In preparing for a retrospective on Zack Snyder’s movies, I’ve gone back and re-watched his films, or, in the case of Watchmen, gave a first viewing to the Director’s Cut. The film is 24 minutes longer than the theatrical cut and is somehow even more faithful to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ graphic novel. I haven’t seen the “Ultimate Cut”, which is re-edited to include the animated short film Tales of the Black Freighter, and it looks like I made the right call in terms of what Snyder wanted me to see.
Steve recently spoke to Snyder at the press day for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and asked which of the three versions of the film—theatrical, Director’s Cut, or Ultimate Cut—Snyder preferred. Here’s the video:
The Director’s Cut…look—I think if you’re a crazy fan, which is fine, The Director’s Cut with The Black Freighter is for pure comic book freak-out. But for me, the Director’s Cut without The Black Freighter is sort of—because it was never designed—I wanted to do The Black Freighter, I wanted to do it, but we didn’t really design it to be intercut with the rest of the film, so we kind of had to jerry-rig it in, and though it goes in pretty nicely, I never felt like it was 100% completely organic. So for me, the Director’s Cut, which has Hollis’ death and other things like that.
Having now seen the Director’s Cut and Black Freighter separately, I agree with Snyder’s position. I don’t see how much more Watchmen benefits by trying to be even more like the comic. That being said, after watching the Director’s Cut of Watchmen, I’m convinced if Warner Bros. had said to Snyder, “Here’s all the money you want and there’s no time limit on your film,” he would have made a frame-for-frame remake of the graphic novel, and that include Tales of the Black Freighter.
If you missed what Snyder told us about future 300 sequels, click here. Look for more from Steve’s interview with Snyder soon.