A little while ago, the Internetz barfed up a little bit of news regarding the long-passed Zack Snyder adaptation of Alan Moore’s Watchmen graphic novel. It appears as if Joel Silver had a few things to say regarding the way the movie ended and how Terry Gilliam (a director previously attached to the film) would have changed things. His words seemed to imply that he didn’t really like Snyder’s ending and that Gilliam’s was the obvious better choice. Now, it looks like Snyder is firing back with his own opinion on the matter. Read on to hear what Snyder had to say.
In a recent interview with The Huffington Post, Snyder and his wife, producer Deborah Snyder, had these comments regarding Silver’s previous comments:
Zack Snyder – …if you read the Gilliam ending, it’s completely insane.
Deborah Snyder – The fans would have been thinking that they were smoking crack.
Zack Snyder – Yeah, 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.
Pretty harsh on Gilliam, but once you realize how he was going to end it, you might not blame Snyder so much:
Huffington Post – In Gilliam’s version, Dr. Manhattan is convinced to go back in time and prevent Dr. Manhattan from existing. But the specter of his existence is the threat to the world, which is kind of what you did at the end of the movie anyway.
Zack Snyder – Right, of course. It’s just using elements that are in the comic book already, that’s the only thing I did. I would not have grabbed something from out of the air and said, “Oh, here’s a cool ending” just because it’s cool.
Deborah Snyder – But it’s interesting because, you’re right, it’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t. You have people who are mad that the ending was changed and you have other people saying, “Oh, it was a slave to the graphic novel.” You can’t please everybody.
Zack Snyder – And that’s the problem with genre. That’s the problem with comic book movies and genre. And I believe that we’ve evolved — 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. You know, the whole movie is a satire. It’s a genre-busting movie. The graphic novel was written to analyze the graphic novel — and comic books and the Cold War and politics and the place that comic books play in the mythology of pop culture. I guess that’s what I’m getting at with the end of “Watchmen” — in the end, the most important thing with the end was that it tells the story of the graphic novel. The morality tale of the graphic novel is still told exactly as it was told in the graphic novel — I used slightly different devices. The Gilliam version, if you look at it, it has nothing to do with the idea that is the end of the graphic novel. And that’s the thing that I would go, “Well, then don’t do it.” It doesn’t make any sense.
…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 time-traveled back in time and none of it would have happened.
Whether this is just a case of the Internet inciting yet another flame war in order to keep itself entertained or not is debatable. Snyder is pretty adamant about his opinion of making such a drastic change to the ending of Moore’s work. And, to be completely honest (despite being a huge Terry Gilliam fan), I completely agree with him. It’s bad enough when we see our favorite stories get sidetracked or chopped into little pieces. With something like Watchmen, where the theme and tone of the story are its driving force, it could have proven disastrous.
What say thee, Nerd Readers? Would you have preferred a Terry Gilliam adaptation of Watchmen? Was Snyder’s good enough for you? Or is Alan Moore right and everyone just needs to keep their damn dirty hands off of his property?
Thanks to THP for the interview.