When I first heard that a film adaption of the graphic novel 'Watchmen' was being put into production, my first thought was as to how they were going to cram all the story and action into a film's running time (anyone who has read the comic will know that it interweaves several complex storylines before bringing them all together for an epic climax). Well, it turns out that Zack Snyder's first cut for the watchmen movie has come in at 210 minutes. That's four hours long. Now, this running time is expected to come down in editing, but even so Snyder is apparently butting heads with his Warner studio bosses about it's length.
From an online petition:
We, the ‘Minutemen’ below, respectfully demand a 3 hour running time for the forthcoming movie ‘Watchmen’ from Warner Bros. Directed by Zack Snyder (300, Dawn of the Dead), Watchmen is a film adaptation of what is widely regarded by comic fans as the greatest superhero story ever... As with any movie Warner Bros have a responsibility to make ‘Watchmen’ a commercial success and to appeal to a broad audience, many of whom will not be familiar with the story – and therein lies the issue. While discussions with WB studio executives are ongoing about the running time of the movie, there is pressure to ensure that it comes in at below 2hrs and 50 minutes.
We, the ‘Minutemen’ below, submit that Watchmen must be a 3 hour movie and ask WB to respect and extend the courtesy of this longer running time to the giant of all superhero stories.
This raises the question; Would you go to see a three hours of what is essentially a superhero movie? I think that films such as the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and the Dark Knight have recently proven that audiences are willing to sit through a long film if the quality is there to keep their interest. It would be a terrible shame to lose parts of the plot in order for the film to make more money at the box office but unfortunately that is a sacrifice that sometimes has to be made.