The trailer for Lindelof’s new series is every bit as dark, strange, and menacingly violent as you’d hope!
HBO has finally unveiled the teaser trailer for their upcoming TV version of the classic comic book, Watchmen. Based on the DC Comics limited series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, the series is a continuation of the comic book and stands apart from the 2009 Zack Snyder film of the same name. The film at the time was considered a bit of a box office failure, only taking $185.3million globally against its $130-$138million budget.
The property was originally going to be a television series as far back as 1987 but got stranded in development hell until 2005 when it was deemed ‘Unfilmable’. That was until Snyder stepped up to the plate and delivered a quite entertaining and dark film that divided opinion until he released an ‘ultimate cut’ of the film, bringing its length up by 24 minutes to a whopping 3 hours and 35 minutes long. This version is revered as possibly one of the best comic book movies ever. It’s dark and extremely brutal violence certainly earned the film its R Rating alongside its sexual scenes.
It remains to be seen how far HBO are willing to push the envelope on this new incarnation of the property but with their track record with television series like this, it seems almost certain to retain every aspect of the comic book and the film version and be unflinching with the violence and sexual scenes.
The trailer opens with a group of masked individuals. All have adopted the Rorshach look and ideology. The group appear to represent a right-wing militia unit. Watchmen originally ended with Rorschach’s journal about to be discovered by the staff of New Frontiersman. Could the group have been radicalised by the twisted words written in the journal itself? Watch the trailer below:
All through the trailer, we hear ‘Tick Tock’. Never in the comics were the group referred to as ‘Watchmen‘ so is this an indication that the show will indeed give the superheroes the term? Originally, they were referred to as ‘The Minutemen’ or ‘The Crimebusters’.
The Rorschach lookalikes storm a private residence which makes for some pretty uncomfortable viewing. It’s almost Klan-like in its intensity. We are then transported to a mass funeral, with a voiceover stating that ‘They’ have murdered all the police. Masked Police officers (If that’s what they are) stand over the gravesite and fire their rifles in salute to their fallen comrades. It is strangely reminiscent of the funeral of Eddie Blake, The ‘Comedian’. Could this be what the police are clapping rhythmically for? In voiceover, we hear that ‘They’ have all disappeared, leading us to the conclusion that the Watchmen have decided to all but vanish from public society and have hung up their costumes.
We are then shown brief flashes of the show’s heroes. None seem too familiar as yet but as the series isn’t due to be broadcast until the fall, the makers may just be holding back on showing us too much too soon. Dr Manhatten is absent from the trailer completely, is he going to be in the show at all?
We come to the end of the trailer and see someone having a discussion. He is asked what he is talking about. He turns around and we find out it is none other than Don Johnson. Yes, THAT Don Johnson. The legendary actor of Miami Vice fame. He smiles that legendary grin of his and quotes “Oh nothing. Just about the end of the world”. A classic line from the comics and the film version. The screen cuts to black and the title is unveiled alongside the declaration that it is coming in the fall.
On viewing the teaser, it sure looks like the makers have decided to keep to the dark and gritty route the comic book and film trod. And that’s what makes it all the more interesting. This isn’t a light and family oriented comic book show, this is a down and dirty adults-only series, just how it should be. If HBO gives the property the respect and service it deserves, it could quite possibly become the benchmark for all comic book series that are either in production or will be going into production. Netflix’s ‘Daredevil‘ was similar in its values as is DC’S ‘Titans‘ show but Watchmen is far darker and graphic than either of those two. If done right, we could be in for the spectacle to end them all.
Until next time.
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Carl Roberts is a Senior Entertainment/Books and Literature Correspondent for The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force frequently!