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.
When director Zack Snyder spoke about Silk Spectre, he confessed she was the one character he was really unsure of how to tackle, costume-wise. In the comics, she is pretty much wearing black lingerie covered in a gossamer camisole; he felt that was not gonna work onscreen.
I think he must've been relieved when I blurted out "Dude! Do her outfit in latex! You can make it have the same lines as her comic outfit, but it'll look cool onscreen and all the cosplayers will go nuts; it'll be a big fan-favorite!" When I saw the WATCHMEN trailer in front of DARK KNIGHT, and saw Silk Spectre in latex, I almost turned to the stranger next to me and bragged "That was my idea! Eeee!" Yes, I am functionally retarded.
OK, first sketch, on the left. Pretty basic. It matches Gibbons' design relatively closely, I think. I imagined it as a chin-to-toe full latex suit; that way the actress and stuntwomen would have some protection while kicking alternate 1986 ass. I even thought the gossamer cammy would work. Zack liked it, but wanted her to have a domino mask. Bless his zombies-that-run-fast heart, he wanted to make sure the Watchmen looked like damn superheroes. The second sketch reflects that, plus his request that she have some weapons. I thought those telescoping truncheons would fit the bill.
From what I've seen, the screen version doesn't have a mask, and shouldn't! The actress in the costume looks so PERFECT, they nailed it. Silk Spectre (both 1940s and 1980s versions) should have a fetich quality to the look, and what I see onscreen NAILS IT. I can't wait.