Watchmen HBO trailer breakdown and analysis
HBO has released the first official teaser for Watchmen, showing a reality where superheroes are unlawful, dangerous, and a major threat…but quite possibly the only people who can save the world. Following months of cryptic images and teasers, HBO has finally released the first official teaser trailer for Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen series, which is HBO’s first superhero show. The series stars Regina King, Jeremy Irons, Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson, and others as folks trying to get by in a world where vigilantes are seen as dangerous outlaws. This version of Watchmen is being called a “modern-day reimagining” of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ iconic graphic novel, set 10 years after all previous continuities—instead of a one-to-one adaptation, like Zack Snyder’s 2009 film. Irons is said to be playing an older version of Ozymandias, Nelson is playing an FBI agent whose role was expanded after he was cast, and Jean Smart is portraying a new character called Agent Blake, whose sole purpose is stopping vigilantes. HBO still hasn’t announced an official release date, but the teaser says to expect Watchmen sometime this spring. Damon Lindelof is making a Watchmen TV series for HBO. While the big screen Watchmen movie adaptation divided audiences, fans have long dreamed of what it would be like if a cable network undertook a massive adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ towering, inescapable comic book masterpiece.
Well, HBO finally took everyone up on that, readying a Watchmen TV series for a fall release. Instead, HBO’s Watchmen is a continuation of Moore and Gibbons’ work, moving the world forward to (presumably) the present day, and the action from New York City to Tulsa, Oklahoma. There’s only one recognisable character from the book present in this HBO footage, although the legacies of nearly every major player from Watchmen can be felt in various characters and shots. Watchmen ends with Rorschach’s journal likely about to be discovered by the staff of New Frontiersman, an aggressively reactionary publication. Does their “tick tock” chant indicate that they refer to themselves as “The Watchmen?” Or maybe that’s what the police are called in this world? The original Nite Owl, Hollis Mason, was a police officer before was inspired to become a superhero by the one-two punch of seeing Superman on the cover of Action Comics #1 on the newsstands and headlines about Hooded Justice appearing on the scene shortly thereafter. The argument can be made that superheroes serving in an official capacity in the Watchmen universe have more in common with the Comedian than Nite Owl (especially given how that funeral scene pays homage to Eddie Blake’s funeral… In fact, let’s go with the detective angle, as both King’s character and this mysterious silver fella are shown operating in broad daylight, wearing badges, and seemingly investigating a crime scene with more “traditional” (yet still masked) uniformed officers.
Silver Mask here (not his actual name) is shown in front of a trio of screens, each showing key moments from American history, including astronauts, soldiers (American heroes), a cowboy (one of the prototypes for the lone vigilante/superhero archetype), and an atomic bomb explosion (both a reference to Doctor Manhattan and the questionable decisions about securing victory at any cost… Is it possible that after going into hiding at the end of Watchmen, Laurie decided that she needed to continue doing good, perhaps to make up for some of the morally grey things her masked (and blue) compatriots engaged in, and sought out a job in the FBI? It’s interesting to note how little digital technology there appears to be in the world in this trailer, and Veidt seems to prefer an analogue existence in his study/meditation room. Even though this shot appears directly after the Black Freighter moment in the trailer (more on that in a minute), it’s almost certainly not part of that particular callback to the comics. So it’s not clear what’s happening here, and the trailer is deliberately misleading, as this is intercut with clips of the Rorschachs apparently shooting down a police helicopter, while this family could very well just be observing a fireworks display. But this shot of what could be a “typical American family” in the Watchmen world of 2019 holds a few clues. This family seems to have adopted two Vietnamese children, and considering that Doctor Manhattan won the Vietnam War in the Watchmen universe and the United States likely annexed the country, this could be something celebrating victory/unity. However, referencing the space squid almost certainly means that the Watchmen TV series is a sequel to the comic book, rather than the Zack Snyder movie which controversially changed the book’s ending (although we’re rather fond of the movie’s ending, whatever other problems the movie has).
Watchmen used Tales Of The Black Freighter, an imaginary pirate comic book, as a way to parallel the ongoing events of its world. Watchmen established that superhero comics quickly fell out of favour in a world that had real masked adventurers, so pirate comics instead became the escapist entertainment of choice. It’s easy to imagine that HBO is running Tales Of The Black Freighter instead of Game Of Thrones in this world. Is Don Johnson’s police chief using the “tick-tock” as a means to clue someone in that he’s actually in with the Rorschach Klan, or is this merely one anonymous policeman’s way of greeting another? The first trailer for HBO’s adaptation of Watchmen has been released, and it reveals a fresh take on Alan Moore’s cult graphic novel. Created by Lost’s Damon Lindelof, the new series is described as a “remix” of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ novel and takes place several years after the original has been brought to an end. In the first trailer, we receive our first look at a cast that includes Regina King, Hong Chau, Tim Blake Nelson and Don Johnson. Perhaps most significantly, there’s also the smallest of glimpses of Jeremy Irons as Ozymandias – an antihero who played a significant role in Moore’s original novel.
Watchmen was previously adapted for the big screen by Zack Snyder and received mixed reviews upon release in 2009. The latest comic book adaptation is set during the preparation for the apocalypse, as superheroes have been turned into outlaws. Marking the burial of a police officer and a series of apparently random strangers living their every day lives, the chilling voice of the Watchmen speaks over them, with the masked team warning they are ‘everyone and noone’ at the same time. King, who is seen fighting bad guys during the clip, is joined by an all-star cast including: Jeremy Irons, Don Johnson, Jean Smart, Tim Blake Nelson, Louis Gossett Jr. and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. Damon Lindelop, who has been left in charge of the TV version of the cult classic comic series, reassured fans last year that the show was going to be breaking new ground in the lore surrounding Watchmen. The masked team had a warning for everyone in the new Watchmen trailer (Picture: HBO) Watchmen is coming soon to HBO, with a UK release unconfirmed. HBO’s teaser for its upcoming television series Watchmen re-introduces a world in which superheroes have become outlaws. Created by Damon Lindelof (Lost, The Leftovers), Watchmen is a contemporary take on the acclaimed graphic novel of the same name by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.
The Watchmen series stars Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson, Louis Gossett Jr, Adelaide Clemens and Andrew Howard. Jeremy Irons plays Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias. The teaser, which released on Wednesday, opens with a gang of armed vigilantes wearing the distinctive inkblot-like mask of Rorschach, a crime fighter with extremist views. Jeremy Irons as Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias in Watchmen.