Watchmen (2009) Poster



When Dan and Laurie are having dinner you can hear someone in the background say "I'm glad I ordered the four-legged chicken!" In the corresponding scene in the original graphic novel, there is an image of a waiter carrying a four-legged chicken.
Jump to: Director Cameo (1) | Spoilers (36)
The introduction features many cultural references from history, slightly altered:

-Silhouette kisses the nurse in the V-J Day celebration in Times Square, taking the place of the sailor in Alfred Eisenstaedt's famous photo. The sailor can be seen in the background.

-Sally Jupiter's retirement party recreates the Last Supper painting by Leonardo Da Vinci.

-The photo of The Comedian shaking hands with President Nixon is based on the photograph of Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley.

-The image of a peace protester placing a flower in a gun barrel mirrors the famous "Flower Power" photo taken by Bernie Boston in 1967. The scene itself also suggests a later event: the shooting of protesting students by National Guard soldiers at Kent State University in Ohio in 1970.

-Ozymandias outside Studio 54. Actors representing The Village People can be seen behind him on his right, David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust is to the left and Mick Jagger can also be seen in the shot.
All of the U.S. flags in the film have 51 stars, because in the film's alternate history, Vietnam became the 51st state after America won the Vietnam War.
In the beginning, during the opening credits, we see the original Nite Owl I stop a thief. There are Batman/Fledermaus posters hanging on the wall of the alley. We can assume the people he rescues are Mr. and Mrs. Wayne, the parents of Batman, coming out of the theatre. Thus, there's no need for Bruce Wayne to become Batman in the Watchmen's Universe. Jeffrey Dean Morgan would later play Bruce Wayne's father Thomas Wayne in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), also directed by Zack Snyder.
The first trailer for the film, which premiered with The Dark Knight (2008) sparked so much interest that it sent the graphic novel back onto the bestseller list. Barnes and Noble Bookstores reported selling out of the novel nationwide.
The first official image from director Zack Snyder - a test shot of Rorshach holding The Comedian's button - was actually hidden in a trailer for Snyder's previous film, 300 (2006). It features that film's associate producer, Wesley Coller, wearing a makeshift mask in front of a composite New York backdrop, and was created as an experiment by Snyder to establish the mood and look of his proposed Watchmen project. Snyder's wife, Deborah Snyder, bet him $100 that no one would discover it, while he was convinced that someone would find it almost immediately. He won.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays Edward Morgan Blake, the Comedian. Morgan initially turned down the role after reading the first 3 pages of the script, assuming the character was only a cameo. His agent persuaded him to read the entire script and then make a decision.
When Patrick Wilson was offered the role of Dan Dreiberg he called one of his best friends who is a huge comic book fan and asked him what he knew about the Watchmen comic. He told Patrick that if Patrick was ever to do a superhero movie that this was the one to do. Having got the part, Patrick invited his friend to visit the set when filming the prison escape scene.
In the opening montage, Neil Armstrong says 'Good luck, Mr. Gorsky' on the moon. In urban legend, the child Armstrong, searching in his neighbors' backyard for his lost baseball, overhears Mrs. Gorsky from the bedroom saying 'Oral sex?! I'll give you oral sex when that kid next door walks on the moon!' and so, years later, says 'Good luck, Mr. Gorsky' as the first lunar transmission to Earth. This story has been debunked by Armstrong himself and other sources.
Popular John F. Kennedy assassination-conspiracy-theory suggests that the President was killed by a bullet fired from the front; specifically, from a fence behind a grassy knoll; also that three transients arrested soon after Kennedy's murder are said to be the "additional assassins". The opening montage portrays the Comedian delivering the fatal bullet from the grassy knoll's fence dressed in the same outfit as one of the "3 Tramps" as they were famously photographed. The puff of gun smoke said to have been seen, turns out to be Blake's cigar smoke. At Blake's funeral, the soundtrack plays "The Sound of Silence" by Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel, a song reportedly inspired by national emotional trauma from the Kennedy murder.
Author Alan Moore preemptively disowns all filmed adaptations of his work, as he sold the movie rights to his first few volumes when he was young and naïve, and regrets this. When asked in an interview with ReelzChannel.com about original Moore's dismissal of his movie, Zack Snyder was quoted as saying "Worst case scenario - Alan puts the movie on his DVD player on a cold Sunday in London and watches and says, 'Yeah, that doesn't suck too bad.'" When this was brought up with Moore himself in a later interview in the British Tripwire comics fanzine, the writer commented "That's the worst case scenario? I think he's underestimated what the worst case scenario would be... that's never going to happen in my DVD player in 'London' [Moore very famously lives in Northampton]. I'm never going to watch this fucking thing." (Reportedly, on another occasion, a better-tempered Moore said that it's probably a good movie in its own right, but he is indifferent to movies based on his work.) Still, Snyder has said that his ultimate hope is that someday Moore will actually see the film and feel it to be a decent representation of the original graphic novel.
