The Watchmen director talks bringing cult classics to the masses, pleasing comic book fans, and how to handle a big blue phallus.

By Justin Munroe; Photography by Rony Alwin
A director needs big balls to adapt Alan Moore’s Watchmen. Big blue balls, that is (word to Doctor Manhattan, the story’s giant naked radioactive superhero). The 1986 mega-comic is commonly considered the greatest graphic novel ever, and many diehard fans have uncompromising expectations for the long-rumored movie. But after more than two decades in development limbo, Watchmen the film has seemingly found its match in 42-year-old director Zack Snyder.
Snyder earned the right to tackle Watchmen by remaking George A. Romero’s zombie classic Dawn of the Dead (2004) and adapting Frank Miller’s tale of doomed Spartan warriors in 300 (2006). Having earned his bona fides from the comic world, he’s read to prove that even the most difficult source material can be transformed into a cinematic masterpiece.
Source material like Dawn of the Dead, 300 and Watchmen is all fairly cult. Are you driven to expose esoteric stuff to a mass audience?
Zack Snyder:Watchmen
What’s the harshest criticism you’ve gotten from finicky horror and comic book fans?
Zack Snyder:
What’s the highest praise you’ve received?
Zack Snyder:Laughs
Zack Snyder
Be honest—how many times have you had sex in the Nite Owl ship?
Zack Snyder:
So you’re familiar with all the gadgets?
Zack Snyder:
That’s very thoughtful of you.
Zack Snyder:
How many meetings did it take to decide on the dimensions of Manhattan’s penis?
Zack Snyder:Laughs
Everyone agreed that Watchmen shouldn’t become a Ron Jeremy movie?
Zack Snyder:
You don’t want to scare away the kids who sneak in.
Zack Snyder:
You knew he wouldn’t be in blue briefs, though, right?
Zack Snyder: