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So if it wasn't obvious, pretty big spoilers ahead.

At the end of the book...

Ozymandias teleports a genetically crafted alien creature into cities around the globe, killing millions in an attempt to stop the nuclear holocaust by giving the U.S. and Russia a common enemy in the aliens. He attempts to destroy Jon, but fails. Jon leaves of his own accord in a desire to create life afterwards. Ozymandias questions his own actions momentarily.

At the end of the movie...

Ozymandias does almost the same thing, but instead uses Jon as the common enemy. Jon leaves for the greater good (and to create life). I don't think there is an attempt at destroying Jon. I also don't remember if Ozy felt unsure of his decisions.

Is there an out of universe reason the ending was so different in the movie? Did anyone say why?

This answer explains in logical terms why the movie was different, but I'm looking for quotes from directors, writers, producers, actors, etc etc. The linked question is 4 years old and has no official quote from anyone.

  • @randal'thor you might be right, but I'm not seeing any quotes from writers or directors, as much as the selected answer makes sense. It was asked 4 years ago. Is it safe to ask again as long as I'm looking for answers from directors, writers, actors, etc etc? – Premier Bromanov Oct 20 '15 at 23:43
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    Yes, you can ask again if this question is genuinely different from the other one, but you should probably edit to make that clear. Edit: you just did :-) – Rand al'Thor Oct 20 '15 at 23:46
  • I added this answer to the other question, featuring a quote from Zack Snyder explaining that he did it to keep the movie's running time down (and rand al'thor either reposted the same quote below or discovered it independently). – Hypnosifl Oct 20 '15 at 23:50
  • @Hypnosifl Completely independently: I took a quick look through the answers to that question before you answered, and then did a bit of research and answered this one. Looks as though we were typing simultaneously :-) – Rand al'Thor Oct 20 '15 at 23:54
  • @randal'thor wasn't really aware I should or could do that – Premier Bromanov Oct 27 '15 at 20:37
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Here's what director Zach Snyder had to say:

“The reason that the squid got taken out of the movie was so there’d be more Rorschach and a little bit more Manhattan. Because we did the math, and we figured it took about 15 minutes to explain [the squid’s appearance] correctly; otherwise, it’s pretty crazy.”

So, with the studio’s requests that Snyder keep his “Watchmen” movie as brief as possible given the novel’s complexity, the squid bit the dust.

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2

The entire conspiracy of genetically modifying something to release a telekinetic blast to wipe out most of NYC would've weighed down the film's plot. Including all the minor characters, i.e. artists and scientists "kidnapped" to create the critter, not to mention those involved in creating the teleportation technology. It would've been a whole other story, like The Black Freighter. The demonization of Jon/Manhattan streamlined the story without compromising too much of Moore's original vision.

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