Joe Silver Reveals Original ‘Watchmen’ Movie Story Twist

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Watchmen Cast Joe Silver Reveals Original Watchmen Movie Story Twist

For years, most Hollywood producers had accepted that Watchmen, the fan-favorite (albeit controversial) superhero story from Alan Moore, was unfilmable – that is until Warner Bros. and Man of Steel director Zack Snyder brought the graphic novel to the big screen. Unfortunately, while the filmmaker managed to turn Moore’s tale of political corruption, masked vigilanties, and a naked blue superhuman into a blockbuster film, fans and moviegoers remain mixed on whether Snyder proved that a three hour adaptation could successfully capture the spirit (and depth) of the core Watchmen narrative (read our original Watchmen review).

Critics and comic readers are still split on whether the film succeeded or failed in its lofty ambitions – while casual viewers simply did not turn out to support the 2009 movie in theaters, scoring only $107 million (domestic) on a reported $130 million budget. Of course, even viewers that enjoyed the movie and consider Snyder’s effort an enjoyable experience have to face the fact that, in order to make it “filmable,” major changes had to be made. Now, producer Joel Silver, who was at one point developing a Watchmen adaptation, is once again criticizing the final Warner Bros film – revealing how director Terry Gilliam intended to alter the story in their version.

Watchmen Movie Superheroes Joe Silver Reveals Original Watchmen Movie Story Twist

Speaking with Coming Soon, Silver had tough words for Snyder’s adaptation – calling the Warner Bros. film a “slave” to the source material and implying his iteration would have made for a significantly better movie:

“It was a MUCH much better movie [...] I mean, Zack came at it the right way but was too much of a slave to the material. I was trying to get it BACK from the studio at that point, because I ended up with both “V For Vendetta” and “Watchmen” and I kinda lost “Watchmen.” I was happy with the way “V” came out, but we took a lot of liberties. That’s one of the reasons Alan Moore was so unpleasant to deal with. The version of “Watchmen” that Zack made, they really felt the notion. They went to Comic-Con, they announced it, they showed things, the audience lost their minds but it wasn’t enough to get a movie that would have that success.”

WARNING: The rest of this article contains MAJOR SPOILERS for both Watchmen (2009) and the original Watchmen graphic novel.


Begin SPOILERS for Watchmen.

Watchmen Dr Manhattan Joe Silver Reveals Original Watchmen Movie Story Twist

Silver is right that changes to V for Vendetta helped to ensure that the film adaptation, directed by James McTeigue, was satisfying to fans and casual viewers alike but Snyder’s Watchmen wasn’t a complete copy and paste job. The final act of Watchmen was often the primary hurdle for any writer attempting to develop a faithful screenplay of the graphic novel – which features Adrian Veidt (aka Ozymandias) faking an extraterrestrial attack (for the purpose of uniting warring Earth nations against a common threat) by teleporting a giant genetically engineered squid creature into the heart of New York City.

Writers David Hayter and Alex Tse both made significant alterations to that challenging final act – replacing the infamous squid with weaponized energy reactors that make it appear as though Dr. Manhattan turned on humanity and destroyed major cities around the globe (establishing him as the target of humanity’s now united efforts). While many fans derided the change as a cop-out, others felt as though Tse’s version was actually tidier but just as impactful as Moore’s original concept.

Watchmen Movie Logo Joe Silver Reveals Original Watchmen Movie Story Twist

Yet, Silver maintains that Gilliam had an even better solution – one that would have been a significant departure from the source material:

What Terry had done, and it was a Sam Hamm script–who had written a script that everybody loved for the first “Batman”–and then he brought in a guy who’d worked for him to do work on it [Charles McKeown, co-writer of "Brazil"]. What he did was he told the story as-is, but instead of the whole notion of the intergalactic thing which was too hard and too silly, what he did was he maintained that the existence of Doctor Manhattan had changed the whole balance of the world economy, the world political structure. He felt that THAT character really altered the way reality had been. He had the Ozymandias character convince, essentially, the Doctor Manhattan character to go back and stop himself from being created, so there never would be a Doctor Manhattan character. 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.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that Dr. Manhattan wasn’t in the movie at all. Silver seems to imply that where Ozymandias would teleport a squid (or energy reactor) into New York City – killing millions of innocent people – he would, instead, persuade Dr. Manhattan to go back in time to prevent his former self, Jon Osterman, from ever being trapped inside the nuclear test chamber. Considering that Dr. Manhattan is the only actual superhuman in the film, responsible for years of influencing global politics, his absence would then drastically alter the film’s 1980s present.

