Watchmen is shaping up to be a fascinating beast. It’s not a straight adaptation of the classic of graphic novel, but rather a continuation and “remix” of sorts. With that in mind, /Film is reporting that Jeremy Irons is playing an older Adrian Veidt, aka Ozymandias.
For those that need a refresher on the comic, Ozymandias is the “smartest man in the world” who was part of the second generation of Minutemen, a group of superheroes. When the group disbanded, Veidt formed a successful company, but secretly went to work on a project to create the illusion of an alien invasion. This fake invasion really killed millions of people in New York City as Veidt intended, with the larger goal of pulling the U.S. back from the brink of nuclear war by creating a unifying enemy the world could rally against. Fellow superheroes who survived like Nite Owl and Silk Spectre, were forced to keep the secret of what really happened in order to maintain world peace. However, Rorschach, who died rather than live with the lie, sent his journal containing the truth to a tabloid in the hopes that they would report the truth.
The HBO series will pickup years later, but details about how Ozymandias factors in are being kept under wraps. /Film notes that set photos show newspaper headlines suggesting Veidt had recently died when the show begins, so either he faked his death or Irons’ scenes will be flashbacks. Either way, it’s not too surprising that they landed an Oscar-winning actor to play such an important character, and I’m curious to see how Ozymandias factors into the larger plot of the series.
Additionally, /Film reports that Jean Smart “is playing an FBI agent tasked with tracking down vigilantes, which makes sense in a world where superheroes have been outlawed,” but what’s curious is the character’s name: Agent Blake. You may recall that the Comedian’s real name is Edward Blake, which means there’s likely a connection of some kind between the two characters.
Watchmen premieres on HBO in 2019 and also stars Regina King, Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson, Louis Gossett Jr., Adelaide Clemens, Andrew Howard, Tom Mison, Frances Fisher, Jacob Ming-Trent, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.