I have been so busy lately that I keep forgetting
to put up a first look at The
Watchmen, the graphic novel about retired heroes [not
super] who must go back to their old crime fighting days when the world
comes at risk of war.
The Watchmen are coming.
Even though I have been slacking, CHUD has just posted the second part to
a series of interviews with Paul Greengrass, the director of the upcoming
graphic novel adaptation now titled Watchmen [without the 'the'].
Greengrass Tells More Watchmen
The first part of the interview threw questions
such as 'How did you become aware of the novel?' and 'How are the costumes?'.
While the answers to these questions are neat, the second part of the Greengrass
interview about Watchmen is much, much, more interesting. Here
is part of the interview below, to check out the whole interview, go to
Q: There are a lot of things that are
tricky, especially getting across some of the bookís imagery. Take for instance
Dr Manhattan Ė his nudity is important to his character, but how will you
possibly get away with a hundred foot tall naked blue man on screen? What
thought have you put into that?
Greengrass: Some. Not all of our solutions are here yet.
Itís a matter of getting the American football team through the door at
the same time. What is absolutely imperative is that we have Dr. Manhattan
and that we dramatize his powers and that we have a character who people
that are familiar with the comic book will recognize straightaway as Dr.
Manhattan. We have to be authentic to that vision. And we will be. Now if
youíre asking me is he going to be stark buck naked from top to bottom from
the first frame to the last, actually in the graphic novel heís not either
Ė he has a rather natty suit on some of the time.
Q: And in some of the flashbacks he has a superhero outfit on.
Greengrass: Entirely. But what I donít think we will be
doing will be a little pair of jockey shorts. Thatís never been up to discussion.
In many ways the Dr. Manhattan of the graphic novel Ė when I read that story now, I find myself feeling that Alan Moore was many, many things but one of the things he was is a prophet. Thereís an odd kind of a mismatch in the graphic novel between the world where there is this great power underpinning it called Dr. Manhattan and the bi-polar world. When you look today, we live in a uni-polar world. In many ways we live more in Dr. Manhattanís era, I think, then we did then.
Q: Thatís interesting. The Soviets in the book had no comparable
Greengrass: This is my take on it, if you like. When the
Wall came down in 1989, which was the event that I think more than anything
else signaled an abrupt change in the world as I had understood it in my
life to the world that we now live in. It was that collapse from a bi-polar
world to a uni-polar world, where there was only one great titanic power
in the world, and the rest of us whether youíre British or German or Japanese
or whatever you are you are but pygmies to this colossal power in the world
called America. In many ways itís one of the things that makes me feel that
Watchmen speaks to us today in a way because the character of Dr Manhattan
Ė that strange mixture of detachment and engagement, that loneliness if
you like, that inability to make the right move is very interesting when
you think about the world today. Ultimately Adrienís plan, vis a vis Manhattan,
is an interesting thing in the world today. Manhattan is a very key character.
Q: Is Manhattan your favorite character? Do you have a favorite
Greengrass: You know, I honestly donít. I think one of
the main things that makes Watchmen very special is that itís WatchMEN.
Itís not Spider-MAN. Itís not BatMAN. Itís not SuperMAN. Itís WatchMEN.
Itís this ensemble of compelling characters with human depth and yet archetypal
definition that gives it Ė thatísí the genius, I think, of the piece. In
a funny way I donít have a favorite character, theyíre all magnificent characters.
And they all must have their moment in this film.
I suspect Ė I know it will be through the next twelve months, right up to the moment we lock this picture, it will be a large part of our business: rendering the balance between those characters so you keep it balanced yet when youíre in a story you know why youíre in it.
I plan to post a The Watchmen graphic
novel review shortly... promise. For the entire interview, check out CHUD.
For further movie info, go to the Watchmen