Movie maker Zack Snyder has brought comic book characters like Superman to life with his work. But there was a very small part of him that hoped not all of his superhero projects made it to the big screen.
Zack Snyder secretly hoped this superhero film wouldn’t make it to the big screen
Snyder has directed various film projects in his career. But his first superhero feature could’ve been an intimidating undertaking. His 2009 movie Watchmen was based on Alan Moore’s graphic novel of the same name. But before Snyder, a film adaptation for the literary piece had been attempted several times already.
Snyder felt he was in a good position to direct a potential Watchmen movie given his passion for the source material.
“So, honestly, I made Watchmen for myself,” Snyder said in a 2014 interview with Huffpost. “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.”
But even after making the feature, there were legal issues surrounding the film’s studio that might have sabotaged Watchmen’s release. And Snyder slightly hoped this would’ve been the case.
“I thought if the movie gets shelved for all time it would be awesome,” Snyder once told New York Times. “There are a couple of my friends that have seen it, and they were like, ‘We would go on lecture tour and just describe the film to people. That would be our whole thing.’”
This gave Snyder the fun idea that his Watchmen could’ve become an urban myth if it hadn’t been released.
“We would just be in a big hall and say, ‘O.K., the first shot is this. And then the next shot.’ And they could have gotten all the things off the web and they could kind of weave the story. And they could kind of build the film as spoken word. I wasn’t completely opposed to that,” he said.
Zack Snyder might have saved ‘Watchmen’ from an ending fans might have hated
Another reason Snyder decided to direct the project was because he didn’t trust what the film might turn into in the hands of others. Before Snyder, another filmmaker by the name of Terry Gilliam was being looked at to direct the film. But he felt the way Gilliam ended his Watchmen would’ve rubbed audiences the wrong way.
“Yeah, the fans would have stormed the castle on that one,” Snyder said.
This would’ve included an arc where Dr. Manhattan, the film’s most powerful superhero, would’ve traveled back in time. It was a turning point that was completely absent from Moore’s graphic novel. This gave Snyder a bit more incentive to take on the project.
“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,” he said.
Zack Snyder also changed the ending to ‘Watchmen’
Snyder put his own unique spin on the story’s ending. But he felt his changes were less radical than Gilliam’s, and still maintained the message of Moore’s work.
“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,” he said.
The Army of the Dead director realized that revising the ending didn’t sit well with some fans. Some even accused him of not understanding Watchmen because of it. But Snyder asserted that, underneath the surface, his and Moore’s endings weren’t all that different.
“Like, if you really talk about, what is the end of Watchmen, it’s the exact same ending that there is in the book, there’s no two ways about it,” he said.