How much am I going to be disappointed?
Now, with the release of “Watchmen” imminent, the anticipation and tension among fans is at its peak. Unlike, say, the Batman or Superman franchises, whose titular heroes can be reinvented every 10 or 15 years, “Watchmen” has only one story to tell. If Mr. Snyder bungles it, no director will have a second chance at it.
Even Mr. Snyder’s friends in the entertainment industry say he faces widespread skepticism from the book’s passionate loyalists. “I think fans are going to see ‘Watchmen’ in the spirit of ‘What did he leave out?’ as opposed to ‘What did he put in?’ ” said Damon Lindelof, a creator and executive producer of “Lost” and one of a few people to whom Mr. Snyder has shown “Watchmen.”
The challenges of selling the film to moviegoers who have no familiarity with the graphic novel would seem to be even greater, as the comics tales have no clear central protagonist and no characters with worldwide recognition. Yet Warner Brothers has tried to create early buzz for the movie among the uninitiated, using a campaign built largely around sleek, moody trailers. DC Comics said that it has published an additional 900,000 copies of the graphic novel since the first “Watchmen” trailer was released last summer.