Based on Alan Moore's acclaimed graphic novel (with illustrations by Dave Gibbons), Watchmen is set in an alternate 1985 where Nixon is still President, and the US and USSR are dangerously close to nuclear war. It has been over eight years since the Keen Act was passed, outlawing costumed vigilantes, and where the majority hung up their capes, so to speak, Rorschach is one of few still operating the New York streets. Upon investigating a local murder, he realizes the victim was The Comedian, one of the few government-employed ex-vigilantes. Suspecting there's a "mask-killer" on the loose, a suspicion given further weight after a blotched assassination attempt on Adrian Veidt, a former vigilante known as Ozymandias, Rorschach further investigates the string of coincidental events as the world gets closer and closer to possible nuclear destruction.
The Film Adaptation
Directed by Zac Snyder (300) and given theatrical release March 2009, the adaptation features Jackie Earle Haley (Little Children) as Rorschach, Billy Crudup (The Good Shepherd) as Dr. Manhattan, Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Supernatural) as The Comedian, Matthew Goode (Brideshead Revisited) as Ozymandias, Malin Akerman (27 Dresses) as Silk Spectre II, Patrick Wilson (Little Children) as Nite Owl II, and Carla Gugino (American Gangster) as Silk Spectre. The film grossed $55 million on its opening weekend, and, as of March 30th, 2009, had a total income of over $170 million at the worldwide box office.
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