One of the more striking things about The Dark Knight and (Batman Begins before it) is how firmly rooted it seemed to be in what people who live on the internet refer to as "the real world" for a superhero movie.
Sure, those films didn't start the trend - you had X-Men, Spider-Man and most recently Iron Man, but with either unusual locations or bright costumes none of those seemed as "gritty" as the Batman films. Chris Nolan's vision brought Batman into our world as much as he brought us into his.
But I think that Zack Snyder's Watchmen is going to take that to a whole other level.
Yes, the images we've seen from the film look very stylized and Snyder does have a reputation for unusual cinematography (he directed 300) but I think we're going to be seeing a very real and believable world in the Watchmen movie. The trailers and commercials have shown more of the "flashy" side of the film, leading people to believe it would be more akin to Snyder's 300 than Nolan's The Dark Knight - but that is not the case.
Based on descriptions of the 22 minutes of Watchmen footage that was screened to the press a few weeks ago and what follows, I think people will be in for a surprise.
We recently showed you a bunch of new Watchmen websites, and the latest one is TheNewFrontiersman.net. I described as similar to the Joker viral site WhySoSerious.com in it's dingy and tattered look. It shows the contents of an open file folder with images that look like these:
The Minutemen from Watchmen
Masked adventurer Mothman being 'admitted' to a mental hospital
NYPD incident report for the murder of The Silhouette
Dr Manhattan photographs Neil Armstrong on the occasion of the Apollo moon landings
And if that isn't enough, check out this video capture from the NBS Nightly News with Ted Philips, March 11th 1970:
Now THAT is pretty freaking sweet. :-)
I think that what will really make the movie impact the viewer will be the feeling of believing these superheroes actually exist in the our world... which will make them seem all that much more fantastic.
Watchmen opens on March 6, 2009.
Image source: Flikr