300 director Zack Snyder’s next movie will be an adaptation of the most important comic ever written, Alan Moore’s Watchmen. The project has fallen through the bowels of development hell, passed through the center of the Earth, and popped out the other side. It looks like this time it’s really happening, because IESB says Synder has just found his first Watchmen actor.
The first person cast in Watchmen may be Gerard Butler. Who is he? Here’s a hint: You can see him next week starring in 300. He plays King Leonidas, and pretty much owns the entire movie. Gerard Butler is a good actor. Better still, he and Snyder seem to have a sort of great chemistry together. Snyder’s camera loves Gerard Butler’s bluster.
Here's the thing though. IESB says Snyder told them Butler will be in Watchmen. No qualifier. On the other hand, Sci Fi wire quotes Snyder as saying Gerard Butler may be in it. It's not a certainty.
In case you haven’t read it, “Watchmen” is a superhero comic… of sorts. Actually pegging the original source material as a bunch of superhero comics is kind of like calling IMAX a photo album. To me, the simplest way to describe it to anyone who hasn’t read it is as being sort of like The Incredibles, if The Incredibles was written in 1986, intended only for adults, had serious real world implications, and was about characters who are well and truly completely fucked up. This assumes of course you recognize The Incredibles as one of the best movies of the new millennium. Which you should.
So then the question becomes: who will Gerard Butler play? Synder doesn’t say. He only indicates that Butler will be in the film. Since I’ve already seen 300 and have now had a very close look at Butler’s physique, I can tell you that physically at least, he’s well suited to play just about anyone. However all those muscles would be kind of a waste hidden beneath the trench coat of Rorschach, he’s not really old enough to play The Comedian, and those Tom Cruise rumors that were floating around last week make me think Snyder is looking for a high-profile actor of Cruise’s star caliber to take on the part of Ozymandias. If we’re talking about one of the movie’s lead roles, that leaves Nite-Owl or Dr. Manhattan. Is Butler tall enough to play Manhattan? How does he look bald? Or, could this be a bit part or a cameo, which crosses all those names off the lists and leaves him playing superhero background? Let’s hope not. Butler is too good an actor to be wasted in a walk-on.
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