Jackie Earle Haley unmasked on set of ‘Watchmen’

Posted by · 9:44 am · August 15th, 2008

It’s no secret that, despite some nay-saying and general anxiety about Zack Snyder’s upcoming “Watchmen,” I have been on board since we first caught a glimpse of the trailer back in July. I got the sense that Snyder’s visual style might be strangely suited to the material in a surprising sort of way that could make it fresh for even the die hard fans.

And indeed, when that first still was released almost a year ago, I began to nurture an affinity for the look of the production.

Anyway, I came across this G4 behind-the-scenes look at the film recently and my excitement level kicked it up a notch.

The most surprising inclusion was an interview with Oscar nominee Jackie Earle Haley, who takes on the iconic role of Rorschach (a.k.a. Walter Kovacs) in the film. We get our first look at Haley’s look behind the mask and I have to say they stuck the landing. Take a look:

(from left) Walter Kovacs in Alan Moore\'s Watchmen and Jackie Earle Haley on the set of the film

Here’s what Haley had to say about Snyder’s approach to the material:

It’s awesome. The guys is absolutely prepared…he’s previsualized the whole movie. He’s got amazing storyboards. He’s got wonderful depth and understanding for the characters, for the story, for the symbolism. Just everything.

I’ll be honest. I haven’t come across one piece of news that has turned me off of this production yet. I just hope the inevitable truncation of the graphic novel doesn’t put fanboys up in arms. I’ve never been of the unreasonable mind that portions of the book could be abbreviated or composited.

And Snyder’s already having a tough time whittling down what he did decide to include. So he’s certainly not out to make it a Cliff’s Notes version from the start.

→ 12 Comments Tags: , , | Filed in: Daily

12 responses so far

  • 1 8-15-2008 at 10:23 am

    Jeff said...

    I don’t know if Zack Snyder has what it takes. 300 is a whole different ball game than Watchmen. 300 was very visual, with very good visuals, whereas Watchmen, in my opinion, wasn’t exactly the best drawn comic. The power of Watchmen lies in the strength of Alan Moore’s writing. I don’t know if writing is necessarily Synder’s forte. I am very glad, though, about Jackie Earle Haley in the role of Rorschach. He has that “diminutive” edge, you know, because Rorschach isn’t the biggest or anything but just the “edgiest”, the little guy who can beat up huge criminals.

    The biggest problem I forsee in adapting Watchmen is that you don’t have all of subtleties, like the Tales of the Black Freighter or the journal of Hollis Mason. I do hope they change the SPOILER ALERT monster attack to someother kind of cataclysm, as I think the monster only works well in the comics. It might be laughable if it isn’t done right.

  • 2 8-15-2008 at 10:31 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Tales of the Black Freighter is being film with Gerard Butler as a DVD supplement, Jeff.

  • 3 8-15-2008 at 3:35 pm

    Jeff said...

    Yes yes…I know, but the fact that you’re not viewing in parallel with the story…like you do when reading Watchmen, is a a signficiant loss, in my opinion.

  • 4 8-15-2008 at 4:09 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I disagree. It would be incredibly disjointed and distracting to parallel that story in a feature film. The effect simply can’t be duplicated from the book to the screen in this instance, but at least the filmmakers are dealing with it in some way.

  • 5 8-15-2008 at 4:41 pm

    Jeff said...

    Well that was my point…you can’t really do Watchmen justice as a feature film because the only way you can really enjoy it is to have the stories be in parallel. I agree with Alan Moore than Watchmen should never have been made into a movie.

  • 6 8-15-2008 at 7:16 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I disagree that you can’t do the story justice on film. I think it’s defeatist thinking (always has been). There are, as I said, plenty of ways to truncate and composite Moore’s work.

    “the only way you can really enjoy it is to have the stories be in parallel.”

    This isn’t true at all. The beauty of “Watchmen” is that it can be enjoyed on multiple levels. When I first read it years ago, I skipped the Black Freighter sections — didn’t know any better, to be honest. I loved the work then and when I finally discovered what was going on in the parallel story, it simply amplified the experience.

    But there’s no one way to anything, certainly not “Watchmen.”

    And Alan Moore is the last source I’ll take to heart on anything. He’s a miserable fart (however creative) who hates movies and thinks none of his works should be adapted. In it’s own twisted way, it shows a disgusting lack of creativity on his part to keep playing that card, but whatever.

  • 7 8-15-2008 at 8:51 pm

    Jeff said...

    Hmmm…I’m still not bought. I read Watchmen first as a whole work, and second with just the “comic” sections. I think the placement is very good, because the sailor turning slowly into a monster by the evil around him, with the Nietzsche quote “Do not fight monsters, lest ye become one” to boot, I think makes you first connect with Rorschach and the flashbacks he has. Then you discover he really wasn’t talking about Rorschach, but Veidt, and the steps he takes in the end. There is a reasonsto Moore’s madness, I think the placement of the stories with the main storyling was no accident, seeing as he could have just as easily placed them in an appendices sections.
    And you Kris, being more of film fan, whereas I (appear) to be more a literary fan (though this just guesswork on my part) I do think that there are certain works that can’t translate into film, and Watchmen is one of them.
    And who can blame Alan Moore, after LXG and V for Vendetta? And with Synder directing it…I shudder. Maybe I’m just pessimistic. Maybe I’m just pragmatic. We’ll see next March if I’m correct.

  • 8 8-15-2008 at 8:57 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I jus tthink it’s lazy to be so definitive: “This or that CAN’T be translated to film.” It just doesn’t compute.

    And for the record, I’m well aware that there the story’s pace and placement is intentional. My point was that there are various ways of enjoying and interpreting the work, depending on how it is approached.

  • 9 8-16-2008 at 9:26 am

    Jeff said...

    Lazy…but accurate.

  • 10 8-16-2008 at 11:26 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Not at all. It shows a willful rejection of a medium. How is that anything other than creatively vacant?

  • 11 8-16-2008 at 12:48 pm

    Jeff said...

    Not of the medium, but of the medium’s limitations. I think books like Ulysses or Moby-Dick or graphic novels like Watchmen aren’t really meant for the big screen. Also, creativity doesn’t always translate into intelligence. And I was never trying to imply that Watchmen will be just…bad. It may very well be good. However, relatively speaking I think being a Watchmen fan the finished product will leave something to be desired.

  • 12 9-24-2008 at 11:58 pm

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