The Making of Watchmen's Dr. Manhattan
Hollywood once said that a film based on the graphic novel Watchmen could never be made—in large part because the technology to create Dr. Manhattan, the blue, glowing, matter-manipulating superhero, simply didn't exist.
The hotly anticipated film, directed by Zach Snyder, hit theaters yesterday, glowing blue man and all. Here's how filmmakers used Frankenstein and DIY sensibilities to create a photo-real, all CG superhero.
When Pete Travers, the visual-effects supervisor at Sony Imageworks, got the call in early summer 2007 to work on the film adaptation of Watchmen, he had never heard of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons's groundbreaking graphic novel. "Honestly, I think by the time Watchmen came out, I was done with comic books and had moved on to girls," Travers admits. Travers had to read the graphic novel in a day. "I was blown away—and I realized, as soon as I read it, that we had to do Dr. Manhattan."