Since the ART OF WATCHMEN book has come out, I feel comfortable posting the art I did for the 8 minutes I worked on the film...
First, the back story. I was contacted by representatives of 300 director Zack Snyder, while 300 was in postproduction, about doing designs for 4 of the 6 main characters from WATCHMEN. Zack wanted me to design the look of the characters, and then do 4 'cover-quality' color illustrations to hep convince the suits & ties at Warner Bros. Pictures to green-light his WATCHMEN film.
I did a first round of sketches, talked with Mr. Snyder, did a second round of looser sketches based on our discussions, and then was given the go-ahead to proceed with designing full illustrations. Since I was running late on CATWOMAN covers as well as other things, I was juggling the assignments. Since I do art for whomever yells the loudest, the WATCHMEN stuff took a minor backburner placing on my To Do List. I never heard from them, they never called or e-mailed saying "Hey, hurry up, you bastard!", so I worked on Selina Kyle.
Then, 300 came out.
It did so well in its opening weekend, Warner Bros. green-lit WATCHMEN the following Monday.
I guess my services weren't required, because I never heard back from the WATCHMEN people. I could've finished the color pieces on principle, like a good freelancer, but I'm so slow that my time is kinda precious, and I don't want to waste time drawing something that isn't going to be used. So, I just chalked it up to "That's business...".
The WATCHMEN people contacted me much later, asking for high-rez versions of the sketches for the inevitable ART OF book. I pointed out that, since I never actually did the assignment I was asked to do, I had never been paid. To their credit, once we agreed on a rate for just the sketches, they check arrived so fast, the envelope was warm, the ink was still wet, and the FedEx guy was out of breath. The WATCHMEN movie guys are a pretty respectable gang, as far as my experience goes.
Director Zack Snyder said he really wanted to get away from the gold body suit with purple tunic look for the Big O, and kinda agree wit the sentiment. Making that suit from the comic could make or break the film; if the audience laughs at Ozymandias, WATCHMEN just won't work dramatically.
We discussed ideas, and Zack really liked the idea of keeping the 'Alexander the Great' motif. My design was basically a handsome blonde guy in a cuirass (sculpted breastplate) but with tights on underneath. In the final film, they seem to have gone with a straight-up BATMAN rubber bodysuit, but at least it doesn't look silly (to me, anyways). We'll see how he plays in context, onscreen.
As you can see, I was asked to do no designs for Dr. Manhattan or Rorshach. Why? Because Zack said they were going to make it to the screen virtually identical to the comic; they would require no 'adapting'.
Well, since the Comedian is just wearing military gear with a couple patriotic shoulder pads, I kinda thought he wouldn't need to be adapted for screen, either. But, they wanted to see a design, so I did one. It's basically the same as the comic. If I had gone to the final illustration, I would've just given him hyper-accurate & realistic gear; sort of the way Michael Golden loves to draw guns and equipment.
Well, thats my WATCHMEN experience. When people ask me how much involvement I had in the WATCHMEN film, I usually just say: "Well, for $10, I think they're gonna let me see it...".