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P.A. Gives the Skinny on Watchmen

Crew member takes us inside the film’s production… just not all the way

A production assistant, who won’t be named, working on the set of the upcoming Watchmen film adaptation, sent an email with some “inside” information. No, he didn't tell me whether Veidt lives or dies and he didn’t dish out the dirt on any off-screen romances. Still reading? OK. Here's what he did tell me.

He wasn’t at liberty to divulge any secrets or lob any spoilers my way because he felt it would be “unfair” and added “plus I like my job and want to keep it.” I can respect that. He did let me know how serious each member of the cast and crew is taking this project and that “to too many people, this book means a lot.”

It was obvious from the tone of his email that everyone on the set is feeling the pressure to adapt Watchmen into the kind of movie that the real die-hard fans of the original graphic novel will approve of.

This [kind of] movie has never been made before. Superman, Batman, Spiderman, and in one way or another, a good hunk of heroes have been made into a live action movie or TV show. This isn’t Jessica Alba looking hot in a spandex suit or Toby McGuire saving Kirstin Dunst. This is realer and darker; an R rated period film that has great characters and a page turning storyline.

Holy crap. It makes you think — if a production assistant understands the complexity of this kind of film adaptation, could we assume everyone above him does as well?

He wrapped up his message by defending the dedication and commitment director Zack Snyder and the rest of the cast and crew have to turn Watchmen into a great film and to emphasize how hard everyone involved has been working to make that a reality.

What I can tell you is that Zack doesn’t lie. A lot of people are excited to work on this film and the stuff I’ve seen is pretty impressive. The production values are high, the sets look amazing and the crew is gelling quite nicely. Everyone has a Comedian Button on their car windshield and a copy of the novel is always within reach. We are two weeks in and I know the crew did three overtime days this week. We shoot till February with two weeks off at Christmas. I wouldn’t doubt a Second unit will be added at some point as [films] this big usually [have one].

What really strikes me here is the fact that copies of the graphic novel are all over the set. Sounds to me like there is at least some effort to stay true to Moore’s text and/or Gibbons’ imagery.

Well, maybe Zack and his team really do care. From what little we’ve seen and heard so far from the set (whether official, unofficial or otherwise) it’s really starting to look that way.


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