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PR-Warner Uses Comic Book Convention As Platform

Note from author Robert Marich: Warner Bros. unveils fantasy drama “Watchmen” before a relatively small group of comic book enthusiasts and further stakes out a specific theatrical release date 20 months into the future (March 6, 2009). The 6,500 fans on hand for the announcement is small, but they are opinion leaders who will spread the word virally, which is a slow but impactful marketing tactic. Given the film won't be released for 20 months, slow is good! Being on hand for the announcement, they will have a personal connection to the film.

PRESS RELEASE -- July 27, 2007 03:15 PM Eastern Daylight Time

Director Zack Snyder Announces Cast for Highly Anticipated Motion Picture Adaptation of the Seminal Graphic Novel Watchmen at Comic-Con

Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Patrick Wilson to Play ‘Masks’

Comic-Con International 2007

SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Filmmaker Zack Snyder (300), who is set to direct Warner Bros. Pictures’ feature film adaptation of the award-winning graphic novel Watchmen, today announced the cast of the highly anticipated epic before 6,500 fans during a presentation at this year’s Comic-Con International convention in San Diego, California. Watchmen will be produced by Lawrence Gordon (Die Hard), Lloyd Levin (United 93) and Deborah Snyder (300), with Herbert W. Gains serving as executive producer. The film is targeted for a March 6, 2009, release.

Playing the film’s core group of “masks,” the masked adventurers at the center of the story, are Malin Akerman (upcoming The Heartbreak Kid) as Laurie Juspeczyk, aka Silk Spectre; Billy Crudup (The Good Shepherd) as Jon Osterman, aka Dr. Manhattan; Matthew Goode (Match Point) as Adrian Veidt, aka Ozymandias; Jackie Earle Haley (Little Children) as Walter Kovacs, aka Rorschach; Jeffrey Dean Morgan (TV’s Grey’s Anatomy) as Edward Blake, aka the Comedian; and Patrick Wilson (Little Children) as Dan Dreiberg, aka Nite Owl.

A complex, multi-layered mystery adventure, Watchmen is set in an alternate 1985 America in which costumed superheroes are part of the fabric of everyday society, and the “Doomsday Clock” – which charts the USA’s tension with the Soviet Union – is permanently set at five minutes to midnight. When one of his former colleagues is murdered, the washed-up but no less determined masked vigilante Rorschach sets out to uncover a plot to kill and discredit all past and present superheroes. As he reconnects with his former crime-fighting legion – a ragtag group of retired superheroes, only one of whom has true powers – Rorschach glimpses a wide-ranging and disturbing conspiracy with links to their shared past and catastrophic consequences for the future. Their mission is to watch over humanity…but who is watching the watchmen?

Watchmen was originally published by DC Comics as a 12-comic book series between 1986 and 1987, before subsequently being collected into a trade paperback. It is the only graphic novel to win the prestigious Hugo Award or to be named among Time magazine’s “100 Best English Language Novels from 1923 to the Present.”