It’s an interesting idea, and one that could have easily worked; though, fans might have rolled their eyes at the part about the Watchmen heroes becoming displaced “characters in a comic book.

Nite Owl Silk Spectre Rorschach Watchmen Movie Joe Silver Reveals Original Watchmen Movie Story Twist

Silver elaborated further on the fates of Rorschach, Nite Owl, and Silk Spectre – and how the rest of the world would perceive them (following Dr. Manhattan’s reality-bending change):

“So the three characters, I think it was Rorschach and Nite Owl and Silk Spectre, they’re all of the sudden in Times Square and there’s a kid reading a comic book. They become like the people in Times Square dressing up like characters as opposed to really BEING those characters. There’s a kid reading the comic book and he’s like, “Hey, you’re just like in my comic book.” It was very smart, it was very articulate, and it really gave a very satisfying resolution to the story, but it just didn’t happen. Lost to time [...] But I did like the [2009] movie, very much. Zack did great stuff in it!”

The Dr. Manhattan aspect might provide a satisfying resolution but it’s hard to imagine how Gilliam would have actually made that plan for Rorschach and Nite Owl and Silk Spectre work on the big screen. Would everyday moviegoers and comic fans have considered such an on-the-nose connection to superhero lore satisfying – especially considering the world is left entirely unaware of its alternate history (and the heroes who fought for it)?

Let us know which version of Watchmen you prefer. As for the future (read: past) of the series, we’ll keep you updated on whether or not the Before Watchmen prequel comic ever makes it to the big or small screen.


Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for updates on the Watchmen series as well as future movie, TV, and gaming news.

Source: Coming Soon

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  1. Zack Snyder’s 2009 film is one of my all time favorites. I also find the original graphic novel to be the greatest graphic novel ever created. Snyder’s ending was more than satisfying. It would have been quite interesting to see how the creative film would have handled the actual way the novel ends, but the ending we got was brilliant anyways.

    • IMO the “Watchmen” graphic novel is second only to the “Akira” manga. I thought Zack’s “Watchmen” was a brilliant film. I just don’t think the general public were that interested in seeing that kind of comic book movie. At least, not in “Avengers” numbers.

  2. That doesnt make any sense…just cause dr manhattan didnt exist doesnt mean the watchmen team would never exist.
    Also just boring to see a character undo himself
    And dumb being convinced into doing it, just cause.

  3. Just a bit of a correction here.

    From what I know, Snyder never went to the studio with the vision for Watchmen, it was some other guy and the studio hired Gilliam in the director role before he walked out of the project saying “this would be better served as a TV mini-series rather than a movie”.

    They replaced him with another director (a guy who is close friends with British film critic Mark Kermode, who related this tale on one of his shows) and just as they were about to start filming their first scene on Watchmen, the director got fired and they brought in Snyder as a last-minute thing.

    • Ya, my sentence was awkward, I meant that his approach finally persuaded them to actually produce the movie. I’ve changed it to make it a little clearer.

      Thanks for the heads-up.

  4. I watched this again the other night. To me its the one comic book movie that sticks very close to the source material and that is why I love it. Silver saying Zack was a slave to the material is exactly what is wrong with most of Hollywood when it comes to making comic book movies. They steer to far….and it rarely works out for the better. Sometimes we get decent movies but we rarely get to see the actual character from the books. Zack did something with Watchmen that no one else has done with a comic book movie adaptation, he made it seem like the book actually came to life. Thank God that Silver didn’t get to do the time travel ending. Lame.

    • And what change it does make is for the better, say replacing the alien squid with bombs of drmanhattans energy, which makes more sense of how he is framed.

