Warners screened some 28 minutes of WATCHMEN footage last night. Director Zack Snyder engaged in a Q&A afterwards, and the media is all over it today. The NY Times has a wide-ranging report on the ongoing litigation and the footage:
The scenes on display Wednesday spared nothing when it comes to the messy side of the super life. One scene in the R-rated film has an unclothed pair of heroes lounging in their high-powered “Owl Ship” after a love-making session. Another focused on the gore-spattered ceiling left behind by some super-action.
In all, the scenes gave a much deeper look at the film than did the extended trailer Mr. Snyder showed at the Comic-Con comics and fantasy convention in San Diego last summer. Indeed, a 12-minute credits sequence retold American history from the 1930s to the 1970s, as if heroes — good, and not so — had driven the action.
“They’re all broken,” Mr. Snyder said in explaining his lead characters to the group. One of the more pressing questions from the gathered journalists and fans had to do with the possibility — devotees would say “threat” — of sequels. Mr. Snyder said there would be none, or, at least, none with him involved.
Alex Billington at First Showing has the gush report:
My initial reaction to what we were shown was that of utter amazement – this looked absolutely phenomenal. I’ve been very excited for this, but this surpassed even my expectations. We were shown the opening scene and opening credits, a montage sequence of Dr. Manhattan’s origin, and a fight scene in jail. I got constant chills watching every last scene and sat in awe throughout the entire presentation. Watchmen looks like it’s going to be The Matrix all over again. This movie is going to take us on one hell of an incredible ride next March.
[Quoth Snyder:]“It was a weird process. We made a wedge. That’s a visual effects term. It was done in quick time. We would scroll the length up and down. And we wrapped it around a frame. Of course we were worried about the rating. Yeah. We are still nervous about it. It wasn’t so much about taking any inches off. It was more about how many times you get to see him. We have an R rating right now. So they’ve seen him. Maybe, partly because he is CG, they thought it was okay. It was a really practical decision to make it that length. Then we put him in the thong, which is CG. We basically took his outfit from the book. But, as in the book, we took it off him. Because he just lets it go. He certainly lets it all hang out.”
ComingSoon.net has a minute by minute breakdown of the footage.