As you may have heard, there was a test screening last week in Portland for the Watchmen movie. Once news of the screening broke online, nerds from across the greater Pacific Northwest flocked to the theatre to see if they could get in, only to find out that the passes had all been given out the week before. However, despite the fact that everyone at the screening signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement, a number of people who claim to be attendees have been more than willing to share their opinions and spoilers about the film online. Aside from the fact that it was unfinished and awesome, it seems like there was at least one major change in the plot from the original graphic novel: namely, the ending. While both Zack Snyder and Kevin Smith have already said that the ending would be slightly different, it sounds like the one that was shown was more different than a lot of people expected. It may be a fake ending, whipped up to throw nerds off the scent, but if you've read the book, and want to know what the movie's ending might be, read on.
On this site, postings from the IMDb message boards were reprinted after they were deleted by IMDb for violating the NDA. (WTF? ROTFLMAO.) And, apparently, the big change is that the massive disaster that devastates New York at the end of the film is not the death of a fake, telepathic alien, but the detonation of the free energy sources created by Ozymandias and Dr. Manhattan. Also, it happens in several cities around the globe, not just New York. While this does seem pretty different, it certainly makes sense, and could have been a lot worse. Also, there is that rumor that this is one of multiple endings filmed, and more are still to come, and all of them will be on the DVD. Still, we thought we'd make a list of reasons we need the squid and reasons why the squid isn't necessary, to see if we can resolve our feelings on the matter.
SQUID: It's how the story ends in the graphic novel: giant squid alien. Snyder was painstakingly accurate about nearly everything else, why not this?
NO SQUID: As long as Ozymandias is responsible, the war is averted and Rorschach has to be killed at the end, does it really matter what causes it?
SQUID: The seeds for the creation of the squid alien are planted throughout the comic, with references to the artist who designs it, the sci-fi writer who creates the imagery, and the psychic brain.
NO SQUID: The plan is actually pretty complicated, and referencing all of those different elements would eat up some time -- and since none of the references are connected to the main action, they can be cut easily. The free energy generators are already established with Dr. Manhattan, so why not simply use them?
SQUID: The idea of an alien invasion is what causes the nations of the world to come together in peace and harmony, united against a common enemy. First contact worked for Star Trek, why not here?
NO SQUID: The fact that the energy disaster happens in multiple countries gives the countries a mutual sympathy, kind of like in Fail Safe, when the President destroys New York to make up for accidentally destroying Moscow. Why bring aliens into it if it's not necessary?
SQUID: Wouldn't it be a bad idea to frame a known American superhero like Dr. Manhattan? Even if Russia doesn't decide that America is responsible (or Ozymandias himself, since he co-designed the power sources), what if Russia and America want to go after Manhattan, and somehow manage to piss him off? The dude is a big, naked, atomic god. Things could end badly. (Also, would Manhattan then be willing to kill Rorschach to hide the truth? Can Ozymandias, Nite Owl and the continent of Antarctica stop him from revealing it? My money's on no.)
NO SQUID: The squid alien is probably a pretty easy sham to see through, given enough time. It's a genetically engineered monster, designed by an established artist who is now missing. When no other aliens turn up, won't someone figure it out?
Long story short, maybe the alien squid isn't necessary, as long as the end result is the same. One thing, however, is non-negotiable: There'd better be a cliffhanger ending, where Rorschach's journal falls into the hands of a radical newspaper looking for a story to publish, and we fade out before we see if they choose to run it, therefore undoing the peace that was engineered. It's the best ending ever, and totally not squid-dependent.