46 AM
"Love it or hate it, it has been in the pop culture mainstream for years."<BR itxtvisited="1" /><BR itxtvisited="1" />What world you livin' in son? Nobody ain't never heard of dem Watchmen peoples B4 this here trailor came out! I don't know what you be smokin' there hommie but it must be sum good $#! Howzabout you let me have a taste? You know the rule puff puff pass! BTW MOORE said that this movie is $#!
blackshogun420ninja 10/9/2008 6:32:10 AM
Heh heh. I thought I needed2 go pick sum o these comics up. With all this movie talk, I figured everybody knew bout em. I remember seein adz for WaTchMen in Wizard and thought it looked kinda soft. And alotta people chuckled in tha theater when they told that lie.


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