‘Matrix’ Producer Says His ‘Watchmen’ Would’ve Been Better

Published 5 years ago by , Updated August 22nd, 2013 at 6:29 pm,

watchmen poster the matrix new1 Matrix Producer Says His Watchmen Wouldve Been Better

Producer Joel Silver (The Matrix Trilogy) recently gave an interview at the premiere of The Good Son Orphan, in which he talked about how he would’ve done Watchmen differently (read: better) than director Zack Snyder did.

Now, we at Screen Rant are not trying to start any fire where there is no smoke: Silver was NOT condemning either Watchmen or Snyder as a filmmaker – rather he was simply stating what his creative vision was for the film and how it was different from Snyder’s slavish recreation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ original graphic novel.

If you’re interested to hear about the movie that would’ve been Joel Silver’s Watchmen, keep reading.

At the risk of starting a beef where there is none, I’ll simply pass on a quote Joel Silver gave to Cinematical:

I love Zack and I love his work, and I think he’s very talented, but the script that we developed, I think was better than the movie they made…I don’t want to say he was a slave to the material because he made changes anyway, but I think it could have been a little more satisfying movie. I think Zack made a great movie, though; I don’t want to minimize what he did. But I think at the end of the day it was more kind of tuned to just the big kind of fanatics of Watchmen as opposed to a broader-based audience who didn’t maybe know the original comic.

Now I know that there’s no stopping some Watchmen fanboys who read that quote and are already typing feverish responses in the comments, calling for the caning of Joel Silver. Me, I don’t necessarily agree with Silver’s claim – if he indeed had ‘the greatest Watchmen film in the history of the universe’ in hand, he should’ve done something about it. But then, I don’t necessarily disagree with his statements either.

In the end, I think it all comes back to the too-soon-to-call debate about what Watchmen is vs. the wishful-thinking notion of what it could’ve been. Only time (or the inevitable Watchmen reboot that’s coming five four three two years from now) will tell for sure.

For the full scoop on what Joel Silver had to say about Watchmen you’ll have to check out Cinematical.

And, if you want to refresh your memory of how the film turned out, Watchmen: The Director’s Cut will be available on Blu-ray July 21, 2009.

Source: Cinematical

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  1. I don’t understand this. I think the thing with Watchmen is that it’s story and style will only apply to a certain type of person. It doesn’t matter what venue it comes in (movies/comics/etc). I have plenty of friends who had never read the book but LOVED the movie, and I knew they would, because they fit into that narrow spectrum of people who WOULD like a story like this.

  2. I liked the comic, but hated the movie.

  3. I never read the comic and I love comic movies, and I hated the movie.

  4. I’m sorry, but Joel Silver is probably the Michael Bay equivalent of a Producer. IMO, I can’t stand him or his “awesome” films.

  5. Silver might have been right; he might have had a better vision. But considering how willing he was to continue to stand behind a trilogy of movies that degraded from “magnificent” to “utter, unadulterated crap,” one does have to question his judgment.

    I like Snyder’s work so far, but I’m no fanboy. I enjoyed “300″ and I enjoyed “Watchmen.” It wasn’t as good as the graphic novel, but then I don’t think I’ve found more than one or two movies EVER that have been equal or better to the source material.

    I’ll say this for it: at this moment, I’d trust Snyder’s judgment over Silver’s nine times out of ten. “Watchmen” (the movie) was enjoyable, and possibly the best version that could have been put to film. But I’d be happy to be proved wrong with a remake down the road.

  6. July 21 dude, tomorrow it hits DVD, not July 28.

  7. I’m not taking offense at what he said and Snyder and Watchmen fans probably shouldn’t, either. It is an artistic statement that takes the side:

    “Respect the material that came before, but don’t copy EVERYTHING.”

    What Snyder did was almost experimental in that it’s so rarely seen, that his movie is so often called a “slavish” reproduction of the comic (when there WERE some changes made). So I think Silver is just stating what so many other directors, producers, and fans probably felt and thought too about the movie – it COULD’VE been MORE satisfying, and that statement I do agree with.

    For one thing, the movie REALLY could have used more action.

    Just as LoTR was changed to be a little more entertaining in some scenes by Peter Jackson, Snyder should have done with Watchmen as well.

