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Zack Snyder Calls Terry Gilliam’s Watchmen Ending Completely Insane

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Zack Snyder directingAlan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen is one of the most seminal works in comics history. The film adaptation lingered in development hell for years beginning in 1986, up until Warner Bros. acquired the film rights in 2005 and hired Zack Snyder to direct. As much as his changes to the story may have irritated die-hard fans of the comics, the Watchmen movie could have gone a very different direction if Terry Gilliam and Joel Silver’s version had made it to the screen.

While Snyder’s ending changed some of the specifics of how the story ended, it was still operating around the same basic idea: uniting humanity through fear of a threat that endangered our entire species. The Gilliam version, on the other hand, would have involved time travel and, frankly, would have been an enormous cop-out that would undoubtedly have pissed off Watchmen fans even more than the ending we got. The final act of Gilliam’s version would have seen Dr. Manhattan traveling back in time to stop the very experiment that created him, thus effectively negating the entire story we’d seen play out. In a new interview with the Huffington Post, Snyder and his producing partner and wife Deborah Snyder spoke about Gilliam’s version of Watchmen, as compared to their take:

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Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf: Week Of March 3, 2014

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As much as we love science fiction on TV, on the big screen, on the comics page, and in video game form, there’s just something irreplaceable about digging into a good book. There’s no shortage of new sci-fi adventures hitting shelves on a regular basis, but GFR is your one-stop shop to keep up with what’s hitting shelves in a given week. Here’s what’s new on the Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf!

Above“Above” by Isla Morley

I am a secret no one is able to tell.

Blythe Hallowell is sixteen when she is abducted by a survivalist and locked away in an aban­doned missile silo in Eudora, Kansas. At first, she focuses frantically on finding a way out, until the harrowing truth of her new existence settles in — the crushing loneliness, the terrifying madness of a captor who believes he is saving her from the end of the world, and the persistent temptation to give up. But nothing prepares Blythe for the burden of raising a child in confinement. Deter­mined to give the boy everything she has lost, she pushes aside the truth about a world he may never see for a myth that just might give meaning to their lives below ground. Years later, their lives are ambushed by an event at once promising and devastating. As Blythe’s dream of going home hangs in the balance, she faces the ultimate choice — between survival and freedom.

Above is a riveting tale of resilience in which “stunning” (Daily Beast) new literary voice Isla Morley compels us to imagine what we would do if everything we had ever known was taken away. Like the bestselling authors of Room and The Lovely Bones before her, Morley explores the unthinkable with haunting detail and tenderly depicts our boundless capacity for hope.

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Oscar Gets It Right: Gravity Cleans Up But Doesn’t Snag Best Picture

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GravityBigLast night we looked back at the various science flicks over the years that have been nominated for, but failed to win, the Academy Award for Best Picture. Hell, in 2009 science fiction accounted for two of the Best Picture nominees — James Cameron’s Avatar and Neill Blomkamp’s District 9. They both lost out to The Hurt Locker, but it was still a noteworthy milestone. Last night it was a sci-fi two-fer once again, with both Gravity and Her up for the big award. Once again they both lost out for Best Picture, but let’s face it: Oscar got it right this time.

There was little question that Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity was going to clean up when it came to awards honoring technical achievements, and indeed it pretty much swept those. Gravity took home trophies for Cinematography, Film Editing, Original Score, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Visual Effects. Cuaron himself also won the Best Director award. All of those were well deserved, because Gravity was unquestionably a stunning technical achievement. There were plenty of scientific nits to be picked, but on the big screen — especially if you saw it in IMAX and/or 3D — it was a dizzying, jaw-dropping thrill ride that was well worth the higher ticket price.

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The Walking Dead Post-Game: Still

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Last week’s episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead, “Claimed,” was all about looking towards the future. We were introduced to a trio of new characters—Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene—who will continue shape the show for the foreseeable future and beyond. At the same time, we learned that they were on a mission to get to Washington DC, and could possibly hold the key to ending the walker apocalypse once and for all. “Still,” tonight’s installment of the hit zombie drama, however, looks into the past, specifically into the earlier life of fan-favorite Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus).

The Walking Dead

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Close But No Cigar: Science Fiction’s Best Picture Nominations — And Losses

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ClockworkA Clockwork Orange (1971)
In 1971, Stanley Kubrick released his follow up to 2001: A Space Odyssey with the violent, dystopian classic A Clockwork Orange. Adapted from Anthony Burgess’ best-selling novel, Kubrick challenged audiences with notions of redemption, crime, sex, and government control.

Considered one of the auteur’s best films, A Clockwork Orange earned Kubrick his third straight Academy Award nomination for Best Director, and his second for Best Picture (Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb was nominated for the 37th Academy Awards). The film that ended up winning Best Picture during the 44th Academy Awards in 1972 was William Friedkin’s The French Connection, while Friedkin also won for Best Director over the master film director.

Looking back at the films nominated for Best Picture, many argue that A Clockwork Orange was the superior film. Kubrick’s bleak tale pushed audiences to re-consider societal norms and the art of movie-making altogether. Today, A Clockwork Orange would have a slight edge over The French Connection, just in terms of popularity and legacy.

A Clockwork Orange was also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film Editing, but lost out to The French Connection in both categories. Stanley Kubrick never won an Academy Award for Best Director, but he was later nominated for his 1975 film Barry Lyndon and, arguably, A Clockwork Orange was his best chance at a Best Picture and Best Director Oscar. As it stands, Stanley Kubrick only earned one Academy Award in his lifetime: Best Visual Effects for 2001: A Space Odyssey. – Rudie

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Gravity And Her Beam Sci-Fi Into The Oscars: Today In Science Fiction

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GRAVITYAs I write this we’re a little over a half hour away from the beginning of the 86th Annual Academy Awards. Okay, technically they’re already in the bit where people jabber about the things people on the red carpet are wearing, but that’s not exactly in GFR’s purview. What is of some interest to is how the science fiction nominees will fare this year, particularly Gravity and Her, both of which are up for the big one, the Best Picture award. I’ll be very surprised if either of them walks away with that trophy, but you never know. Sandra Bullock is also up for Best Actress in a Leading Role, up against tough competition including Amy Adams in American Hustle, Judi Dench in Philomena, Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine, and Meryl Streep in August: Osage County. Will her zero-g antics earn her a little golden dude?