Watchmen takes New York Comic Con; what we saw

A whole lot of fans were watching the Watchmen on Saturday at the Warner Brothers panel at New York Comic Con, where the studio screened some footage from Zack Snyder's upcoming adaptation. The largest panel crowd of the day showed up to screen the first 18 minutes of Zack Snyder's upcoming film of Alan Moore's seminal graphic novel. (Possible spoilers ahead!)

Watchmen artist and co-creator Dave Gibbons was greeted onstage to huge applause as he introduced the beginning of the much-anticipated film.

The footage remained largely the same as what was previewed to press, including SCI FI Wire, last October, with two important additions. Directly after the main title credits, a new scene with Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley) discovering the Comedian's (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) secret arsenal played out.

Another new sequence immediately followed portraying a now-incarcerated Rorschach dealing with a fellow prisoner who has tried to shank him. After uttering the iconic line from the graphic novel, "You all think I'm locked inside here with you. But you're all locked in here with me!" the panel audience voiced its enthusiastic approval.

After the screening, Gibbons fielded questions from the audience, with highlights including the artist's confirmation that Snyder is indeed changing the film's ending so that it doesn't reflect the book's climax (which featured a "MacGuffin" plot device in the form of a giant squid). Gibbons defended the change as a necessary adaptation from one medium to another.

He did not defend the talk of a possible onscreen sequel should Watchmen prove to be a hit. Gibbons said flatly, "You won't see me at a comic convention in the future talking about a prequel or sequel, and my feeling is you won't see Zack Snyder talking about it either. My feeling is leave well enough alone."

The other juicy revelation came when Gibbons confirmed that at one point in Watchmen's cinematic development Joel Silver intended to produce the film with Arnold Schwarzenegger as Dr. Manhattan. Watchmen opens in theaters on March 6.

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