"Watchmen" opens next week and this graphic novel come to life is sure to dominate at the box office. But while it makes lots of green, how will "Watchmen" do at winning Oscars gold? Since not even the critically hailed "The Dark Knight" could break into the top Oscar races (with the exception of supporting actor winner Heath Ledger, that is) "Watchmen" will be limited to contending, if at all, in those crafts categories where "The Dark Knight" and other popcorn pix get secondary notice.
"Watchmen" is directed by Zack Snyder, who co-wrote and helmed the technically innovative "300" two years ago. For his efforts, he won a Saturn Award from the sci-fi crowd and the film won top honors there. In addition, "300" contended at the MTV Movie Awards, the People's Choice Awards and the Teen Choice Awards. And various craftspeople were nominated by the art directors, costumers, sound, and visual effects guilds and groups.
Snyder reassembled some of the key players from "300" to make "Watchmen." Larry Fong once again handles cinematography, and William Hoy edits. Costumes are by Michael Wilkinson who earned a 2007 guild nod in fantasy film ("The Golden Compass" won). He also had a 2006 guild nod for the contemporary film "Babel" ("The Queen" won). The "Watchmen" score was composed by "300" alum Tyler Bates. And stunts were once more coordinated by Damon Caro, whose team lost the 2007 SAG race to "The Bourne Ultimatum" crew.
New additions for "Watchmen" include the art direction team headed up by Francois Audouy, a 2005 guild nominee in period/fantasy for "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" ("Memoirs of a Geisha" won). Sound editing is by, among others, 2002 Oscar nominee Scott Hecker (his work on "Road to Perdition" lost to "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers"). And special effects are from, among others, 2007 VES nominees Theo Vandernoot, Vincent Serritella and Pericles Michielin (their work on "Beowulf" lost to "Ratatouille").
Photos: Warner Bros.