When all is said and done, Zack Snyder’s Watchmen will be the most-anticipated film of 2009 and could well have the most written about it when everything is tallied up. Of course, it has had an unfair advantage over its competitors as there have been decades of speculation and discussions about the merits of a potential adaptation derived from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ graphic novel, particularly when directors Terry Gilliam, Darren Aronofsky, and Paul Greengrass were mentioned being involved.
The reaction has covered the spectrum, from over-the-top adulation to utter disappointment, yet one thing in common with almost all viewers, except those who have no idea all the work that goes into making a film, is that there was certainly a great deal of creativity and effort put into the production. Peter Aperlo’s Film Companion is a testament to the crew as he takes the reader behind the scenes revealing their work and thought processes through sketches, photographs, and interviews.
“Pre-Production” actually begins before that aspect commenced as the reader learns how Snyder got the job. Then, he began work on crafting his vision for the project. He had screenwriter Alex Tse restore the alternate-1985 setting that had been removed from previous screenplay drafts. Snyder met with production designer Alex McDowall to realize his vision. Michael Williamson and McDowall discussed their ideas about costumes and the sets, respectively.
Mainly through pictures, “World of Watchmen” sets up some of the film’s backstory that is covered in the title sequence and flashbacks. An amazing level of detail by McDowall’s team can be seen on every page.
“The Characters” runs through the major and minor ones, including some who only appear briefly and have no lines. The main cast discusses their takes on the characters and what informed they performance. This section understandably reveals a lot about the plot, so those looking to avoid spoilers should skip reading it.