Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Billy Crudup, Malin Ackerman, Watchmen illustrator Dave Gibbons and more were on hand in Odeon Leicester Square in London, England last night for the UK premiere of the new big screen adaptation of the graphic novel masterpiece Watchmen. Here are a few photos from the event’s red carpet:
The $120 million comic book adaptation “Watchmen,” one of 2009′s most eagerly awaited films, premiered in London Monday, aiming to repeat the success of superhero hits like “Iron Man” and “The Dark Knight.” The red carpet launch of the special effects-laden action thriller is the culmination of years of to-ing and fro-ing over scripts, budgets and, finally, a legal dispute between rival Hollywood studios. Directed by Zack Snyder, whose “300″ was a box office winner in 2007, Watchmen is based on a 1986 comic book series of the same name written by Briton Alan Moore and illustrated by compatriot Dave Gibbons. As with other movies based on his stories, Moore has distanced himself from the film, which hits cinemas in Britain and the United States on March 6. Asked if Moore was likely to watch the movie, deemed “unfilmable” by some in the business, Snyder told Reuters: “Look, you know Alan has famously said ‘I don’t want anything to do with it’ and I just try and respect that as much as I can.” Watchmen is set in an alternate 1985 United States, where the “Doomsday Clock” charting U.S. tensions with the Soviet Union, is permanently set at five minutes to midnight. When one of his former colleagues is found murdered, masked vigilante Rorschach sets out to uncover a plot to kill and discredit all superheroes, both past and present. The film contains scenes of sex and violence, earning it an R rating in the United States meaning under-17s can only see it with a parent or adult guardian, limiting its commercial potential. Snyder said the success of “300,” his ultra-violent depiction of the legendary battle between Spartans and Persians at Thermopylae in 480 B.C., had given him more freedom. “I think that ’300′ really helped us to say, okay, look, it can be rated R.” The fate of the film was in doubt until last month, when studios Warner Bros and News Corp’s Twentieth Century Fox reached a settlement in a copyright infringement dispute. Warner Bros, a unit of Time Warner Inc, produced the film, but Fox sued Warner last year to stop its release. Fox, which acquired the rights to the “Watchmen” story in 1986, claimed it had a continuing stake in the project. Warner was also behind The Dark Knight, the Batman sequel which was last year’s biggest grossing film globally with ticket sales of $1 billion.
At last … Watchmen has its first official premiere … the long-awaited big screen adaptation is finally upon us. I’ve done my best to stay away from spoilers and extended film clips mainly because I don’t want to be spoiled by what I read and see before I can see the movie for myself (plus, I’m still reading Watchmen … I need to finish it soon). That said, I’m very concerned by the mixed reviews that I have stumbled upon. Last week, I read some bits of a review written by a fan (not a “credentialed reviewer”) and it was not very complimentary. As for the “official” reviews from the media … well, they are a mix of good and worrisome:
Directed by Zack Snyder, whose “300″ was a box office winner in 2007, Watchmen is based on a 1986 comic book series of the same name written by Briton Alan Moore and illustrated by compatriot Dave Gibbons. Critics gave it mixed reviews, with several predicting approval from the hardcore comic book fan fraternity. How it plays to a wider audience, however, will be more important to its commercial prospects. “For those just watching Watchmen for the Watchmen, without any expectations or knowledge of the comic’s storyline or historical importance, this really will be a blast,” wrote Mike Ragogna in the internet newspaper The Huffington Post. But Robbie Collin, of Britain’s top-selling tabloid weekly News of the World, disagreed: “This two-and-a-half-hour wannabe pop culture epic isn’t the worst superhero movie ever made … But it is one of the most spirit-crushingly disappointing,” he said. As with other movies based on his stories, Moore has distanced himself from the film, which hits cinemas in Britain and the United States on March 6. Asked if Moore was likely to watch the movie, deemed “unfilmable” by some in the business, Snyder told Reuters: “Look, you know Alan has famously said ‘I don’t want anything to do with it’ and I just try and respect that as much as I can.”
See, I’m not so much worried about what the negative reviews say (because, honestly, many reviewers like to be negative so that they can garner a little press) but I am concerned that author Alan Moore doesn’t want “anything to do” with the film. HMM. I really believe that people are going to love it and people are going to hate it … just like every other movie ever made … and it will be up to individuals to make that determination for themselves. I am looking forward to seeing this film, not the least of which because this film promises the first fully-frontal nekkid male character — in CGI. I mean, I’m also interested in seeing this masterpiece of graphic novelness brought to life on the big screen but … CGI p33n is where it’s at ;)