"Watchmen" has been one of the longest in development comic book properties. If even Joel Silver couldn’t get it made, it’s clearly a tough one. Zack Snyder ("300") is gearing up to make it happen, and he appreciates that nobody else got it done first.
"I can only thank God that they haven’t gotten it together yet," he said. "I think the delay is always that they haven’t known what it was. I’ve set the movie in 1985 and I have the luxury of being far enough away from 1985 so that that is a viable idea. I think that what happened in the past was when you’re only five years away from 1985, it’s hard to make a period piece that took place three years ago. Studios don’t get that. And there has been a push I think on the other scripts that exist, about trying to update the movie or make it take place in present day or things of that nature. I think that by setting the movie in ’85, by having the Cold War, having Nixon, having all that stuff, you sort of reinvigorate what the story is about."
It also bails Snyder out of a sticky political quandary, were it to be set in present day. "If you set the movie in modern times, you’re basically saying it’s the war on terror. Then the movie is asking me, ‘Oh Zack, what do you think of the war on terror? What’s your take on it?’ Who gives a f*ck what I think about the war on terror? That’s not why people go to the movies. I think what Alan in his book, the comment he’s made about authority and government and all those things, the big themes, maybe if you make that movie right, what that has to say makes people think about what’s happening now or in their own lives. That’s my hope for what the movie could be."
If "Watchmen" goes CG, you know it’ll be pretty good (click for more of Snyder’s "300")
Talking about the actual vision of "Watchmen," Snyder hopes to make it as real as possible. "The idea with ‘Watchmen’ is not to do a CG movie, but to do it when it’s necessary. When Dr. Manhattan goes to Mars, there’s an issue there. We’ve got to figure that out. We can’t go to Mars. I know there’s a lot of people who are going to be disappointed by that but I just don’t have the money. Antarctica, also, there’s no Karnak. I know, again, we should probably build it and go film it there, but I don’t think they’re going to let us do that. So those two things right off the bat. Dr. Manhattan himself, what do you do? How do you make him, how do you render him? Rorschach’s mask, there are things that have to be dealt with and figured out but I think the appetite for me is to make a movie that feels more like ‘Taxi Driver‘ than ‘Fantastic Four.’ So it’s a balance."
"Watchmen" is Alan Moore‘s ("V for Vendetta") Hugo Award-winning graphic novel about an alternate future policed by troubled superheroes. The Warner Bros. project is tentatively set for a 2008 release.