June 23, 2006

Horror flick director on duty for ‘Watchmen’

By Borys Kit

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Zach Snyder, who made
his feature filmmaking debut with 2004's "Dawn of the Dead,"
has come aboard to develop and direct "Watchmen," based on the
seminal DC Comics saga of a vigilante superhero.

Alex Tse, who worked with director Spike Lee on the
Showtime cable network production "Sucker Free City," is
writing a script for the long-gestating "Watchmen" project, now
in the pipeline at Warner Bros. Pictures.

"Watchmen" is one of the most critically acclaimed comic
book titles, credited with redefining the superhero genre by
exploring the private lives of its costumed crime-fighting

In November, "Watchmen" appeared as the only graphic novel
on Time magazine's list of the 100 best novels since 1923.

Set in an alternate America, "Watchmen" follows the
costumed hero Rorschach, who is living a vigilante lifestyle
because most masked crime-fighters have retired or been
outlawed. While investigating a murder, he learns that a former
masked-hero colleague has been killed, prompting him to begin
investigating a possible conspiracy.

"Watchmen" has a Hollywood development history almost as
epic as the story the comic tells.

The project has seen such studios as Fox, Universal and
Paramount come and go and has seduced and vexed such filmmakers
as Terry Gilliam, Darren Aronofsky, Paul Greengrass and
screenwriter David Hayter.

Sources say Snyder impressed Warner Bros. with his work on
"300," an upcoming adaptation of a Frank Miller graphic novel
that he directed and co-wrote.

Snyder shot the movie -- a Greek epic about the battle of
Thermopylae in 480 B.C. -- on soundstages in Montreal using
partial sets and greenscreens, similar in technique to Robert
Rodriguez's "Sin City." The film is slated for release in 2007.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter