Zack Snyder Responds To Joel Silver’s WATCHMEN Comments
Last week Joel Silver made headlines when he slammed Zack Snyder‘s version of Watchmen and said Snyder was a “slave to the material” whereas his buddy Terry Gilliam would have made a far superior version of the film by completely changing the ending. If you need a refresher on Silver‘s rather pointed comments, you can click here to see the original story. Well Snyder has read Silver‘s comments and he has a few things to say.
Zack and his wife Deborah spoke with The Huffington Post to promote 300: Rise of an Empire,a film they produced together. The conversation eventually turned to Watchmen and Snyder was asked about Silver‘s criticism of his 2009 film. The director said he did find one part humorous. He said “It’s funny, because the biggest knock against the movie is that we finally changed the ending, right? [I]f you read the Gilliam ending, it’s completely insane.” His wife jumped in to say what her husband may have been too nice to say:
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.
From there the conversation turned to Gilliam‘s intended ending. His version would have seen Dr. Manhattan going back in time to prevent his creation, thus turning the world into a weird meta-existence where Rorschach and the surviving heroes looked like costumed entertainers in Time Square. Both Snyder‘s took issue with that asinine ending:
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.
Zack Snyder went on to say that Gilliam‘s ending would have been absolutely crazy, akin to having Romeo and Juliet not waking up in the grave, but instead traveling back in time to make sure they never met. Essentially, you don’t mess with a classic. Snyder is a polarizing figure, that’s for sure, but you have to respect him for sticking close to the Watchmen source material and being passionate about it. He deserves a big round of applause considering what could have happened if he didn’t do it. What do you think about the Snyders’ comments? Do you agree with them or would you have like to have seen the version Silver and Gilliam were planning?
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