UNIVERSAL CITY, California — A few weeks back, we broke the bad news from Gerard Butler on the MTV Movies Blog that his post-"300" schedule was looking too tight to squeeze in an appearance in "The Watchmen." But this week, director Zack Snyder assured us that he'll get his Spartan leading man into the highly anticipated comic book flick somehow.
"Yeah, we'll find a spot for him," Snyder told us on the red carpet at the MTV Movie Awards (see "MTV Movie Awards Get Dirty: Baron Cohen, Ferrell Mash; Rihanna Sizzles; Silverman Says 'Bleep!' " and "Jessica Biel, Jay-Z, More Go Casual-Chic On Anything-Goes Movie Awards Red Carpet"). "They'll let him [off the other sets for a while]; he's not gonna get out that easy."
The red-hot director, intent on using his newfound Hollywood clout to stay true to Alan Moore's refreshingly dark comic classic, also offered a promising non-denial regarding rumors that names like Jude Law, Keanu Reeves and Patrick Wilson had been offered roles. "Um — you know what? I would say 'No,' but then you'd call me later and go like, 'Dude, what are you doing?' " Snyder laughed. "I don't know who's leaking this stuff, but they're good."
Snyder is hard at work finalizing his shooting script, casting A-list stars and defending his vision against the suits who'd make the story of hunted superheroes somewhat cheerier (see "Director Zack Snyder On 'Watchmen' Flick: 'I Don't Wanna Screw It Up' "). As he does so, he told us that he's most looking forward to shooting the opening scene of the flick. "At the beginning of the movie there's a character called the Comedian," Snyder said of the ill-fated former hero whose murder begins the story. "He gets in a fight with a guy that we don't know who it is, and [the Comedian] gets thrown out a window. That's what I'm working on right now, and it's pretty intense."
"[We'll be shooting] up in Canada, starting in September," Snyder said of the film, which Hollywood has been trying to get off the ground for a decade and a half, under directors ranging from Terry Gilliam to Paul Greengrass. "[We'll be shooting] real soon."
Snyder also commented on those pesky rumors about a "300" sequel, saying that he'll leave the door open for whatever Frank Miller has in mind (see " '300' Trivia: Albino Giants, Sequel Chances — And Sienna Miller"). "Hey — if Frank wrote it, and drew something cool, absolutely."
But until then, Snyder is focused on the only comic to make Time's 100 best English-language novels list, a book that many consider the greatest graphic novel ever written. "We're drawing and getting everything together, and I think it's looking pretty cool," he said, promising that we'll soon be watching the "Watchmen" movie. "It's gonna be awesome."
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