Day two at the New York Comic Con proved to be an adventure. The crowds were significantly larger from Friday and getting from event to event proved to be challenging. Too challenging. After getting here early and getting a good spot in line early for the Warner Brothers panel and screening, that turned out to be the only event I could get into. Luckily, it was a damned good one and well worth the 1 hr and 45 minute wait in line.
We took our seats and got some pretty damned good ones, a birdseye view of the three film presentations Warner Brothers had planned that day. After watching a slew of videos courtesy of ign.com (which makes sense considering it’s the Ign Theatre), the panel for Watchmen
came up first.
Dave Gibbons, creator and artist of the comic book limited series Watchmen, was introduced. The crowd was very enthusiastic over his presence, as the film controversy has created some animosity among the hard core fans with the studios and they were pleased to see a genuine creator there plugging the series. Dave Gibbons was very happy to be there, and offered high praise about the film and its director Zack Synder and less enthusiastically about his bitter relationship with DC Comics.
Dave introduced the opening preview, which was a NY Comic Con exclusive, using an analogy of getting to open that early Christmas present. They showed the first 18 minutes of The Watchmen movie, due out on March 6th. I’m not one for leaking spoilers but for someone like me who only glanced at theWatchmen series, I found the imagery and scene depictions mesmerizing and it did a great job in staying visually true to the graphic novel. The opening montage to Bob Dylan’s “The Times Are A-Changin’” was especially compelling, and unfolded years of history brilliantly in only a few minutes. After the preview there was also a surprise short clip from later in the film, an explosive prison scene, which got a huge positive reaction from the crowd.
one wants to know the what was in these scenes, I can share a brief description in the comments below if requested. Otherwise, I can say they aren’t disappointing.
Dave Gibbons came back after that to take questions from the crowd. He talked about when he was drawing seeing a movie in his head, and after seeing the preview and clip (the latter which he hadn’t seen before) Zack has been very faithful to the true vision.
He answered a question about rumors over changing the end of the story, stating the outcome is the same, but the “mcguffin is a little different.” Enter squid comment here (everyone in the room knew what that meant). He wasn’t upset or offended, accepting changes need to be made in films.
Someone asked if the squid would be in the DVD. He found it humorous how the squid was so important. He said the squid in novel is a special effect, so in the movie full of special effects, it doesn’t work as well. He also joked about going out for calamari after the movie.
A question about possible sequels with the film was asked. He said that if Warner Brothers wanted to make a sequel he couldn’t stop them, but in his opinion they should leave well enough alone.
The next question asked how many scenes from the graphic novel made the film. Dave confirmed just from the opening clip there were scenes that weren’t in the novel and he wished were because they were so clever. Just like with any other type of translation, things will be different, but in regards to the little details in the background, they’re exactly the same.
Someone brought up Dave’s writing partner Alan Moore, and asked in a roundabout way if was he batshit crazy. Dave said Alan Moore is the most rational and sane person he knows, but he didn’t want anything to do with the Hollywood establishment, which many perceive to be batshit crazy. He was hoping that through the movie it would get people to see his creative genius.
He talked about how the Watchmen series changed comic books by making superheroes really dark, and that’s set a trend where all superhero movies now have to become dark and grim. He’d like to see a bigger variety with superheroes, ones that aren’t so R rated and more innocent and pure.
A question came up about other attempts at Watchmen adaptations (Arnold Schwarzenegger as Dr. Manhattan), and Dave thought that Zack Synder’s vision was the only one so far he believed got it.
The final question asked why the name was changed from “The Crime Busters” to “The Watchmen.” He believed that was done for reasons of clarity. Before going he got a large affirmation from the crowd when he asked if they liked what they saw. Sound like many fans will be crowding the theaters on March 6th.