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SYFY WIRE Watchmen

HBO's Watchmen showcases new footage, lays out show's themes and characters

By Josh Weiss
Watchmen HBO

Next month, HBO will finally roll out its ambitious reimagining of Watchmen from showrunner Damon Lindelof. Before that time arrives, the network was able to stave off our hunger for the series with a featurette that brings new footage to the party and also explains the show's central plot.

According to Lindelof (a veteran of Lost and Prometheus), those Rorschach lookalikes we've been seeing in the trailers and production stills are actually the members of a terrorist organization known as the Seventh Cavalry. After they enact a coordinated attack on the homes of police officers, cops begin to wear masks to protect their identities. From there, the featurette goes on to talk about its themes of vigilantism as well as government apathy to the violation of civil rights.

"Our Watchmen honors the graphic novel without making it necessary to have read it in order to understand this new story," says Lindelof in the video. "I like watching a TV show where it's very hard to identify its genre. That's something that I wanna replicate for people who are coming to Watchmen for the first time."

Check it out below:

Set in the modern day (albeit in an alternate reality), the series will place its main emphasis on Angela Abar (played by Regina King), a masked officer of the law. While Angela's a wholly new face, HBO's Watchmen will also bring back familiar faces like an aged Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias (now played by Jeremy Irons) and Dr. Manhattan. We're not sure on who will be playing the blue-skinned, god-like character from the original comics by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, but it would be awesomely insane if Billy Crudup came back to portray Jon Osterman, reprising the role from the 2009 film adaptation from director Zack Snyder. There's also a quick shot of Hooded Justice, a member of the original Minutemen from the 1940s.

King and Irons won't be the only award-winning actors propping up Watchmen. In fact, they're just two parts of an impressive ensemble that also includes Don Johnson, Jean Smart, Tim Blake Nelson, Louis Gossett Jr., Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Frances Fisher. Even Robert Redford is rumored to be playing an alternate version of himself that became president in this timeline — a direct callback to the graphic novel.

Season 1 of Watchmen premieres on HBO Sunday, Oct. 20.