It wasn't hard to attract an audience for this week's taping of "Spoilers," MTV's movie special airing Saturday at 8 PM that offers up sneak peeks, exclusive footage and interviews with the cast and crew of the most anticipated films for the upcoming year. Not only did attendees get to catch an early screening of "Watchmen," Zack Snyder's live-action adaptation of one of comics' most celebrated series of all time, but they also had the chance to watch the film alongside the people who made it happen (including Snyder himself and the "Watchmen" cast), and a veritable who's who of movers and shakers in the geek scene.
Foremost among the assembled ambassadors of geekery was MTV's special guest, Wil Wheaton, an accomplished author ("Just A Geek"), actor ("Stand By Me," "Star Trek: The Next Generation"), blogger (WilWheaton.net) and, as he puts it, "just this guy, you know?" And as one might expect from any blogger worth his pageviews, Wheaton has already posted his review of the "Spoilers" event and, of course, "Watchmen" -- which he calls "the best movie inspired by a graphic novel that I've ever seen."
So, with that high praise from one of the geek elite in mind, I followed up with Wheaton for a few more questions about the film and its place in comic book movie history.
MTV: Wil, now that you've seen "Watchmen," what was the scene you most looked forward to seeing? Did it hold up?
WW: This is super spoilery for people who haven't read the book, so avert your eyes if necessary: When I first read the book, I was about 15 or something, and I didn't really pay attention to the backgrounds, so it wasn't until the second time around that I realized, "Holy s--t, that's Rorschach with the sign in all those panels!"
I just loved that they recreated that almost frame-for-frame so early in the film, just like it happened in the book.
The other stuff I loved is way too spoilery to repeat, but ... WOW.
MTV: One of the biggest concerns many people had about the film was whether it would be accessible to a mainstream audience while still remaining faithful to the source material. What's your take on how the film balanced the two concerns?
WW: Let me answer by way of example: After the show was over last night, I ran into an old friend outside the theater. She had never read the book and didn't even know that it existed until a few months ago. She walked into the theater without any knowledge beyond the trailer. Her boyfriend, though, is a huge fan, like we are.
I asked her if she liked the movie, and she said she was totally blown away by it. I asked him what he thought, and he liked it as much as I did.
So, you have two people, on opposite ends of the geek spectrum, who both loved it. Clearly we need a larger sample size, but based on this one study, I'd say that Zack Snyder hit the balance perfectly.
MTV: Where does "Watchmen" rank for you among the comic book movies that have been made thus far? How does it compare to some of the other comic book movies we've seen?
WW: Nothing even comes close. It is in a league entirely by itself. The standard for adapting comics has been reset, and I don't know if anyone will ever be able to top this, though I hope that if they make Sandman, they do.
Be sure to check out a very special, "Watchmen"-themed episode of MTV's "Spoilers" this Saturday at 8 PM EST for exclusive, never-before-seen clip from "Watchmen," as well as a Q&A with "Watchmen" director Zack Snyder and your first look at more exclusive footage and behind-the-scenes features from "Star Trek,” “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” “Land of the Lost” and “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”
You can also check in with Wil Wheaton for regular commentary on comics, movies, television, gaming, music and just about everything else that makes a person proud to be a geek over at wilwheaton.typepad.com.