    • You’re awesome, I agree with you completely. Why take a narrative that was written by what some consider to be a genius in his field, and completely revolutionized the comic book industry, touching generation after generation of readers; only to put your own f*ckwit spin on it? Why do these bumblef*ck Directors feelt they have any right to change something that is far beyond their creative capability?

      • Because they were tasked with bringing a written and drawn medium into live-action.

        I think it’s unfair to ask “who gave you the right,” when they’re usually tasked by a company.

        • That’s kinda the point. It’s already storyboarded (is that a word) for them. It shouldn’t be hard to take on the task of a decent script and decent casting. Hollywood writers and directors want to “make it their own”. While I respect that some take it way to far. Maybe CBM’ s aren’t for some of the people that are taking on the task?

  5. I like the way they did it in the film better than the squid ending or the Ctrl-Z idea. The squid thing always did seem odd to me, and I agree that the energy reactors way was tidier.

    I just wish they would have had less blue schlong in the film.

    • Agreed wholeheartedly, it’s hack Producers like Joe Silver that twist the hand of the incredibly creative writers and deny us of intelligent and thought provoking narratives in movies today. How many stories have we heard, of awe-inspiring and revolutionary scripts that were mauled through the ‘creative’ input of Producers and money men in general, before being pumped out as generic cr*p?

      • Yeah, it’s unfortunate that producers do that sometimes. It’s as if they think they know what people want better than the creative people. Some films you can even spot what parts were likely the input of the producers or studio exec. There are lots of stories about what studio execs suggested that thankfully didn’t end up in the movie, like the changing of the title of Back to the Future by the head of Universal.

        Kevin Smith has a funny story about putting a big spider in a superman film at the suggestion of a money man. I believe it’s on youtube.

  6. This is completely ridiculous. The core concept of Watchmen is the unspeakable horror that Ozymandias decides to perpetrate in order to ensure world peace, and the guilty vote of silence the other characters (except Rorschach) agree to in other to uphold that.
    This alternate version is nothing but a gimmick. What a shame.

    • Well said. Alan Moore knew what he was doing.

    • Yeah and if he were to erase Dr Manhattan from being born wouldn’t that just pretty much make the world pretty close to the world we know today. There would be no peace that Ozymandias was trying to achieve. That plot twist makes zero sense.

      • worse it gives the story a happy ending where the “good guys” win, no compromise, no moral conflict. And to say its better just misses the point of what the novel itself was about.

      • Absolutely on point. The whole point of the end is whether you can commit a horrible crime for a good result. Ozymandias obviously says yes and Rorschach dies because he is an absolute no.

        Not to mention that a world without Dr. Manhattan would have led to nuclear war incredibly faster. Dr. Manhattan was the nuclear deterrent and the only reason that the Russians didn’t launch earlier.

  7. I loved Watchmen, the movie, far better than the book. The ending in the movie is much more emotional and impactful. Watchmen is my #1 favorite graphic novel adaptation.

  8. The Watchmen proved to be unfilmable after all. The book still holds up as an all-time classic of the genre, while the movie was little more than another forgettable piece of garbage among the Hollywood flotsam that pandered to the lowest common denominators in the audience.

    I don’t know where Gilliam gets “slave to the material” comment either. First, you choose to adapt a character like Superman, Iron Man, Batman you can draw upon decades of storylines to develop your own cohesive (or not) narrative; you choose to adapt a specific story (or storyline) adhere to the source material or don’t do it at all, and come up with your own damned original story to begin with. Second, Snyder & co managed to hamfistedly wreck most of the best moments in the books with their inane little tweaks anyways, by the end who cared? Except the people that thought going by the actual story of the NYTimes best selling comic book written by one of the more visionary writers of the genre was “too comic-booky” for a movie based on those comic books. And if you’re complaining about a giant alien squid what are you doing watching a movie where a big, blue, butt-naked, god-like being is one of the primary characters?

