Watchmen is a 2009 American superhero movie directed by Zack Snyder, based on the 1986 to 1987 DC Comics limited series of the same name by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. The movie stars an ensemble cast of Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Carla Gugino, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Patrick Wilson. Take a look below for 30 more interesting and fascinating facts about Watchmen.
1. The movie is set in an alternate history in the year 1985 at the height of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, as a group of mostly retired American superheroes investigates the murder of one of their own before uncovering an elaborate and deadly conspiracy, while their moral limitations are challenged by the complex nature of the circumstances.
2. As with his previous movie, 300, Snyder closely modeled his storyboards on the comic, but chose not to shoot all of Watchmen using green screens and opted for real sets instead.
3. The movie grossed $55 million on its opening weekend and over $185 million at the worldwide box office.
4. A DVD based on elements of the Watchmen universe was released, including an animated adaption of the comic Tales of the Black Freighter within the story starring Gerard Butler.
5. The Ultimate Cut edition incorporated the animated comic Tales of the Black Freighter into the narrative as it was in the original graphic novel, lengthening the runtime to 3 hours and 35 minutes.
6. All of the United States flags in the movie has 51 stars, because in the movie’s alternate history, Vietnam became the 51st state after America won the Vietnam War.
7. The first trailer for the movie, which premiered with The Dark Knight, 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.
8. Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays Edward Morgan Blake, the Comedian. Morgan initially turned down the role after reading the first three pages of the script, assuming that the character was only a cameo. His agent persuaded him to read the entire script and then make a decision.
9. 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.
10. Of all the Watchmen, Rorschach and Dr. Manhattan are the only two that never cuss.
11. 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’s an image of a waiter carrying a four-legged chicken.
12. 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 Rorschach.
13. 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 Kitty Genovese. Her murder in public view sparked an outcry about bystander apathy.
14. 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 actor and model Greg Plitt.
15. Ozymandias is a Greek name for Pharaoh Ramses II, 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.
16. 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 Rorschach would have fought in a scrappier, less disciplined style.
17. 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 Snyder, something that appealed to Zack a great deal.
18. When Silk Spectre and Nite Owl II 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 II offers coffee to the people they have just rescued.
19. Watchmen was shipped to some theaters under the codename, “Old Heroes Never Die.”
20. 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.
21. Unlike the movie, the graphic novel doesn’t feature a single instance of the word “fuck.”
22. Patrick Wilson gained 25 pounds to play the overweight, out of condition, Nite Owl II.
23. The scene at the beginning, where a girl puts a flower on the barrel of a soldier’s rifle, is a reference to a famous photograph by Marc Ribaud called: “An American Young Girl.”
24. The Hustler magazine on the Comedian’s table is from August, 1985, and contains the headline “Comic Relief.”
25. In the clip from Rambo: First Blood Part II, seen on one of Ozymandias’ television screens, actor Martin Kove is wearing a Smile button, which of course is an image associated with Watchman and the Comedian in particular. However, in Rambo, the Smile is actually frowning.
26. During the meeting of the Crimebusters, in which the Comedian burns the map of the United States, the Zippo lighter he uses, is engraved with an image of Sally Jupiter.
27. The lines spoken by Rorschach, referring to Pagliacci visiting a doctor, are taken by a poem from Mexican writer Juan de Dios Peza “Reir Llorando,” based on the famous English comedian David Garrick.
28. If you look closely, during the opening credit 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.
29. Pieces of 1980s 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.
30. Moloch has a copy of Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” on his bedside table. In this poem, the word “moloch” appears several times.