Zack Snyder talks Watchmen, celebrities and politics

By by Noah Levinson

‘ ‘ ‘ It’s hard not to notice that little yellow smiley face pin with a drop of blood on it…. ‘ ‘ ‘ It’s hard not to notice that little yellow smiley face pin with a drop of blood on it. The icon’s been splattered on television ads, posters and billboards to advertise the new movie ‘Watchmen.’ But the largest smiley face belongs to the film’s director, Zack Snyder. ‘ ‘ ‘ Snyder, whose other films include a ‘Dawn of the Dead’ remake and the action sensation ‘300,’ spent the past 3 years creating ‘Watchmen.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ The film is an adaptation of a 1987 graphic novel written by Alan Moore, author of ‘V for Vendetta’ and ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘I’m a giant fan of Alan Moore,’ said Snyder in a press conference call. ‘The first question I asked was, ‘When do we get to go talk to Alan Moore?” But the answer was never. ‘ ‘ ‘ Moore decided that, like his other works transferred to the big screen, he wouldn’t support the film adaptation. ‘ ‘ ‘ Even without Moore’s support, Snyder knew he was destined to take on ‘Watchmen.’ He couldn’t imagine it forming any other way. ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘If I didn’t do it, it was going to be a basic PG-13 movie with sequel potential,’ said Snyder. ‘ ‘ ‘ Deciding to use low-key actors instead of Hollywood stars also separated Snyder from the other possible directors who could’ve taken the project. ‘ ‘ ‘ Without major celebrities, Snyder believed that the characters would truly become characters and not actors playing characters. Instead of ‘There’s Rorschach,’ one of the main characters of the film, people might say, ‘Oh, look. There’s Brad Pitt playing Rorschach.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘My actors don’t play the Hollywood game,’ said Snyder. ‘ ‘ ‘ Most importantly to Snyder, the cast matched the physical appearances of the novel’s characters, especially in the case of the mostly naked, blue superhuman, Dr. Manhattan. ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘The most difficult character to realize is Dr. Manhattan, but in some ways one of the most rewarding characters,’ said Snyder. ‘Dr. Manhattan is a super emotional character. He’s a dark and sad god.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ Dr. Manhattan is played by Billy Crudup, seen in films like ‘Sleepers,’ ‘Almost Famous’ and ‘Big Fish’. Crudup had to work with a mixture of computer graphic effects and motion capture technology to create the blue superman. ‘ ‘ ‘ Special effects aside, ‘Watchmen’ is complicated enough as it is. It touches on a slew of issues, including civil obedience, government control and religion. ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘Who polices the police? Who governs the government? Who gods God? Who watches the Watchmen?’ said Snyder.