Nixon's Cool: Zack Snyder on Watchmen

by Daniel Manu October 9, 2008
Watchmen Director Speaks Out

On Living in the Shadow of Manhattan:
"The cool thing about Dr. Manhattan -- to me, anyway -- is that he's a Fifties male, grew up in the Fifties or at least had his moral identity shaped in the Fifties. In the Fifties, if the president says "Go win Vietnam," you go and do it. It's the president! And to have this character then given god-like powers... [it] is pretty interesting to play with how he then interacts with society. Manhattan's my favorite character, so I had a lot of fun with him, but he's kind of sad, too."

On Restructuring the Story:
"The book has a luxurious pace that's awesome. But I knew that I had to get some information out at the beginning of the movie. So there's going to be differences in just the basic sort of structure. And there are things in the title sequence -- I remember reading [about] Dollar Bill getting his cape caught in a door and I thought, 'I want to see that.' The Incredibles made a whole movie out of it, it's worth a shot, you know? Those are the kinds of things that I was inspired by -- the supplemental material that there maybe wasn't a frame for, but I wanted to try. Like Wally Weaver basically plays a couple of different parts. He takes a lot of the weight of the scientific community in the whole movie -- Wally kind of has to do everything. He takes Milton Glass' part as well. He says that line about, 'I never said that Superman was real and he was American, I said God was real and he's an American.' You know, I was felt that that was cool and a great line. I wanted that to be the poster."

On the Hardest Scenes to Get Into the Film:
"The hardest stuff to get in the movie is the stuff I like the best. The Comedian's funeral and Manhattan on Mars and some of the Rorschach flashbacks, those three events are the cornerstones of the beginning, middle and end of the movie. The Comedian's funeral in particular, was difficult because everyone's internalizing throughout, it's raining, they're thinking about how the Comedian affected their lives, so they're flashing to that moment.... Those [cornerstones] are kind of the 'why's of the movie for me. When I was struggling with whether I would do the movie or not, I thought about those things -- I would think about the Comedian's funeral, Manhattan on Mars, Rorschach talking to the psychiatrist -- and would think, 'Okay, I gotta do it.' Those things for me are as awesome and cool as it gets. And as far as stuff I couldn't get in... the whole detective story -- Fine and Gallagher [sic] looking for Rorschach and trying to figure out why these people are killing each other and what happened -- those are the kinds of things that we left out. Although you do see them in the movie; it's just not their whole story."

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