Although Zack Snyder’s 2009 film adaptation of “Watchmen” has no connection to Damon Lindelof’s upcoming TV version for HBO, that doesn’t mean those actors are off-limits.
Snyder’s film, which is more of a straight re-telling of Alan Moore’s acclaimed work, features a cast that includes Patrick Wilson, Malin Akerman, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Carla Gugino, Billy Crudup and Jackie Earl Haley. Lindelof, who is spearheading the upcoming adaptation for HBO, told TheWrap that he’s open to casting them, just in different roles.
“Maybe. Again, I don’t want to be cutesy about it. Our ‘Watchmen,’ with two notable exceptions, is trying to introduce new characters as opposed to dwelling on characters from the classic. But never say never.”
Those two exceptions: Jeremy Irons portrays an older version of Ozymandias/Adrien Veidt (played by Goode in the film) and Jean Smart as an older Silk Spectre II/Laurie Juspeczyk (though she goes by “Laurie Blake” in the series). Akerman portrayed Silk Spectre in the film. Doctor Manhattan (Crudup in the film) appears to be a factor in the HBO series as well.
Lindelof has two reasons for why he wouldn’t have, for example, Wilson return as Night Owl. One of them is practical — the HBO version is set more than 30 years after Snyder’s film took place — and the other is that it would just be too confusing for the audience.
“Because then that [movie] becomes canon,” he explained. In his HBO series, the events as they were depicted in Moore’s original work are canon (Snyder’s film made a tweak to the ending).
“In the same way that the Marvel movie ‘X-Men’ are outside the canon of the Disney movies. It’s sort of like: Can Patrick Stewart play Professor X? Because those ‘X-Men’ movies, they seem to be happening in a world where the Avengers and Spider-Man didn’t exist,” Lindelof continued. “If Patrick Wilson was suddenly Night Owl — by the way he’d be too young, our Night Owl is in his early 70s — if he were to appear. I don’t want to confuse people.”