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Gibbons on Watchmen!

02.10.2009

I was lucky enough to catch WATCHMEN illustrator Dave Gibbons at the Apple Store in Soho this past Friday, for a conversation and Q&A about the famed graphic novel and the upcoming motion picture.

Although I arrived 20 minutes before Gibbons was scheduled to speak, I still had trouble finding a seat--proof of the feverish anticipation for the film and the already rabid built-in fanbase of the graphic novel. When Gibbons did finally emerge, he was greeted warmly by an audience who clearly revered him. We were promised clips from the upcoming film, and I licked my lips and clenched my fists, anticipating some never-before-seen footage. Instead, the clips shown were no more than the featurettes already online.

No matter.

We had all gathered not for a sneak preview of the film, but to hear words from the man behind the creation of the indelible characters Rorschach, Nite Owl and the rest of the iconic gang. Sure it was Alan Moore who wrote their dialogue, but as Gibbons explained, it was he who fully conceived their physical attributes (the easiest character to draw is Doctor Manhattan and his favorite is Nite Owl).

I was surprised to learn that Gibbons had seen the film multiple times, and had nothing but praise for what Snyder and crew have accomplished. Gibbons reminisced about well-documented meetings he and Alan had in the past with bloated producer Joel Silver who he confirmed, wanted Arnold Schwarzenegger to play Dr. Manhattan. Holy God. He also confirmed that Terry Gilliam wanted to make the film in the nineties but Gibbons joked that he'd probably "still be working on it today" and that it would have ultimately "crushed him." Gibbons also mentioned that Paul Greengrass was at one point involved as well, but that ultimately he could not be happier with the choice of Snyder. He mentioned that the studio pushed for Zack to set WATCHMEN in present day, so as not to alienate new audiences unfamiliar with the source material. It was Snyder's "masterstroke" to set the film in 1985 as Moore intended it, said Gibbons.

Gibbons also said that his involvement with the film was minimal, however he did draw a series of brand new pages of the graphic novel, that Snyder used as a storyboard for an original sequence in the film! The pages can be found in one of the many production books being timed with the film's release. Moore's reluctance to have WATCHMEN turned into a film has been highly publicized, but honestly, Gibbons seemed absolutely giddy about it. He stressed that he wasn't being paid by DC to promote the film--that he was doing it because he truly believed in the final product. He likened watching the movie to literally watching his "dreams come true", and spoke of one moment in particular that is so emotionally devastating it nearly brought him to tears. If you guys were unsure whether or not this movie will live up to your expectations, this will hopefully help to alleviate your concerns. Dave Gibbons--the co-creator of WATCHMEN--is a BIG fan of the film. Right f*cking on.

After the Q&A (the moderator never made it to me--bahh), Gibbons treated us all to a live display of his masterful sketching abilities. Using some fancy shmancy software, Gibbons sketched Rorschach onto a monitor in front of him while it was being displayed on a large screen for all to behold. Apple was then kind enough to print out 300 copies of the image which Gibbons then signed for everyone in attendance! Check it out below:

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Extra Tidbit: What is the "emotionally devastating" moment that you think Gibbons is referring to?
Source: JoBlo.com

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2:01AM on 02/11/2009

snyder and slo-motion: best friends?

i'm predicting an hour and 45 minutes of the films running time will be in slow-motion. 30 minutes of that will be in IMAX slo motion. approx. 12 minutes may or may not require you to slowly put on 3d glasses
i'm predicting an hour and 45 minutes of the films running time will be in slow-motion. 30 minutes of that will be in IMAX slo motion. approx. 12 minutes may or may not require you to slowly put on 3d glasses
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10:31PM on 02/10/2009
Cool to hear. Was this on the same day as the 18-minutes they showed off?

Anyways, awesome to hear. It likely is the 1 of 2 big deaths near the end that Gibbons was referring to.
Cool to hear. Was this on the same day as the 18-minutes they showed off?

