Nixon's Cool: Zack Snyder on Watchmen
Awesome just might be 300 director Zack Snyder's favorite word, considering how often it peppers his almost stream-of-consciousness remarks at a recent media event in New York. It's also an apt description of what he presented to the press: almost 30 minutes of footage from his upcoming adaptation of Watchmen, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' groundbreaking graphic novel. (See our detailed recap.) But despite all early signs pointing to a truly stunning cinematic achievement -- one that comic fans have been waiting decades for -- Snyder refused to use the A-word to describe his new film. Instead, he spoke of working with a crew united in their admiration for the source material, and of not letting them down. "Man, I hope the movie doesn't suck," he said, "because when I take it back to Canada and show it to the guys who worked so hard, I want them to feel that as much as they cared about the movie, I cared about the movie." That passion and dedication was obvious to those of us who heard him discuss the advance footage, and will be obvious to the world when Watchmen is -- finally! -- released on March 6, 2009. What follows are highlights from Snyder's talk to the press, with all of its awesome syntax intact.
On Discovering the Comic:
"When I was young, I was not a big comic-book fan. I had seen Star Wars and I loved fantasy art and there were certain comic books that I did like, but I wasn't a big collector. My mother had gotten me a subscription to a magazine called Heavy Metal. I don't know if you're familiar with it, but it is an awesome magazine. It's a magazine that is primarily -- it says on the top -- an adult illustrated fantasy magazine. My mother did not read the fine print of the magazine. When that arrived, it was an awesome occasion at the house because I would go back to my room and read it and thought it was awesome. Then later in my life, when someone would hand me a comic book, I'd be like, 'You know, there's not a lot of fucking in this, so... I'm not that into it.' And, also, no one's really dying either, I'm noticing. But then when Watchmen came along, I read it and I suddenly thought, 'Wow, this -- from the first few pages -- is not talking down to me.' There's no bit of it that is anything but heart-attack serious, but it also has satirical wit that is incredibly sophisticated and the art is awesome. So finally, I had found something that was cool and just did it for me...."