Zack Snyder cast actors younger than their characters because of the large number of flashbacks in the story. Snyder decided that make-up and special effects artists would have an easier time making actors look older, rather than younger. Carla Gugino (born 1971), 37 while filming, plays the 64-year-old mother of Malin Akerman (born 1978), who in turn is supposed to be younger than the character of Laura Mennell (born 1980). Jeffrey Dean Morgan, however, was not deemed able to play a 16-year-old, so it was decided to change the Comedian's birth year from 1924 to 1918. Jackie Earle Haley, 47, played Rorschach, 45 in the book. The Rorschach newscast gives his age as 35, but this is a character error, as all other chronology in the film indicates that Rorschach is 45, not 35.
Rorschach's name refers to the famous Rorschach inkblot test used in psychotherapy. In the graphic novel, we learn that the material from his mask was intended for a dress belonging to Catherine Genovese, better known as "Kitty" Genovese. Her murder in public view sparked an outcry about bystander apathy.
Traditionally, CGI characters such as Doctor Manhattan would require two shoots for every scene the character appears. First, the scene would be filmed with a placeholder instead of the CGI character. Then the character's movements would be recorded on a "motion capture" stage to provide a reference in creating the CGI character. Given the amount of screen time Doctor Manhattan has, this would have been an expensive process. Instead, Billy Crudup simultaneously provided Manhattan's placeholder and motion capture on set. Crudup wore a specially-designed motion capture suit and face markers, and was constantly filmed by at least two cameras, one for all-over movement and another trained on his face to follow his expressions. This way, his on-set performance as the placeholder could be used directly in creating the CGI character. To provide the effect of Doctor Manhattan's eerie glow, Crudup's suit was studded with 2500 blue lights, so that he could act as an "exotic lighting instrument". Therefore Manhattan's glow follows his movements more closely than an on-set light could, and illuminates his surroundings in a more convincing manner than a computer effect would.
The symbol Dr. Manhattan inscribes on his forehead describes the hydrogen atom: one proton (the central dot) orbited by one electron (the upper dot). Hydrogen is the most common and fundamental element in the universe.
The phrases "Who will watch the Watchmen?" was written by the Roman poet Juvenal. The original Latin phrase is "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" and is about trying to guard a woman from committing immoral and dubious behaviour when the guards themselves could be corrupted by the woman they are guarding. It is sometimes translated as "Who guards the guards?" or "Who will watch the watchers themselves?" among other variations.
When Silk Spectre and Nite Owl rescue the people from the burning tenement, Silk Spectre can be seen briefly putting paper cups into a compartment. In the comic panel at this point, Nite Owl offers coffee to the people they have just rescued.
Of all the Watchmen, Rorschach and Dr. Manhattan are the only two that never curse.
When offered the role of Adrian Veidt, Matthew Goode had never read the graphic novel. He called a friend who had and asked if he should even bother to read the script. Not only did the friend say yes, he insisted that Goode immediately read the graphic novel and accept the role without question. Later, after he read both the script and the novel, Goode admitted his friend was right to make him take the role without delay.
Dr. Manhattan, after his accident, creates the perfect human form to replace his old body. To achieve Dr. Manhattan's ultra-ripped muscled look, his physique was modeled on that of the actor/model Greg Plitt.
Ozymandias is a Greek name for Rameses II (Pharaoh King of Egypt), and the title of a sonnet by Percy Bysshe Shelley. The inscription from a ruined statue quoted in the sonnet appears under a massive Egyptian bust in his lair.
Zack Snyder based his storyboards for the film on the panels of the actual graphic novel. He has stated that in order to be true to the source when adapting a graphic novel to the screen, the original visual art should be respected as much as the written portion. Snyder personally asked Dave Gibbons, the novel's artist, to design the first teaser film poster. Gibbons enthusiastically agreed and designed the poster to have subtle visual clues hinting at the film's plot. When casting the film, each actor was presented with a script and a copy of the book. They were allowed to carry the latter on set and re-write dialog to better match that of the source material. Dozens of scenes reenact panels from the novel. A good example is Rorschach squatting on the windowsill about to enter The Comedian's apartment near the start of the film.
