Watchmen Ending Changed?

Remember that Watchmen test screening I told you about last week? Well it happened, and buzz coming out of the screening has the Watchmen fan community throwing a hissy fit. Before you get nervous, know this – everyone says the film is awesome. However, the fans are upset over how Zack Snyder's ending varies from that of the one in the graphic novel.

And there really is no way of talking about the ending of a film without spoilers being involved. That said, you have been warned. Story after the jump.

SPOILERS...Yes, Spoilers...Skip the rest of the story if you don't want to know.

A couple of people who attended the screening posted reports on the IMDb message boards, only to have their posts quickly removed. Nothing has been officially confirmed, so PLEASE consider this with a grain of salt for now. According to the reports, the climax of the graphic novel where Veidt releases his squid in New York City, was not in the movie. Instead, Dr. Manhattan and Ozymandias builds a machine that mimics Dr Manhattan's powers and uses it to set off atomic bomb like explosions in various cities around the world.

The exclusion of the squid is very puzzling, especially considering the numerous reports from a variety of sources that the squid was included in the film. Even cast members have made mention of a beastie in the film's climax. Who knows, there is always the possibility that Snyder shot multiple endings, although I'm doubtful. The amount of money it would take to film either ending would be substantial. So I doubt Warner Bros would have allowed him to film both.

I've talked with a couple of my friends who are fans of the book, and many of them were quick to admit that unleashing the squid was probably not the best way to go. The new ending supposedly works thematically, and isn't that what is really important? I understand that part of being a fanboy is to expect a big screen adaptation to be an exact replication of what he's read on paper. I mean, what would fandom be without the constant bickering over the different changes made from book to screen? But is it possible that Snyder could have went for a better ending?

Update: Our friends at Collider have an interview with Kevin Smith, where he talks about having seen Watchmen. Here is his response to the question about if the ending is different:

"It's a little different. While it is a slight departure, it actually makes sense in the context of the story because it brings the characters back into it. It kind of makes the movie more about them by the end of it because of the switch they made. I would never say that Alan Moore fucked it up or something. I love the ending of the Watchmen comic book, but I think this ending works just as well."

Thanks to /Film reader Christopher M for the photo above.

Update #2: Apparently Dr. Manhattan wasn't involved in building the machine. I misunderstood one of the reviews. I have fixed the spoiler text to reflect his non-involvement.