You have to ask yourselves, what if Terry had made ‘Watchmen’, as was in the cards years ago, instead of Zack Synder? What would Gilliam have done with it? We know he can produce astonishing visuals for a buck ninety-five, (look at Brazil – I mean look at it – my god, and it was made for $15 million in 1985 dollars -the same budget of ‘Jagged Edge’ which also came out that year!).
Let’s not stop at the visuals – Gilliam’s humanism – his deep understanding of the absurdity of the human condition would have made ‘Watchmen’ a wonder, a deep, unfolding, rich wonder to behold.
As for the ‘Watchmen’ that’s coming out in a couple weeks? Why release it at all?:
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ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Don’t you have the slightest curiosity about what Watchmen director Zack Snyder is doing with your work?
ALAN MOORE: I would rather not know.
He’s supposed to be a very nice guy.
He may very well be, but the thing is that he’s also the person who made 300. I’ve not seen any recent comic book films, but I didn’t particularly like the book 300. I had a lot of problems with it, and everything I heard or saw about the film tended to increase [those problems] rather than reduce them: [that] it was racist, it was homophobic, and above all it was sublimely stupid. I know that that’s not what people going in to see a film like 300 are thinking about but…I wasn’t impressed with that…. I talked to [director] Terry Gilliam in the ’80s, and he asked me how I would make Watchmen into a film. I said, ”Well actually, Terry, if anybody asked me, I would have said, ‘I wouldn’t.”’ And I think that Terry [who aborted his attempted adaptation of the book] eventually came to agree with me. There are things that we did with Watchmen that could only work in a comic, and were indeed designed to show off things that other media can’t.