The following titles can be seen on Ozymandias' wall of TV monitors: Tweetie Pie (1947), Haredevil Hare (1948), Dough Ray Me-ow (1948), The Giant Gila Monster (1959), The Tonight Show (1962), The 300 Spartans (1962), Fail-Safe (1964), Dallas (1978), Mad Max (1979), The Jesus Film (1979), Altered States (1980), The Road Warrior (1981), Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984), Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), MTV's 20 Most Outrageous Moments (2001), and the music video for Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love".
The scene at the beginning, where a girl puts a flower on the barrel of a soldiers rifle, is a reference to a famous photograph by Marc Ribaud called "An American young girl".
When Dan Dreiberg and Hollis Mason watch a TV news report referencing Rorschach, they see a black and white 'file footage' of Rorschach walking quickly away and to the right of the camera position, glancing back over his right shoulder momentarily and then continues walking away. That footage is intentionally designed to precisely mimic the infamously-disputed film of Bigfoot (known as the Patterson-Gimlin Film (1967)).
The song played during the love scene between Night Owl II and Silk Spectre II is Leonard Cohen 's 1984 version of Hallelujah. This song is often used in movies (by several cover artists) depicting a moment of sadness or heartbreak. In this case it is used in exactly the opposite situation. Significantly, the part used includes the last verse which is usually omitted in most cover versions, but which is fitting in the context of the scene.
Was shipped to some theaters under the codename 'Old Heroes Never Die'.
Early in the movie, as US-USSR tensions escalate, the 1983 song "99 Luftballons" plays. This song by German singer Nena originates from a Rolling Stones concerts in Berlin, when her guitarist noticed a mass of balloons being released. He wondered if the balloons drifted over the Berlin Wall to the Soviet (East German) side, whether something so innocent could trigger nuclear war.
Despite being referred to as such in the movie, none of the characters in the comic are named, or are ever involved in a group called, 'The Watchmen'. That title is simply used as an allusion to the 'Juvenal' phrase 'Who watches the watchmen?', which appears throughout the comic as well as the movie. In the comic, the group was called the Crimebusters.
Zack Snyder wanted to cast his 300 (2006) star Gerard Butler in this film and even promised him a role. When all the roles were cast and Butler didn't have one, Snyder cast him in Tales of the Black Freighter (2009), which is based on the comic-within-a-comic from the Watchmen graphic novel and was released on DVD around the time Watchmen was released in theaters.
Premiered in more theaters (3,611) than any other R-rated movie. Scored the biggest debut of 2009 with a $55.7 mil weekend gross, in March of the same year, until Monsters vs. Aliens (2009) opened a few weeks later.
Tim Burton was at one point interested in directing the film with Johnny Depp as The Comedian. But he began work on Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) and Alice in Wonderland (2010), and passed on the offer.
The movie rights to the Alan Moore graphic novels Watchmen and V for Vendetta (2005) were acquired together in the late 1980s. Moore was asked to write a script, but declined. The studio then had Sam Hamm write a script. Terry Gilliam considered directing this film as early as 1989, but after several rewrites assisted by Charles McKeown, decided the material unfilmable except as a 5-hour miniseries at a cost of $1,000,000 per page (with CGI not in use yet). Michael Bay was considered as director in 2003. In 2004 the rights had been sold to Paramount, where Paul Greengrass planned a loose adaptation set in the present day. Warner Brothers soon reacquired the rights for Darren Aronofsky, who also wanted a present-day setting, replacing Vietnam with Iraq and terrorism. Uncomfortable with that, Warner hired Zack Snyder, of 300 (2006) fame. Casting rumours over the years included Sigourney Weaver (Sally Jupiter); John Hurt, Robin Williams, Doug Hutchison, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, Glen Hansard, Sean Penn (Rorschach); Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lundgren, Keanu Reeves (Dr. Manhattan); Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Busey, Ron Perlman, Thomas Jane (Comedian); Richard Gere, Kevin Costner, John Cusack, Joaquin Phoenix (Nite Owl); Nathan Fillion (either Comedian or Nite Owl); Jamie Lee Curtis, Hilary Swank, Jessica Biel, Hilary Duff (Silk Spectre); Tom Cruise, Jude Law (Ozymandias). In the finished film, Jackie Earle Haley is the only one of the seven primary cast members who was even in the film industry when the movie was first attempted.
Three Bob Dylan songs are used in the movie. "The Times They Are a-Changin'" for the opening credits, "All Along the Watchtower" near the end, and "Desolation Row" for the closing credits. All three songs were referred to in the original graphic novel. "The Times They Are a-Changin'" is the only one where the Bob Dylan version is used as the other two are covered by Jimi Hendrix and My Chemical Romance.
