Who's Watching The 'Watchmen' For 2 Hours, 43 Minutes?Though it's currently tied up in litigation, there may be no 2009 film more anticipated than Zack Snyder's adaptation of the seminal graphic novel Watchmen. Even the federal judge handling the studio dispute made sure to note that he loved the trailer, though he cautioned the filmmakers, “There’s always a risk that if you get one of these very evocative trailers, you put pressure on the movie." Thanks, Judge Fees! Meanwhile, Snyder hasn't let the pending legal death match slow him down — last night, he showed off 25 minutes of well-received footage to a select group of journalists. Many noted its utter fidelity to Alan Moore's original graphic novel, though there was one audacious new six-minute sequence added by Snyder himself:
The first thing he showed us was the opening credit sequence...With pin point accurate precision, we get shot after shot that’s filmed in slow motion where we see actual events mixed in with the Watchmen universe. We see Dr. Manhattan with JFK, Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias outside Studio 54, Dr. Manhattan on the moon, plus tons of other crazy things…as I don’t want to spoil it all. During all these shots we hear Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are a Changing, and it’s played throughout all the photos and filmmaker credits. While the song is under 4 minutes, they’ve clearly extended the song as the credits are 6 minutes. What’s amazing about the credits is the way it slowly submerges you into the universe. The shots have a purpose and a motion, they’re almost 3D the way the camera moves in them. Trust me, after these credits end, every viewer will be entranced.
Also notable: the running time, which is said to be two hours, forty-three minutes. Back at Comic-Con, Snyder told Anne Thompson, "If Dark Knight got two and a half hours, Watchmen should get fifteen minutes more" — looks like he got his wish. As Watchmen fans, we're certainly happy that the movie intends to follow Moore's vision so closely, but are there still elements of the original that could have been trimmed for running time? Call us heretical, but we can think of a certain climactic (and near-interminable) Ozymandias speech that could probably benefit from judicial pruning...