Anyways, awesome to hear. It likely is the 1 of 2 big deaths near the end that Gibbons was referring to.
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6:48PM on 02/10/2009
Personally, when he mentioned "emotionally devastating" the first theing that popped into my mind is the part you keep seeing in the trailers with Nite Owl screaming "Nooooo!" If that's the scene I think it is then it ties in with the same one Master Vulcano described.

Shotgun2theFace's guess is good too, but I'm pretty certain they're saving all of the Under the Hood material for the Black Freighter DVD rather than the theatrical film.
Personally, when he mentioned "emotionally devastating" the first theing that popped into my mind is the part you keep seeing in the trailers with Nite Owl screaming "Nooooo!" If that's the scene I think it is then it ties in with the same one Master Vulcano described.

Shotgun2theFace's guess is good too, but I'm pretty certain they're saving all of the Under the Hood material for the Black Freighter DVD rather than the theatrical film.
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6:45PM on 02/10/2009
yeah i'd either say the Dr. Manhattan and Rorschach scene towards the end or Hollis Mason.
i teared up at both.
yeah i'd either say the Dr. Manhattan and Rorschach scene towards the end or Hollis Mason.
i teared up at both.
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6:03PM on 02/10/2009

I like it

He's probably talkin about the scene towards the end of the movie involving Manhatten and Rorschach. If you read the story, you know what I'm talkin about.
He's probably talkin about the scene towards the end of the movie involving Manhatten and Rorschach. If you read the story, you know what I'm talkin about.
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3:46PM on 02/10/2009
This going to be my movie of 2009 hands down.
This going to be my movie of 2009 hands down.
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3:37PM on 02/10/2009

Prediction..

Watchmen opens huge and this film puts Snyder on the map.

How awesome to have one of those sketches too. Gibbons sounds like a class act.
Watchmen opens huge and this film puts Snyder on the map.

How awesome to have one of those sketches too. Gibbons sounds like a class act.
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2:39PM on 02/10/2009
Man, I've had wood since this thing started...this just makes it harder...ah, dick references...

If Snyder some how manages to put the scene were the Mechanic comes out of his office proclaiming his wife just left him for his second in command while he has a pair of plastic tits hanging around his neck, which everyone laughs at instead of hearing his lament....

That's pretty emotionally devestating in my book.
Man, I've had wood since this thing started...this just makes it harder...ah, dick references...

If Snyder some how manages to put the scene were the Mechanic comes out of his office proclaiming his wife just left him for his second in command while he has a pair of plastic tits hanging around his neck, which everyone laughs at instead of hearing his lament....

That's pretty emotionally devestating in my book.
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2:28PM on 02/10/2009
While it does help to alleviate my concerns a bit Gibbons' art was never what I dug about Watchmen. Sure the film LOOKS incredible- there's no denying that and I was always sure Snyder would do a good job making the film look great. But 300 was all style and no substance and that's what I'm afraid of on Watchmen- especially something as richly complex as Moore's story and dialogue. Face it, Watchmen just isn't Watchmen without Alan Moore so we'll have to wait for the film before we can say for
While it does help to alleviate my concerns a bit Gibbons' art was never what I dug about Watchmen. Sure the film LOOKS incredible- there's no denying that and I was always sure Snyder would do a good job making the film look great. But 300 was all style and no substance and that's what I'm afraid of on Watchmen- especially something as richly complex as Moore's story and dialogue. Face it, Watchmen just isn't Watchmen without Alan Moore so we'll have to wait for the film before we can say for certain whether Snyder captured that aspect or not.
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1:07PM on 02/10/2009
Awsome!
Awsome!
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12:53PM on 02/10/2009

Looking good

Well I have read the graphic novel and I'm not really into comics.
But Watchmen is a really good read and the film looks good.
It's really well cast,the production detail reminds me of Blade Runner.
I know Alan Moore wants nothing to do with this film,but I would bet money he will sneak into a cinema this March to watch this film.
Well I have read the graphic novel and I'm not really into comics.
But Watchmen is a really good read and the film looks good.
It's really well cast,the production detail reminds me of Blade Runner.
I know Alan Moore wants nothing to do with this film,but I would bet money he will sneak into a cinema this March to watch this film.
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