    It’s still a nice movie, but it’s one of these cases where you could almost say: “Well, I read the comic, there is not much new to see here except just seeing the characters come to life in a long, involved story. Big deal.”

    I liked the movie, but it’s just because I liked the comic. I understand totally why some people couldn’t get into it.

  8. I would have preferred the Giant Squid ending but overall the film was very cool.
    My biggest gripe on the overall ending was, Manhattan could have bi-located himself, then teleported the worlds nukes into space. But I guess that’s too logical and quick?

  9. of course Joel’s version would have been better – Watchmen was weak!

  10. I have never read the comic, but I loved the movie.

    It made me WANT to read the comic! The caharacters were interesting and I loved the presentation of the film, it LOOKED like a comic book.

    Also, I loved the historical references. I think it was a ‘thinking man’s’ film, rather than merely an action film.

    I could see a lot of ideas about the dystopian society that were pinched from Ridley Scott’s BLADERUNNER, especially the dark setting, and air of despair.

    I thought it was fantastic, visually and intellectually.

  11. I’ve read part of the script for the Joel-era Terry Gilliam-directed Watchmen, and as much as I love Gilliam, thank God that one didn’t happen.

    Bottom line, this is the man who once said “I buy art, I don’t make it.”

    Gottarhyme, I think you’d like the comic even more – it’s an incredible piece of work. Year Zero for the whole superhero genre, along with Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. And if you haven’t come across it already, try Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing!

  12. I loved the movie and personally I thought they made the right decision on the cuts and not cutting to much. I’m glad the giant squid ending was cut that was just dumb in my opinion when I first read watchmen. i was happy to see it go. Silver isn’t exactly the most trustworthy guy in my opinion he isn’t really usually that great of a producer so I highly doubt his films would of been better. I’m no Snyder fanboy I didn’t really care that much for 300 it was a fun one time watch, but not a good movie by any stretch of the mind. Watchmen was great, but I can see why it didn’t catch on there was no mainstream appeal to it at all.

  13. @ Movie Buff

    You’re right, sorry. Was looking at an old article. It WAS the 28th then got pushed up a week. Thanks for the heads up.

  14. Call me crazy, but I like that Snyder intended to literally stick to the source material. ‘Slavish’ or not, I feel like that’s the whole point of a movie that is supposed to be adapted to the silver screen. It’s not “What Watchmen Could Be” or “Ultimate Watchmen,” it’s Watchmen.

    Maybe that’s just the way I see it.

  15. Oh, and I quite enjoy it when films don’t reach out to the mainstream to broaden their audience. I don’t see the point in deviating from source material solely for ‘broadening the audience’ which is producer-jargon for ‘make more money.’ I hate that.

  16. I am a fan of the comic and the movie, Snyder was right in chosing to stick to the source material, it’s what most comic book fanboys want, and when it’s not achieved we’re stuck with X-Men:The Last Stand, Ghost Rider, and X-Men Origins:Wolverine. But still there are some who are not satisfied, why, I have no clue. All in all it was one of the best comic book movies to come out, and like many fanboys I think the guy playing Ozymandias wasn’t that good of a choice, that’s probably the only thing I find wrong with it. Also, I’d like to see someone else do what Jackie Earle Hailey did with Rorschach.

  17. @philG, what are you kidding?
    It needed LESS action!

  18. Hmmm, I dunno I actually don’t think Watchmen the movie was “too faithful” to the comic. One thing that bothered me was that it was over-stylized. Particularly the fights which should’ve been choreographed in a more realistic fashion. All the human heroes fought like they were super-powered which they weren’t.

    The ending was changed and yet it still made sense in the context of the story which I think was a pretty good achievement considering how memorable the ending of the graphic novel was.

    Story-wise I think the movie was too slow at the beginning and yet didn’t provide enough of the essential background detail so that the rest of the movie made sense on a first viewing.

    The performances by the female actresses were also kind of weak, particularly gugino. Considering how underwritten the female characters were, the less than adequate acting made it seem even worse.

    I find it hard to believe that Silver had a better script because to me the only weakness in the story was the beginning. I think the latter parts of the movie we got would be pretty hard to top.