Ozymandias' love for Ancient Egyptian royal attributes does not stop at his furniture. He wears a belt with an Udjat eye on it, an Ancient Egyptian sign of protection. Below the belt, on his hips and over the pant part of his costume, he wears a purple-ish, short version of the Ancient Egyptian Shendyt. This is a royal apron, or kilt, which is pleated. Ozymandias' Shendyt is a rubber replica of what used to be cloth and is far shorter than it was for pharaohs, given that he still has to be able to move his legs freely. In addition to these Egyptian inspired costume details, he obviously also wears a modernized version of the old Roman golden laurels around his head, another nod to his love for all things ancient and powerful.
The shooting of President John F. Kennedy in the movie is framed exactly like the famous "Zapruder Film of Kennedy Assassination (1963)", the only authentic footage of the assassination. In the foreground, just as Kennedy is hit, you see an actor playing Abraham Zapruder with his camera.
Unlike the film, the graphic novel does not feature a single instance of the f-word.
In the opening montage, you see a B-29 bomber with the name "Miss Jupiter". The name of the pilot stenciled on the plane is Peter Aperlo, one of the writers.
A line said by Rorschach, referring to a pagliacci visiting a doctor, is a line taken by a poem from Mexican writer Juan de Dios Peza 'Reir Llorando', based on famous English comedian David Garrick.
During the meeting of the Watchmen in which the Comedian burns the map of the USA, the zippo lighter he uses is engraved with an image of Sally Jupiter.
The trailer features the song "The Beginning is the End is the Beginning" by Smashing Pumpkins, which was originally a B-Side for the single "The End is the Beginning is the End", the theme from Joel Schumacher's Batman & Robin (1997).
The Hustler magazine on The Comedian's table is from August 1985 and contains the headline "Comic Relief".
In the clip from Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) seen on one of Ozymandias's TV screens, actor Martin Kove is wearing a Smile button, which of course is an image associated with Watchmen and The Comedian in particular. However in Rambo, the Smile is actually frowning.
When the Minutemen has their photograph taken in 1940, Night Owl shakes hands with the photographer and says "Thank you Weegee". 'Arthur 'Weegee' Fellig' was a real life Austrian-born photographer and photojournalist, known for his stark black and white street photography in the 1930's and 40's. He also worked with, among others, Stanley Kubrick.
In the first scene, when the intruder first breaks into Edward Blake's apartment, Blake throws a mug toward the intruder. The mug shatters on the door, on the number above the peephole. The door number is clearly seen as 3001, but as the mug shatters, it ricochets off to the right, and casts a shadow over the number, obscuring the "1" deeply in shadow. This leaves a very well-lit "300." This may very well be an editing effect to give a nod to director Zack Snyder's earlier movie 300 (2006).
The pistols used by the Comedian are D&L Sports "Professional Model" .45 longslides, and are actual firearms, not prop pieces.
On Veidt's desk a copy of Hollis Mason's fictional biography 'Under the Hood' can be seen. The book was quoted in the graphic novel and used to expose plot points that would have been otherwise left unexplored. The song "Ride of The Valkyries," played during Dr. Manhattan's Vietnam battle, is referenced in Mason's recount of a sad childhood memory.
Laurie's last name, Juspeczyk, is never spoken at any point in the film. Rorschach even calls her Jupiter in one scene, despite the fact that in the graphic novel Laurie resents her mother's use of Jupiter to distance herself from her Polish roots. Her name is still written down as Juspeczyk at one point in the film. This is likely a nod to the fact that neither Dave Gibbons nor Alan Moore settled on a pronunciation for her name when the comic was made, although they have offered some guesses. Some Polish natives have come forth and declared that it should be pronounced you-SPETCH-ick, and this is used in Watchmen (2008).
If you look closely during the opening credits sequence when Silk Spectre is having her photo taken with the police, you can see the Police Chief slyly trying to look down her blouse. Watch him turn his head and grin.
Most of the songs featured in the movie are referenced directly in the comic. The first issue was titled after a "Desolation Row" verse. "Unforgettable" and "The Times They Are A-Changin'" are used in commercials for Adrian Veidt's cologne Nostalgia. "You're My Thrill" is played by Nite Owl II while he and Silk Spectre II are flying people away from the burning building. Issue 11 got its title from a verse in "All Along The Watchtower". "Ride of the Valkyries" is mentioned by the first Nite Owl as being the saddest thing he can think of due to an incident from his childhood. Additionally, the name of "Tales of the Black Freighter" was taken from the Marc Blitzstein translation of Kurt Weill & Bertolt Brecht's "Seeräuber-Jenny" ("Pirate Jenny") from "The Threepenny Opera", a favorite source of ideas for Alan Moore comics.
