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The First 18 Minutes

It was thought that the footage to be shown at the New York Comic-Con on February 7th was going to be a re-hash of the Watchmen movie footage shown at the traveling press event held a few months ago.

Well, it was and it wasn’t. Yes, the footage included the full assault and murder of The Comedian as well as the opening credit montage accompanied by Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin.”

But instead of stopping there, the scene kept going, showing the detectives in Blake’s apartment after the murder — a scene which was cut in half from how it plays out in the comic.

Then it moves into Rorschach’s first journal entry, his grappling hook ride up into the apartment window, and Rorschach’s discovery of Blake’s weapons closet and true identity as The Comedian. We even got to hear Haley’s interpretation of Rorschach’s signature phrase “hurm,” not once, but twice.

Warners omitted the Rorschach prison break-out scene and the Dr. Manhattan flashback scene that was previewed at theprior press events, however, fans were treated to a new scene that has never been shown anywhere before — the famous Rorschach, “I'm not locked up in here with you, you’re locked up in here with me!” scene.

What can I say, it was everything a Watchmen fan could have wished to have seen. I could go into every detail, but the scenes as shown played out very much like they do in the comic. Are there some omissions and embellishments? Absolutely. But they’re not even worth mentioning because the truth is — Zack just plain got it right.

Dave Gibbons  at NY Comic-Con 2009

It was obvious to this viewer that anything that was cut or added was done in an effort to make Watchmen work cinematically without loosing anything that inherently makes it Watchmen. To cut to the chase — I was pretty fucking impressed.

Jackie Earle Haley was chilling as Walter Kovacs, Rorschach’s alter ego, and I can confidently say that if the rest of Haley’s performance is on par with what I’ve seen so far, everyone will be very happy.

After the footage was shown there was a bit of Q&A with Watchmen illustrator Dave Gibbons, who introduced the clip to the New York crowd. There were no big revelations in his answers with the exception of a very definitive answer to the one question everyone knew would be the first asked — “no squid.”

Gibbons assured fans that the choice to omit the cephalopod made sense as it would just be one more special effect in a film crowded with them, and that even though the new ending has a different “MacGuffin” it remains 100% true to the themes of the original story. He also explained that although there may be some changes to the story that makes it on screen from what appears in the graphic novel, lots of the details are still present.

A lot of the background stuff that’s in the graphic novel is in the movie. But, I certainly think when it does eventually come out on DVD, probably everybody in this room including me, is going to have the remote control, stopping frame-by-frame trying to read the newspaper [in the background]… because just like we tried to do in the graphic novel, everything in the frame means something. There’s nothing that’s just filler in the background. Everything means something, so in that respect it’s just like the graphic novel.

For fans that missed Dave on Saturday, be sure not to miss his panel on Sunday when he will be discussing the still images of Watchmen with set photographer Clay Enos. Of course, WatchmenComicMovie.com will be there, so we’ll report back on that tomorrow, just in case you can’t make it.

02.07.2009 Source: WatchmenComicMovie.com

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