    Meh, at least I still have the books, and the people with single digit IQs still have their movie…

    • Well I have my “Watchmen” graphic novel signed by Dave Gibbons with a Rorschach drawing and my copy of the “Watchmen” movie and I love both. I’m glad the other treatment never went ahead. I think the movie kept all of the most vital parts of the comic. The only thing it can’t quite capture is the experience of reading the comic itself. No adaptaion is 100% accurate, but the “Watchmen” movie is the nearest I’ve come across and the changes they did make I actually enjoyed more. Also, I simply don’t think Rorschach could have been done so perfectly on screen.

      The movie was hardly a dumbed down popcorn flick. Liking the movie isn’t relegated to stupid people.

  9. Watchmen is a near perfect movie for me. I love this movie, one of my all time favorite comic book movies. Give me hate, I don’t care but this movie proves that Zack Snyder is one of the best comic book film makers ever. Doesn’t get anywhere near the credit he deserves. But I’m glad Watchmen has stuck around as cult classic of sorts, even though it deserves infinitely more recognition than that.

  10. Sorry, but this idea sounds awful. Dr. Manhattan’s existence has nothing to do with the existence of Rorschach, Nite Owl, and Silk Specter (or anything before that with the existence of the Minutemen, for that matter). Plus the idea of going back and time and preventing thing’s from happening is an EXTREMELY overused plot device, there is nothing original or “unique” in this idea. I know the film has problems, but overall I still really like the film adaptation we got (mostly due to the performances and the effects). Although, I actually thought the ending of the movie worked BETTER than the ending of the graphic novel. I still prefer the comic, but I always thought the squid alien thing kind of came out of nowhere.

  11. I thought Dr manhattan couldn’t change the past because his perception of time is different from humans perception?!

    • He could only see his own past and future, not the world’s. I don’t think it was ever established that he could move back in time. But I think that was where Ozymandeus was meant to come in.

      • No, the reason he couldn’t change the past is because for him the notion of past and future doesn’t exit all the events of time are happening simultaniousely for him.

  12. The old “go back in time” trick? Er, no thanks.

  13. If they had gone with that ending I think it would have been poorly received- more so than the current ending did for some fans. It basically boils down to a time traveling Deus-Ex-Machina, like in the first Superman movie.

    As the movie stands, I think it’s a better ending than the graphic novel, and I read the whole book before I watched the movie.

    I totally understand what Moore was going for with the squid, but when I first read that part, I was simply dumbstruck and confused. And found it to be rather poor writing. But, whatevs!

    • Another thing is that there was a buildup with the squid, the newspaper articles, the disappearances, all through out the book it was leading up to this surprising reveal for the creature, with the film you just have to cut it out completely otherwise it feels convoluted.

  14. I love comic books. Always have, always will. However, everything in them is a serious departure from reality. Superman’s casualties in Metropolis alone is like seven times the population of earth, if you take the entire comic at face value. At bare bones, no one would live there because the skyscrapers are getting knocked down on a weekly basis. Imagine New York where 9/11 happens weekly. It’s worse in Marvel comics, 9/11 happens twice a day. The chemical, biological, and radiological effects alone would make those places a government sanctioned quarantine-wasteland. Converting that madness to film to convey a point is impossible. Wolverine isn’t five feet tall in the movies, Batman and Captain America are never emotionally crippled in any significant way. If superhero movies have proved anything, action first, drama in the dumpster.

  15. I love Watchmen threads.

    Please slam Watchmen so you can identify yourself as someone completely unfamiliar with the source material and therefore someone who has absolutely no clue as to what they are talking about.

    • Watchmen is one of those films where you have no right to slam if you do not know the source material. I know you can say that about a lot of movies these days, but Watchmen is an exception when it’s the complex graphic novel every written. Love both the novel and the movie.

  16. I didn’t like the Watchmen movie, but my dislike had nothing to do with the writing. The Doc Manhattan ending was a clever wrap up. What I hated about the movie was the overly dramatic cinematography, rushed edits and horrible soundtrack choices. I mentally wrote off the film after the badly placed love scene between Night Owl and Silk Spectre II. I love Jeff Buckley’s cover of Hallelujah, but putting it to a skinemax love scene totally ruined the tone of the film and those two characters. You give a director like PT Anderson that same script and cast, then a much superior movie would have resulted.

    • The Nightowl/Silk Spectre scene is source material. And the soundtrack was amazing.

