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Creature Feature?

Movie monster maker Neville Page gives hints about his work on Watchmen that open up speculation on the film’s ending

In a recent article on a popular science fiction Web site, Neville Page talked about his involvement in Cloverfield as lead creature designer and mentioned briefly that he was also working on the new Star Trek movie as well as Watchmen.

This got me thinking — what does Watchmen need with a heavy hitting monster maker like Page, unless we were going to see an ending to the film more in line with the graphic novel then with the most recent leaked script drafts — an ending that involves a gigantic monstrous squid.

Now there are spoilers ahead, so read at your own risk. Here’s the tale of the tape on the film’s ending as we know it today…

Every script draft leaked since the Hamm draft back in 1989 up until the most recent Tse draft had an ending that was very different from the one in Alan Moore’s original graphic novel.The most recent incarnation involved “energy ribbons” developed by Veidt from Dr. Manhattan’s experiments on “world universal energy.” It looked like the ending was going to be changed.

Then, back in October 2007, Zack Snyder gave an interview with Starlog magazine where he uttered the now infamous but cryptic quote of, “I’m absolutely keeping the graphic novel’s ending.” It looked like the ending was going to stay the same… maybe.

Then, just a little more then a week ago, we got some more info in the form of our exclusive Zack Snyder fan Q&A. Snyder answered a question a fan posed asking if he was going to show the advanced technology brought about by Dr. Manhattan in his adaptation. Snyder answered that he would be showing many of the Doc’s advancements, including “what he’s working on as far as world universal energy.” Changed ending again? Another “maybe.”

Now, back to Neville Page. As folks on our forum started to postulate what Page’s involvement meant to the ending of Watchmen, one plucky forum member shot Mr. Page an email where he was told:

As for The Watchmen, I am not able to discuss what I had done in terms of creature. Perhaps later. The production designer [Alex McDowell] is amazing, so the production should be fantastic. I am really an industrial designer by education and half of my professional life was spent in this arena. Now, I am working as a concept designer but the focus as of late has been creature. Although, I personally love costume work and props, I am not doing much on current productions.

Sounds to me like he’s doing some creature work for Watchmen. Looks like we have some more evidence in the “faithful ending” column again. Let's face it — why hire a master monster maker like Page unless there was a need for someone to design something big and nasty? That’s obviously his sweet spot. Now, Veidt does have a genetically altered lynx that might make an appearance in the film, but that doesn’t seem like reason enough to bring in a heavy hitting creature creator like Neville Page, does it? Aside from the lynx and the squid, there are no other creatures in Watchmen whatsoever.

So? Altered ending? Same ending? Something in between? I’ll leave it to all of you to decide which side of the fence your on, and I’ll keep doing the detective work to keep you informed.


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