Because people enjoy piling on pretty much everything Zack Snyder tacks his name onto (he’s easily becoming the new Michael Bay in this regard), producer Joel Silver recently stepped forward to discuss what earlier plans for the Watchmen project entailed, and... well, they’re different. Not necessarily better.
Silver was quick to condemn Snyder’s version of the adaptation, stating “Zack came at it the right way but was too much of a slave to the material.” And it’s certianly hard to argue with that pronouncement, since there were practically only two sequences in the entire film that were not ripped for the comic’s pages verbatim.
So what would Gillaim have done? It all hinges on Doctor Manhattan. Apparently, Gilliam believed that it would have been best to avoid New York’s personal Armageddon, and find a way to pull the big blue guy out of the narrative—after all, his appearance in the first place is really what changes the world:
“[Gilliam] felt that that character really altered the way reality had been. He had the Ozymandias character convince, essentially, the Doctor Manhattan character to go back and stop himself from being created, so there never would be a Doctor Manhattan character. He was the only character with real supernatural powers, he went back and prevented himself from being turned into Doctor Manhattan, and in the vortex that was created after that occurred these characters from Watchmen only became characters in a comic book.”
It’s an interesting idea, for sure, and certainly a logical one within the narrative structure even if it is a giant deus ex machina. In fact, I was sort of on board with this idea as an adapted difference between the film and comic, right up until that last part. About everyone suddenly becoming characters from a comic book.
Just... characters from a comic book. Are you kidding? Most bad Gilliam films are at least more interesting than good Hollywood blockbusters, and the good Gilliam films are something truly unique and sublime. But that bow-out isn’t even a half-step down from “Oh thank goodness—it was all a dream!” The weird action that sets the ending in motion only makes for more awkwardness; a vortex happened! Somehow! Science! Art! Stories! They connect, everyone.
At the end of the day, it seems just as well that we didn’t go there.
Info via Empire Online.