      • Yes, I am sure Alan Moore envisioned a badly lit sex scene the equivalent of what you see on 2am cable when he wrote that scene. It should have been awkward and stilted, just like the sex most middle aged people have. Night Owl is a paunchy broken man who is trying to hold on to the shreds of success he had as a superhero.

      • Now I’ve heard there was a secret chord
        That David played, and it pleased the Lord

        @ Chrinter

        But you don’t really care for music, do ya?

        • I love the song, both the Leonard Cohen and Jeff Buckley versions. It just wasn’t well served in that scene. I was also disappointed by how rushed Rorschach’s final scene was, in additon to a myriad of other poor pacing choices by Zack Snyder.

  17. One reason that Watchmen did so poorly at the box office: giant blue dong.

    It was also a one-off movie and largely unknown outside of comics fans.

  18. In my opinion Watchmen is Snyder’s second best film after Dawn of the dead, it played out as close to the novel as possible and although the alien was not there the main idea the book conveyed at the end was still strong in the film, mankind put aside their differences and was fooled into thinking a greater threat existed, it explored each character’s moral psyche as best as it could and the bad guy won, which is the only gripe I have with this alternate ending. It is a happy ending and one where Dr. Manhattan finds his humanity again, not cuz silk spectre showed him the miracles of what two people who hate/love each other can bring into the world, but instead because Ozzy just talks him into doing so. It’s clever yeah, again Watchmen is one of those stories that’s better left with a bittersweet ending.

    • Clearly it wasn’t a 1:1 remake. That wouldn’t have never worked. The opening sequence with “The Times They Are a-Changin’” was a terrific intro into the world and it worked. It wasn’t Alan Moore’s exact vision, but tonally it right. It was dark, cynical and jaded. I would also guess that if Alan Moore had been more cooperative then it might have been closer to a 1:1 remake. The effects were outstanding and the movie flowed from scene to scene. It is a good movie.

  19. I’m very glad this didn’t happen!

  20. Loved both the graphic novel and the movie. In fact, thought the movie was a near perfect adaptation, and their choice for what to do for the ending was an awesome one.

    This idea for an ending is just bad.

  21. Silver’s obvioulsy got his head up his A$$ and way too in love with his own ideas. That would of been completely ridiculous. This is the exact problem with hollywood and comic movies. Some rich A$$hole who thinks the source marterial is something you throw away to make room for your own thing, when the source material is exaclty what got you there and the only reason people come to see the film in the first place. He sits there smiling makeing money while 40 million poeple came to see it once paying 20 bucks and walking out thinking it was horrible. It NEVER works out for hollywood when they derive from source material like that. “smart” he says. HA!!! What a sham. They make s*** movies and rely on marketing to make a profit.

    What Snyder did was light years better than what Silver had in mind and Watchmen to this day remains the only truly great comic movie that stuck to source material. Yes Snyder changed the ending but he did it in a smart way and for good reason which is the only reason to change any source material. The ony reason Watchmen didnt make bank is because its not Superman or Spiderman or the Wolverine SHow. Hollywood also has this genreation of people so brainwashed with the garbage they put out now that anything with real taste is thrown by the wayside. Watchmen was an excellent movie and if only more directors would be “slaves to the source material”. Honestly can anyone say that The Amazing Spiderman or any Xmen movie has been so great that it has made an impact on theyre lives or atleast stand the test of time the way the original star wars has? No. I can still watch Watchmen today and even ten years from now it will still be great. Ive watched Amazing Spiderman once and wont ever again and Xmen, dont make me Laugh. Hey Silver…THIS IS NOT YOUR PLAYGROUND!!!!!!!!!!!

    • well you can’t be too harsh with the spider man films, I mean how are they gonna cram 60 some years worth of spider-man lore in a movie, but with a graphic novel like Watchmen you can’t make stuff up, at least Snyder’s film did it’s best to represent the world that Gibbons and Moore created. Forgetting the alien, the film crew did an awesome job with the sets, the costumes, the products that existed in that comic, the commercials and songs that they used.

  22. That would have been terrible. The way it was done in the film was the best ending, better and more poignant than the novel.

