It's a Guy Thing


The seminal Watchmen graphic novel by Alan Moore is often celebrated as one of the greatest graphic novels ever created and for good reason. It deals with incredibly deep-seated issues of race, political insecurity, societal imbalances and of a society so desperate for change it will consume itself to achieve it. All wrapped up tightly between the overarching story of superheroes trying to right the wrongs of those around them. It’s a complex and deep story that many feel didn’t translate across to the 2009 Zack Snyder film adaptation, yet ten years later HBO and Damon Lindelof have teamed up to give the graphic novel another go. This time in the form of an initial eight-part series that, instead of mimicking the graphic novel, rather draws influences from it and creates a new and relevant take on Moore’s masterpiece.

The series takes place in Tulsa, Oklahoma in an alternative reality in 2019, one with no internet or smartphones, 34 years after the comic ends. Robert Redford is the longest-serving President of the United States, having been elected in 1992. After a radical group of Rorschach followers that calls themselves “The Seventh Cavalry” (wearing homemade Rorschach masks) commits simultaneous attacks on the houses of police members, the police start wearing masks.

The series takes place in an alternate contemporary reality in the United States, in which superheroes and masked vigilantes were outlawed due to their violent methods, but some of them gather around to start a revolution while others attempt to stop it. Watchmen the series will not be a direct adaptation of the original source material, instead, being remixed; aiming to tell an entirely new story set in the world where the events of the original storyline took place. The series will also showcase different points of view, with the only characters from the original storyline to appear in the series being Doctor Manhattan, the former Silk Spectre, and former villain Ozymandias. 

The cast is led by recent Oscar winner Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk), who previously worked with Lindelof on The Leftovers, and Jeremy Irons (Dead Ringers), who will be playing an older Adrian Veidt (better known as Ozymandias), a former superhero vigilante known for his supreme intelligence. Played by Matthew Goode in Snyder’s film, Ozymandias revealed himself as the main big bad guy in the original comic, as well as the 2009 movie. Based on the trailer, his character appears to have remained in power with a very systemic, utopian view on society… which happens to be failing and more dystopian than anything.

The show is also made up of a large ensemble cast featuring Yahya Abdul-Mateen Il (UsAquaman) as Cal Abraham, Tim Blake Nelson (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs) as Looking Glass, Louis Gossett Jr. (Roots) as Old Man, as well as Adelaide Clemens (The Great Gatsby) as Pirate Jenny, Andrew Howard (Limitless) as Red Scare, Tom Mison (Sleepy Hollow) as Mime, Frances Fisher (Titanic) as Jane Crawford, Jacob Ming-Trent (Superfly) as Panda, and Sarah Vickers (Endeavour) as Marionette. We’re not leaving out Jean Smart (Legion) and Don Johnson (Miami Vice), either. Smart will be playing an FBI agent who is revealed to be a much older Silk Spectre, while Johnson is Chief Judd Crawford — police chief by day, vigilante by night.