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Dead of the Dead Helmer Watches the Watchmen

DAWN OF THE DEAD director Zach Snyder has been hired to develop and direct WATCHMEN, the long-in-development adaptation of seminal DC Comics limited series created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, for Warner Bros. Pictures, reports the trades. Alex Tse will pen the script, which is being produced by Larry Gordon and Lloyd Levin.

WATCHMEN, at various points, has been in development at Fox, Universal and Paramount with such filmmakers as Terry Gilliam, Darren Aronofsky, Paul Greengrass and David Hayter attached.

Insiders say Snyder has impressed Warners with his film adaptation of Frank Millers graphic novel 300, which he directed and co-wrote. Snyder shot the movie a Greek epic about the battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. on soundstages in Montreal using partial sets and greenscreens, much like Robert Rodriguez's SIN CITY.

Jessica Goodman and Sarah Schechter are shepherding for the WB.

Based on the acclaimed 1986 12-issue comicbook miniseries, the story is set in a world where superheroes have become government backed. The murder of a federally-backed mercenary named The Comedian spurs insane vigilante Rorschach, the last solo superhero, to investigate who has begun killing the "masks."

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