Filmmakers are usually the most politic of people, loath to criticise each other's work or damn their collaborators with anything other than the most fulsome of praise. It's rare for the gloves to come off quite as ferociously, or as publicly, as in the Watchmen row over the past days. Zack Snyder is the latest to weigh in, rebutting criticism of his Alan Moore adaptation from Joel Silver, the property's erstwhile producer, and firing back at Silver's pick of director, Terry Gilliam.
If you're not up-to-date with the story, Silver called out Snyder's version of Watchmen in an interview with Coming Soon. Gilliam's earlier version was, he claimed, "a much, much better movie", while Snyder had been "too much of a slave to the material".
Snyder, immensely proud of his take on the iconic graphic novel and afforded an instant right of reply by his 300: Rise Of An Empire press duties, wasn't taking those comments lying down. "If you read the Gilliam ending, it's completely insane," he said, suggesting that the third act that re-engineered the entire plot would have had the fans "storming the castle". A Munchausen castle, presumably.
"I made Watchmen for myself," Snyder continued. "It's probably my favourite movie that I've made. I love the graphic novel and I really love everything about the movie. I made it because I knew that the studio would have made the movie anyway and they would have made it crazy. So finally I made it to save it from the Terry Gilliams of this world."
For Snyder the project was "a labour of love", so his response is understandable, if not necessary tactful. The original comments, lest we forget, didn't come from Gilliam, who has never commented on the Snyder Watchman, but Silver.
Unusually, all three parties have films to promote, so the oxygen of publicity is keeping this mini-dispute burning. Next to the podium is Gilliam, soon to be doing The Zero Theorem interviews, so expect his take on it soon. In the meantime, head to Huffington Post for the full Snyder interview.