The upcoming HBO series Watchmen is based on the iconic graphic novel of the same name, with some significant differences between it and the 2009 movie adaptation. The series and the movie are not directly connected, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t similarities between them.
For one, both adaptations have a similar period and focus on stories in an alternate version of the United States. They also both feature some of the same characters from Alan Moore’s original work.
The biggest difference, however, is how they approach their respective stories. While both works offer interesting takes on vigilantism, justice, and morality, the HBO series has shifted away from focusing solely on superheroes and delving more deeply into social issues such as race relations and police violence.
Those who loved the comic book or film for its superhero origins may be disappointed at first by this shift; however, if you open your mind to a new take on these classic characters then you may find yourself enthralled by what this TV show has to offer!
The Watchmen Movie (2009)
The 2009 Watchmen movie, based on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s graphic novel of the same name, is a thought-provoking exploration of costumed vigilantism set in an alternate-history America in the mid-1980s.
The story starts with our protagonist, a man living in Manhattan, watching the news about rising Cold War tensions when he is suddenly attacked by an unknown assailant. We then see a montage detailing how costumed heroes rose to fame from 1939 to 1977 before ultimately facing public criticism due to their vigilante activities.
The story follows Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley), a renowned vigilante detective who discovers the dead man was Edward Blake (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), or the Comedian. After warning members of his former group – the Watchmen – that they may be targeted too, Dan Dreiberg (Patrick Wilson), one of Rorschach’s former partners believes his paranoia is unfounded but passes on his suspicions to Adrian Veidt (Matthew Goode) – a former hero turned businessman.
We also follow Rorschach as he visits Jon Osterman (Billy Crudup) aka Doctor Manhattan – a physicist with accidental superpowers which makes him an important figure in national security. Doctor Manhattan pays no attention to Rorschach’s concerns as he devotedly pursues his energy research experiments.
The 2009 Watchmen movie is often acclaimed for its captivating plot and top-notch performances and is certainly worth seeing for anyone interested in vigilante justice or alternate history.
The Watchmen TV Series (2019)
The Watchmen TV Series (2019) is set in an alternate universe where masked vigilantes are treated as criminals. The TV series pays homage to the original Watchmen graphic novel while trying to move the storyline in new directions.
Led by the showrunner, Damon Lindelof, viewers can expect an amazing experience filled with action, adventure, and discovery as the characters try to uncover the mysteries surrounding this dystopian world. Actors like Regina King, Don Johnson, and Jeremy Irons lead a stellar cast that brings these stories to life. You won’t be disappointed when tuning into this highly acclaimed series!
Differences Between Movie & Series
When it comes to the HBO series Watchmen and the movie adaptation of the comic, there are some major differences between them. The movie is just an adaptation of the comic book, whereas the TV series is a creative “what-if” fanfiction of what could have happened after the events of the original story.
In terms of characters, you’ll see some familiar faces from the movie in the series, but most of them will be brand new from Damon Lindelof’s imagination. Ozymandias, for instance, is a main character in the show even though he only had a brief mention in the comic book. Night Sister and Looking Glass are completely original creations that bring something new to the story.
Ultimately, whatever your preference may be for either version, both versions present intriguing stories for DC fans alike that explore alternative timelines and classic heroes along with exciting new characters and storylines.
Reconciling the Two Worlds
The challenge of reconciling the two worlds of the “Watchmen” comics and TV shows is an interesting one. The series doesn’t require viewers to be familiar with the comic book, but having some knowledge adds to the delight of exploring the complexities of the new TV show.
Set in 2019, it has been more than 30 years since a fake alien squid attack destroyed New York and saved the world from nuclear disaster.
This means that all that transpired in the 1985-set comics are now treated as historical events within this show’s timeline. Regina King stars as Angela Abar–a Tulsa police detective who also goes by Sister Night–who engages in personal and professional investigations into unsolved murders while keeping close tabs on superpowered beings such as Doctor Manhattan.
What lies ahead for these two separate worlds is uncertain, but one thing we do know for sure: It promises to be an exciting journey toward reconciliation!
Impact of the TV Show on the Watchmen Universe
The impact of HBO’s Watchmen miniseries on the Watchmen universe has been profound. Its bold approach to tackling complex themes and subjects, such as race, politics, and identity, has challenged the conventions of what a comic book series can accomplish. This no-holds-barred approach allows the show to reach depths that other superhero properties wouldn’t dare go to.
What makes this show stand out is its gritty and realistic take on such topics. Allowing for a more mature interpretation of a traditionally childish genre, Watchmen manages to maintain an air of realness that resonates with viewers far and wide.
Ultimately, HBO’s adaptation of Alan Moore’s classic graphic novel continues to increase its influence in both the comic book world as well as on television. It remains an example of ambitious filmmaking that honors its source material while still standing out from it.