The computer in Adrian Veidt's office is a black Apple Macintosh SE/30, running in inverted mode on screen. Macintoshes of the era were never officially sold in black, but a consignment is believed to have been once used by the National Security Agency. The program running is an early version of the Mac OS. At the time, these versions were still in black and white, and the production team simply inverted the black and white colors to make it look different.
During the opening credits when Ozymandias is outside Studio 54, actors representing the following people appear: The Village People (on the right), and David Bowie/Ziggy Stardust leaning on the car with Mick Jagger from The Rolling Stones. (Ozymandias reaches for Bowie to shake his hand after he turns from the cameras.)
Some of the actors chosen to be newscasters (such as Mi-Jung Lee and Lynn Colliar) for bit parts in the movie are in real life newscasters in the Vancouver media.
Jackie Earle Haley was the only one of the main actors who was already familiar with the comic book. He actively campaigned for the part of Rorscharch.
Pieces of 80s pop culture shown on Adrian Veidt's bank of monitors include Apple's "1984" commercial for the Macintosh and the music video for "Addicted to Love" by Robert Palmer.
Moloch has a copy of Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" on his bedside table. In this poem the word "moloch" appears several times.
Zack Snyder found casting for the Comedian to be a difficult process as the character is gruff and grizzled. Most of the actors he met with, he felt were too groomed. Jeffrey Dean Morgan was very grumpy during his meeting with the director, something that appealed to Snyder a great deal.
WILHELM SCREAM: During the prison riot, 2 inmates are holding another inmate by his legs and then drop over the handrail.
Carla Gugino who plays Malin Akerman's mother is only seven years older than her onscreen daughter.
The following titles are mentioned in the end credits: The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962), Jeopardy! (1984), Who's the Boss? (1984), MacGyver (1985), Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie (1995), Wheel of Fortune (1983).
The clip the Comedian watches on TV is a remake/homage of the famous "Share the Fantasy" Chanel No. 5 ad directed by Ridley Scott, the actual commercial does not contain the song 'Unforgettable' on its soundtrack. The clip in the film is advertising Nostalgia, a fragrance by Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias. Nostalgia is a repeated theme of both the film and the graphic novel.
Although Jackie Earle Haley has a black belt in Kenpo, he chose not to draw on those skills in his fight scenes as he felt that Rorscharch would have fought in a scrappier, less disciplined style.
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After its $55.2 million opening weekend, it finally crossed the $100 million mark on its 21st day of release, setting the record of the slowest movie to $100 million after a $50M+ opening (previously held by 8 Mile (2002) [20 days after a $51.2M opening]). The record was broken again two years later by Paranormal Activity 3 (2011) (23 days after $52.6M opening).
"Who watches the watchmen?" was spoken by Aristotle responding to the theory of Plato about filakes (Watchmen) who will be the ultimate, infallible authority in the city-state. Aristotle said "Pios tha filatei tus filakes?" ("Who watches the watchmen?") to deny that theory. In the graphic novel, the phrase is never fully seen, being always either partly covered or incompletely written. In the film, the complete phrase appears at least twice, perhaps as the result of editing errors.
Zack Snyder cast Matt Frewer after working with him on Dawn of the Dead (2004) and 'Stephen McHattie' after working with him on 300 (2006).
The perfume Nostalgia makes an appearance at the beginning of the film in The Comedian's apartment. It was featured in Laurie and Dr. Manhattan's scene on Mars in the graphic novel and was shown to be one of Veidt's product lines.
Billy Crudup and Jeffrey Dean Morgan have shared more than just screen time in the film. Crudup is the father of actress Mary-Louise Parker's son William; Parker was engaged to Morgan until they broke up in 2008.
The scene in the War Room (at around 1:24 minutes) mirrors Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964).
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Ozymandias' suit is deliberately modeled on the now infamous Batsuits featured in Joel Schumacher's much-maligned Batman & Robin (1997).
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When asked his thoughts on the upcoming movie adaptation of his seminal graphic novel, Alan Moore sighed and said "Do we really need another shitty film in the world?" Moore had famously and very vocally been unhappy about the adaptations of V for Vendetta (2005) and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003). Like many, Moore was also of a mind that the comic was unfilmable.
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Patrick Wilson gained 25lbs to play the overweight, out-of-condition Nite Owl.
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Ozymandias proved to be a difficult role to fill as the part required an actor who was handsome, fit but with a world-weariness to him. After a lengthy search, Zack Snyder was delighted to find that Matthew Goode possessed all the requisite qualities.