  19. Vid, by your post, it seems you don’t understand the point of the over-the-top action. The idea was to create a juxtaposition to draw the comparison on what Superhero comics used to be and what they are now, they have ridiculous costumes, Watchmen has ridiculous costumes(the movie goes far enough to extend it to other superhero films), they have over-the-top action, and so did Watchmen, this allows a comparison to be drawn, so that we may see what they are missing: Real Human characters. Real Human characters aren’t simply good, they aren’t simply evil, they are morally ambiguous, every single one of the characters in the movie has killed to save a life. They did make this pretty clear, they went as far as to state it Simply: “I’m not a comic book villain dan” the problem is that general audiences aren’t smart enough to quite understand this, pegged veidt as a simple villain and laugh as if it was a dumb joke.

  20. I’m sure Snyder could say the same about, “Orphan, “there’s something wrong with Esther”
    Lol,,,Yikes no sh*) look at her evil gaze, she’s already succumbed to the Goth lifestyle,,,)
    Lord knows how far she will go at this point,,, :-(
    Also,,,just fyi,,,
    The fight scenes in “Watchmen” were better then the fight scenes in TDK.
    Can’t wait to watch the directors cut on glorious dvd,,, ;-)
    Screw you BluRay!!!

  21. 790 the fight scene comment is up for debate. Personally I thought the Watchmen fight scenes were a little cheesy and overly done.

  22. @Daniel F, I didn’t really have an issue with the fight scenes in Watchmen, but then that wasn’t really an action film either. The fight scenes were more about the artistic vision of the scene versus any true combat. That was part of the problem with Watchmen: the audience needed to know what they were getting into before they saw it. That’s a tough sell. I really liked the movie, but I had read the graphic novel years ago, too.

  23. I didn´t like Watchmen that much. But I guess I´m the only one here.
    It seems to me all comic-turned-movies suffer the same problem: they are, like Silver said, an exact copy of the original comic. They also drag on and on, with too much voice-over, and slow-paced music. I always tend to fall asleep or lose interest and go do something else. 300, Watchmen, The Spirit, as well as Sin City at times, although I really enjoyed that one. I don’t know if Silver was involved in V For Vendetta, but that’s the best movie from a graphic novel so far.
    The action scenes are often so locked away in slow music, slow motion, and more about making a nice picture than about real action and being taken into the moment – The Matrix did have all these elements but pulled it off way, way better.

  24. @ The Big Dentist:

    Thanks for the recommendations. I loved Frank Miller’s ‘Sin City’, and read the comic after seeing the film. I will be sure to try and get my hands on the publications you mention.

    I would enjoy seeing ‘MAUS’ made into a film, too. The Anthropomorphism with Nazis as cats, Jews as Mice, and Americans as dogs is interesting. A new take on the Holocaust!

    Graphic novels and children’s books seem to be the only texts with something important to say, these days!

  25. Besides the opening scene the fights were lame and there was not enough action. Great story and characters but nothing else.

  26. Just picked up my Watchmen Directors cut!!! Awesome!

  27. @Bill Blume,

    I disagree with the statement about what the audience should have known going in. I was a fanboy about the whole project and knew what I was getting in to. My brother and his girlfriend OTOH were not.

    At the end of the show we compared notes, and I was surprised by his commentary. His expectations were for a standard capes movie, and they were both thrilled by the idea that it was so different from your average superhero movie that they went again a week later.

    I guess it takes all types, but in my mind what anyone needs before heading into ANY movie is an open mind about what’s there. Preconceptions color everything we do, we can’t help it, we’re humans (Well, 790′s a head there…)

    Would Silver make a better film? Who knows. I’ve liked his movies in the past, but the Matrix movies beyond #1 were a huge disappointment. I left the theater on #1 sure I had experienced the most awesome film of all time. I got out of #2 feeling like I needed a shower, and #3 I wanted to leave in the middle.

  28. That’s a great idea, Gottarhyme. Maus might not have found a decent audience as an animated film even up until a few years ago, but we’ve recently had the likes of Persepolis and Waltz With Bashir, which both did pretty well. Plus a number of mainstream movies dealing with the Holocaust in the twenty years or so since the graphic novel first came out. A full-length Maus adaptation could be Oscar-winning stuff if it was handled properly.

  29. The problem I had with Watchmen were 1) some scenes were just too graphic 2) the love scene could have been cut or toned down 3) Mr. Manhattan needed a diaper :-) . Otherwise, I liked it. I felt Haley was the best part of the movie and think he will make a great Freddy Gruger.

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