In a new interview in support of his upcoming film Non-Stop, controversial producer Joel Silver said that Alan Moore was difficult to deal with and that the unproduced version of Watchmen he worked on for years with Terry Gilliam would have been far superior to the film version that eventually came out from Man of Steel director Zack Snyder.
"It was a MUCH much better movie," Silver told Coming Soon. "Zack [Snyder] came at it the right way but was too much of a slave to the material."
He noted that when he produced V for Vendetta, they were nowhere near as slavish and that he felt ultimately it resulted in a more timely film.
The version Silver was working on was with the creative team behind Brazil, director Terry Gilliam and screenwriter Charles McKeown, along with Batman screenwriter Sam Hamm. Watchmen wasn't the first or last film Gilliam had trouble making; his movies are often critically lauded but financially mediocre, and he's had trouble getting a number of projects out of the hangar.
"What [McKeown] 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," Silver noted, adding, "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.. 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."
He continued that Moore was "unpleasant to deal with," saying that he was unhappy the filmmakers were taking liberties with the source material.