Cult Classic Corner! Jack Asks… Who Watches The Watchmen? When He Meets Carla Gugino! Malin Akerman! Jackie Earle Haley! Jeffrey Dean Morgan! Autographs! Photos! And More!
Who Watches The Watchmen?
For this week’s Cult Classic Corner, Jack is tackling one of the most unique page to screen films Watchmen.
Now, I have heard many things about the movie Watchmen and honestly I felt like Zach Snyder couldn’t win with this one. The source material was sacred to so many people and no matter what he did, he would be criticized.
I honestly, liked the film I thought it was a great adaptation and I liked so many of the stars. I thought Carla Gugino was great as well as Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Billy Cudup and Malin Akerman.
Check out Jack’s recap after the jump!
Before all the craziness that ensues over the next couple of months about comic book adaptations, let me talk about one of the more interesting ones in recent years. Before “Watchmen” came out I honestly knew nothing about the series and had heard it only mentioned in passing at various conventions. Needless to say, the buzz for the film was absurd when it came out and pretty much put it on a pedestal for most people, including yours truly.
“Watchmen” takes place in 1985 (albeit an alternative one) during the height of the Cold War and President Nixon has been reelected several times after winning the Vietnam War. In the 1930s, a group of costumed crime fighters dubbed “The Minutemen,” form to take on masked criminals and their success eventually leads to the formation of the “Watchmen.” The super powered Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup), The Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Silk Spectre (Carla Gugino), and Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley) lead the way, but soon the crime fighters are outlawed years later after country sentiment dramatically changes about vigilante justice.
Most of the group decides to retire, but the few who remain either work for the government (The Comedian and Dr. Manhattan) or outside the law (Rorschach). After one of the beloved heroes (SPOILER….SPOILER….SPOILER….OK, I WARNED YOU) The Comedian is killed, Rorschach believes someone is trying to permanently eliminate the “Watchmen.”
Slowly, Rorschach tries to convince his retired colleagues Nite Owl II (Patrick Wilson), Dr. Manhattan, and Silk Spectre II (Malin Åkerman) of his theory, but everyone is skeptical. Even hero turned billionaire Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias (Matthew Goode) dismisses the proposal when his old friend Nite Owl visits him.
The group soon discovers there is a sinister plot threatening to destroy all of humanity. As the DVD plot synopsis suggests, “If our super heroes are gone, who will save us?” Looking back, it’s definitely one of those films to reexamine with a clear mind, especially the extended and director’s cuts.
During its epic San Diego Comic Con launch in 2008, everyone was discussing and wanting “Watchmen” collectibles. So much so that on PREVIEW NIGHT the entire exhibit hall SOLD OUT of “Watchmen” comics within 20 minutes (THIS IS NOT A JOKE). I was excited to see the film, but didn’t consider myself a “huge fan.” However, when a friend stopped by my booth and informed me NECA would be doing a “cast signing” at their booth I jumped at the chance. All you had to do is buy their exclusive “Mason Auto Repair T-Shirt” for $30 and attend the signing on Friday, July 25th with your shirt/receipt.
Fast Forward two days. There are now three official “Watchmen” signings happening simultaneously at Comic Con on Friday (which I discovered while in line for my signing):
1) Warner Brothers- Zack Snyder (Director), Billy Crudup (Dr. Manhattan) and Patrick Wilson (Nite Owl II)
2) NECA- Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Edward Blake/The Comedian), Carla Gugino (Sally Jupiter/ Silk Spectre) and Jackie Earle Haley (Rorschach)
3) DC Comics- Dave Gibbons (Comic Book Artist), Malin Åkerman (Silk Spectre II) and Matthew Goode (Adrian Veidt)
So it was virtually impossible to attend all three and meet the entire cast during their official signings. At both the Warner Brothers and DC Comics’ booths, the signings were mentioned “moments” before they actually took place (within a few hours of the actual signings). Dealers/Vendors at both booths denied the signings until they displayed “Watchmen” memorabilia up despite persistent rumors. Only at NECA did they have a sign (albeit a small one), but that’s what happens at Comic Con. There is a clusterf**k of signings so always keep your eye out. You never know who will be signing!
At NECA, which was near the Warner Brothers Booth, the cast signed on the top level of the booth. There was an elevated, second-story platform with steps and someone from NECA would verify your ticket. Sitting furthest away was Jackie Earle Haley with Carla Gugino in the middle and Jeffrey Dean Morgan closest to the top of the stairs.
There was no interaction at all with anyone and a NECA employee would hand you a signed poster from their “autograph assembly line” as you watched the cast sign your poster from a few feet away. It was quite anti-climatic, but, that’s an “autograph signing” at Comic Con for you.
Over the years I bumped into Malin Åkerman at various sushi places, but never really “fanboy”-ed out around her. Eventually I asked Malin for her autograph at a screening of “Elektra Luxx” and had her sign my Maxim magazine along with another DVD.
When I mentioned bumping into her at a few sushi places, we actually started going over the various menus and maintained a pretty cool conversation. Sadly, I could have gotten a picture with her had I brought my camera, but my friend David and I didn’t think there was a shot. Considering less than 15 people attended the screening with Malin Åkerman and Emmanuelle Chriqui I highly doubt I will ever get another “low key” opportunity.
Last September I met both Silk Spectres (Gugino and Åkerman) at a Q&A for the film, “Hotel Noir.” Billy Beer posted about his adventure and I’m jealous he managed to get pictures with both of them. After the Q&A, both Malin and Carla signed autographs, but really didn’t take any photos except for two people inside due to the stage and security. I only managed to get Carla on my “Watchmen” DVD due to one lady inside being greedy with autograph requests. Days later, Malin announced she was pregnant and I’m really disappointed with myself for not even attempting pictures with her
Until the next time, happy autograph hunting!
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Cool write up for a cool movie. Nice job Jack!!
Thank you, Susan! I always love rediscovering signings and films for this column
Man I was at comic con that year and only knew about the wb signing. :/
Scott: Yeah, I heard about the others b/c friends texted me photos from their signings and showed me their posters later on in the day. That’s Comic Con for you. There are signings happening all around, but almost no one knows about them until AFTER the fact 🙁