Now that we’ve learned work has begun on Damon Lindelof’s TV series adaptation of Watchmen, our thoughts turn to who might play the iconic graphic novel’s leading characters. After all, HBO will have some pretty big shoes to fill, seeing as Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Billy Crudup, and especially Jackie Earle Haley nailed their parts in the Zack Snyder-directed movie version. However, we have a few ideas on who could succeed them for television.
Alexander Skarsgård as Ozymandias
In the original graphic novel, the aloof former hero-turned-billionaire Adrian Veidt is tall, blonde, athletic, charming, and of some unknown European descent. Underneath his cool exterior lurks somebody who could take down any adversary in the blink of an eye. This role is almost tailor made for former True Blood star Alexander Skarsgård.
Jerome Flynn as Rorschach
With Game of Thrones on the way out, the actor we have all come to love as Ser Bronn of the Blackwater is going to be wanting for a job. I say Jerome Flynn would fit right into the role of Walter Kovacs, the unhinged vigilante Rorschach. Flynn has the perfect face for Rorschach’s real identity of Kovacs–the right amount of lines set in, as well as the occasionally perfect look of crazy in his eyes. Hopefully, Flynn can give us a great American accent too.
Seth Rogen as Nite Owl
Although Patrick Wilson did a fine job in the feature film as Dan Drieberg, the over-the-hill and chubby retiree Nite Owl, he was a bit too traditionally good looking and physically fit for the role. The TV series calls for a real everyman actor like Seth Rogen. Yes, he’s mainly known for comedy, but films like Funny People, 50/50, and Take This Waltz have shown that he has the acting chops for something more weighty. Plus, he carries the general good nature of the “past his prime” Nite Owl. Not to mention the fact that, a producer of Preacher, we know he’s a big comics guy–I bet he’d jump at the chance to be on Watchmen.
Olivia Wilde as Silk Spectre II
Maybe the biggest casting misstep in the original Watchmen film was hiring Malin Åkerman as the second generation hero the Silk Spectre. Instead, I’d go with Olivia Wilde in the role of Laurie Jupiter. Her work on HBO’s Vinyl proved that Wilde can accurately portray a strong woman trapped in a marriage to a powerful but disinterested man, who finally finds the inner strength to leave and strike out on her own… which sounds exactly like Laurie Jupiter. And her roles in movies like TRON:Legacy and Cowboys Vs. Aliens prove she can do all the action heavy stuff as well.
Susan Sarandon as Silk Spectre I
As for the original ’40s-era Silk Spectre, and the second Silk Spectre’s mother, I can’t think of anyone better than acting legend Susan Sarandon. In the recent Feud series, where she played Bette Davis, Sarandon proved she could play a tough Golden Hollywood-era dame in her later years better than just about anyone. You’re not going to find better actress for the part of Sally Jupiter than Susan Sarandon, so I’d even lobby for Sarandon for the flashback sequences, with a bit of de-aging CGI.
Jon Hamm as The Comedian
The murder of Eddie Blake–one of the Watchmen world’s original superheroes, who later gives in to his worst impulses and becomes a sociopathic government agent who revels in violence–is what sets the entire story of Watchmen in motion, making his perhaps the most crucial role, even if it is one that’s told almost entirely via flashback. Just a few years ago, back when we only knew him from his work on Mad Men, the casting of Jon Hamm in such a role would have seemed like an odd choice. But this year’s Baby Driver showed us the darkness that was always bubbling under the surface of Don Draper. Between these roles, Hamm has proved he can play a morally reprehensible person that we all kind of like anyway. Plus, Baby Driver showed us he can rock some stubble like nobody’s business.
Michael C. Hall as Doctor Manhattan
For eight years, Michael C Hall carried a calm exterior as Dexter‘s titular lovable serial killer. The all powerful Doctor Manhattan might not be a sociopathic murderer, but like Dexter Morgan, he’s just a bit of cut off from regular human emotion, and sees human beings as strange, foreign entities more worthy of study than of affection. Hall also has that cold, soothing voice that’d play perfectly from Doctor Manhattan’s blue, glowing throat.
Who would you like to watch as the Watchmen? Be sure to us know your choices in the comments.
Images: HBO / Showtime / FX / Sony / Warner Brothers / DC Comics
Want more in Watchmen?
- Damon Lindelof teases his new Watchmen series
- Doomsday Clock art teases a role for Rorschach
- Geoff Johns talks his Watchmen comic Doomsday Clock
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