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Watchmen talk

03.15.2005

The folks over at CHUD recently got some sweet scoopage about WATCHMEN from the director of the movie Paul Greengrass (who kicked major ass with THE BOURNE SUPREMACY). The good news is that Greengrass is definitely passionate about making WATCHMEN as faithful an adaptation as possible. The bad news is that we don't know how much of that passion will actually make it through to the finished product. Hopefully, most of it. Check out part of the interview below then go over HERE or click on the pic below to head over to CHUD to check out the full interview.

Watcmen 

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Q: How did you first become aware of the novel, and how did you become involved with this project?

Greengrass: I was going to say that the interesting thing from my point of view – I got a call in November or December, not that long ago, saying had I heard of Watchmen and was I interested in doing a film. I said are you kidding, of course I had heard of Watchmen. But the interesting thing from my point of view is that I’m not a person steeped in comic book lore. That’s not where I come from. It wasn’t something that – I didn’t sit as a child and read millions and millions of comics.

I’m a Brit, as Alan Moore is, and Watchmen I read at the time that it came out. The reason I read it is because at the time there was a lot of pieces of work done in this period of the mid to late 80s that were, due to the state power, sort of dark and conspiratorial and reflecting the acute paranoia of the late Cold War. I was very involved in doing different sorts of work then, but one of the things I did at the time was a book called Spycatcher [available at Amazon.com here], which at that time caused a lot of stir because it got banned by the British government. It was a kind of book about spies and I actually wrote it with a guy who was inside our MI-5, which is like our version of the FBI sort of CIA type of thing. It was really an expose of what was going on. At the time that that came out, there was a kind of fantastic prolonged twelve month period where it was a court case and it became a great set piece encounter – conflict, really – trying to define where the sdvboundaries lay between the government’s desire to protect national security and our right as citizens to know what is done in our name.

The whole Spycatcher affair became a great controversy over here. At the time there was a lot of work done that reflected that kind of paranoia. There was a lot of drama done, there were films done, Spycatcher – and Watchmen. They were often linked together in the press, the zeitgeist was paranoia. That’s really where I come to Watchmen. That is why I am convinced I can make the film, because I understood from personal experience the milieu that gave rise to Watchmen. I understood a lot of the references that Alan Moore used. He just happened to be expressing that paranoia in the medium of the graphic novel, the comic book, where I and others were working in different mediums. But we were all part of reflecting the same mood.

Q: So that means you’re not going to be shying away from the political edge.

Greengrass: No, not at all. I think it’s very, very important. One of the things that distinguishes Watchmen is that it’s about the way we live today. At that time it was about the way that we lived then. I think that we need to make a film of Watchmen that reflects the times we live in. What’s interesting to me is that Watchmen, when it came out, reflected late Cold War paranoia, and what was really interesting about it is that it was an incredibly bold kind of allusive, allegorical, dense, rich story that involved the collision of two elements: a real world running towards Armageddon – which is something at that time we thought was liable to happen, with the great arms race of the 1980s – so you have at the back of Watchmen this ticking clock, which is these footsteps to Armageddon, which is really a Cold War formulation. The Soviet Union invades Aghanistan –

Q: And they move the clock ahead one minute. The nuclear clock.

Greengrass: Exactly. And yoked together with that was this murder mystery involving generations of caped crusaders. It was the collision of those two elements that created the really great originality of Watchmen. What’s interesting today is that we live with new paranoias, but they are paranoias. We are once again in very paranoid times, in a way that we haven’t been I think – I’m talking about the post-9/11 world – we have been in levels of paranoia that we last experienced at the time of Watchmen.

Once again, full interview HERE.

Source: CHUD

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