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Posted at 4:38 PM ET, 07/25/2008

Watching the 'Watchmen'

By Jen Chaney

Liz and I just left the "Watchmen" panel a short time ago. She was Twittering away the whole time, so head over there to get a blow-by-blow of everything that director Zack Snyder, Dave Gibbons and the stars of the film had to say.

The footage -- essentially an extended version of the trailer shown with "The Dark Knight" -- was visually striking and very much in keeping with the look of the graphic novel. We got to see a bit more of Nite Owl and some violent Vietnam imagery starring Dr. Manhattan.

Speaking of the Doc, let me just say this: I liked Billy Crudup before that panel. Now I kinda love him. Anyone that good-looking who can refer to himself as a "40-year-old jackass" wins big points in my book.

Am also very, very eager to see what Jackie Earle Haley does with Rorschach. He only spoke briefly during the panel, mostly about how hard he worked -- studying the scipt, the novel and even looking at what fans were saying online -- to decide how to formulate the character. Also on the panel: Carla Gugino, Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Denny from "Grey's Anatomy," who's playing the Comedian), Patrick Wilson, Matthew Goode and Malin Akerman.

At Friday's 'Watchmen' panel, star Billy Crudup called himself 'a 5-foot-9-inch 40-year-old jackass playing dress up.' (AP)

Hall H holds 6500 people and virtually every seat was filled. The vibe after it was all over seemed mostly positive, if not electric. Lots of applause and some whoops over the footage. Snyder was often funny during the panel, but I wonder if some of the "Watchmen" faithful are concerned that he lacks the gravitas to bring this extremely complicated story to the screen. We shall see.

In the meantime, Warner Bros.' Wonder Woman bag has been supplanted. The new must-have carry-all? A "Watchmen" bag, complete with a blood-spattered happy face.

By Jen Chaney  | July 25, 2008; 4:38 PM ET
Categories:  Comic-Con  
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