In a recent bit of bizarre Hollywood news Joel Silver, producer for the recently released thriller Non-Stop, tells Coming Soon that he believes Terry Gilliam would have made “a much, much better” version of the graphic novel adaptation Watchmen. Gilliam was attached to the film for awhile in the 90’s along with his Brazil writer Charles McKeown, with Silver in the role of producer. As history has it, Zack Snyder ended up directing the film, which garnered generally favorable reviews and a successful box office run despite some criticism that Snyder was bound by the source material.
According to Silver, one of the highlights of the film Gilliam would have made was the ending. In Gilliam’s version, the Ozymandias character convinced Doctor Manhattan to delete himself from the equation.
“He [Gilliam] maintained that the existence of Doctor Manhattan had changed the whole balance of the world economy, the world political structure,” explains Silver. “He felt that that character had really altered the way reality had been….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.”
Silver describes the final scene of the film in which the characters Rorschach, Nite Owl and Silk Spectre are suddenly standing in Times Square. They are dressed as their superhero alter egos; however, in this world they are not the characters themselves, but rather people dressed up as the characters in the comic book. They are standing next to a child reading a comic book, who recognizes that they are dressed exactly like the characters he is reading about.
In the interview Silver does admit that he liked Snyder’s film, but makes it clear which version he prefers. There is currently no word on Snyder’s reaction to Silver’s comments.
As it stands, Zack Snyder directed a stellar Watchmen film, and Terry Gilliam’s version remains the film that never was. Snyder is currently working on Batman vs. Superman, while Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem premiered back in September at the Venice Film Festival.
Which version of Watchmen do you think you would prefer? Let us know in the comments!