This Friday, The Watchmen will open in American theaters after a nearly 20 year long battle to bring it to the big screen. It’s the culmination of a lot (and I mean a lot) of blood, sweat and tears. Nearly every major movie studio, major director, and countless big name stars have been attached to the project but finally the movie is upon us.
It’s directed by 300′s Zack Snyder, who signed on to the project after the success of 300 and brings to the table not only an incredibly original visual style but also – according to early reviews – a vision that remains true to the original graphic novel. The movie is set in Manhattan in 1985 where superheroes are a part of the American landscape. When one of a group of ‘Avengers’-esque superheroes called The Watchmen is murdered, the other remaining members of The Watchmen unravel not only a plot to eradicate the superheroes but also the entire eastern seaboard. And that’s about all I’m going to write without giving the ending away.
They’ve even filmed the comic-within-a-comic that appears in the original graphic novel. It’s a tale of pirates and was created especially for the film. The comic makes a good point that if superheroes were to exist the entire landscape of American storytelling would change: people wouldn’t want to read about superheroes because they were real… they’d want to read about pirates and swashbuckling. Maybe I’m not making myself too clear, but trust me, I’m incredibly glad they kept the pirate comic subplot entitled Tales Of The Black Freighter intact.
The movie was filmed outside of Vancouver last spring in a specially created backlot depicting in graphic detail the original story by writer Alan Moore and artist David Gibbons. The original graphic novel holds the distinction of being on Time’s 100 Best English Language Novels (true!). Needless to say, a lot of people are anxiously awaiting this Friday’s release.
Marvel has created a special motion comic for viewing on your iPhone. It’s just been released on DVD, but a search for ‘The Watchmen’ on Apples iTunes store will bring you the handheld version. It’s pretty neat.
Click on over here to the official site to find a midnight showing near you. It also is being shown in IMAX