Last Thursday in Portland, Warner Bros. screened the lawsuit-afflicted Watchmen movie in its entirety for the first time ever in front of a test audience. How’d it go? Great! Reviews posted to various Websites (and subsequently removed under threat from WB) were across-the-board positive — a relief to fans of original graphic novel who were still worried that Zack Snyder, the guy who made 300, might somehow screw up Alan Moore’s vision. Oh, but guess what — Snyder changed the ending! (Warning: After the jump, we spoil the endings of the Watchmen comic, the Watchmen movie, and The Dark Knight. Also, in Presumed Innocent, the wife did it.)
At the end of the original comic, Adrian Veidt — the evil-genius character who quits crime-fighting to run a big, crazy corporation and live in a slow globe — tries to avert a nuclear war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union by faking an alien invasion, dropping a huge exploding squid on Manhattan and killing thousands, which unites world’s superpowers against huge exploding squids, we guess. According to those in attendance at the Portland screening, in the Watchmen movie there is no squid; Veidt builds a machine that imitates the powers of Dr. Manhattan — the only Watchmen character with actual superpowers — which sets off a string of atom-bomb-like explosions in a bunch of cities and, presumably, unites the world against Dr. Manhattan.
So, just like in the comic, Manhattan will probably leave planet Earth, but he’ll do it in shame, sort of like how Batman retreated into hiding at the end of The Dark Knight. In other words, like Batman, he’ll be the hero the world deserves, but not the one it needs right now, or some nonsense. In any case, we think we actually like Snyder’s ending better than Alan Moore’s — what the heck was that squid thing about, anyway?