"I'm most excited that it's brought people into comics."
-- Dave Gibbons, when asked what his favorite part of this Watchmen journey has been.

Last night, Cinematical was lucky enough to attend a private screening of Watchmen footage hosted by director Zack Snyder and Watchmen co-illustrator Dave Gibbons. There was a reception before and after (where they served this really great sushi), and in a separate room off to the side they set up a sort of Watchmen museum, with costumes worn in the film, as well as drawings, set design stuff, character posters -- the works.

Once inside the theater, Snyder introduced the first twelve minutes of the film by giving us a little background on his past with comics (started reading Heavy Metal as a kid, and was immediately turned off when he read other graphic novels because there wasn't enough "f**king or dying"). His work on Watchmen began while they were still finishing up 300, and originally they wanted to update Watchmen to the War on Terror. Eventually, though, Snyder chipped away and convinced the studio to remain faithful to the source material, which meant a film that took place in 1985, included the Vietnam War, Richard Nixon and all the scary realities which make the graphic novel so intriguing to read.

My thoughts on the footage and notes from the post-screening Q&A after the jump ...