  23. That sounds absolutely atrocious. For me the 2009 movie is basically perfect. There are flaws, but every movie has flaws. I am a firm believer that Watchmen is the best and most faithful comic book adaptation we’ve had.

  24. Terry Gilliam > Zack Snyder.

    So endeth the debate.

  25. The movie’s ending was way better. Having it actually seem as though Dr. Manhattan wad the enemy was both believable in the universe, and was a different twist that even fans of the graphic novel could be surprised by. That’s what adaptations are; adaptations not the exact same story done over.

  26. I love the 2009 film… I like it even more than the comic. The Director’s cut is fascinating. The squid finale in the comic is kind of absurd. Gilliam’s plan I really don’t like it… The movie is fine as it is.

  27. Th Watchmen movie was fine. That version of the ending would have ruined the movie for me. There’s no consequence in that ending, in the ending we got, (SPOILERS)

    Rosharch pays the ultimate price for sticking to what he believes in and remains “uncomprimised”, and Doctor Manhatten has to abandon Earth due to the ultimate sacrifice made by millions of people in New York in order to achieve a false world peace. THAT’S A GOOD ENDING. The characters lives are forever changed, the world is “saved” but at what cost? It’s a THINKER… This proposed ending means “yay everyone is happy and the bad stuff never happened.”

    • think about it too, the only legit masked hero was Rorschach, the others looked flashy and all but at the end of the day they were no super heros (Dr. Manhatten had powers but even he went along with the lie with the false peace for the greater good). Rorschach wore the mask at all times, no one else even knew his real identity in their group. It’s a commentary for how insane you actually need to be to be a real legit masked vigilante. And he’s the only one killed at the end by his friends for being himself.

      • I don’t think Alan Moore wrote it to show which viewpoint was right. Only that they were different.

  28. I’m glad this guy didn’t get to make the movie. I loved Watchmen, waited to read the graphic novel until after I’d seen the movie, and I liked most of the changes Snyder made. The extended cut was amazing! It had lots of extended scenes that were literally taken from the pages of the novel, loved it.

    It took me a minute, I had to think it over, but Dr Manhattan could time travel and making that change and having him undo himself is interesting, but I don’t think that would have better served the story. In fact it negates the story and makes it all pointless… This sounds like sour grapes

    I would welcome the before Watchmen comics to be adapted, if only for the chance that Watchmen would be brought back and shown in double features

  29. Yeah, that ending would have been utterly ludicrous. I’m no great supporter of what Snyder did himself, but I certainly feel better disposed towards his Manhattan-blaming version than I did at the time. As a film on its own terms, it works.

    However, blaming the multiple detonations on Dr Manhattan means that peace is subsequently being kept only by the fear of his possible return. One may say there’s not much difference between that and fear of an alien invasion, but it’s a wilful perversion of the original on a par with the V For Vendetta movie reducing Moore’s positing of an anarchist society down to “plucky little freedom fighter strikes blow for democracy.”

    In Moore’s Watchmen Veidt says: “No one will doubt this earth has met a force so dreadful it must be repelled, all former enmities aside.” That’s something intrinsically proactive and hopeful even if it is a house of cards built on a lie. The world of the movie Watchmen is left at the end merely quaking in its boots at the prospect of a godlike figure keeping it under permanent threat. That’s a different ballgame altogether. Manhattan’s final line in the GN is to Veidt: “Nothing ends, Adrian. Nothing ever ends.” The movie gives that line to Laurie, talking to Dreiberg, rendering its ambiguity utterly meaningless. It’s the philosophical ramifications of Moore’s ending that Snyder just didn’t get.

    So if the squid is just too “silly” (and is it really any sillier than a naked blue man making a flying glass castle on Mars?), change it up for a non-corporeal force of some kind. Same cause, same outcome. Problem solved. There were a number of ways in which the original ending could have been tackled without losing its intended spirit; what ended up on the screen was the culmination of a movie that appeared on the surface to tick the necessary boxes, and yet for all that effort seemed a strangely empty and unsatisfying experience.