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Based on the speed, wingspan, and size of the jets seen during the Vietnam sequence, they are F-105 Thunderchiefs; the default Fighter/Bomber of the Vietnam War. The helicopters are, of course, UH-1 Iroquois; frequently referred to as the 'Huey'.
During the Watchmen meeting (at around 45 minutes), the labels of national security issues include: Illegal Immigration, Murder, Kidnapping, Black Unrest, Race Riots, Extortion, Prostitution, Anti-War Demos, Promiscuity, Corruption, Drugs, and Draft Dodgers.

While some of these are actual issues of importance ("Corruption" and "Murder"), others were probably suggested by a single member and begrudgingly included by the group: i.e. "Promiscuity" was seen as dangerous only by moralist Rorschach, and "Illegal Immigration" and "Draft Dodgers" by the ultra-nationalist Comedian.
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During one of Rorschach's investigations, he finds a matchbook with the logo for "Happy Harry" on it. Happy Harry made an animated trailer for a "Watchmen" cartoon that never existed.
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Patrick Wilson was cast after Zack Snyder saw his performance in Little Children (2006). In which he co-starred with Jackie Earle Haley.
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$7 million had already been spent on Watchmen (2009) in pre-production before the project came to Zack Snyder.
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There are over 1,100 visual effects shots in the film.
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In some of the later trailers, a shot of Dan Dreiberg/Nite Owl II crying out and dropping to his knees can be briefly seen. Unlike the case of scenes being in trailers that usually don't make it in the theatrical feature, this turned out to be one of the rare cases.
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Snoop Dogg admitted on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire that he fell asleep in this movie.
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Made the bake-off for the Best Visual Effects Academy Award nominations though it failed to make the final three.
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Three stuntmen were involved in the scene where the Comedian attempts to rape Silk Spectre.
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Thomas Jane turned down a part in the film due to other work commitments.
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Billy Crudup wore a white suit covered with blue LEDs for his scenes opposite his fellow actors, giving them something they could perform against. He would then be CGI-ed into the enormous (and blue) Dr Manhattan.
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Dr Manhattan's CGI body is modeled on fitness expert and actor, Greg Plitt.
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The hotel room number at the beginning of the movie is '300' a hint at another of Zack Snyder's films with the same title.
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L. Harvey Gold and Jay Brazeau previously collaborated on They (2002).
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Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Jay Brazeau would go on to collaborate on The Possession (2012).
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Like Back to the Future Part II (1989), the film takes place in alternate 1985.
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Tim Burton was interested directing this film.
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Director Cameo 

Zack Snyder: In the extended cut, as a U.S. soldier during the Vietnam Battle. He is on the chopper with the Comedian.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

There is a metaphysical joke towards the conclusion. In the film, Ozymandias chides Nite Owl II, saying, "Dan, I'm not a comic book villain." Whereas in the comic book he says that he is not a film villain, specifically, "Dan, I'm not a Republic serial villain." Of course, it could be argued that Ozymandias is not in fact a villain at all.
The original draft by Sam Hamm features a vastly different vision than that depicted in the final film. The most prominent sequences is Veidt's plan to change the world (traveling back in time and assassinating Jon Osterman via sniper rifle before he becomes Doctor Manhattan); Doctor Manhattan subsequently killing Veidt instead of letting him live in the graphic novel/final movie; Rorschach's passing judgment on the Child Rapist on the case that created him (drenching the man in cow blood and meat and letting him be fed to his own dogs); and, of course, the ending: Doctor Manhattan destroying himself in the past before Jon is transformed into Doctor Manhattan causes a rift in time and space and causes an alternate dimension which Laurie, Dan, and Rorschach are sucked into and discover an alternate world where they are characters in a hit comic book serial and decide to pick up fighting crime again.
One of the inkblots that appears during Rorschach's examination, which he perceives to be two lovers (but which he describes as "some nice flowers"), appears twice during his final confrontation with Dr. Manhattan: on his mask, and in the blood pattern on the snow.
A copy of the graphic novel "Watchmen" can clearly be seen on Dan's desk as he and Laurie first make love. Malin Akerman has confirmed its presence in public comments. At 2:14:30 of the two-disc director's cut, a copy of the same book is on the bottom shelf of Hollis Mason's bookshelf when he is being beaten up by the Top Knots.
While writing the original graphic novel, Alan Moore was surprised to find out that his intended ending had remarkable similarity to the TV episode The Outer Limits: The Architects of Fear (1963). Near the end of the film, Sally Jupiter can be seen watching the series on TV.
During Dr. Manhattan's recitation about Martian non-biologic type of life, the pan over the Martian surface begins with a close up of something looking like the Cydonia Face on Mars. The Martian "Smiley Crater" is shown in the last scene. Both are real Martian surface features.
