- Title: UK: World premiere of film adaptation of comic book classic, 'Watchmen' kicks off
- Date: 24th February 2009
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FEBRUARY 23, 2009) (REUTERS) WATCHMEN BILLBOARD/WATCHMEN POSTERS AT LONDON PREMIERE POSTER FANS AT BARRIER AT PREMIERE 'THE END IS NIGH' PICTURE FROM 'WATCHMEN' COMIC BOOK / FANS AT BARRIER WATCHMEN COMIC ILLUSTRATOR DAVE GIBBONS (SOUNDBITE) (English) WATCHMEN ILLUSTRATOR DAVE GIBBONS SAYING: "It's really strange, you know, because when you draw a comic book you run a movie in your head and then you grab the pictures, and when you sit and watch this it's just like that. It crystallises into the pictures and Zack (Snyder - director) has followed them really, really closely. So yeah, it's very flattering." GIBBONS TALKING TO MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (English) DAVE GIBBONS ON ALAN MOORE, WRITER OF THE 'WATCHMEN' COMIC BOOK, SAYING: "I really don't know. I think Alan's views on Hollywood are quite well known and I'm really sorry he's had a bad time and I'm having a good time and I'm really sorry that he can't share it." POSTER OF CHARACTER 'NIGHT OWL' FROM 'WATCHMEN' FILM ACTOR PATRICK WILSON, WHO PLAYS 'NIGHT OWL' IN 'WATCHMEN' TALKING TO MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTOR PATRICK WILSON SAYING: "This is really just a deconstruction of the superhero-- of the whole genre. So when you can be a part of something, a film, that can address that and also - in the span of a superhero movie - address political issues, religious issues, world issues, that's pretty special. So it was an easy yes for me." WATCHMEN SIGN ON 'YELLOW' CARPET/ACTOR MATTHEW GOODE GOODE SIGNING AUTOGRAPHS ACTOR BILLY CRUDUP SIGNING AUTOGRAPHS (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTOR BILLY CRUDUP SAYING: "No, that was exactly the kind of character I liked. The idea that it was in a comic book movie, that was the tough sell part of it for me. But I was excited to see such a complicated, enigmatic figure in Dr Manhattan and it made me really excited." POSTER SHOWING 'RORSCHACH' FROM 'WATCHMEN' ACTOR JACKIE EARL HALEY, WHO PLAYS 'RORSCACH' IN 'WATCHMEN' TALKING TO MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTOR JACKIE EARL HALEY, ON HAVING HIS FACE COMPLETELY COVERED FOR MOST OF THE FILM, SAYING: "Yeah, it's kind of tough because-- at least it seems tough at first because you've covered your main tool as an actor. But playing Rorschach it's really motivating when you throw that sock over your head and put on the fedora and coat and everything. So, you know, it's kind of a double edged thing." HALEY TALKING TO MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTOR JACKIE EARL HALEY, ON HIS SCREEN COMEBACK , SAYING: "Dude, it's a trip. It's unbelievable. I mean, it's still kind of seems impossible to me, you know? It's been kind of like wild break after break." POSTER OF 'SILK SPECTRE' CHARACTER FROM 'WATCHMEN' ACTRESS MALIN AKERMAN, WHO PLAYS 'SILK SPECTRE' IN 'WATCHMEN' (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTRESS MALIN AKERMAN SAYING: "We went to Comicon in San Diego which was a thrill. I mean we had 6,000 people at our panel and that's when it sort of hit that this could be quite a big cut film and the pressure was on and we all became huge fans, so we were putting our own pressure on ourselves to make it the best we could possibly make it."
- Embargoed: 11th March 2009 12:00
- Reuters ID: LVA39P56ZTEJGUQ3YP2UBSRP00IF
- Story Text: The cast of new mega-budget superhero movie 'Watchmen' attend the film's world premiere in London.
It's been a long road, but 'Watchmen' finally had it's world premiere at London's Leicester Square on Monday (February 23).
The tagline to the film reads, "They watch over us, but who watches them?" Taking more than 20 years to produce, and branded 'unfilmable' by one director, it looked like the answer to that question - as far as cinema audiences were concerned - would remain: "nobody".
After several aborted attempts to make the movie, with directors such as Terry Gilliam and Darren Aronofsky attached to the project at different stages, the new 'Watchmen' certainly didn't suffer from a lack of funding in it's final production, with a budget in excess of 100 million U.S.
The comic and film are set in an alternate mid-80's Cold War America, where Richard Nixon is still President, and the world stands on the brink of nuclear conflict.
Superheros - who, in this world, are for the most part costumed vigilantes without any super powers - have been outlawed. The murder of one masked crime-fighter, 'The Comedian' indicates they might also be hunted. When fellow superheros come out of retirement to investigate the murder, they discover a plot that threatens to push a world on the brink of nuclear holocaust over the edge.
As with his previous blockbuster comic adaptation, '300,' director Zack Snyder chose to use the original graphic novel almost as a storyboard and screenplay.
"It's really strange, you know, because when you draw a comic book you run a movie in your head and then you grab the pictures, and when you sit and watch this it's just like that," said Dave Gibbons, the illustrator of the Watchmen comic told Reuters Television. "It crystallises into the pictures and Zack has followed them really, really closely. So yeah, it's very flattering."
Liberal doses of sex and violence have been added to the screen version of the story. One of the fight scenes alone features more compound fractures than any film before it.
Snyder, whose wife, Deborah, co-produced 'Watchmen', said that the record breaking success of '300' played no small part in allowing him to make the film in his own way.
"I think that '300' really helped us to say, okay, look, it can be rated R. It can be something you don't get right away, but but people like it," he explained.
The actors in movie - which doesn't have any major starpower attached to it - said they are aware of the pressure of delivering a movie - not just from the studio, from but those toughest of critics: the original comic book fans.
"You know, very aware of the fact that they questioned everyone from Zack being the director to all of us actors. And we went in wanting to stay as true as we could to the graphic novel and make the best movie we could and it was very much a passion project for all of us involved. We wanted to get it right for Watchmen fans," said Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays The Comedian.
Malin Akerman, who plays the sexy Silk Spectre, said she realised only after making the film how much of a big deal it was for comic fans.
"We went to Comicon (the U.S. annual comic book convention) in San Diego, which was a thrill. I mean we had 6,000 people at our panel and that's when it sort of hit that this could be quite a big cut film and the pressure was on and we all became huge fans, so we were putting our own pressure on ourselves to make it the best we could possibly make it," she recalled.
One person unlikely to be fan of the film is the man who penned the original comic book, writer Alan Moore, who also wrote the cult hit comic 'V for Vendetta'.
"I think Alan's views on Hollywood are quite well known and I'm really sorry he's had a bad time and I'm having a good time and I'm really sorry that he can't share it," said Gibbons of his co-creator.
Snyder didn't want to guess on whether Moore could be convinced to watch the cinema adaptation of his work.
"Look, you know Alan has famously said 'I don't want anything to do with it' and I just try and respect that as much as I can," he said.
Watchmen opens across cinemas in the UK on March 6.
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