Readers of the original graphic novel will recall that at the end of the story it was revealed that the actor was campaigning to become president. Now, in 2019 Robert Redford has been in office for 27 years — term limits went out the window ages ago. Redford’s presence in the fabric of Watchmen‘s canon is apparent in the poster seen above.
Tulsa Massacre of 1921
Creator Damon Lindelof moves the action to Tulsa, Oklahoma as opposed to the book’s New York City setting. He has revealed that he was inspired by the Tulsa Massacre of 1921 (aka Tulsa Race Riot) which has been called the worst act of racial violence in American History. Reading up on this event could help with context as the series kicks off.
The first character readers meet in the graphic novel is Rorschach who keeps a journal throughout the story. Eventually he passes that journal along to a news publication and it’s hinted that his words were printed. But Rorschach didn’t make it out of the book alive, so now his dark ramblings appear to have influenced the Seventh Kavalry — a KKK-type organization — as they don his familiar mask.
One character that is confirmed as returning is Laurie (aka Silk Spectre) played by Jean Smart. Instead of going by Laurie Juspeczyk, she goes by Laurie Blake — a nod to her biological father Eddie Blake (aka The Comedian) we assume. But what’s brought her to the FBI?
Regina King’s character Angela Abar is one of many members of the Tulsa police force who don disguises in order to protect themselves. The use of masks is a strong element of the original novel and remains so in the series, but not everyone is allowed to wear them as the book noted the Keene Act of 1977 banned vigilantism.
Could it Be Ozymandias?
There’s been a lot of speculation about Jeremy Irons’ character who is billed as the Lord of a Country Estate. It’s been hinted he could be playing Adrian Veidt (aka Ozymandias) who was responsible for the massacre of millions around New York City in the ’80s when he sent a squid apparating into the city as a means of preventing World War III. If Irons’ wardrobe is any indication, there’s certainly Ozymandias vibes with the gold and purple tones and his blond-tinted hair.
As if a giant squid landing in New York City wasn’t weird enough in the graphic novel, the world continues to feel the “after-effects” of the event. Expect to see some bouts of squid showers and how the world handles those hurdles.
Dr. Manhattan’s Vietnam Victory
The only superhuman from the original story appeared in the San Diego Comic-Con trailer, but one important detail about Dr. Manhattan’s past is his role in helping America win the Vietnam War. This detail in the alt-reality history is important because of how drastically different it is from our own reality.
Curious about HBO's Watchmen but haven't read the graphic novel which serves as direct history for the present-day series? Have no fear because we're breaking down a few details that may be foggy to those less acquainted with the acclaimed reading material.
In the gallery above, click through the images to see what characters may have connections to the original story and what historical moments could play into the show's plots. This may only scratch the surface, but rest assured, learning more about these characters and details could serve helpful when it comes to understanding Damon Lindelof's remix.
Don't miss Watchmen when it debuts October 20 on HBO.