In Under the Hood, the text appendix to the first third of the graphic novel, it is explained that Captain Metropolis and Hooded Justice are a gay couple. There are also several hints questioning the sexual orientation of Adrian Veidt. Hooded Justice's sexual orientation was hinted to after he stops the Comedian from raping Silk Spectre, and is taunted by Blake when beaten to his knees, mocking "This is what you like?" Hooded Justice responds, defensively "What?" and gets even more angry.

Adrian Veidt's sexual orientation is hinted at several times. The first is during the opening montage when Adrian is in front of Studio 54 (a popular disco club of the The Village People, whose sexuality was ambiguous and are seen as gay icons). A second time is when Night Owl II is on Adrian's computer, a folder on the floppy disc he opens in entitled "Boys". Another inference can be made during the moment when Adrian states to his captains of industry that the only person in humanity's whole history with whom he feels any sense of kinship is 'Alexander The Great' of ancient Macedonia, who is believed to have been bisexual.
Near the end of the graphic novel, a newspaper headline can be seen: "R.R. Runs for President." Though we are led to think R.R. is Ronald Reagan, the initials turn out, a few pages later, to stand for Robert Redford. The film simply changes the reference to Reagan, with no mention of Redford.
The old news vendor and the young African American male who reads comic books about pirate ships at his stand, are both named Bernard. They serve as a "Greek chorus" representing the common man in the graphic novel, and are killed by Veidt's attack in the end.
Doctor Manhattan likens Laurie's birth to the "thermodynamic miracle" of "turning air into gold". In the comic, Doctor Manhattan elaborates that a "thermodynamic miracle" is an event which is incredibly energetically unfavorable, such as an oxygen atom spontaneously turning into a gold atom. In quantum mechanics, although the odds are beyond astronomical, such a classically-forbidden event can still occur.
When Laurie and Dan are having dinner, Walter Kovacs walks past in the background.
In the opening credits, we see the retirement party for Sally Jupiter, which is a reference to the Last Supper painting. The Comedian is seated directly to Sally's right. In the Last Supper, Jesus is seated in the middle and the person on his right is considered by many to be Mary Magdelene. It is also suggested that Mary was the mother of Jesus's child. Therefore, the placement of the Comedian on Sally's right is a reference to him being the father of her child, Laurie.
When the gun man enters Adrian Veidt's building just before the lift opens, the arrow glows purple. This is the symbol of Pyramid Co.
In an unspecified draft by David Hayter, Dan and Laurie still spend the night at Karnak after Veidt assassinates the leaders of almost every country. However, Laurie wakes up later and then gets seriously drunk on champagne, possibly because of the loss of Jon and Rorschach. She then discovers that Dan is fighting with Veidt which ends with Dan killing Adrian Veidt with a boomerang.
The Richard Nixon lookalike's address to the world at the end of the film is strikingly similar to George W. Bush's response to the September 11 attacks: "None of us will ever forget this day, yet we go forward to defend freedom, and all that is good, and just in our world. Thank you, good night, and God bless America." In the film, Nixon's line is "This is a day we shall never forget. And yet we go forward to defend the human race, and all that is good and just in our world. Thank you. God bless us all."
In the Comedian's death scene you can see a old photo of Silk Spectre 1, mother of his child, on the wall.
As Dr. Manhattan transports a generator to Veidt's laboratory, a large sign is visible in Karnak reading '(S)ub (Q)uantum (U)nified (I)ntrinsic Field (D)evice', the first letters forming the word SQUID when read top to bottom. At the same time, the first generator emits tentacle-like energy emanations housed in a plasma sphere, upon going off the first time and again in New York just before exploding. This is a reference to the original ending of the comic series, which centered on Veidt's creation of a cloned squid-like creature to attack New York, a horror which is blamed on aliens, not Dr. Manhattan.
In the finale, Laurie remarks that Jon (Doctor Manhattan) would say "nothing ever ends". In the comic book, the meaning of this comment is more obvious. The line is delivered by Doctor Manhattan in response to Ozymandias asking if Ozymandias' plan will turn out to be worth the sacrifice "in the end".
While Rorschach and Nite Owl are investigating Pyramid International at Veidt Interprises, we can see the Palette of Narmer, an ancient Egyptian work of art, on the mantle above Veidt's cabinets. The palette recounts the rise to power of King Narmer, who, after much violence, united the Upper and Lower Kingdoms of Egypt under one ruler. Similarly, in the film Ozymandias plots to unify the divided nations of the world against a common enemy by globally committing acts of violence in framing Dr. Manhattan.
