A rockstar film director, thousands of screaming fans, a baseball stadium filled with models in leather briefs, and a half-dozen Sean Youngs; yeah, Friday was a pretty surreal day.
The task was following Zack Snyder through his day at Comic-Con to see if we could keep up while he announced "Watchmen" details, signed autographs for an hour on the convention floor, held a second panel alongside Frank Miller to discuss "300," spoke with more than a hundred journalists, and ended it all with arguably the biggest event in Comic-Con history: An elaborate "300” party at Petco Park baseball stadium. (After the jump, the full story and more photos of our day with Zack.)
"Last year, when we came to Comic-Con we had the trailer. No one really cared much about the movie, but when we showed the trailer it stomped the yard," said the tattooed director, wearing a baseball cap and a t-shirt bearing the logo of an obscure pub glimpsed briefly in the "Watchmen" comic. "We'll see how things go this year."
Keeping up a frenetic pace that involved miles on foot, in golf carts, walking the streets of San Diego and being whisked through the catacombs of the Convention Center, he spoke about the "Star Wars" maquettes he bought on the floor Thursday (he and his producer/wife have been known to recruit artists and sculptors), his geeky moment approaching "Blade Runner" star Sean Young for an autograph, and all the shield-bearing Spartans wandering the convention floor.
"I saw some half-Spartans, guys wearing jeans and the helmets," Snyder laughed. "You gotta go full-tilt."
The day ended with an enormous party at Petco, as 10,000 fans filled the ballpark.
Snyder walked on the field and waved to the crowd (although security guards stopped him from picking a few blades of the grass), gave his approval to the dozens of ab-flaunting male models who stood throughout the party dressed as "300” warriors, and got a look at the groups of "Blade Runner" lookalikes who were there in support of another of his all-time favorite films, which shared the event with his Spartan epic's DVD release. Stay tuned, because we'll be rolling out all the insane footage, plus Zack's complete itinerary, over the next few days.
We also got to learn tons of inside info throughout the day, like this gem that explained why Zack cracked up laughing towards the end of his panel discussing the "Watchmen" flick, as one of the 6500 in attendance asked about the poodle haircut Silk Spectre had in the comic. "On the panel, when I was talking, people asked questions. There was one guy dressed like Rorschach, and another guy dressed like Nite-Owl - and he was funny," Snyder explained. "And when that guy started asking me the question, I could see the next guy behind him - and that guy I recognized. His name is DJ, and he's the visual effects supervisor on the movie. He had gotten in line - he's the one that asked the question about [whether I'll keep] Silk Spectre's hair-do. I see him everyday, and we bust each other's chops, so that's why I said 'That hair-do would look good on you."
"He was trying to f me up," Snyder grinned. "That jackass."