Zach Snyder has come aboard to develop and direct "Watchmen," the seminal DC Comics limited series created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, for Warner Bros. Pictures. Alex Tse is writing the script of the long-gestating project, which is being produced by Larry Gordon and Lloyd Levin.
"Watchmen" has a development history almost as epic as the story the comic tells. The project has seen such studios as Fox, Universal and Paramount come and go and has seduced and vexed such filmmakers as Terry Gilliam, Darren Aronofsky, Paul Greengrass and screenwriter David Hayter.
Sources say Snyder has impressed Warners with "300," an adaptation of a Frank Miller graphic novel that he directed and co-wrote. Snyder shot the movie -- a Greek epic about the battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. -- on soundstages in Montreal using partial sets and greenscreens, similar in technique to Robert Rodriguez's "Sin City."
The CAA-repped Snyder directed the 2004 hit "Dawn of the Dead."
Tse, also repped by CAA, wrote and co-exec produced the Spike Lee-directed telefilm "Sucker Free City" for Showtime.
Jessica Goodman and Sarah Schechter are overseeing for Warners.
"Watchmen" is one of the most critically acclaimed series in the genre. The comic is credited for redefining the superhero genre and often is referred to as the "War and Peace" of comic books. It is a crime-conspiracy story that provided the first realistic look at the behind-the-heroics lives of superhero archetypes. In November, "Watchmen" appeared as the only graphic novel on Time magazine's list of the 100 best novels since 1923.
Set in an alternate America, "Watchmen" follows the costumed hero Rorschach, who is living a vigilante lifestyle because most masked heroes have retired or been outlawed. While investigating a murder, he learns that a former masked-hero colleague has been killed, prompting him to begin investigating a possible conspiracy.
Borys Kit writes for The Hollywood Reporter.
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