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The Watchmen Set Visit

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The staff of IGN visits The Watchmen’s set and they have some good stuff.

All it takes is the most cursory stroll through the “brownstone” belonging to Dan Dreiberg (a.k.a. Nite Owl II) to realize that something special is happening on the set of Watchmen.

Everywhere you look there’s some new, telling detail in the environment of the reluctantly retired, slightly gone-to-seed superhero. Owlish and avian-themed tchokes dominate in the form of clocks, bookends, statuettes and other objects d’art, suggesting that Dreiberg’s costumed alter ego is never far from his mind. Framed photographs and old news clipping line his mantle – not just snapshots of his own adventuring as Nite-Owl, but nostalgic black and white glimpses of the very first superheroes, the Minutemen, that evoke Dreiberg’s enduring nostalgia.

And next to his reading chair sits a stack of 1985 comic books, authentic to the story’s era, indicating that fantasy and escapism is never more than an arm’s reach away.

Of course, when Watchmen – the ultimate post-modern take on the superhero phenomenon based on the 1986 comic book miniseries by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons, which was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 best novels from 1923 to the present – finally makes its long trek from printed page to the big screen, only a handful of these minute details may get a few seconds of screen time.

But showing off every nuance in the detail-drenched environment isn’t what director Zack Snyder (300) has in mind. Instead, he’s chosen to soak his set in tiny but evocative minutiae simply because it adds that much more atmosphere to the proceedings – if audiences happen to catch a glimpse in repeated viewings, the same way similar details revealed themselves to readers exploring the book a second, third, tenth time, he’s just fine with that.

“In this movie there’s so much stuff to photograph, whether it be a button or a Gunga Diner container,” says Snyder, who considers himself just one of the cult of Watchmen worshippers hungry to see the comic book’s world fully realized. “Everything has fetish relevance.”

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