This story requires some set up.
Zack Snyder’s 2009 adaptation of the Alan Moore comic “Watchmen” is one of the most divisive comic book movies of all time. One of the biggest points of contention is the ending, which is quite different from the comic book ending.
“Watchmen” was in development hell for years and at one point Joel Silver was attached to produce the film with Terry Gilliam as director. Last week Silver, during an interview with ComingSoon.net, discussed how they planned to end their version of the film, which would have been different from Snyder’s and the book’s.
Basically the ending was this: Ozymandias tricks Doctor Manhattan into going back in time and stopping himself from being created. This creates a time vortex in which Rorschach, Nite Owl and Silk Specter are brought into our reality. They end up in Times Square and notice themselves on a comic book cover. Silver described the ending as being smart, articulate, and that it provided “a very satisfying resolution to the story.”
During the same interview with ComingSoon.net Joel Silver game some thoughts on Snyder’s “Watchmen” adaptaiton. He said he felt Snyder was “too much of a slave to the material” and that while he enjoyed what he did with the material he felt that his and Gilliam’s adaptation would have been a “much, much better film.”
Setup complete, on the story.
In an interview with The Huffington Post on Monday Snyder gave a response to Silver’s comments. He called the proposed Gilliam ending “completely insane” and said that he made the movie “to save it from the Terry Gilliam’s of this world.” He also said the movie is his favorite one that he has made.
“It’s funny, because the biggest knock against [my version of] the movie is that we finally changed the ending, right? [But] if you read the Gilliam ending, it’s completely insane.”
“The fans would have stormed the castle on that one. So, honestly, I made Watchmen for myself. It’s probably my favorite movie that I’ve made. And I love the graphic novel and I really love everything about the movie. I love the style. I just love the movie and it was a labor of love. And I made it because I knew that the studio would have made the movie anyway and they would have made it crazy. So, finally I made it to save it from the Terry Gilliams of this world.”
Snyder also said that Gilliam’s film would not have been faithful enough to the source material.
“If you love the graphic novel, there’s just no way. It would be like if you were doing Romeo and Juliet, and instead of them waking up in the grave area, they would have [traveled] back in time and none of it would have happened.”
The director also gave some thoughts as to why his film wasn’t as well-received as it could have been at the time:
“I believe that the audiences have evolved. I feel like Watchmen came out at sort of the height of the snarky Internet fanboy — like, when he had his biggest strength. And I think if that movie came out now — and this is just my opinion — because now that we’ve had Avengers, and comic book culture is well established, I think people would realize that the movie is a satire.”
How do you think “Watchmen” should have ended? Leave your thoughts in the comments.