Snyder adapting another graphic novel

16 03 2007

300-int-snyd2.jpgDirector Zack Snyder is developing a film version of the 1986 graphic novel Watchmen, and the current success of his film 300 may put his new project on the front burner.
Many at Warner Bros. were a bit surprised at the strong performance by 300 at the box office over the weekend. The risky period action epic cost $65 million to make, and earned a healthy $70 million in its first weekend. Now the studio is looking a little more closely at the most famous of all graphic novels, Watchmen. The Hollywood Reporter says the film is in development at Warner Bros., with 300 director Zack Snyder likely to helm.
Universal Pictures and Paramount have both held the rights to the 1983 graphic novel, created by Alan Moore, and directors ranging from Terry Gilliam to Paul Greengrass to Darren Aronofsky have been associated with it at one time or another. But everyone has passed due to the complexity of the material and the likelihood that the film would require a gigantic budget and a sizeable risk to any studio producing it. Warners has the rights to the project now after picking them up from Paramount in a turnaround deal.
Snyder has been making it clear that he wants to begin shooting the project sometime later this year. He’s been sneaking hints about Watchmen into marketing materials for 300, including an image of one of the Watchmen characters embedded into a DVD trailer for 300, which was recently discovered by fans.
Warner Bros. hasn’t given the greenlight for Watchmen just yet; the studio wants the picture to come in under $100 million, and Snyder is reportedly holding out for 150. But big bucks for 300 may be the key to putting Watchmen in front of the cameras at last. Separately this week, CAA has been busy shopping 300 star Gerard Butler around as the potential star of a packaged remake of the Kurt Russell-John Carpenter movie Escape from New York.




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