Director Zack Snyder attends the Watchmen after party
Movies - TV
Zack Snyder Didn’t Come Up With The Watchmen Movie’s Controversial Ending
In 2009, director Zack Snyder adapted the 1986 comic book classic “Watchmen” to the big screen. The story and concepts were the same, but there were some noticeable differences.
The film notoriously altered the ending, but screenwriter David Hayter said on the “Script Apart” podcast that the change came from director Darren Aronofsky, not Snyder.
At the end of the comic and the film, Ozymandias seeks to unite the world by orchestrating a devastating cataclysm that kills millions. However, they both used different methods.
In the comics, Ozymandias unleashes an interdimensional squid monster on New York City. The film has him detonating a bomb armed with Doctor Manhattan’s energy signature.
Given the events of 9/11, Hayter wanted to change the visual. “I didn’t feel that we should have all those images of the dead bodies in Times Square,” he said.
“So that inspired me to say, ‘People should just be blown to shadows, like the Hiroshima shadows that are painted on the walls in the comic book,’” Hayter added.
Hayter pitched the idea to Aronofsky, who was set to direct, but struggled with the Hiroshima imagery. The director ultimately turned down “Watchmen” but offered an ending.
Aronofsky sent Hayter a note, suggesting that he make Doctor Manhatten “the agent of destruction.” He told Hayter that his physicist friend had given him the idea.
As Doctor Manhattan is the only character with legit superpowers, keeping the fantastical elements in his corner was logical, and Hayter felt the idea was a revelation.