A few days ago producer Joel Silver talked about Terry Gilliam's vision of Watchmen and went into detail on how he would have ended the movie. It definitely would have been a very different and interesting take on the property. You can read up on that here. During an interview with The Huffington Post, Zack Snyder responded to Silver's criticism.
When talking about Gilliam's ending where Dr. Manhatten prevents his own creation he said, "Right, and if you read the Gilliam ending, it's completely insane." Producer Deborah Snyder added, "The fans would have been thinking that they were smoking crack." You never know… they may have been smoking something. Alan Moore probably was when he wrote it! Snyder went on to discuss why he went on to make the film he did:
"Yeah, the fans would have stormed the castle on that one. So, honestly, I made Watchmen for myself. 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. 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."
I ultimately really liked what Snyder did with the movie. It was just a very well-executed film, and the changes he made to the ending really didn't bother me at all. The director then talked about the comic book movie genre saying,
"That's the problem with comic book movies and genre. And I believe that we've evolved -- I believe that the audiences have evolved. I feel like Watchmen came out at sort of the height of the snarky Internet fanboy -- like, when he had his biggest strength. And I think if that movie came out now -- and this is just my opinion -- because now that we've had Avengers and comic book culture is well established, I think people would realize that the movie is a satire. You know, the whole movie is a satire. It's a genre-busting movie. The graphic novel was written to analyze the graphic novel -- and comic books and the Cold War and politics and the place that comic books play in the mythology of pop culture. I guess that's what I'm getting at with the end of Watchmen -- in the end, the most important thing with the end was that it tells the story of the graphic novel. The morality tale of the graphic novel is still told exactly as it was told in the graphic novel -- I used slightly different devices. The Gilliam version, if you look at it, it has nothing to do with the idea that is the end of the graphic novel. And that's the thing that I would go, 'Well, then don't do it.' It doesn't make any sense."
There's a lot more to read in full interview, which you can check out here. In the end I'm just happy that after all those years of trying to get it made, Watchmen actually made it to the big screen! I'm completely happy with Snyder's version, but it also would have also been really interesting to see the film brought to life in Gilliam's signature style.