Translating Watchmen into a single movie is next to impossible, without giving some plot lines and characters the axe. But what can you live without? Find out what was cut from Watchmen, including spoilers.
Sweet Chariots And Segways:
Two things from the above Watchmen comic panel are completely missing in the movie. Yep, gone are Rorscach's pocket full of Sweet Chariot sugar cubes, and Nite Owl's sweet hover-board ride. Why do-away with the floating scooter? According to MTV Snyder snipped out the segways because:
I like that shot where you can see the Owl Ship, and you can pull back and see Karnak in the foreground..I wanted to have geography, for the audience to understand the distances. And also, when they approach Karnak, you can [now] see it as you approach. [Otherwise], it would be difficult for them to fly so far away. It would be some bad flying by the end.
As for losing the cubes, that was disappointing. There was so much attention paid in this movie, perhaps somewhere out there someone can show me a screencap of a bag of Chariots lumped in the corner at Dan's house. It's just one of those fun little quirks I'm sad to see go. But its omission was probably in part to the removal of Detective Steven Fine and Detective Joe Bourquin from the plot. Which leads us to our next cut.
Fine And Bourquin - Blink And You'll Miss 'Em:
Back in October, Snyder shared with us that the two detectives on the hunt for Edward Blakes murderer, who enjoy putting old Dan Dreiberg under pressure, had to be axed almost completely:
The whole detective story - those two detectives that are trying to figuring out why these people are killing each other - those are the things we had to leave out. Although you do see them in the movie, just not their whole story.
But luckily for audience members the two gum shoes have a bit of banter in the opening scene, and yes they're wearing their respective coats.
The Original Nite Owl Never Gets His On-Camera Goodbye:
The biggest, and most upsetting, surprise for me was the omission of Hollis Mason's death from the movie. I was beyond shocked that this brutally graphic scene was completely cut from the film, and it was the first thing I asked Zack Snyder about:
There are some things that we had to cut out of the theatrical version that were painful for me, like Hollis' death. I don't know if you know. It's one of my favorite scenes in the movie, to be honest. But it came out without destroying the movie. Anything else, when we were at that point, it was like a house of cards.
But according to Zack, it's in the Director's Cut of the film which will not only be released in July on DVD, but may also get a limited theatrical release as well. The Director's Cut stands at 3 hours and 10 minutes. And while that's all fine and dandy, cutting this scene rips out a lot of the heart from the film, especially from those who haven't read the book. Why introduce Stephen McHattie as Nite Owl and make him a soft and cuddly old retired Minute Man for no real reason? The people needed to see him bludgeoned to death by the top-knots because it demonstrated just how horrific and tense the streets were had become - sorry, the Doomsday Clock and headlines alone just don't demonstrate the stressed out terror people are faced with.
Laurie's Gone Cold Turkey:
We mentioned before that Warner Brothers forced Laurie Juspeczyk to put down her pipe. Sadly, it was just one move that Snyder couldn't override, even though he was sad about it. Well, we're sad about it too. That little smoke demonstrated a lot of her character's flighty personality as she jumped on and off the wagon. It's a shame it had to go - every time Laurie would swear off the cancer sticks, then run back to her comforting puffs, made her feel more human and imperfect. You could sympathize with the poor girl. If she's having this much trouble quitting smoking, the rest of her major life decision-making must be a disaster. Sorry to see it go, but man if it was in there, Malin Akerman would have been lighting up quite a bit.
The Black Freighter:
Don't go in expecting to see a raft made up of bodies and one dead shark, because the pirate adventure just couldn't fit into this film, which is why it's being released as an animation on DVD on March 24th. Interesting side note, the animated special is voiced by Gerard Butler. Until then, you'll have to make do with the trailer.
Bye Bye, Side Characters:
If you're excited to watch the coming together of man and stranger with the Watchmen ceremonial newspaper fella hat pass, forget it. Everyone at the news stand has been cut. Sure there are glimpses of the side characters here and there, but they are quick and fleeting. But Snyder promises more from Bernie and other newsstand customers in the Black Freighter DVD and Director's Cut.
It's he and the newsstand kid mainly. The top knots are there knocking around [and] getting mad. They don't like it that he's reading the comic book. There are little bits where Hollis Mason is buying a magazine. We have characters from the book pass through the news stand to make it feel like a community of characters.
But sadly when you watch of sea of faces blasted apart in the end, you don't really care because you don't know who any of them are, or whose hat they're wearing.
That Tandoori Chicken Never Gets Delivered:
We've discussed the impact 9/11 had on the Watchmen before. But changing the ending to omit all of the dead bodies due to studio or personal issues also meant we lost all of the dialogue from Laurie, where she tried to come to grips with the horror in front of her. This decision also cut out one of the best lines from the book, in my opinion, about people stepping out for Tandoori chicken and then getting vaporized.
The Real Victim Of Watchmen's Ending Is The Burgers n' Borscht Franchise:
Since the ending was jerryrigged around leaving out the poor misunderstood squid, changes had to be made. Without revealing too much of the ending, let's just say NYC isn't the only city that comes under fire. Which means no Russian/American blended fast food joints, and I think the people of this alternate reality are really the ones losing out on this deal.