Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"Watchmen" will NOT Feature World's Deadliest Calamari

I'm not putting a spoiler warning on this, because Watchmen the novel has been out since 1986, and there's a statute of limitations on these things. I mean, would I have to put a spoiler warning on a post discussing the ending of Ghoulies? No, but I'd probably have to explain why I was writing about Ghoulies in the first place.

Over at Aint It Cool News, they've got a story about a UK screening of 30 minutes of Watchmen footage. This screening is the latest in a small series of screenings where Zack Snyder (the director) has shown some footage and occasionally answered some questions. The guy who sent in this story is actually the bes tof the various posters. He seems to be a big fan of the novel, but not so much that he's completely unaware of the realities of making films, and he can also write well, which believe me is a plus.

No matter that every single one of these I've read has praised the footage screened, what a lot of rabid fans want to know is will the film feature the novel's ending of the giant squid? There's been some back and forth about this, but Zack has set the record straight, and given a pretty damn good reason for changing the ending that makes total sense to me:

Zack came out with a good summary for its exclusion. He only has a finite amount of time to play this thing out in cinemas… roughly 2.5 hours. Now to include the squid would have meant sacrificing a lot of the character to story, there’s just not enough time to play it both ways. And Watchmen lives and dies by its characters… it’s the dilemmas that they face and the decisions they make… it’s what they come to learn about the world & their place within it… that helps make the novel what it is. The essence of the ending is still intact… the characters still go through more or less the same progressions that they did in the novel. At the end of the day the ‘squid’ is a means to an end… the filmmakers have gone down a slightly different route, but the overall picture is still the same.

I agree with this. I also agree with the poster's next point, that the squid ending, while cool for us nerds, might not be so cool to the average movie-goer, and this thing has to appeal to wide audience without losing any of what makes it special. Hard job, but I have a good feeling.

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