Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons popped by with new exclusive footage. And even though Gibbons joked with the eager crowd that the new footage was "not a squid," it was possibly just as exciting. Spoilers.
First, we were shown the first 18 minutes, which io9 has luckily seen before and wrote about in great detail earlier... but let us tell you that it's still every bit as jam packed full of Watchmen history tidbits and delights. I even noticed a few new details in the Bob Dylan-soundtracked title sequence, like a Sally Jupiter retirement party pic posed like the infamous Last Supper painting, and a white haired Andy Warhol selling Nite Owl prints.
But more importantly: lets talk about the new bits! We saw a lot more of Walter Kovacs — we've caught a few flashes of him in his youth, but we've mostly seen Rorschach in his ominous moving mask, fedora and trench coat. We've never actually seen him without his hat, come to think of it. So can Jackie Earle Haley pull off "tortured don't even blink near me" badass? YES. A thousand times, yes.
In the brand new clip, we see an unmasked Kovacs, with a bright red buzz cut and freckles, take down a giant prisoner with a mere-lunch tray. It starts off inside the prison where Kovacs is taken, after getting picked up by the cops. Kovacs is getting harassed by a giant prisoner wielding a knife. In mere moments, Kovacs deflects the knife with his lunch tray, hobbles his attacker to his knees (who is about twice the size of Kovacs) and pours the fryer grease all over his face. The poor man screams and his flesh bubbles. And while Rorschach is being pulled away by the prison guards - multiple guards, I might add - he reminds them all, "I'm not locked in here with you. You're locked in here with me." It's straight out of the graphic novel, amazing and in one hot grease flesh burning moment, Jackie Earle Haley has sold me. I've seen pictures of Haley before but he's totally transformed for this role. Plus Rorschach isn't as hideous as I'd imagined from the book. In fact, if you have a thing for gingers you may develop a bit of a psycho-crush, or man-crush. Every single person in the audience at NYCC already has a massive crush on Rorschach already. Every time his mug or mask appeared on screen the crowd launched into applause.
Gibbons then addressed the crowd, and the fans went straight for the important facts (Mind you I'm typing as he's saying this):
Q: Will the squid be in the end?
Gibbons: The outcome is exactly the same as the novel. But the gimmick is different. And I think you know what I mean (ahem squid). I think it has to stand as a good movie...The reality is you have to make changes...and I think it's been done very well.
Q: Will the squid at least be on the DVD?
Gibbons: [jokingly] Why is the squid so important? In the comic book it's a huge special effect that Adrien Veidt pulls, it's a special effect. I don't think it would have worked as well in the movie. Sorry...
Q: Do you have any stipulations for Warner Brother in doing a prequel or sequel
GIbbons: If they want to make a prequel or sequel, there is nothing I can do to stop them from doing it. One occasion DC was very tempted to do a spin-off or sequel, but wiser heads prevailed. If you add anything to Watchmen, you're not adding to it you're diluting it. It's not like a Batman movie, where you can add to it. I don't think you'd see me on stage at a Comic Con talking about a sequel or a prequel and I don't think you'd see Zack Snyder either. [The] general consensus, is leave well enough alone.
Images of DC Direct Watchmen merchandise by Lauren Davis