A lot of cool stuff dropped this weekend at the San Diego Comic-Con, but I think the one that got me most excited was the extended trailer for HBO’s adaptation/remix/sequel of Watchmen.

I love Damon Lindelof’s work in general — The Leftovers is one of the greatest shows of all-time, and I’ll always defend Lost, and Prometheus is the second-best movie in the Alien franchise — so I’m automatically a mark for anything he’s working on. It also looks like the series is taking at least some visual cues from the 2009 film adaptation by Zack Snyder. I loved the movie, so that’s definitely a plus for me.

Anyway, here’s the trailer for you to judge for yourself:

Looks great, huh?

I’m just going to break down a few interesting things that this trailer either shows us or alludes to.

Commentary of the Medium

Hooded Justice

The opening of the trailer shows us a scene of Hooded Justice foiling a robbery, and then we see that it’s actually a TV series about The Minutemen. So it looks like there will be at least some commentary about adaptations and prestige television in general, which is in-line with the comic and the film adaptation being commentaries of their respective mediums. 

Masks, Masks, Masks

Rorschach Gang

There’s an explanation here for some of the most off-beat and interesting visuals from the teaser trailer: cops and vigilantes wearing yellow, silver, red, etc., face coverings, and what appears to be a militia styling themselves after Rorschach’s iconic mask and spouting the words from his journal like an ideology. There’s some exposition about the gang tracking down and killing police officers, which is why the masks seem to be standard operating procedure now. It’s a really neat way to visually blur the line between authority figures and right-wing terrorists.

Familiar Faces

Adrian Veidt

We already knew that Adrian Veidt (Jeremy Irons) was going to make an appearance, and we get a glimpse of him here as he celebrates … something with a cake that matches the color scheme of his alter ego, Ozymandias. There’s also an intriguing headline we see early in the trailer that announces “Veidt Officially Declared Dead,” so who knows what games they’re playing with this character? One person I definitely didn’t expect to see was Laurie Blake, AKA Silk Spectre II, played by Jean Smart! We only get a few seconds of her, but she’s some kind of agent, she looks cool as hell, and she seems really, really anti-mask. 

Agent Laurie Blake

New Folks

Regina King

It looks like the lead of the series will be Regina King as Angela Abraham. She did some amazing work in season two of The Leftovers, so I’m excited to see her work with Lindelof again. We also get to see Don Johnson as Chief Judd Crawford. He seems to mostly be doing his cowboy schtick that he’s perfected in recent years, but it also looks like he gets to play around in Nite Owl II’s Owlship, which is dope. The only other new character that we get more than a glimpse of is Louis Gossett Jr. as some mysterious stranger who appears to be helping (maybe?) King’s character. 

I also have a feeling this is Tim Blake Nelson eating beans near the beginning.

Tim Blake Nelson?

Dr. Manhattan

Dr. Manhattan

This was the biggest surprise.

When we see a paper-mâché bust of Dr. Manhattan early on; that’s about what I expected his presence in the series would be. Somebody who is mentioned and who looms over the proceedings in an abstract sense. Then we get to see this footage of him on Mars:

Dr. Manhattan

And I was pleasantly surprised. But when we get to this shot at the end of the trailer…

Dr. Manhattan

It blew my mind. I don’t know if HBO has the budget to pull off having a God as a main character, but I’m excited to see them try to pull it off. 

Michael Walls-Kelly
michaelwallskelly@gmail.com

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