Before Zack Snyder brought The Watchmen to the big screen, Warner Bros. tried for years to get an adpatation on the big screen. In that time several directors came and went trying to make it happen. One of them was the great Terry Gilliam, who was attached to direct the film back in the '90s from a script written by Charles McKeown. It also had Joel Silver producing.
I really liked what Snyder did with Watchmen, but it sounds like Gilliam's version would have been pretty awesome, too. In an interview with Comingsoon Silver says that he believes his film would have been “a MUCH much better movie.” When talking about Snyder's version he said, "Oh God. I mean, Zack came at it the right way but was too much of a slave to the material." He went on to talk about what Gilliam had planned for the ending of the film, and it's a lot different than what you might have expected.
"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.
"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."
As a long time fan of Gilliam, I would have loved to see his Watchmen movie. I actually like the little twist on the ending. Unfortunately it's something that we will never get to see. What do you think of Gilliam's new ending for the story?