    As several people have pointed out above, this time travel denouement makes absolutely no sense. Costumed “adventurers” existed before Dr Manhattan, which is why the pop culture of that world has pirates as the subject of its comic books, not superheroes. Manhattan not existing would not alter that situation one bit. It would, though, produce a world in which events take place pretty much as we’ve seen them in reality, with the possible exception of the Nixon scenario. This automatically nullifies anything Ozymandias was trying to achieve, and avoids addressing Manhattan’s perception that “Time is simultaneous, an intricate jewel that humans insist on viewing one edge at a time, when the whole design is visible in every facet.”.

    Neither smart, articulate or even remotely satisfying.

    • The Wachowskis V for Vendetta = The specter of Fascism is a constant threat and we must be constantly vigilant to preserve our democracy from encroaching tyranny.

      Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta = The British government won’t abolish itself and give me my Anarchist utopia, so I might as well be living in Nazi Germany!

    • The point was not to instill fear in the hearts of people, but to inspire unity. Even today, there would have to be a cataclysmic event to bring people together in one roof. Remember this: “Man kind’s been trying to kill each other since the beginning of time.”

      I think you forget that the characters are speaking to the audience. Maybe graphic novels have to be specific but film is ultimately a platform derived from theatre. The whole point was for us to learn from film & understand what is meant by love, hate, truth, justice etc… Whether Doc’s line was aimed at Ozy or Spectre, it doesn’t really matter in this case.

      Dr Manhattan is not self-concious about his appearance because he ultimately doesn’t care. You don’t have to be a Sherlock Holmes to notice that. You’re alone in Mars, the F**k you need cloths for?

      • Of course it was to inspire unity. By instilling fear, and there’s a big difference between fear of Manhattan returning and a scientific experiment that need never be conducted again. It’s the threat of a bully as opposed to not putting oneself in harm’s way. Potentially someone may walk up and punch me in the face any day of the week, but unless I jump into a shark tank I’m unlikely to ever be attacked by a shark. Thus I am free to go out for a cool, frothy beer with my vodka-swilling neighbour content in the knowledge that I’m only in trouble if Sharknado was a documentary.

        Changing who says that line, and to whom, alters its meaning and intention. Manhattan saying it to Veidt indicates the potential for the lie to collapse, the potential for Veidt’s actions to have opened up a whole new can of worms further down the line, or might be referring cryptically to something else entirely. There’s an unsettling ambiguity there. Laurie saying it to Dreiberg simply means they’re going to continue playing happy vigilantes together.

        Yes, I’m fully aware that Manhattan isn’t concerned about going commando! I was taking the audience point of view and asking whether the squid is actually a more absurd conceit than what he gets up to. On Mars. In the buff.

        • I agree, you got me with that first paragraph. The rest, however, we’ll have to agree to disagree.

          Veidt is the smartest man in the world, obviously he thought about possible outcomes to his master plan. Dan & Laurie were the ones in the dark. They were the ones who still needed to understand the consequences of what just happened & take responsibility if anything were to happen.

          Unless it’s hardcore pornography, I see no reason why a grown man/woman would find Manhattan’s dong that disturbing. The age restriction clearly states that the film is not for kids. & it’s not like we saw a raw piece of meat, gouging at our screens.

          • You misunderstand me about the last bit: the nudity’s not the issue, it’s that the people who found the squid too much seem to have no problem accepting a blue guy making a bunch of giant clock parts fly on another planet altogether. When you think how ridiculous that could have looked, and in fact was handled quite beautifully, it just strikes me that there were also ways in which the creature could have been portrayed without being laughed off the screen. As I say, I’m not even that bothered about it not being used; what bugs me is that the mindset humanity is left with in order to become united is fundamentally different from what was originally intended.

            I agree that Veidt would have considered what from his perspective might be the possible outcomes of his actions, but he still has enough self-doubt to ask Manhattan (ironically the being who actually does see every physical consequence, but is beyond dispensing any form of moral judgement) if he’s done the right thing. The Tales Of The Black Freighter inserts represent Veidt’s recurring nightmares and effectively summarise his story: a man with noble intentions who commits needless atrocity and loses his soul in the process.