Friday, February 27, 2009

One ... week ... away ... from ... WATCHMEN - I can hardly contain myself

O-dogg says: remebember Saturday Night Live's cartoon heroes, "The Amiguously Gay Duo"? This will be more like "The Morally Gray Heroes."

More from CNN/Entertainment Weekly:

Filming the unfilmable: Zack Snyder on 'Watchmen'

LONDON, England (CNN) -- "I mean, it's a weird movie," says "Watchmen" director Zack Snyder. "There's no two ways about it." Never was a truer word spoken about the graphic novel adaptation that has taken 23 tortuous years to get from the page to the screen.

Indeed, for many years, it was a movie that was considered impossible to make.

Alternately described as the "Citizen Kane of graphic novels" and the "the unfilmable film," a legion of directors have been attached to the movie during its long life, including Darren Aronofsky, Terry Gilliam and Paul Greengrass.

But for one reason or another, the project always stalled. More on the story behind "Watchmen"

Now, finally, it seems that Snyder has succeeded in not only making the movie, but doing it well. Early reviews of the film have begun to trickle out in magazines and on the Internet and they have been generally positive. Are you looking forward to "Watchmen" or do you think it's all hype? Let us know in the SoundOff box below.

As a movie, it is visceral and beautiful and Snyder has remained very true to the source material -- apparently there was a copy of the "Watchmen" graphic novel sitting on Snyder's monitor during filming which the cast and crew would refer to like a Bible.

It's ironic then, if not particularly surprising given the complexity of Alan Moore and David Gibbons' epic graphic novel, that even Snyder himself was unsure if he would be up to the job of translating "Watchmen" to the big screen.

His first battle was persuading the studio to allow him to make the movie his way.

"When I got the project, what the studio had in mind was a PG-13, two-hour movie where [the bad guy] gets killed in the end," says Snyder. "Then it's sequel-able and you've got a 'Fantastic Four' franchise called 'Watchmen.' "

Snyder, who describes himself as a fan, recounts the first time he read "Watchmen."

"I thought it was just gonna be a comic book about superheroes. I started reading it and I was like 'What the f***.'

"I mean, at every turn there is some kind of moral lesson or another. Some kind of self-reflexive pop culture allegory, or there is some kind of moral ambiguity."

Alan Moore and David Gibbons' graphic novel first appeared in 12 issues for DC Comics between 1986 and 1987.

Set in an alternate 1985 -- a dark and paranoid place where Richard Nixon has just completed his fifth term and the world teeters on the brink of nuclear apocalypse -- the story concerns a group of costumed superheroes who fight crime. When one of their number is mysteriously murdered, a chain of events with huge consequences is set in motion.

Moore was determined to write the quintessential comic book -- to push the genre to its edge and the graphic novel utilizes intricate multi-layered storytelling full of sub-plots, symbolism, flashbacks and more.

"The story itself is a pretty straightforward mystery," said Snyder, "but inside of that, there's this huge plot that has international intrigue and a super-villain and everything you want from a superhero story.

"It's at once very traditional and also unusual in the way that it's structured. It doesn't owe anything to any specific genre; it's just its own, true to itself and all of its characters."

Snyder knew, despite the difficulties, he wanted to make an adaptation that lived up to the original.

O-dogg says: remebember Saturday Night Live's cartoon heroes, "The Amiguously Gay Duo," this will be more like "The Morally Gray Heroes."