In the first trailer released for this film, the only discernible words spoken (apart from the song) are by the two Watchmen who die in the film. Both are given as voice-overs (The Comedian's "God help us all" and Rorschach's "The world will look up and shout 'save us!' and I'll whisper 'no'")
Lee Iacocca wasn't informed about his portrayal in this film, and wasn't pleased when he heard that he was killed off during the attempted assassination on Veidt. Zack Snyder said: "It's nothing against Lee; I think Lee's awesome. But he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time." About the legal ramifications, Snyder added: "I think we got away with it because the movie has a satirical quality to it. And there were so many other famous people [in the film], lookalikes of Richard Nixon, Annie Leibovitz, or John F. Kennedy. These are the people that we need in the movie to try and create this '80s vibe. And so, when we had the scene where Adrian was meeting with the captains of industry, Lee just kinda jumped out as a famous person you identify with the '80s, but also with being in the automotive industry." Lee later admitted that the actor Walter Addison looked good in the part.
The soldiers who carry the coffin to its grave site all wear the black and white beret flash of the 5th Special Forces Group which, given The Comedian's service in Vietnam, seems likely since it was one of the most visible and highly decorated units of that conflict.
As Adrian Veidt (Ozymandias) is speaking with the 'captains of industry' and they move into the lobby area, a Muzak / elevator music version of Tears for Fears "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" can be heard playing.
While Veidt talks to the press, the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center can be seen outside his office window. A blimp is also in the background, and appears to be flying towards the towers very slowly. At the end when New York is in ruins and Veidt Enterprises is rebuilding the city, the towers still stand, unharmed.
Delivery trucks with the Pyramid Transnational logo appear throughout the film: One is outside The Comedian's high rise as the detectives are investigating, another driving by the Gunga Diner, and another in the background as Rorschach watches Dan and Laurie leave the diner.
Towards the end of the movie, the word Pioneer above the New Frontiersman logo has Rorschach's "calling card" symbol using a backwards P in front of Pioneer.
When Nite Owl and Rorschach break into Veidt's office, Rorschach stands in front of a number of Egyptian items. The largest of them is clearly the famous Palette of Narmer, which shows one of the earliest known depictions of a pharaoh.
When Rorschach goes into The Comedians apartment via the window with his grapple gun, he goes to the closet to reveal Comedians secret stash of weapons and equipment. In a quick shot we can see he has a picture of Lori, the new Silk Spectre and Sally Jupiters daughter. Foreshadowing that he is, in fact, her father.
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When the atomic blast hits New York City, a TALES OF THE BLACK FREIGHTER poster can be seen on a brick wall off to the right.
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Rorschach's journal being discovered by the employee of the New Frontiersman news agency after the world has united in peace at the end of the film, hints that although Dr. Manhatten killed him to prevent the truth getting out and disturbing the peace, the journal's contents leaked to the public could possibly lead to humanity once again on the brink of mass extinction. Thus Viedt's efforts being all for nothing but to delay the inevitable. Therefore justice prevails, a fundamental principle Rorschach believed in and died for.
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Jeffrey Dean Morgan said that when he first read the script and saw that the Comedian dies in the first scene, he figured it wasn't worth his time and was going to turn it down without reading the rest of the script. He changed his mind when he saw that the Comedian's history would be explored in flashbacks.
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Rorschach diary's first date is marked as October 12, 1985, being the last date November 1, 1985: October 12 is the date of America's discovery by Christopher Columbus (The Comedian's death is discovered by Rorschach), and November 1 is All Saint's Day, known in Latin countries as Day of the Dead, when the living ones pay a tribute to their familiar and beloved beings who passed away (Rorschach is killed by Dr. Manhattan).
The assassin's foot crushes his "delivery" (at around 1:30 minutes), a box labeled "PYRAMID - A New World Delivered", which refers to the climactic ending, PYRAMID being a Veidt enterprise, and the assassin being actually hired by Veidt.
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In The Comedian's funeral scene (at around 51 minutes), an adjacent tombstone appears to read "Bucher", which could refer to a summary of Blake's career.
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Unlike the scene in graphic novel in which Dan Dreiberg/Nite Owl II wasn't present when Manhatten kills Rorschach, he was present in the scene in the film.
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The extended director's cut shows scenes from the Black Freighter graphic novel the teenage boy is reading. Parts of this story line are nearly identical to Rome (2005) Season 1, Episode 7 Pharsalus. In both, bloated corpses from a sunken ship are tied together to form a raft and it is used to escape a deserted island. In both stories they also catch a live seagull and eat it raw and later vomit it up.
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